If you’ve been to this blog once before – I’m sure you’re aware of my extreme hatred of palmetto bugs. (There’s a whole chapter in my book dedicated to my traumatic critter experiences…) I do not know what it is – I must emit pheromones that are appealing to palmetto bugs or something because they are drawn to me like a moth to a flame.
For those of you who aren’t from the south and/or may be new to the blog, I’ll just give a quick re-cap on what a palmetto bug is…
A palmetto bug is a cockroach. Not just an ordinary ‘cockroach’ though. It’s OH so much more. It is a cockroach, on steroids, straight from the pits of the darkest most vile parts of Hell.
I should point out, too, that these show up any and everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re house is impeccably clean.
They are ginormous. In a quiet room, at night, you can hear them walking. That’s right – they are so huge – you can hear their footprints. In case you’re new here, yes, I hear footprints. Not footsteps. It’s what I do…They can get up to 3 inches or a more in size.
And they don’t run or scurry away when the lights come on. They stop, dead in their tracks and stare you down.
You can’t just smash ’em with a shoe. No sir. That just ticks ’em off. You can’t just step on them either. You have to step on them, press down hard as you can and then twist your foot back and forth several times. And even then, lift your foot ever-so-carefully because they still might not be dead. (However, I have recently learned if you can flip them on their backs – with nothing in their reach, like near a wall or cable or something, they’ll die because they can’t flip over. Note to self: Look into purchasing holster for carrying around canned air.) If you haven’t mashed ’em enough, when you lift your foot – they gone!
As you may have surmised, I have a lot of experience in dealing with these beasts from the underbelly of earth… I was once able to contain myself and keep composed when one came within my field of vision – however – a few ‘incidents’ that took place, over the course of several months, forever changed my ability to remain composed.
It began the night I awoke from a deep slumber, to one walking across MY FACE. Still, I was able to see one without freaking out too much.
Then one walked across my leg – in the MIDDLE of the DAY.
Then when I got up in the middle of the night – half asleep – to use the bathroom – Thank the Lord I turned the light on that night because I usually don’t – there was one on the toilet seat. When he saw me, he looked up, from the magazine he was reading, and gave me a “Do you mind? I’m busy here…” sort of expression.
Then one FLEW RIGHT AT ME. Yeah. I know, right? This was when I first learned that they can FLY. Incidentally, this was the same night my sons learned how loud their mother can actually scream. It eventually landed on my bed, which has FOREVER scarred me because up until that night I was under the impression that they were only able to get on my bed if a bed sheet or blanket was touching the ground. Nope. They can fly and land on my bed! shuddder
The straw that broke the camel’s back was the night after we’d had our entire yard treated for bugs. Mainly fleas and ticks because of our children and pets. The palmetto bugs decided to retreat indoors to get away from the treatment that was put on the yard.
It started around midnight. I heard one. It was on the lampshade of the lamp on my nightstand. I scooted in the opposite direction, toward where Tom was sleeping, when – wait for it – it FLEW at me causing me to scream, scale Tom’s slumbering body and sit on my dresser on the other side of the bed ALL at the same time.
The scream caused the beast to retreat toward the vent next to my nightstand – where Tom could not reach him. That’s when the hives showed up. And for some reason, I always get a hive on the pad of my right thumb. It puffs out, turns red and itchy. Tom was having no luck finding the roach, so I apologized for waking him, told him to go back to bed, tried to calm myself and sat back down on the bed.
That’s when I saw one walking up the wall at the foot of our bed. I froze – not sure what it was going to do and not wanting to wake Tom – looked around, slowly, at what was within reach – and saw my hand lotion. I shot lotion at it. Nailed it, eventually, and knocked him off the wall. But, I was now out of lotion.
So, I went into the bathroom to get something else I could shoot at one if needed – the mousse. While I was in the bathroom, I saw one crawl up the wall of the shower.
He was up near the ceiling. Too high for the mousse.
I grabbed my water pik water flosser. Turned it on and shot it at the bugger. Chased him all up and down that wall and ceiling with the water. Got him.
Now soaking wet, had to change my clothes.
Sat back in bed, mousse in hand.
Saw one on the table. Moussed it
Then another on the floor. Moussed it
Another. Moussed it
Another. More Mousse
I spent the better part of that night with mousse in one hand, a flashlight in the other, standing in the middle of the room – slowly turning so I didn’t have my back to any one part of the room for any length of time. It’s a wonder I didn’t bore a hole right there in the wood floor…
I tried SO hard not to wake Tom, but after the 5th or 6th one invaded, it became increasingly difficult. He got up at one point, cleaning up piles of mousse, with cockroach centers, between the bed and bathroom. Came out of the bathroom, cleaning up the new piles of cockroach filled mousse that I had made while he was in the bathroom.
It was like Johnny Horton’s Battle of New Orleans because they kept-a comin’
♪♫ Year twenty-thirteen almost made me flip
Even with Tom theBomb – I completely lost my grip
I grabbed some lotion and prepared myself for torture
Then killed evil beasts smack dab in middle Georgia ♫♪
♫♪ I shot lotion at ‘em but the roaches kept a-comin’
There’s now twice as many as there was a-while ago!
I squealed some more and Tom began a fussin’
“Piles of mousse everywhere, thos’ve got to go!” ♪♫
♪♫ We looked all around the room and see’d the buggers come’
There musta been a hundred of ‘em, shoulda seen my thumb
Tom was holdin’ in his ire, that wasn’t hard to tell
My cries drove him up the wall, and really gave him… Well… ♫♪
♫♪ I doused ‘em in mousse but the roaches kept a-comin’
There’s now twice as many as there was a while ago
I squealed even more and Tom was still a fussin’
“If I don’t get some sleep, I’m really gonna blow” ♪♫
We have an awesome bug man now and we rarely see any of these beasts. If we do, it’s usually right when he’s due to come back.
The other night, shortly after midnight, I was finishing up posts for the following day before going to bed when I was descended upon.
It came from behind, grazed the top of my head and landed RIGHT ON MY KEYBOARD with a THUMP!
I slid back so fast I almost fell out of my chair. I looked around and there was NOTHING. There was no mousse. No lotion. No tape. No superglue. I was backing away – slowly – toward the kitchen when I noticed a bottle of OFF! next to the back door.
I moved toward it and as I did the cockroach moved off my keyboard. I sprayed it. It ran, I followed it – spraying it over and over and over and over and over while it ran and ran and ran and ran – until it finally started freaking and running in a circle. I grabbed a small plastic bowl and covered it.
The bowl started to move and uhm, I wasn’t having that. So – I ran into the office and grabbed the duct tape. I taped the bowl to the floor and sat there, somewhat pleased with my work of art. A bowl, with a big giant red “X-Marks the Spot” over it.
Then I realized that because of where it was, Tom wouldn’t see it in the morning when he left for work and that’s just not cool. I didn’t want to deal with it all the next day and decided I should make Tom aware of it – somehow.
Well, one time before – when this happened, I let Jigsaw tell Tom for me:
This time, I looked around for a paper, pen – anything – that I could leave Tom a note on. Didn’t really find anything useable, plus – where would I put it so he’d see it?
That’s when I noticed there was duct tape in my hands. Hmmmm….
Grabbed the scissors, sat down and wrote a note I was sure he’d see:
Along with some arrows that lead to the X that marked the spot of the showdown.
The very next day, the bug man called to schedule a visit to spray our house. Pretty good timing if you ask me! (And I still haven’t gotten a puppy…)