Saturday, July 19, 2008


Don't think I've told you this, but I hate cockroaches or gokiburi as they are called here.

It probably all started one night in Hawaii while I was sleeping. I could hear one of them flying and it landed on me! AAARgh...needless to say, I couldn't sleep that night. Couple of days later, I found it dead.

If you live or have lived in Hawaii, you know that the cockroaches are BIG and they FLY! We call them B-52s because they will actually go for you if you threaten their lives with a rolled up newspaper or even try to spray them....they are FAST!

Anyway, the other night, I was watching television and saw the back leg of this guy, just as he was creeping behind my bookshelf.

I figure if I could see him, he must have been BIG!

I waited, to see if he would come out of his hiding place.

Then I saw him creep out from behind the bookshelf and wander towards the refrigerator (which is next to the bookshelf). Just as I ran to get the spray, he was sliding sidewards under the base of the refrigerator.

I debated about spraying near the refrigerator because I wasn't sure if the fumes would go into the refrigerator. But, fear got the better of me and I sprayed the bottom of the refrigerator. Then waited. He didn't come out...maybe he was dead?

A couple of minutes later, he was crawling, across the dining room floor, making his way towards the tatami room (which is next to the living room, but is where we sleep! ack!).

I tried to whack him with a newspaper, but missed. He picked up speed and made it to the tatami room. With the spray can in hand, I sprayed around. I kicked the shelf that I thought he was hiding under. He moved, tried to make a run for it. I sprayed and sprayed. Boy, a cockroach on its back is fast!

It ran back to the living room and under the sofa. Under my televison seat! I sat in the tatami room and watched television from there. (I know...I'm a wimp!)

I didn't want to be near the dude, in was still ALIVE!

Luckily, a few minutes later, Satoshi came home. He was wondering why I was sitting so far away from the television. I made him look under the sofa. He found it, on its back. Moving ever so slightly.

Of course, I made him wait for me to snap this guy's photo before he wrapped it up in the newspaper to throw into the trash.

Whew, talk about stress! Even though it scared the beejezus out of me, at least it didn't fly (at me, if it did, you would have probably been able to hear me scream!) and I gotta say that the cockroaches here are really SLOW!

It is a 3-day weekend here, hope you are having a great gokiburi-free weekend!


Deb in Hawaii said...

Oh I hate them so much too! You are lucky they are slow there. I swear they were never this fast anywhere else I have lived as they are here! I have a canister vacuum and I go after them with the long hose. I am sure I look like an idiot carrying that thing & running around after them with it. Then once they are in there I have to put a plastic bag over the canister and do a carefully executed "dumping' move to make sure it doesn't fly or crawl up and then take it out to the trash. Yuk! The very worst is when Max my cat chases them and "hides" them in his mouth. he doesn't eat them but he puts it in there so I won't try to take it away. Double yuk!

Jenster said...

Kat, that brings up so many (bad) memories of the giant flying cockroaches of Hawaii. I'll never forget turning on the kitchen light in the middle of the night and watching dozens of them scatter from the middle of the floor into the nooks and crannies of my mom's clean (or so we thought) kitchen. The first time my mom visited me in the Northwest she had a fit when I took a dish out of the cupboard and began to put food on it without scribbing it first. I had to explain to her that we don't have roaches here, at least not the housepets that lives in every home in Hawaii.

Let's hope you get less excitement from now on from your critter pals!

K and S said...

eww Deb, that is a double yuk! no kisses from Max please....

I hope there is less excitement too, Jenster.

Take care you two.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand those! I also had a similar bad experience with one when I was younger. Thank goodness the place where we are living now, I've only seen one in 7 years! I think that must be a record in Hawaii.

Mrs. B said...

Yuck! I hate them too! I'm so glad we haven't had any here in our part of Japan...I know they'll be waiting for me back in AL....yikes!

K and S said...

Ooh, 7 years that is a record Lori :)

Yikes, is right, Laurie. Enjoy the roach free lifestyle while you can.

Take care you two.

Tamakikat said...

Hi Kat,

hope you're enjoying the weekend. Is Satoshi off tomorrow?

