Before you ask, not, I didn't take this picture. It came from Flikr, and I am baffled how this guy managed to stand still long enough for someone to take his picture. When I see a cockroach, my first instinct is not to grab a camera, which is why I don't have any pictures of my own.
This is not because I haven't had any opportunities. Life in the tropics means life with bugs. All kinds of them. And no matter what you do, or how clean your house is, the cockroaches find a way in. When we first moved here, I didn't deal with them all that well. When one crawled out unexpectedly, I would turn around and run, yelling for my husband to come kill it for me.
Things have a changed a bit over the years, however. We've found cockroaches in both bathrooms, in a laundry hamper, in the bottom of a jar on the counter that had once held confectionery sugar (left out after a birthday the night before), under chairs in the living room, and, my personal favorite, dead in the box of laundry soap powder. (That last one puts the lie to how cockroaches only frequent dirty houses. Clearly, soap is a real attraction, too.)
After all these encounters, I've begun stoically killing, capturing, and throwing them outside on my own. I don't freak out nearly as much, and my first thought now is not "where is Oliver", but "where is a shoe". When one of the geckos everywhere here made its residence in our house, we let it be because they eat cockroaches. There is always room in our house for a cockroach killer.
The final clue that I had changed came a few nights ago. At 0500, our oldest woke us up to tell us there was a cockroach, a "huge one" in his words, sitting in the corner of the bathroom staring at him. He didn't want to use the bathroom until someone killed it. Groggily, I told him to use ours, then rolled over and fell asleep again. Unsurprisingly, a few hours later there was no sight of the nefarious insect. Surely, it will turn up again, but it wasn't worth losing sleep over.
Sometimes, you gotta make peace with the insects.
About the Author: Ana is a restless soul who would love to keep moving around the world the rest of her life. This is probably why she married a submariner in the U.S Navy. They have two energetic little boys, and currently live in the Bahamas. She blogs about life in paradise at Sunrise on the Water.
Pic is from Flikr.