My house has been invaded by cockroaches.
I never imagined I would ever complain of cockroaches in my house, more so in a national newspaper, but the time has come when I can no longer keep quiet about this matter.
This roach menace has embarrassed me on various occasions, and has put to question my family’s competencies in matters public health.
The cockroaches have occupied every nook and cranny in the house, and I no longer want them in my house. I am not sure when exactly they started streaming in, but if I recall correctly, the first of these cockroaches arrived at the beginning of the year.
They came in small numbers at first, but after encountering little resistance from the original inhabitants, their numbers swelled so fast that one of my guests recently joked that we are having an immigration crisis in my hacienda!
The roaches have taken various strategic positions in the hacienda, starting with the kitchen, the living room and even the loo.
In the early days, they would hide in dark closets and only came out when they were sure I was not looking in their direction, but today they have grown so big and bold that they even come from their hiding places and join my family in watching TV.
It is no longer surprising to see a cockroach lazily crawling up the wall to go to its hiding, moments after enjoying a meal in the dustbin. You might also see a roach crawling out of the radio or the TV, especially when you switch to some boring programme.
My lowest moment was at my workplace last week when, just as I was getting ready to present a tutorial to some of my colleagues, a cockroach crawled out of my briefcase and leisurely performed a catwalk on the conference table.
“A cockroach is one of the worst pests you can ever host in your house, Baba Jim,” my friend Odhiambo commented a few weeks ago, after he saw a giant cockroach flapping its wings under our table.
“Cockroaches are associated with filth and poor housekeeping.
They are also known to spread diseases, so the sight of one cockroach in your house should alarm you. It means someone is sleeping on the job.”
In an effort to get to the root of the matter, I recently convened a crisis meeting with members of my household, and I demanded to know where the roaches came from.
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As expected, all fingers pointed in the direction of our house help Maggy, aka Miss Mboch, who blamed our new neighbours. She said they had brought the roaches and other household pests with them.
I wish these “illegal immigrants” would agree to hold talks with me so that we can discuss the way forward.
I know it sounds ridiculous, but I would readily hold peace talks with my cockroaches for as long as they would agree to stick to certain zones in the house. I would readily designate some sort of camp for them right under my roof, some place as far away from normal human activity as possible. In that camp, I would guarantee them adequate security from attacks by predators, while supplying them with just enough food and drink to keep them alive.
In exchange, I expect them to remain in their camp at all times so as to spare me the embarrassment I have suffered in the past.
As most of you probably know, cockroaches do not easily come out of their hideouts for fear of attacks. A cockroach always feels safe enough to come out of its hiding place when you have important guests in your house.
For some reason, a cockroach always seems to know when you are hosting prominent people, and it knows very well that you would not dare to touch it while your VIPs are around, lest you should be seen as a bully.
Meanwhile, I am searching for the most effective cockroach control method.