I've decided my gecko friend of late was on the outside and I overreacted.

Cockroaches however will never be my friends.

I'd never seen a cockroach before coming to Japan and like a lot of insects here I was surprised by their size-NZ is quite cold and the insects don't grow that big except for wetas which I've never seen.

When I first came to Kyoto to live and saw a cockroach I sucked it up in the vacuum cleaner and taped up the hose so it wouldn't crawl back out. I later heard that if cockroaches are hit by a rolled up newspaper they can still have babies and thought that if that was true the cockroach in my vacuum cleaner could still reproduce so I stopped using the vacuum cleaner on cockroaches.

Instead I bought some spray and the sticky house traps-in my experience the latter never caught a cockroach. The spray worked well but the fumes were pretty strong and I still had trouble picking them up with newspaper.

I heard about 'bombs' and used those, tried dango etc then saw a spray which shot out a mousse-like substance that would capture the cockroaches and harden enough so you could peel it off the floor. I tried it and it was good.

However, when I cam back last year I noticed the spray nozzle was broken and tried to find some more but couldn't. I bought some spray but luckily I haven't seen any cockroaches for a while.


K and S said...

Hi Tamakikat,

Yes, Satoshi is off tomorrow.

I actually have COMBAT, which are little plastic hut things that you let the roaches crawl through, they go back home and kill everyone there with the chemicals from the plastic hut things.

The guy that I caught was really big, so I think I am going to look for the bigger size COMBAT.

When you go to visit Hawaii, you may see some big ones, just fair warning :)

I've heard that they can give birth even after they are dead too, I try not to suck anything up with the vacuum for fear of having stuff fly out when I change the bag.

Take care and hope you are enjoying the weekend.

Darlaing said...

oh gosh. I hate cockroaches too!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Yikes! Guess I am going to have to re-think my vacuum method! (Although I do dump and dispose pretty quickly) ;-)

KirkK said...

Hi Kat - My goodness, I haven't seen one of those in a while. Thankfully they're not too common here.

Parisbreakfasts said...

Could this possibly be a "Water Bug"?
Has it been raining a lot?
I live on the top floor and when ever the Monsoons come to NYC, usually a water bug turns up a day or two later.
The same ones I saw in Brazil while living on the top floor there..
My room mate is terrorized by them and lets out blood curdling screams no matter what time it is. She always manages to catch them neatly under one of my drinking glasses and one of my magazines.
Then I am called upon to do the murdering etc.
I finally got fed up with this and gave HER the boot.
The water bug can stay if he wants to IMO.
I don't really think you need to zap them with toxic bug spray, probably worse for you then they are.
She is always insisting I call in the pesticide guy..over ONE bug!?
One bug does not make an infestation.
Besides they must do something good...

Anonymous said...

Haha, i hate cockcroaches too! And i'm so in awe of your bravery (at least you could hold up and deal with it till your husband comes back!)

Hmm, i wonder how i'm going to handle being a homemaker next time XP

K and S said...

You can be our newest member, Darla :)

Yeah, Deb, you may want to re-think the vacuum thing :)

Gosh, I'm glad they aren't common where you are too, Kirkk.

Sorry, I don't see any good coming from these guys, PB. A lizard/gecko I can forgive, not roaches.

May the "force" be with you Ally :)

Take care everyone.

Rowena said...

I count my blessings that we don't have B-52's here. Now and then I run across the occasional scorpion but they are so small, it's not that stressful where you're screaming bloody murder. Ugh!

K and S said...

I think scorpions would definitely make me scream, Rowena :) I'm glad we don't have those here.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

Oh i hate cockcroaches and i'm so afraid to kill them too. But after a few encounter with this B-52s i finally able to kill it with a big bathroom sandals...but i'm still unable to remove the body since it is wayyy to disgusting. I got goosebumps even when i'm typing this.

Btw just curious, just how big is that hawaiian cockcroaches anyway?

K and S said...

The one in the photo is not a Hawaiian cockroach, Allea, it is one from Japan...the ones in Japan that I have seen aren't too big, maybe an inch or two. I think the ones in Hawaii are a little bigger, though I wouldn't know because I am usually running away from them.

Take care.