Cape Town Cockroaches

I can deal with a few spiders here and there, potato bugs don’t bother me, other small bugs aren’t a big deal, but cockroaches, GET OUT!!! Our first two weeks in South Africa we stayed in a little studio flat on the seventh floor of a big apartment building. The very first cockroach we saw was not a welcomed surprise, but the newness of being in Cape Town was still so fresh, our minds were still filled with wonder and the romantic idea of living in a foreign country, so we were not too affected by one little cockroach. Over the next two weeks we continued to see a few more here and there; one in the shower, one crawling on the kitchen floor, one on the counter top, one on the bathroom floor, one under the sink. I thought maybe they were attracted to food or dirt, so I cleaned everything really well, made sure there were no crumbs left on the countertop, swept the floor, scrubbed the bathroom, emptied the garbages frequently, but all of our extra efforts didn’t seem to help. The cockroaches, however small or infrequent, continued to come. We were both a little bugged that they kept appearing, but figured we could deal with them for two weeks and hoped for a better, less cockroachy space in our next place…

The first of February we moved into a new third floor flat full of optimism. The first few months we saw very few cockroaches, but the few we did see we dispose of immediately. We were in a bit of denial that they were still inhabiting our space, so we got rid of them as quick as we could to go on pretending that they never showed up. At first I would literally smash them dead in their tracks, dispose of the body, and wipe up the remains, but that was pretty gross and left a gory mess, and the little nasties kept coming!

Rob had a better way. We developed a less gruesome system for their disposal. My cute hubby use to run at the sight of their little repulsive bodies, but as they cockroaches didn’t back down, neither did Rob. He became the cockroach killer! I would bean the sick nasty buggers with the dust pan brush to slow them down and Rob would sweep them up into the dust pan. I open the window and Rob dumps them out – probably not the best news for the people walking along the street below, but you can’t win em’ all! :}  It’s raining cockroaches! We were seeing them so consistently at this point they were hardly even phasing us.

A few months went by. We thought we were winning the battle with the cockroach clan, but we couldn’t have been more WRONG! It was a Friday night a little after midnight and we had just finished watching a movie. I was hungry (naturally, no surprise there) and got up and walked into the kitchen to find something to eat. I turned on the light and to my horror, I saw DOZENS of cockroaches running for cover! Big cockroaches, medium-size cockroaches, baby cockroaches, cockroach cousins, you name them, the whole family was there! I almost screamed, but instead let out a long sigh of total defeat. Rob jumped up and ran into the kitchen to discover the little dirties for himself. He did not keep his cool. He did not find this humorous in the slightest. He was not happy. We began furiously moving everything; the cabinet, the garbage can, the oven, the fridge, and began cleaning underneath everything. When we thought we had the situation under control, Rob saw one climbing up the wall behind the fridge. We moved the fridge to find the entire extended family, Great Aunt Bertha, Betty, and Brigetta were all hanging out! After we got to 40 we stopped counting – we were in shock. It was too awful to be real. We spent another hour spraying, smashing, and scrubbing the floor and walls free of cockroach carcass’ and poops; making the list for the top 10 most disgusting things I’ve ever done. As Rob would say, it was “sick nasty barf!” And it truly was!!! Talk about a traumatic event.

We went out the next week and bought 5 roach traps. Rob strategically placed one behind the oven and one under the sink cabinet. A week later we checked the traps and they were both full! It was so GROSS!! I wish I could say we were completely rid of those little sickers by now, but the worst part is, they are never gone. A few weeks ago one decided to join me in my shower. Another night one practically jumped on our faces as we were laying down in bed – my eyes rolled up into my forehead and almost fell out of my face when I saw its grotesque body scaling the wall above our heads!! At that moment I spazzed out! I jumped out of bed and shook my whole body vigorously – looking like a total crazy person! I felt like they were all over me! They are everywhere! They’re making us crazy! The traps have decreased their frequency, but it seems that they are the gift that keeps on giving and they may never go away. Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we cry. This is Africa (TIA).

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