Friday, January 16, 2009

DC Cockroaches

After living at the Strat for 2 years while in college in NYC, I saw my fair share of what I thought were cockroaches.  I would sign up at the front desk each with for my room to be exterminated and I had my can of Raid which I would use when I saw one of these little critters running up my wall/across the floor.  Since they were only about the size of a horse fly, they dropped dead fairly quickly.  You can imagine my surprise at the first DC cockroach that I saw over Thanksgiving weekend......................they are "water bugs" and about 2 inches long!  If you are sitting there doing your math, you will realize that I moved to DC almost 4 years ago (it'll officially be 4 years on Wednesday of next week).  Most of you know, if not all, that Jon and I are now living in our 3rd apartment at the Promenade - we have been there since the end of June.  I had many problems with mice in 614, but I have NEVER seen these cockroaches in 419, 614 or during the first 4 1/2 months in TH 7.  I'm still asking why now??  I don't' have an answer because what I thought, apparently was completely wrong after the last 2 evenings that I have come home from work.  How the last 2 1/2 months have panned out:
  • Sunday after Thanksgiving I see my first DC cockroach around 6:30 a.m.  I screamed so loudly for Jonathan, that I believe he thought I was dying, and my neighbors probably did too.  About 4 hours later, Jonathan goes to get a snack out of the pantry, opens a bag of Goldfish and while pulling his hand out of the bag, a cockroach runs up his arm, jumps and runs under the refrigerator where we never find him.  Of course, he screams so loudly that I think he'd either burnt himself or cut a finger off with a knife.  At this point Jonathan informs me that he actually saw a roach in the kitchen the Wednesday before Thanksgiving but disposed of it without telling me about it.  His reasoning was that we've never seem them before and he didn't want me to freak out - completely understandable and completely true!
  • We signed up that weekend to have them come and exterminate that Thursday - selectively choosing where I would allow them to spray due to stories I have heard from my neighbors who had to mop up puddles of poison from their bathroom and kitchen floors after they came and exterminated.  Needless to say, something that kills what is deemed IMPOSSIBLE to kill (think nuclear holocaust and the cockroaches would survive) and yet this spray will kill them I don't need to be breathing that in, it can't be good for my own health.
  • After that initial spraying by our front door, we only had the occasional half dead cockroach that would appear and Jon would get it out of the apartment.  I bet a month went buy where we didn't see anything, we went home for the holidays and came back to no critters, I was thinking it was over - I was most definitely wrong.
  • Last Wednesday I got up around 6:40, made it safely down the stairs to the kitchen to get my first cup of coffee and climbed back up the stairs to start getting ready for work.  As I walk through my bedroom, I turn the light on to the closet and there sits a LIVE cockroach between the bathroom and closet.  I screamed, loudly, yelled for Jonathan (poor boy did not need that kind of wake up call so early in the morning).  After chasing it down through the closet, Jonathan finally caught and kill it.  At this point I am terrified of having to stay in the apartment by myself while Jonathan is in China.  I don't know what I will do, these things are so damn big I don't feel like I can handle having to kill them.  At a co-workers suggestion, we went out to Target on Wednesday after work and we bought some Combat roach motels to put around the apartment.  I knew that any bugs wouldn't disappear into one of these, but they would/could at least eat the poison and by the time I found the roach it would be primarily dead and it would be easier to get out of my place.
  • By now, I am starting to notice that I seem to always find a new "friend" on days where the weather was a little bit warmer or it was raining/was going to rain that day.  At first this still didn't make sense to me since we had no problems during the summer, but maybe my building exterminated more in public areas during the summer months?  Not really sure.
  • Mom came down to visit last weekend and we had experiences of having to kill 2 cockroaches in my kitchen on Saturday.  I saw "we", but I mean she did.  One that she thought was half dead and kinda "woke up" scaring her, but he was flushed and a 2nd on Saturday night that while I was standing in my kitchen, I happened to look up and see him IN  the ceiling light!  I was perfectly happy leaving him there (though I knew deep down that if he got in, he could get back out and this now meant he had crawled up my walls)  Apparently while I was upstairs taking a shower, my mom noticed that the roach had crawled from one side of the light to the other, so for some reason she decided to "tap" on the light and being the piece of shit that was installed into this apartment, the entire thing, cockroach included came crashing down.  It ran into my pantry, where my  mom tracked it down, killed and flushed it.  
  • I sooooooooooooooo did not want my mom to leave on Sunday, but my confidence was gaining when we saw nothing on Sunday.  I want to go back to my rain/warmer weather story because it was warmer and rainy on Saturday, sunny and freezing on Sunday.  As weather reports came out for all this extra cold weather we were expecting, I figured I was going to be fine until Jon got home on Sunday - I was fairly wrong.
  • Monday and Tuesday were fine.  I was so happy.  I thought the cold weather was keeping everything away until Jon returned.  Wednesday night I came home, pushed the door open while still standing outside and started my search.  I spotted a half dead roach up against the wall in the corner.  I tried to keep my cool, set down my purse, etc., grabbed one of Jonathan's sandals that was sitting there and threw it on the roach.  It didn't really move so I assumed it was dead, from the Combat things, but for good measure, I still readjusted the sandal on top if it and proceeded to stand on top of Jon's shoe for optimal killing pressure.  I had every intention of going back downstairs after I changed out of my work clothes/checked the rest of the apartment for 'squatters', but I freaked and left the roach there.  I spoke with Jonathan while he was in line for the ticket counter at the Beijing airport around 9:30 p.m. DC time and I told him about it.  He asked where it was and I told him it was under his shoe!  He laughed and just asked that I left him know what shoes have bugs under them when he gets home so he could get rid of was like a game now, I had 3 shoes left downstairs so as long as no more than 3 more showed up before Sunday afternoon, I was good.  Again, I was wrong.
  • Yesterday, I got home from my therapy and sat down to watch the news about the plane in NYC.  I finally decided to go change out of my work clothes before getting something together for dinner.  I went upstairs, checked the floors and turned on some extra lights - everything seemed fine.  I took off my jewelry and shoes and just as I'm started to change out of my dress pants, I look down and there's a roach on the lid of a shoe box looking at me.  I go into the bedroom, pull my pants back on and feeling completely violated by this little fucker, I go downstairs to get my roach spray and pick up one of Jonathan's sneakers on my way up (they're bigger than my shoes, lets me be a little further away from the bug!)  The details of all I had to do to kill this and flush are too lengthy to type but needless to say it involved about half a can of roach spray which I can still smell in my carpet this morning, 2 ruined shoe boxes, about half a roll of paper towels, me banging Jonathan's sneaker on every and anything when it started to run and then using the shoe like a golf club to smack 2 boxes together and me jumping around and screaming resulting in an elevated blood pressure that could have sent me to the emergency room.
I really don't feel like I can handle this anymore.  I LOVE our townhouse, it took as so long to have the extra space and it really is nice, but I no longer want to live there.  I desperately want Jonathan home, not just because I miss him, but because I don't feel like I can handle the stress of this much longer.  I can't believe I have 2 more nights plus all day tomorrow to face it along.  I should be excited for the 4 day weekend and a relaxing day of time for myself, but I'm not looking forward to it, I'm terrified and wish I had somewhere to go or it was warm outside and I wouldn't be in the apartment at all!
It infuriates me to feel this way.  Yes I miss Jonathan when he is out of town.  It's very hard with a 13 hour time difference but I don't really mind being home alone.  I'm not scared, I can take care of myself, at least I used to be able to.  Now the cockroaches have taken over my life and I'm terrified to have to be home alone.  I want to move, and we're stuck there until the end of'll be an interesting 6 months.

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