I believe that every creature has a place and a role in the world. However there are certain creatures which I just don't want to share space with. I have various agreements with several species: scorpions, larger ants, spiders, biting flies, that if we share space we are purely courteous and harm no-one. It works: and on those rare instances when it doesn't then usually that creature is removed from our common space. Cockroaches too have a place and I can be fond of them, cleaning and clearing away our detritus, but somehow reviled more than all the flies, ants and wasps which share the same momentous task: they are the vultures of the insect world. They're actually quite cute up close.
However there is a point beyond tolerance and I reached it this week. They got into my chickpea flour.
I live in the jungle and I am fully aware that I am here as a guest and part of the honour is that I share the space with all the other inhabitants. Everything in my kitchen is double bagged and in tupperware boxes. I am oh so well aware of all the ants, flies, mites, weevils, grasshoppers, stink bugs, and endless strange looking 6 leggededs, as well as the myriad spores of yeasts, molds, fungi, plus all the bacteria, protozoa and multi formed parasites that live here too. I've played host to a number of the best of them. Oh yes. But when the roaches finally break through into my chickpea flour, take up residence in my traveling coffee mug and eat the onions in my veggie basket, I'm over it.
Cacao kills cockroaches. I imagine it's the same mixture of chemicals which pep us up, which causes a heartattack or overloads the cockroach to death, but the result is quick and final. But cacao is also rather an expensive - if all organic - way to go. So yesterday I made some special killer candy. Roaches love onion and orange juice, and chickpea flour, I blended chopped onion with just enough orange juice to wet it, added some chickpea flour and powdered boric acid. The mix I formed into patties and placed around the kitchen and bathroom on top of squares of old plastic bags (easy to move and a lot cleaner). The boric acid takes up to 10 days to work. It's a slow and nasty death of starvation and dehydration, and I'm sorry for that. Cacao would be better. When I get the population down I might switch to smaller amounts of cacao powder, or might mix cacao in with the borax.
It's a nasty business.