You got a roach in my LCD!
November 3, 2005 10:51 AM   Subscribe

There's a cockroach stuck inside my microwave LCD screen. What in the blazes? How do I get it out without completely disassembling the microwave?
posted by Sticherbeast to Pets & Animals (53 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
dude awesome case mod.

posted by fishfucker at 10:53 AM on November 3, 2005

Oh man. That sucks.

Well, there's presumably a way in there, since, well, there he is, but it's probably not even finger-sized. You can wait for him to crawl out/die, or you can shake it a bit and hope he comes out, or you could open it up. Be careful with that last bit re: voltage and the like.
posted by selfnoise at 10:56 AM on November 3, 2005

Response by poster: dude awesome case mod.


THX!!!!! My other microwave looks like a race car with tits! Also, it plays Cameo's "Word Up" when you hit START.

Be careful with that last bit re: voltage and the like.

Well, crap. It looks like I could sort of pry the glass off from the screen, but that would be a bad idea, right?
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:01 AM on November 3, 2005

Be careful with that last bit re: voltage and the like.

If you open it up, make sure you leave it earthed! It's likely to have some hefty capacitors in there which could fry you if your not careful. I expect there's some handy guides on Google somewhere.
posted by alexst at 11:03 AM on November 3, 2005

Probably wouldn't shock you, but usually it's easier to get it off than to get it back on.
posted by selfnoise at 11:03 AM on November 3, 2005

When you talk about microwaves and voltages, be aware that we're not talking 110 volts here, but I believe thousands.

I don't know if there's caps charged w/ thousands of volts to be able to shock you when it's unplugged, but there's a good chance.

Also, living in NYC, I didn't know cockroaches came that small.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:22 AM on November 3, 2005

Open a roach zoo and buy a new oven with the gate? :)

Seriously, check if the lens is glued in as opposed to installed from the back. You might be able to pop it out from the front, send Mr. Roach on his way, and superglue it back on.
posted by Opposite George at 11:22 AM on November 3, 2005

But don't do that if the lens is glass or you'll most likely break it (but it's probably plastic.)
posted by Opposite George at 11:24 AM on November 3, 2005

Have you tried lifting it up and banging it on the counter/floor a bit to dislodge the creature?
posted by edgeways at 11:24 AM on November 3, 2005

I'm going to go ahead and say that if a roach got into your microwave LCD, your apartment has more problems then ask.metafiler can fix.

I would probably just move and leave the microwave. Yes, I understand they are everywhere in NYC, the price of rent, etc. but... wow, dude.

Maybe you can sell your entomologically-enhanced microwave on ebay and use the proceeds to buy a new roachfree unit.
posted by peppermint22 at 11:26 AM on November 3, 2005

Response by poster: Yeah, I'm really really really not eager to mess with the microwave in any way that would get in me touch with its electric bits.

The lens is plastic and appears to be glued in.

I've only seen the bitty roaches out here in Brooklyn. My only encounter with a truly terrier-sized roach came at NYU, when I was filming a video confession for class. It climbed on my foot and the rest of the video was me cursing, stomping, and spraying Lysol all over that place while the ten pound fucker just laughed and laughed.


Haven't banged the microwave yet. Hmm. My only concern is that if he's dislodged through banging, I don't know where he'll wind up.


Tried it. His antennae waggle, but he hasn't budged. He's just chilling out for now. I think he may have crawled in through the top of the LCD screen, so if there was a way I could encourage him to come back the same way...
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:35 AM on November 3, 2005 [1 favorite]

Wait - alive or dead?

And what happens when you turn the microwave on?
posted by Leon at 11:35 AM on November 3, 2005

I'm sure you can lever the plastic up there. Those sorts of things tend to be small sheets of plastic going over the LCDs which are stuck on with adhesive all round. You can probably find the edge of the clear plastic, ply it up and sort out the problem.
posted by wackybrit at 11:41 AM on November 3, 2005

Response by poster: I would probably just move and leave the microwave. Yes, I understand they are everywhere in NYC, the price of rent, etc. but... wow, dude.

Tish! Fipsy!

Besides, this is the most roach action I've seen here. We normally run a tight ship. It's just that, in this instance, our cockroach has mastered 21st century technology, just as Creepshow predicted they would.


