I grew up a wild child. Every day I was outside playing in the creek, finding crayfish and building dams. My brother and I studied how beavers made dams and modified their recipe to suit rocks instead of branches. Almost every picture of me ages 1-10 I was holding some sort of animal. As I grew older I got into the pet industry, and now am happily living with a corn snake, a dog, and several fish.
That being said, the animals I can’t stand are roaches.
As a child, we vacationed at a beach often, and on one terrible occasion, the rented condo had a roach infestation. Not only was I terrified by their uniquely intimidating ability to feign death, but I was also disgusted by their ability to detect food. I woke up with a roach in my bed, and have forevermore remained terrified.
Roaches exist in the wild here, in excess. To keep them out of my home I have to spray every 4-6 weeks, which I don’t like doing for health reasons. Last night I had a really intimate experience with one of the roaches who got in. A juvenile German Cockroach snuck in my door, and while I was putting shoes on the damn thing bit me and ran out of my shoe.
Now, I really wish I’d bought a pet lizard to accompany my corn snake. The lizard could run about freely and save me from any more horrible confrontations with roaches. That’s how it works…. Right?
I attempted to crush the roach with my shoe, but thanks to another terrible ability, the roach apparently survived by cramming his little body between my wall and carpet. Later on in the day I gathered my senses to investigate the area of confrontation…. But lo and behold…. No roach!
Later that evening I devised a trap for the guy. I made Annie’s Mac N’ Cheese for dinner, and left the cheese pan out. I turned all the lights out and went upstairs. An hour or so later, I returned and flashed the lights on quickly.
Sitting quite neatly on a bottle of fish dechlorinator sat the escapee.
Now I’m faced with a problem: how do I fix this without touching the bug, our harming my fish with pesticides?Quickly I devised a plan. I would place the escapee under a jar making the classic cup trap used for spiders you want to set free or move. Then I grabbed my highly effective pesticide that came with a thin straw I could sneak under the cup trap without letting the escapee roach flee again.
The first attempt I forgot to shake the pesticide first, which is essential for powder-based pesticide sprays. I ended up flinging the roach, panicking, and closing the trap.
After a hurried body check to verify he’d not been flung on me, I shook the can and tried again.
This time I got him. Horribly so. He began shaking and convulsing. He was trying to escape the pesticide but it was everywhere, all around him. His legs would not work due to the pesticide attacking his nervous system, and he stopped moving.
Watching this occur, a strange feeling began creeping up my spine and into my heart. I’d expected to feel relief, but now that I’d finally killed the roach I pittied him immensely. What feeling, and aware person would wish that death upon any being?
The next day I’d still left him under the container, but he’d moved halfway through the trap and turned upside down. I researched why that occurred, horrified after what I saw him go through that he might have still been alive. Apparently poisons attack their nervous system, rendering their legs useless. Once that occurs they slowly starve to death.
What had I done? Why did he deserve this? What makes my life more?
There is an episode of Black Mirror that I am going to SPOIL if you haven’t seen it. There are soldiers, trained to kill these infected beings they call roaches. One of the roaches stabs the soldier with an injection device, and he begins to see them as regular people.
For some reason my mind keeps wandering back to this concept since I killed the roach 2 days ago. Why do humans precieve our lives as more? What actually makes me more deserving of resources than the roach?
I’m not sure what to do.