roaching the subject
August 15, 2011 10:25 PM Subscribe
Is it possible to have a roach or two without having *thunderclap* a roach problem
On the 1st, I moved into a studio apartment in Atlanta in a small building of four units, on the second floor, in an old, cruddy but fine building. I've been spending a ton of time in the place since I've mostly just been setting up shop, so I've been able to keep a good general eye on things. No bug problems for the first days (except silverfish -- ugh); on the 9th, I noticed a huge (~1.5 inches and fat) black roach just chilling on the floor in my kitchen, but away from anything kitcheny (the room is really a kitchen + dining area). I chased it away, and over the next few days we had a sort of Tom and Jerry thing going on. I know this sounds anthropomorphic, but I really think it was just the one roach the whole time. It was always the exact same size and the places I found it always made sense with its most recent known whereabouts. I never saw it anywhere foody or watery-- always on some random piece of floor or scuttling around objects on the floor. I keep a very clean house, food-wise-- no filth here-- but since I am in the unpacking process, I have a lot of clothes and random crap on the floor.
Fast-forward to a few nights ago. I am reading in bed, and the little fellow scuttles ACROSS MY FREAKING BED. I chase him into the stairwell and bludgeon him to death with a detached Ikea table leg. (This I felt bad about-- I never even kill bugs-- but dude had the chutzpah to be on my BED!) Knowing that the one culprit was dead, I felt a sense of ease.
And yet! Tonight I found a smaller but still fairly hefty one-- about 3/4 of an inch and much more brown-- in my bathroom, but again, away from any water. Gah. So I am now opening up an investigation.
Basically what I am wondering is, can an apartment have the occasional cockroach without there being an infestation or problem? Even though roaches seriously squick me out, if seeing one once in a blue moon is just a Thing To Deal With That There Cannot Be Much Done About, I can live with that. But if they are, like, multiplying in my walls or something, I want to act fast. I've lived in an apartment before with tiny filth-swarming New York roaches that skitter across the kitchen when you turn off the lights, and thankfully these guys were nothing of the sort. Is the friendly giant cockroach that randomly wanders in from outside just a myth to placate squeamish renters?
(Bonus question: does diatomaceous earth work well against roaches? A number of Mefites have attested to its success with bedbugs, fleas, and other insects, but I've seen little about cockroaches.)