And what happens when you turn the microwave on?

Oh dear. This calls for an experiment.


Enh. It doesn't seem to care. I assume this only makes it stronger. I assume that after a day it'll just mutate into a superroach and start fighting crime.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:44 AM on November 3, 2005 [1 favorite]

I would guess that, if there is one roach inside you can see, there are many others you cannot see. That is the general way they operate.

A new microwave can be dirt cheap these days. Cut your losses and cook your food in something that isn't insect-infested.
posted by Kellydamnit at 11:46 AM on November 3, 2005

That's really disgusting. If a roach even visited my microwave for 20 minutes I think I'd toss it and buy a new one.
posted by kdern at 11:59 AM on November 3, 2005

Response by poster: Sigh. The throw-outers are probably right.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:05 PM on November 3, 2005

I have no answer to this question but am sitting here with tears of laughter pouring down my face. This is pure comedy gold and one of the reasons I love MeFi and all its children.
posted by essexjan at 12:13 PM on November 3, 2005

Yeah, I'd agree with the Jerry Seinfelds of the world and just throw the roachowave out. I don't think I could eat something cooked in it ever again, and new ones cost less than $100.
posted by MegoSteve at 12:18 PM on November 3, 2005

Here in Oklahoma, we have a solution that works on a lot of things. Shoot the microwave.

It doesn't fix too much, and it's probably dangerous inside your apartment. Likely, you'd need to take it outside of city limits. However, it's very likely to get rid of the roach, not to mention relieve some stress.

On the downside, you no longer have a working microwave. Still, it gets rid of the roach without really disassembling the microwave...
posted by Saydur at 12:18 PM on November 3, 2005

I have this sickening feeling that if you did manage to pry that little window off the LCD that thousands of bugs would stream out of it, down to the floor and up your pantleg.
posted by MegoSteve at 12:20 PM on November 3, 2005

Response by poster: Believe you me, I've ordered a new machine, praise be to all that is holy.

The sad part is, this microwave is, like, a month old. We just recently bought it with much fanfare. And now the roommate who left town is going to come back to the third microwave in a month, and he'll say, "um, Dave, did you change the microwave again?" and I'll have no choice but to respond, "yes, that's a new one, the old one was filled with insects."
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:26 PM on November 3, 2005

Maybe if you still have the receipt, you could return the old microwave.

P.S. After reading a recent thread on the SomethingAwful message boards, I have to ask you... have you cleaned your ears lately?
posted by MegoSteve at 12:28 PM on November 3, 2005

dude sell that on ebay : serious:

posted by fishfucker at 12:57 PM on November 3, 2005

I can't help, but I thought I'd mention that when I was a college student in Sarasota, Florida, a whole family of small roaches moved into my microwave's LCD. Your photos brought back horrible memories!

The only good part about the scenario is I got to have fun with SCIENCE. I'd always heard that roaches were impervious to radiation. So I set the microwave on high and let it run for an hour. This had absolutely no effect on the roaches.

The microwave was in the trash the next day.

This is one in a series of scary bug experiences that I've had. Others will no doubt pop up in later, random AskMe threads.
posted by grumblebee at 1:04 PM on November 3, 2005 [1 favorite]

Fucking cockroaches.
posted by deadfather at 1:16 PM on November 3, 2005

[Excised the portion that on preview eerily mirrored grumblebee's exact experience, right down to the science experiments.]

I echo MegoSteve: Do you still have the receipt? Try and return it.

And even if you can't return it, buy a new one--because this one could be a HIVE of cockroaches.
posted by veronica sawyer at 1:22 PM on November 3, 2005

Weird! A house I used to visit a lot in Sydney (Australia, not Nova Scotia) had the Uber Roach Infestation Problem. Obviously, they weren't the cleanest house around, but they had some good games. Um, where was I?

Oh, yes.

Their oven had one of those blue-on-black gas discharge displays, and it was *full* of roaches. Some of them had obviously been in there so long that (stop reading here if cockroaches gross you out) they'd bred with the other roaches in the display, and come out all ... misshapen. Presumably, they ate each other too.

Anyhow, the upshot is that for some reason, they like digital clocks, I guess.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 1:28 PM on November 3, 2005

Response by poster: Anyhow, the upshot is that for some reason, they like digital clocks, I guess.

