The beast was frightening but now he’s gone thanks to a natural remedies insect pest control idea devised by myself and Tarzan. Sometimes you just have to wing it. One of the less attractive aspects of starting a self-sufficient sustainable lifestyle is the fact that in maintaining a healthy environment for your home and the planet, there is one creepy problem that often rears its ugly head.
The common household pest is not so easy to keep out of the house and can cause much indecision about whether or not to use pesticides. My advice of course would be to avoid using unnatural, chemical-based pesticides in favour of safer and more natural alternatives. In light of an experience I had just tonight in my home, I would like to share with you our solution at the time.
We used ingenuity not chemicals and this is our story, but there are also non-chemical, non-toxic options available to you.
It all started with a trip to the bathroom, when suddenly I felt beady eyes looking at me and saw a huge dark shape in my peripheral vision. I so badly wanted to run, screaming out of the bathroom but being the big brave girl that I have to be, I walked out slowly and then turned around to see what was there. I cringed at what I had been sharing space with in there.
Eww, Yuck and Double Yuck!
It’s the first one I had seen in my house since moving here over a year and a half ago so I was not expecting it. A monster of a cockroach sat on the side of my vanity, staring me down. My house is not dirty, so its hard to know what attracts them to come inside, but we just turn around and suddenly they are there. We get big ones in Queensland and this one was definitely big, about three and a half inches long and that was three and a half inches too big for my liking. And they fly! Yes, you heard me correctly, they fly.
OMG! It Knew!
I swear it knew how terrified I was of it, and it just sat there, watching me watching it. Normally they run as soon as you turn a light on or see them, which freaks me out anyway, but this one was particularly bold. I’m normally pretty good at dealing with most bugs and spiders but once they reach a certain size I have to draw the line. I did what any self-respecting person would do at this time. I backed away from the bathroom and knocked on my daughter’s bedroom door to see if my daughter’s friend, who was visiting at the time, would come and save the day.
Tarzan To The Rescue
At a time like this what you need is a modern day Tarzan, who will wrestle the giant fiend and rid your house of the horror of it. However if your modern day Tarzan is more fearful of the cockroach than it is of him, then you are faced with a problem, a somewhat hilarious situation, but a problem nevertheless. While I watched to see if it moved, waiting for him to put his brave pants on, I was contemplating how to get rid of it. I considered that he might be able to throw a shoe at it, but if he missed, we would have a runner on our hands and both of us were likely to scream like a girl and run away, never to find the creature again.
Tarzan Say “Me No Likey”
He is not a cockroach-loving Tarzan that’s for sure and was getting the shivers just looking at the size of the thing. We both admitted to being less afraid of spiders than we were of this colossus, unless of course the spider is one of our extra large and extra hairy Huntsman spiders that are also gigantic, scary and boy can they run fast.
If The Shoe Hits!
While I stood outside the bathroom and offered encouragement, we first tried the shoe, and yes, it missed and the creature from the dark recesses of Hell did exactly what we hoped it would not, it ran. Then we lost the gargantuan arthropod among the towels hanging on the towel rack. My Tarzan hero was gingerly moving towels aside to see if he could find it when it suddenly appeared out of nowhere and scared him. To which he let out a loud gasp, not quite a girly scream, sending us both into fits of hilarity about our bravery. I’ve never known anyone to be laughing in fear before, but here we were, grown adults giggling like children.
My Worst Nightmare – A Cockroach In My Room
As a baby, my parents had put me to bed in my crib one night when we lived in Cyprus, and they checked on me a short time later. The room was dark because they had turned out the lights, but they noticed movement in the room and turned them on. Apparently there were a number of cockroaches that had worked their way through an open vent and had come into my room. My mother swears that none had been in my cot, but I have nightmares of cockroaches crawling on me on occasion so wouldn’t be surprised if at some time, one had been in my cot that night. Needless to say, the vent was sealed after that. So not quite an unreasonable fear in light of hearing this part of my history is it? Not sure I can say the same for Tarzan though.
A Screech Owl I Will Be And A Screech Owl I Will Look Like If I Lost It In My Room
As this one was getting closer to the bathroom door and therefore closer to my bedroom I shut the room door hoping that it wouldn’t charge us and break the door down and run and hide in my room, to re-surface days later, or worse, crawl over me at night. The reappearance would surely be while I was holding my eyelids open with matchsticks due to the sleepless nights I was bound to have as a result. While this was happening, we were discussing what environmentally friendly tools of the trade we could use to remove the nauseatingly ugly bug and came up with a plan. The first and foremost was to get it out of my house to begin with and then look at ways to prevent it’s re-entry and that of other potentially scarier and even larger pests.
