Friday, August 24, 2007


They call it a palmetto bug, but I'm not fooled. It's a giant cockroach. Giving something a fancy name does nothing to hide its repulsiveness.

What is it that Shakespeare wrote?
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

I don't know what it is about the South... inbreeding, most likely, but the roaches here are gigantic. The two places I've lived in the South both had ridiculously large roaches. When I was in Augusta, Georgia, I'm sure the radiation from the local nuclear power plant could be partly to blame. And here in New Orleans, I'm sure being at the tail end of the Mississippi River and all the pollutants that have come floating down could have something to do with their size.

Regardless, Nathalie and I found one of these repulsive creatures wandering around the house the other day. Normally, I have no problem stomping on a bug or getting a rolled up newspaper and smashing it into oblivion. However, once a bug gets bigger than, say an inch or so, they tend to leave a lot of squashed mess to clean up. Nobody likes bug guts. And then there's that nauseating sensation of them crunching under your foot.

Bug spray also tends to make a mess. Although watching the bug squirm around before it dies is morbidly entertaining, I've found that bigger bugs leave poop stains on the floor while doing so. Not only that, you have to deal with the chemical smell afterwards.

So we've resorted to getting my Shop-Vac and just sucking up the roach. They can run, but it's hard to hide from a 3 HP motor. And there's no mess, no chemical smell, no nothing! Just a minor hassle of returning the vac to the shed when I'm done.

And of course, occasionally I forget that there's a roach in the cannister. It's a little shocking when I go to empty the vac and one of them comes crawling out of the pile of dust like some roach-zombie.