New Orleans roaches

My girlfriend Rita is in New Orleans, helping Habitat for Humanity rebuild — er, more like tear down — the homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, as I mentioned before. The Register has finally started posting some of her pictures (including this one that I lifted from their site).

Her Day 4 story amused me to no end – it’s almost all about roaches. Now, knowing how the hair on her arms prickle visibly at the mere sight of an ant, I can’t even imagine her physical reaction to roaches the size of wheeled toys:

On Tuesday, I found at least 12 of them behind insulation I was pulling with a crowbar. They remind me of a mini racecar because they move so fast. Behind another wall they went.

I assigned myself today to work in a moldy kitchen. I could smell the rotting food and wet walls.

On my knees, I pulled out corroded cans of vegetables and tuna and a bottle of olive oil. Dozens of cockroaches soon followed. I think one was about the length of a Hot Wheels car.

I spent about an hour and a half in that area pulling cereal boxes that had been festering for about a year. And there they were again — crawling in the bags and around the cupboard.

They were everywhere.

I heard a story of how one volunteer was pulling a piece of drywall from the ceiling and a group of cockroaches fell from the ceiling onto him. Eek!

But at least I am armed with my steel-toe boots and my hammer. So now when I see one, instead of jumping back like I did in the kitchen, I smash them.

I am also in the midst of dealing with a minor roach problem that we inherited from the previous tenant of our townhouse. My strategy is less violent and is more along the lines of roach motels, no longer leaving dishes (even lightly rinsed ones) in the sink and dousing Kip’s food tray (the thing that holds his dishes; I already wash those every day) with scalding hot water every morning. However, I have also heard that boric acid is a good method.