A Better Roach Trap
June 7, 2005 1:44 AM   Subscribe

I found an enormous cockroach in my car. How do I get it out of there?

I don't eat in my car. I don't leave empty coffee cups in there. I leave the windows rolled up when I park the car. I do live in Florida, however, and it's been insanely rainy this past week - bugs are looking for dry ground.

I tried to flatten it with my shoe, but it scurried into the back seat. So much for that.

Letting the roach starve in there isn't an option. I'm very phobic. I get shaky, I feel nauseous, etc. If I found it in my hair while I was driving, I'd probably wind up wrapping my car around a pole.

I'd like to trap or kill it in a way that doesn't involve pesticides and DOES involve easy disposal of the body. If my dogs found a dead roach they'd eat it. They're in the car two or three times a week, so it's a concern.

I've heard things about Vaseline and half-empty beer bottles... if the price of driving roach-free is that my car smells like a bar, so be it.
posted by cmyk to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
Get a glue trap? They're environmentally friendly, and somewhere in the middle of the scale as far as humanely killing them goes. And I'd imagine they'd be quite effective in such a small area.
posted by fvw at 2:18 AM on June 7, 2005

Letting the roach starve in there isn't an option. I'm very phobic.

Actually, it's not an option, but for very different reasons. A roach can live for months off the nutritional content of the glue off the back of a postage stamp. There's likely enough in your car to keep him and his potential offspring around for years.

A roach trap might work. So might sprinkling some borax under the seat, but you'll have to vacuum up the sucker's corpse afterward.

if the price of driving roach-free is that my car smells like a bar, so be it.

Perhaps not the best idea (think about how silly your story is going to sound to the cop that pulls you over).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:59 AM on June 7, 2005

From this page:

Building a cockroach trap is simple. The materials are readily available in the home. Smear a thin layer of petroleum jelly around the inside lip of a pint jar to a width of about 2 inches. Place the jar upright, with bait inside, in an area frequented by cockroaches. Apple and potato make excellent bait for American, smoky-brown, and brown-banded roaches, while German roaches prefer banana peel. Change the bait often because fresh food is more appealing to roaches. Another trap can be made by dusting the inside of a jar lightly with talcum powder and using the same bait food.

Roaches entering the jar are unable to climb back out over the petroleum jelly barrier. Destroy the trapped roaches by dropping them into a pail of hot, soapy water. There are several commercially available cockroach traps that are equally effective.
posted by taz at 4:02 AM on June 7, 2005

Your dogs might take care of the problem for you with no muss and no fuss. The problem with that approach is that you might not know if the roach is gone.
posted by OmieWise at 5:19 AM on June 7, 2005

I believe she is indicating she finds the idea of the dogs eating the roach unacceptable regardless of if the dogs mind or will be harmed by it, which they probably will not.

I sympathize. 30 years of being a Florida resident never got me over my screaming meemies with regards to roaches. Some ancestral memory or genetic quirk just makes me only barely able to stomp them with a shoed foot and pick them up through paper towels.

Do they not still make roach motels? I always found them perfectly functional. I'd suggest one in the car under a seat/both seats and one in the trunk - there may be a drain hole in the there that your critter came up through. I'd personally avoid any homebrew traps that involve real food bait - attracting them doesn't seem like a good plan even if it's to hopefully kill them.
posted by phearlez at 10:32 AM on June 7, 2005

Just to clarify: I'm not against using poisons if I'll be able to find the body and dispose of it. The smallest dog weighs ten pounds and is an old geezer. I don't know if eating one poisoned roach would hurt her, but I don't want to find that out the hard way.

Do they make car-sized bug bombs?

I may just pull the back seat out of the car and send a friend in, armed with a heavy shoe and a bottle of bug spray, while I stand outside and shriek like a little girl.
posted by cmyk at 10:58 AM on June 7, 2005

FYI, being blasted with windex will stun them/make them very sluggish long enough to stomp 'em. While shrieking. Yes, I know this from experience.
posted by desuetude at 11:41 AM on June 7, 2005

oh, god, cmyk - I read this as "enormous cockroach in your ear" and nearly died.

Good luck.

posted by Space Kitty at 12:10 PM on June 7, 2005

cmyk writes "Do they make car-sized bug bombs?"

Well a house size one would undoubtly do the job in a smaller space.
posted by Mitheral at 2:56 PM on June 7, 2005

when is some scientist going to develop a cure for cockroaches ?

Get a friend to go in ,nuke the car with bug spray , put down powder all over the car floor etc... i would , i cant stand insects at all.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:45 PM on June 7, 2005

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