I speak for all three of us – myself, Luna and Morcilla – when I say that this morning’s exploits were nothing short of heroic. Leaving Loki out of this because, well, he’s a big lazy galoot and chose not to get involved. It all started when I sat up in bed and saw both girls staring intently at the little bookcases that are under the bedroom window. And I just knew it had to be my worst nightmare, something I always dread in summer.
Of course I am speaking of Periplaneta Americana, AKA the massive cockroaches that arrived in Spain on the ships travelling back here from the Americas. The largest of the cockroach family, these muthafuckas also FLY. Yes they do. Arrrrgh.
In all of my years here in Sevilla, in the various casa azahars, sightings have been limited to maybe once or twice a year and always in summer (they “come out” more when it’s hot… shudder). Until now I thought my latest casa az was somehow magically protected from these creepy crawly horrors. Alas, it is not. But I suppose I’ve been lucky as it’s been over two years without having seen one.
Anyhow, back to this morning. The girls were not budging. They sat with their bodies rigid, eyes fixed on the bookcase, ready to pounce, and all I could think was… PLEASE DON’T LET IT RUN UNDER THE BED (this actually happened once at the previous casa az, resulting in the disassembly of the bed in the wee hours). I was too stricken with terror to move the bookcases, mere inches from the end of the bed. It was a stalemate situation.
So of course I immediately went into denial, hoping against hope that, you know, maybe it wasn’t a humoungous hideous insect lurking under the furniture. I quickly got dressed and went to make coffee, but not before placing a sandal on top of the bookcase just in case (because, really, I knew). And yep, as I came out of the kitchen I saw the disgusting creature scuttle under my laundry basket with the girls hot on its trail.
There was nothing for it – I had to act now or in all likelyhood end up having to take my bed apart. I grabbed the sandal, moved the basket, AND THERE IT WAS. Action was swift – there was no time to think. A couple of whacks with the sandal, the fresh corpse picked up with a handful and paper towel (eewwww!!!) and flushed (about 5 times just in case!) followed by a quick tidy up. All accomplished totally on adrenaline. It was only then that the post-traumatic heebie-jeebies set in and I’ve been jumpy as hell ever since. Hopefully this will pass soon and it will be – at least – another two years before this hell happens again.
I’m so grateful for the tip off from the girls this morning because, as you can imagine, being surprised by one of these fuckers is even worse than when warned and having time to prepare a plan of attack (which is bad enough). And Loki? He came into the bedroom at one point, had a look at the situation, and decided he’d rather go lie down somewhere. And now I’m going to go wash all my floors…
Deborah Barnes said:
Ew, ew, ew! All my hairs are standing on end. Thank bob fir the UK weather 😆
I’m still not over it. Am still jumpy and expect to see ANOTHER ONE when I turn my head or walk into a room…
OH… but when I lived in Bristol I remember spiders the size of my hand!
Just like Loki to leave it to the girls. As a USian from the tropical latitudes of the country I apologize for the cockroach.
I have only ever had trouble with them when someone vacates a nearby structure that’s infested — the grocery store older than me down the hill, or the hoarder house up the street (which was eventually gutted to the studs) — because they flee into the sewers and come up through unsuspecting people’s plumbing. Meaning you can usually nail them before they escape the sink or tub, but it’s happened, and I know that “point” that cats do… I usually scream bloody murder while I’m killing them, if the Engineer doesn’t get there first.
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They’re just so fucking huge. What they call “palmettos” or “waterbugs” in Florida, I suppose just to not say the C word. Yes, they do often stay put unless disturbed, or when it gets very hot. I saw a documentary on cockroaches once and apparently when you start seeing them it means THE COLONY has become too large and they start kicking out the old and sick ones. Nice.
I also posted this on Facebook and people there have started talking about their problems with ants and … fruit flies?? As if those are remotely similar to having giant horrors inside your home. I see one and a sharp chill goes right up my spine. If surprised this is accompanied by a deep scream that sounds nothing like my usual voice. I know it makes no sense. I mean, they are big in terms of bugs, but still smaller than my thumb (though not much). But these things aren’t logical.
The girls had a great time. The only problem was that they weren’t in any hurry to finish the fucker off and I couldn’t risk it getting under my bed (built in drawers, etc). No doubt they would have played with it for ages… unlike my dear departed Lua who could smell a cockroach two rooms away and would whack the shit out of them. She could also kill flies by clapping them between her front paws.
When I lived in Salamanca they would actually swarm out of the sewer drains at night in summer, covering the streets like a roach carpet. Unfortunately my first apartment there was on the ground floor with a patio (with a sewer drain). Every morning I’d toss Lua out there and close the door again, then go do a body clean up. Last time I ever lived in a ground floor apartment.
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Like sending in the Special Forces to deal with an invasion. I bet she was something to watch.
One of my clients has an epidemic of stink bugs at her townhouse and they swarm on the screen of the patio door at night. Her tortie is crazed, but…. they’re stink bugs. So far, it’s just cat TV.
My commiserations to all of you!
Well, just me. I think the girls were having a great time!
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