Friday, July 06, 2007

Tucson's Biggest Cockroach


When I got home from the pool party, I had my wet towel in my hand so I immediately headed toward my bathroom so I could hang it on a hook to dry.

I turned on the light in my bathroom...

I saw movement in my sink...

And I screamed when I saw the largest roach I've ever seen in my life...

This is him...

Mind you, this photo was taken post-mortem so his legs were curled under his body, making him appear smaller. In life, he was a fucking monster.

Without a doubt, he was at least two inches in length and at least an inch wide. And his front antennae were so huge, they looked like pieces of barbed wire or yarn.

He was so humongous that he could not get down the drain when he saw me come in the room. (I am still trying to figure out how he got into the sink in the first place, as he was far too large to fit through any of the bathroom orifices, except maybe the shower drain, and then he had a long hike from the shower.*)

Needless to say, I was mildly hysterical. I had dropped my towel, run to my kitchen, and was jumping up and down trying to figure out what to do.

I will not lie when I say that this thought popped immediately in my head: "Oh my God, why don't I live with a man? If only a man were here."

My second thought was... no, I must kill him. I can do this.

My third thought was... should I crush him with a phone book? No. Too messy.

Final thought... use the can of Raid under the sink.

So I grabbed the can, took my place in the bathroom doorway (at least two feet away from the sink) and sprayed the crap out of him with a long and steady chemical stream.

I must have used a quarter of the bottle. The thing would not die.

Finally, he stopped running frantically in the basin and began slowing down. Then he began to atrophy a bit while his front legs quivered.

I let him writhe around for a good five minutes (alone) while I put my next plan into action... how to remove him from the sink.

There was no way I was going to use a Kleenex or paper towel -- I mean, what if he came back alive and tried to get out of my hand? Plus, I would be able to feel his disgusting legs and shell through the soft paper material.

Luckily, I had some styrofoam cups left over from my thesis defense snack tray so I grabbed two of those, and after ensuring the creature was no longer in any way still spasming, I scooped him (with great horror) from one cup into the other, where I immediately put the other cup on top of him -- again, in case he came back alive -- and ran, literally ran, to the garbage can in the alley, where I placed him and his cup coffin. (I wasn't about to risk putting him in any of my own garbage cans inside my home.)

And so this is how I ended the 4th of July.
* I guess my landlord wasn't kidding last summer when he sent all of his tenants this notice about sewer roach infestation.


Brandon said...

I've seen a few of those around recently. One was in my pool a few weeks ago, floating, another over by Wild Oats market a few days ago, and another in my backyard shortly after you left, actually.

I think it's some kind of beetle though, and you seem to have run across a small one.

Chickytava said...

My God, Tucson is infested!

Katie and I saw this guy's twin last night, dead on his back on 4th Ave.

I'm certain, however, that my guy was a roach. He didn't have the rounded back of a beetle.

And if I see one bigger than this in my home again, I might just have a heart attack.

JC said...

Way to go, mighty roach killer!

Anonymous said...

hot water kills them pretty quickly. plus its not toxic.

action said...

My hatred for cockroaches burns with the fire of a thousand suns. I prefer to violently smash them, over and over again, with the nearest blunt object. And yes, Tucson is infested, with roaches and palo verde beetles. I can't really tell the difference; I just murder them all with reckless abandon.

Anonymous said...

I hate cochroaches with a passion and I'd walk a mile to kill just ONE of them.
When I was 5 yrs old, my dad took me to a strip shopping center in Sharpstown, Texas. Everything was fine when we went in...but coming out, there were millions of large black "land cruisers" all running in one direction. The white sidewalk and black parking lot were covered in such a way, the reflection off their backs made it look like moving water. I started to cry and my dad picked me up with hundreds of dead roaches on my shoes. I will never forget this horror. And now I kill every one I see and some that I don't see. I even pour a little bug killer down the storm sewer to help kill these vipers from hell... If you are a cochroach... I'm going kill ya!
Michael in Houston

Anonymous said...

Fyi- this is definitely not a cockroach. It's an Arizona species of Longhorn Beetle. You can see the exact same bug here (third one down)-

You can read about the family here:

KevinSwartz said...

I hate to break it to you, but what you killed is NOT a cockroach. There's NO WAY that's a cockroach. That is a beetle. It has a hard back. Cockroaches have soft backs, soft antennae, and do not have large tusk-like protuberances like this thing does. that's a nasty beetle, no roach.

Brendan said...

that there is a Palo Verde Borer Beetle... i almost pooped myself the first time i saw one. since then, i have seen them as big as 4 inches long. nasty buggers!!!