That Wasn't Very Smart

I can handle the crumbling sidewalk and I even kind of like the creaks this old cottage has acquired through the years, but I cannot stand, and will not tolerate the bug problem. You see, before we moved in last August, this house had been rented out by students for years and years, and we all know how tidy and fastidious kids are when they get out on their own for the first time...

I've always been obsessive about keeping a clean house, probably because when I became a mother I couldn't bear the thought of my kid crawling around on a dirty floor. More likely, it's because my birthday is just one day into Libra, which means I'm awfully close to Virgo, a sign that is known for that kind of. behavior. Whatever it is, I've always been clean-conscious, even as a child.

I first noticed these bugs (I still can't bring myself to call them by their name...roaches...ARG!) when we were painting and cleaning before moving in. Having never had to deal with these asshats before, I had no idea how persistent they can be. I bug bombed, I sprayed, I set traps, I bleached, and I've smashed and swatted until I have tennis elbow. Still, they persist. Fortunately, they're not the big uglies you imagine. They're tiny, like ants, although I've seen a couple that were about the size of a pencil eraser. From my research I've learned that they're of the German variety. I don't care what they are, I hate them and they must die.

I've only really seen them late at night in the dishwasher—two or three—or on the countertop, never around food or on the silverware. Every now and again I might spy one in a cabinet, but never in the pantry. Until last weekend. No effing way am I going to let that start. We work too hard for our food to share it with the likes of them!

So night before last I cleared out every cabinet, removed every drawer, and emptied the pantry. I sprayed every corner and every gap with Black Flag and I scoured every square inch with hot bleach water. Then I sprayed again. After I let it set and dry, I rinsed again, applied some roach powder in the seams and replaced everything. I'm still seeing them at night (not in the pantry though!), but I've learned that this is what happens. In a few days they'll start disappearing. The powder sticks to their ugly little feet, and being fastidious themselves, they'll go back and groom themselves into the arms of Death.

I should have known by the cough that I'd exposed myself to too many fumes. The next day (yesterday) I woke up nauseas and headachy—the worst hangover I've ever had, except that I hadn't had anything to drink except one 3.2 beer when my cleaning frenzy was over. I'm fine today, but I don't think I'll be doing that again without wearing a mask.

On second thought, next time I'll just get another bug bomb and take the family out for a couple of hours.