November 01

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Hating On Japanese Bugs, Round II

This sucker is 4.2 cm long! I wonder if it’s the evil twin of the monster I slayed just a few short months ago…?

Which would you rather fight, one horse-sized cockroach or a hundred cockroach-sized horses? Before I had a chance to answer that burning question, heart attack on toast! Horse-sized cockroach scuttles out of closet and down the hall!

I run for my trusty weapon of mass gokiburi destruction, the intrepid rubber rain boot, but alas, by the time I’m armed and ready, the monster has holed itself up in a crevice. Oh no, Frankenbug, don’t think you’re coming out as soon as I turn out the lights, lying in wait for my bare foot when I get up in the middle of the night. NO NO NO NO NO.

What to do, what to do?

I know! I’ll trap it! Snip, snip, a baggie is turned into a device that I hope will live up to all those warnings Don’t  Put This Over Your Head, Danger Of Suffocation. In my self-appointed role as Divine Instrument of Cockroach Fate, suffocation is exactly what I have in mind. I carefully apply extra-wide packing tape to the edges of my cockroach asphixiator and slap it down over the corner where my nemesis is hiding. I quickly seal all the edges with more tape.

I survey my handiwork. Yikes, is it really secure enough? That sucker was big. More tape. And just for good measure, MORE TAPE. Now the cockroach trap has at least three inches of tape all around. I retire to the kitchen. Ten minutes later, I check. Ew ew ew, it ‘s scrabbling against the front corner, trying to escape! How securely is that tape stuck to the carpet? What if it burrows out in a monumental act of cockroach strength?

Need something small and heavy. Yay, Japanese-English dictionaries to the rescue! OK, barriers in place.

I’m totally tempted to smash it with my rubber rain boot now, but I stop to consider what might happen when cockroach innards meet carpet. Would they become Forever One? Come to think of it, I’ve never seen a household cleaner that claims to remove cockroach stains.

Now I’m wondering if it’s even possible to suffocate a cockroach? Do they even breathe? Wikipedia to the rescue: Hallelujah,the answer is yes. But naturally, cockroaches can survive for 45 long minutes without oxygen. But it only takes 30 minutes to drown them. Maybe I should flood the apartment  just for good measure…

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car with two strangers. But the more Yumi Hata learns about her friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more