26 Mar, 2018 @ 13:04
2 mins read

THEY’RE COMING! As the weather heats up watch out for the scuttling cucarachas, writes Lesley Keith

mallorca palma nova

WELL this is more like it, some sunshine and actual warmth.

There’s mad panic all around as pools are cleaned, beaches prepared and restaurants refurbed within an inch of their lives ready for the incoming stampede which I assume will be at Easter.

One rather worrying thing I’ve noticed though is the appearance of little visitors some mornings. These are the dreaded cucarachas, which sounds like a lively dance or cheer of enjoyment in Spanish but as we all know means the dreaded cockroaches.

The ones I find are always upside down with waving legs, I have no idea how they come to be this way and perhaps it’s best that I don’t. I really don’t mind most insects if in moderation but these really do give me the creeps.

I know that they come out to feed at night and so I have this horrible feeling that when the lights go off, out they all scuttle.  I have tried to prove this by scanning the floor with a torch from the bed but there’s nothing.

So I’ll sneak into the kitchen and suddenly turn the light on expecting to see a mass exodus in all directions, again there’s nothing which I’m very pleased about but can’t help feeling they’re there somewhere, watching….

So far it’s just the odd one so hopefully they’re just lost and wandering in after a night out down one of my drainage pipes or something. One thing’s for sure I am going nowhere without slippers on.

The thought of stepping on one in bare feet is too horrific to contemplate.  As always I try and educate myself, know your enemy and all that, and was very interested to learn that the common misconception that they will survive a full blown nuclear attack is completely untrue, apparently but they can withstand 10 times more radiation than a human.

Yes, Winston Churchill was right in 1935 when he said ‘Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet’. The other myth that they can live without a head is actually true. They can live for about 30 days headless as they breathe through other parts of their bodies, (Please pay attention, there’s questions at the end).  They predate dinosaurs, and can often live up to two years. They also love beer, so never leave used beer cans lying around as it attracts them. Killing them does not attract others in but stamping on them does make one hell of a mess on your floor.

Now my eyesight is unfortunately awful, and of course it’s worse in the dark but I can spot one of these immediately, even at quite a distance. My partner is totally oblivious and never ever sees them.

I just can’t touch them so I’ve got a plastic orange beaker that I cover them with until he gets up and can do the decent thing, whatever that is. I suspect it’s tipping them onto the grass right outside the door. Now I think about it, it’s probably the same one coming back in time and again.  I did feel a bit of an idiot yesterday when the one I’d discovered and ‘beakered’ in the bathroom turned out to be one of my partner’s shaver fittings he’d dropped on the floor.

Well it was his fault for not picking it up wasn’t it.

When he was away last week I had no option but to deal with one myself, this involved sliding a thick card under the beaker, holding it like it was super-glued  and running outside with it. I could feel it moving against the card and it was totally gross. I came back to wipe the floor as their droppings are actually quite harmful and found a large hairy leg. I may need on-going therapy for that, give me a nice gentle spider any day, at least they eat mosquitoes.

If there’s a positive side it’s that they’re basically harmless and they don’t fly – the wings are for gliding – and in view of what I’ve learnt I’m going to have to put up with them because I suspect they’ll be here long after we’re all gone, nuclear attack or not.

Got a comment for Lesley? Contact her on lesley.kmallorca@gmail.com.

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