Our Clever Solution Complete With Dramatic Effect (Humorous Version)
After tipping out the contents all over the floor, we armed ourselves with a large container, long enough so that my modern day Tarzan could be as far away from the monstrosity we were facing as he could be. We found a thin chopping board, but you could also use a piece of paper or cardboard, that must be large enough to cover the opening of the container. Then added to this a wooden place mat to add some strength to our trap.
- After taking into consideration its size, speed, timing and wind factor, no, not really wind factor but it sounded good, carefully move up to the savage as close as you dare, and place the open side of the container over the top of it. When you jump in fright as it starts to run around the inside of the container at top speed, and as you break into a high pitched song that you never knew you could reach such high notes, be mindful not to let the container move so that the titan does not escape.
- Slowly slide the chopping board (paper or cardboard) under the lip of the container without lifting it up to allow the gargantuan room to break free, so that it has covered the entire opening of the container.
- Use the wooden place mat as an extra support to your captive’s prison by sliding it under the chopping board, cardboard or paper. You may find you will have to lift the chopping board a little to slide the place mat under it, but do not, I repeat, do not let the container up too much as we did. I can assure you these things are very watchful and crafty and will break out of its jail.
- After you have accidentally allowed it to make its run for it, repeat steps 1 & 2 and retry step 3, this time being extra careful to slide the place mat under the chopping board.
- Holding the place mat over the chopping board and making sure there are no openings, turn the container upside down to make it easier to carry, while holding the newly created lid on.
- Carry the leviathan outside, take off the lid, and throw the contents of the container like a bucket of water as far as you can toss it, or if you are a bit afraid, toss the whole bucket, and run back inside, closing and securing the door behind you.
- Take a moment to catch your breath and stop laughing.
- Congratulate yourself on your courage and ingenuity at using an environmentally friendly and safe option of pest control and make sure that your daughter ALWAYS remembers to shut the fly-screen door behind her when she goes outside to ensure that further entries of super-beasts are prevented. That is the best form of safe and non-harmful pest control there is.
Enough Silliness, Here Is The Simple But Unfunny (Short)Version
- Quickly place the upside down container over the top of the location of the cockroach, capturing it inside.
- Slide the chopping board/cardboard underneath the container until fully covering the bottom of it.
- Use something like our wooden place mat, thin but firm, or a thicker piece of cardboard to slide under the chopping board to keep the bottom steady and keeping the cockroach from scampering out.
- Carry the container outside and throw the contents as far away as possible away from the door, remembering to close the door on your way back inside.
This does no harm to the environment, nor does it do any harm to the cockroach if you are more inclined to let it live rather than kill it. If you are interested in discovering other ways to minimise the entry of pests in your home, or deter them from becoming an unwelcome household guest, or perhaps even considering trapping them or eliminating them, there are other, much easier means to achieve this.
So What Other Things Can You Do Naturally For Pest Control and Pest Removal?
There are a number of traps, electronic devices, natural substances, essential oils and steps you can take to keep pests out of the house in the first place, or rid your home of them once inside. I would initially look at how they are getting into your home and attempt to prevent it. This way you can avoid many of the harmful chemical solutions that people turn to in order to eradicate unwanted guests, or have no need of the modern day Tarzan to save, or not, the day.
You Weren’t Born In A Tent!
In our case today, simply keeping the door shut would have been enough. Buying screen doors and window screens if you don’t have any would be a step in the right direction in keeping bugs out. If you already own one, the fly-screen may have had a tear or been lifting out of its housing in the door frame, allowing a gap to appear. You can buy simple patches made of the same screen material to repair small tears and holes without much effort. You might look into the type of screen shown in the picture here on the right which has magnetic sealing options to help keep insects out if you don’t have other options.
Take A Good Look Around
Check for gaps under doors, or cracks in walls or ceilings, and possible cracks at the joins. Cockroaches in particular love it under your sink so investigate any holes that may let them in. You may find that it is easier to fill the holes or cracks in with silicone or putty or something else to block entry. You can purchase a brush like strip that you place at the bottom of your fly screen door to help stop crawling insects from getting under doors. Many houses already have these in place but check yours anyway, maybe it has deteriorated, or never had one. This should be a simple fix rather than an expensive and laborious venture.
Making sure the house is kept uncluttered will assist in keeping pests from deciding to remain living in a nice pile of paperwork on a desk that never seems to reduce in size. Whatever you choose, I’m sure it will be a form of natural remedies insect pest control such as those depicted here or in a review I have written on other options. Please take the time to comment on what you have used so far and whether it would be of benefit to other readers.
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