They never did learn how to read analog.

Oh, and your story? JESUS CHRIST.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:34 PM on November 3, 2005

If it's a month old, is there any chance the thing CAME with the roaches somewhere inside?

I'd SO take it back to the place you got it and tell them about the little critters inside. They might replace it, who knows.
posted by lynda at 1:37 PM on November 3, 2005

Actually since living in Sydney, Australia I've had to get over a lot of my American kneejerk "Ooh, roaches! You must be UNHYGIENIC!" attitude since they're EVERYWHERE here. They're just a part of the wildlife, and it doesn't matter how often you bleach your countertops. And I'm not talking little ones, I'm talking about giant ones two inches long that fly. (Did you know they could fly?) Everyone finds the occasional big one in their house. They just wander in. It's only when you see the little ones here that you have to worry, because that means you have a nest somewhere.

At any rate, I have a suggestion to protect future microwaves: get a cat. Not long after we got our kitten we started finding the occasional cockie disemboweled on the carpet. After a few months, they started avoiding our house and I haven't seen one since. Worked like a charm!
posted by web-goddess at 1:46 PM on November 3, 2005

Egads. If, indeed, the roaches like sexy and intimate digital clocks...what's to stop roaches from getting into the new one?

It sounds like you might have a roach problem to deal with...and not a microwave problem (unless you don't mind treating a microwave oven like a paper plate)?
posted by tpl1212 at 2:04 PM on November 3, 2005

Anyhow, the upshot is that for some reason, they like digital clocks, I guess.

No, that's the sweet bedtime story we tell ourselves so that we won't imagine creepy-crawlies devouring our flesh. The digital clock is a tiny window into the vast inner caverns of the microwave. The roaches are actually everywhere inside. They are crawling around on-top-of each other. Their numbers are increasing every day.

You know it's true.
posted by grumblebee at 2:15 PM on November 3, 2005

There are 2 kinds of cockies in Sydney -- the big, dark ones that pop in to drink all your beer, eat your pies and watch the TV; and the little grey-brown ones that burrow behind the kitchen cabinets and reappear 6 months later with their 4,324,654,215 offspring.

The big ones are kind of like that gruff old friend that barges in every now and then and isn't quite welcome, but you can't really do much about it; the little ones are the bastards, and must be exterminated at any cost.

Besides, when the big ones get bored, they leave.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 2:36 PM on November 3, 2005 [1 favorite]

If the lens is glued in, try heating it up with a blow dryer, then prying it out. Heat is usually the easiest way to soften up glue.
posted by kableh at 2:45 PM on November 3, 2005

As with everything in life, just fuckin' Google it:
We have cockroaches in our microwave.

No, not in the bit you put the food into- that would be disgusting! - but the LCD window where you see the time entered and all that jazz.

It took us ages to figure out how they got there- did the mother get in there and lay eggs? is there a secret passage I don't know about?- but we know now... those sneaky little guys get through the back, where there is a grill which is obviously insect friendly. More than 'friendly' as now they're all growing up, having family reunions and little inbred orgies and parties in there. Except for the ones we hear being electrocuted when we use the device, when there's a loud snapping and a little cockroach funeral not long after. (Three to four days after the death seems to be the acceptable time to hold the cockroach memorial service.)

And it's impossible to get them out. There's just no physical way to reach them with traps or chemicals. They're pretty much the bosses of our microwave and we have no choice but to sub-let it when we need to heat up one of our tasty treats.

Just charming, really.
You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.

I'm actually astonished that this has happened to one person, let alone dozens...
posted by blag at 3:28 PM on November 3, 2005

Okay, if blag's googlefind is true, maybe there's a way to get rid of the roaches -- not via direct assault, but by siege.

I'm just thinking aloud here, but how do they get food? I bet they crawl out of the grill at night. This makes sense, because in all the time my microwave was infected, I never once saw a roach in the oven part. I always thought that was odd, because the oven was where they might find little scraps of food. But now I hear that they can get in (and presumably out) through the back.

So could you plug up the grill somehow? Maybe you could put big strips of duct tape over the holes. After a while, the roaches will die of thirst and hunger. This might take a long time, and you might not want to use your microwave afterwards (seeing as how it would be full of dead roaches), but I think it's worth doing anyway -- just to send a message.

