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Cockroach Facts And Philosophy

Cockroach Facts And Philosophy

Life Abroad

Ew! Gross! I Need Help Killing Cockroaches

Anyone who has seen the 1996 classic movie Joe’s Apartment, is probably mentally traumatized on some level. Even more so if you have ever dealt with cockroaches in your own home or apartment. And a love story is probably not going to be included nor appreciated.

Especially in tropical climates, you will probably deal with cockroaches at some point. If you have small children or shun chemical pesticides, then you will need to be a bit more clever in your methods of elimination. We are going to teach you some cockroach facts about South America, especially Colombia.  These tidbits will help the Open Minded Traveler deal with them in a hissy-fit-free way.  It will save you a LOT of time, money and stress.

My Cockroach Philosophy

We can’t go any further unless I am allowed to wax philosophic for a minute.

#1: Cockroaches are strange and adaptable little vermin that infest our lives with their nasty probabilities. They multiply like rabbits. Sociopaths and world leaders often refer to the human race as cockroaches in their brain-washing propaganda. They then try to convince us how similar we all are to these nasty bugs. The reality might shock you, or at the very least, make you think a bit.

#2: Cockroaches are quite odd if you have ever spent time with them without screaming bloody murder and leaping onto the nearest chair or man. Their intelligence grows, as they grow:

If you have ever tried to kill a small cockroach, it tends to do stuff that is kind dumb. They will run in circles, stop and think about it, and then do something random. In the end, a small rice-sized cockroach is dead-meat if you pursue them.
If you have ever tried to kill a not-so-small-yet-not-big-yet cockroach, they are faster but still hesitate and hide in places that are easier to get to. This includes playing dead.
If you have ever tried to kill a big, fat, thumb-sized creeper, then you know its a game of cat and mouse. You have to surprise them, outwait them, and not screw up your one chance to put the squeeze on their future romance. They are surprisingly hard to find, fast and have ninja-like abilities to out-think the average human.

#3: Cockroaches are the great human equalizer. Even the biggest, most well-appointed apartment buildings, to the smallest hovel, have cockroaches. They come in via our food, our stuff, packages and even our purses…yes, purses. The next time you compare yourself to someone flashy, remember, they have probably seen a big scary, disgusting cockroach too.

#4: Cockroaches are the ultimate survivalist.  They are incredibly resourceful and hard to kill.  They learn from their past mistakes (if they survive) and over time adapt to the habits of their human counterparts.  If you stop pursuing them they will actually stop running off.  Many varieties are able to survive in many different climates.

Killing Cockroaches

Lets get down to business. Cockroaches are the bane of our existence, they pollute our kitchens with their feces, their presence, and their imagined presence gives us nightmares. Killing cockroaches is a nasty disgusting job that make us shudder and dry-heave. There are a few tricks that can actually cut down on your work.  These time-proven ideas will help reduce their populations without harsh chemicals and poisons.

  • Clean and Closed: Clean up your kitchen after every meal.  Try to seal up cracks and fissures in your house.  Water leaks can be especially hospitable to cockroaches. They can survive on water even if there is no food readily available. If you live in an older house or an earthquake zone where cracks are hard to seal or fully close: Try sprinkling diotomaceaos earth, or boric acid, on those areas, in corners and wherever bugs can enter.
  • Become a Killer: It sounds gross, but vigilance can actually speed up your progress quite a bit.  Keep a rubber spatula, a fly swatter or even a ruler handy.  Don’t forget a tissue to grab their nasty cockroach corpse.
  • Store Your Food Better: Buy tupperware containers, re-use glass jars, and pick up food-storage buckets.  By putting your food in containers, it will not only keep longer.  This will help you keep ALL bugs out of it cutting down on the whole problem much faster.


Killing cockroaches is a huge pain-in-the butt to travelers and expats alike.  It’s even harder to stay open-minded and take a longer, chemical-free route to eliminating them permanently.  But, it’s worth it.  And, when you just can’t take it any more remember that even (Insert Name of Politician, Person, or Celebrity You Don’t Like), has probably had to deal with cockroaches at some point too.

And, while, without using harsh, toxic chemicals, we won’t be able to eliminate them as fast as we had hoped, take hope.  Like anything else in life, its a matter of time, persistence, and patience.

About the author

English Teacher, Freelancer, Chocolate Entrepreneur and Traveler!!

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