Cockroaches, Mint & Me

Which word springs first to almost everyone’s mind when you mention Mexico?

Probably either tequila or cockroach.

Yes… La Cucaracha!

The well-known song is a fun thing to sing until you are actually there and facing these insects. They are your roomies without invitation, they eat your food, they have bubble baths in your kitchen or bathroom, they will invite themselves to your bed or will finish the last drops of your coffee.

These tiny, and less tiny, creatures can survive just about anything that our planet can throw at them. They don’t give a shit about radiation or nuclear war. No, to make a genocide of cockroaches you need to prepare well and honestly you will lose anyway.  

There are several varieties of cockroaches, the most known are the German and American. You can meet them pretty much anywhere in the world, they even live in Antarctica. You might believe that if you are super tidy they won’t appear at your place, believe me it is not true. They like damp places, wet spots, and food waste, damp cloths are a paradise for them. You will see them inside the house, in the streets, or worst of all you won’t see them at all. Maybe these guys will be your snack while you sleep. 

While the general point here is that these insects are completely destroying my comfort, they are also quite amazing creatures. Their life expectancy is only around one year, but they have existed and survived already for more than 200 million years. Cockroaches can stay around 40 minutes without breathing. They can even stay alive if they literally lose their heads as they are able to breathe through each of their body segments, in these cases they eventually die just because they need water and they have no way to drink it. When it comes to food just name it, probably they can eat everything. If they can’t find food in rare cases, they might bite humans. It is recorded that some types of of roaches like alcohol and a beer can left laying around will be a great treasure.

WARNING: If you are against hurting insects then you should probably stop reading here. I’m not a direct killer usually either, but I have ordered the murders of many roaches recently. 

Let’s begin with how all this started…

I believe with the cooler nights the cockroaches have started to flee into houses where the weather conditions are what they expect or just simply feel more comfortable. To tell the truth I’m not an expert on insects so the first few times I saw them I was not sure they are the ONES. But they were. After this realisation the first murder was ordered. The first weapon – a shoe was used. I was not so happy that it was my shoe. 

Let’s carry on…

Murder after murder was not a solution. Space sharing and a peaceful co-existence was not a solution either. I believe I like them out of my way, and they would like me out or theirs, or at least I would think so. They came to me more than once so maybe they feel some kind of connection, but I don’t.

At some point one evening I was pushed into action by a situation where cockroaches appeared in a bunch. I freaked out started to use whatever weapons I could lay my hands on to smash them, but they didn’t seem to stop coming, and my hopes that they will get scared of their friends bodies went away. 

So, a new plan was born. After reading some information about these survivors I decided to use mint essential oil. It was late at night, I saw one of them climbing on the reusable bag in the dark. I thought now or never and took the little bottle with the mint oil. I was not well prepared, so I just started to put drops all around, and not just little drops.

By accident my hand touched my face and I felt my skin and eyes burning! Water, water, water! I spent some time in the bathroom washing my face with the awful Tijuana tap water…. You know here we don’t drink the tap water, sometimes even when taking a shower my skin gets a rash and itchiness. Anyway after some time I felt better, but all night wondered why Karma had sent me this trauma.

Did I mention it was a lot of drops of the essential oil? Yes, well we needed to keep the windows open for a couple of days. I would say that not just cockroaches, but humans as well wouldn’t mind to escape from the flat. 

Did we win the war with the roaches?

Not exactly, but they are not having massive parties at our place. They are like it should be at these times of COVID 19 quarantine, keeping their distance and walking one by one. All massive events are cancelled. And we still have the water mix with alcohol and mint essential oil prepared and keep the prevention.

Sometimes at night we still hear them walking… If you are new in sharing a place with cockroaches you might mistake them for mice. And I am not joking, we both did until we saw the proof they were just insects. 

And yet, in the end and in some way, they are needed on our planet. One of them even helped WALL-E to save the last plant on the earth. Let’s all try to be friends, just let’s keep distance from each other. 

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