When the chips are down, we're talking about who's the boss of planet Earth!
posted by grumblebee at 3:44 PM on November 3, 2005

hey, it's nice and warm in there for the little critters. Plus there's no radiation outside of the faraday cage (big metal box) that you cook inside - if it could reach the clock it could reach you.
posted by polyglot at 3:46 PM on November 3, 2005

Go all 'man sh*t', grab a screwdriver and get the f*cker out of there.

Just dont touch any electrical circuit sh*t with your scredriver.

or buy a new one. (lame)
posted by Frasermoo at 4:27 PM on November 3, 2005

Sell it on Craigslist for $10. Someone will buy it. Then, you offset the cost of a new micro by ten bucks, and you've invested the rest of the cost in one of the funniest, most disgusting stories you'll tell for the rest of your life.
posted by MrZero at 4:32 PM on November 3, 2005

The cockroach entry over at this microwave oven experimentation page is mysteriously blank.
posted by Chuckles at 12:19 AM on November 4, 2005

A few years ago, when I lived in California, I bought a secondhand laptop. Pretty basic, PIII, 256 MB RAM, eleventy billion tiny little roaches. Bastards were breeding in the docking station. A couple of days after I bought it, I saw the first sign of trouble. There I was, wrestling with the stupidass proprietary Toshiba BIOS when I saw a little roachy Christpher Columbus poking his disease-ridden antennae out of the side of my shiny newish toy. I was somewhat concerned, but being a "live and let live" (read: lazy) sort, and not having any bug spray around, I made a half-assed effort to squish him, and was relieved when he scampered back into the vent from which he sprang. I forgot about him pretty quickly.

Optamystic wants a glass of aqua in the night. I flip on the bedroom light, and there are dozens tiny devils scampering around on my desk, floor, and (you guessed it) FUCKING BED!

Throw your microwave away. Now.
posted by Optamystic at 4:44 AM on November 4, 2005


Who is this dude?

posted by tr33hggr at 7:49 AM on November 4, 2005

tr33hggr, your derail is going to give me nightmares! It reminds me of this:

posted by grumblebee at 8:12 AM on November 4, 2005

Tee hee!
posted by tr33hggr at 8:18 AM on November 4, 2005

Now is the time to microwave all those things that you're not supposed to:
Compact Disc

This thread should now be for suggestions of other things that are fun to nuke.
posted by Four Flavors at 9:24 AM on November 4, 2005

Response by poster: "Derail:

Who is this dude?


That dude is Sam Bourne, an awesome friend of ours who made for himself an incredibly eerie "birdman in top hat, tuxedo, monocle, and cane" costume for Halloween.

It was a great costume. The feathers wiggled like he was a sea anenome when he walked.

Oh, and thanks, everyone, for your help!

(shivers in disgust)
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:35 AM on November 4, 2005

posted by blag at 10:19 AM on November 4, 2005

Response by poster: Grapes?
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:38 AM on November 4, 2005

When Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from disturbing dreams, he found himself transformed into a cockroach trapped in a microwave LED display.
posted by onlyconnect at 10:48 AM on November 4, 2005

posted by blag at 2:43 PM on November 4, 2005

There is never one roach.
If there is one that you can see, there are like 50-fucking-gazillion you can't see. Don't worry about the microwave until you exterminate the entire colony, and if you live in an apartment, that means the entire building.
When, and only when, you are absolutely certain they are wiped out, replace the microwave. (Put it on the curb, or on top of the garbage, someone less sensitive will steal it and you won't have to pay for a garbage sticker to get rid of it.) I see you live in Brooklyn , that means there could be a very large building involved and this project could take a while. My sympathies.

For the moment, make sure everything you stick in there is covered and nuke fast, before his friends run over your food. Remember, the two things most likely to survive a nuclear holocaust are blue-green algae, and roaches.

But, hey, cheer up, they're a lot easier to get rid of than bedbugs, it could always be worse.

(Disclaimer: Once bought a house so badly infested it took several visits from the roach guy, and when I remodeled, the walls were full of dead half-finished insect things. Pupae? I don't care.)
posted by unrepentanthippie at 2:33 PM on November 5, 2005

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