It occurred to me tonight after giving my friend Claire strategic advice on how to kill a cockroach, that maybe this was information other people could use.
Some of you readers at home might be asking, “Baker, what makes you so qualified to give this kind of advice?” Great question!
For starters, I have lived here a long time and up until the last few years, in apartments shared by cockroaches. I’m not saying I lived in squalor, just seedy places. I was young.
That reminds me, one time in said apartments I woke up in the middle of the night because a cockroach was running across my back. Try that one on for size at 3AM.
I studied Shaolin Kung Fu in my early twenties (before all this running and triathlon bs) so I’m stealthy.
Without further adieu, I will now introduce 2 techniques I have developed over the years.
The ‘Catch and Release’
This technique is a cleaner approach to the ‘Crime Scene’ technique I will discuss next. You will need 1 Pint Glass or something comparable that wont easily break and some junk mail, maybe a postcard.
While coming from behind, at a low stance, slowly creep to an arms length distance. Hold the glass in your weaker hand (a righty would hold it in their left hand) and get it face down just above the roach. If the roach senses you and moves forward hang back and try creeping in again after a few minutes. Once you have the glass positioned 1-2 feet above the cockroach, swiftly bring it down capturing him! Do not let go as these guys can get under the rim of the glass. You may have cinched part of him under the glass, if so, slide the glass around until he is in the main chamber. Next, while applying downward pressure on the glass, slide the postcard under the cup. When it has sealed up the whole opening quickly flip both the glass and postcard over, keeping your hand on the postcard.
Congratulations, you have just captured the cockroach in a clean and humane fashion. What you do next is up to you. Open your window and drop him out or maybe flush him down the toilet (referred to as a ‘Burial at Sea’). Do not, however, put him in your trash can.
Throw out the pint glass.
SIDENOTE: This technique will not work if he is tucked under the baseboards or in a spot where you can’t get close. Please use the ‘Crime Scene’ method instead.
The ‘Crime Scene’
A less humane approach, all you need is a blunt object. A rolled up magazine, a shoe, or a dish towel will work perfectly.
With the blunt object (I prefer a rolled up magazine) creep up from behind at a low level with arm already extended. Any quick movement will send this character off at crazytime speed. As soon as you are in striking distance slam that magazine down and repeat over and over. Odds are your first hit wasn’t direct, you need a kill strike so keep at it and remember, don’t look away!
It’s called the ‘Crime Scene’ for a reason. When you have succeeded there will be body parts everywhere. It’s disgusting. The magazine is now trash and so is your floor. To anyone watching you, you now have a crazed look in your eyes and a strange grin, they will not sign a lease with you next year.
Good luck and happy hunting!