Monday, October 29, 2012

Katsaridaphobia: My Own Fear Revealed

National Geographic names the fear of cockroaches Katsaridaphobia. "This fear can be enhanced by multiple factors not the least of which is their quickness and prolific nature."

Blah, blah, blah.

I'm from the Southeast United States where they often grow to the size of city rats.  Think I'm kidding?  Take a trip down.  They fly.  So if seeing one isn't scary enough, they can fly at you if they feel the need to scare the bejeepers out of you.

We had one that lived in our house when I was a teenager that had me sleeping with a baseball bat.  Once he tried to come into my room and I heard a "thump" then the door swung open.  He was too tall, hit the bottom of the door that wasn't completely shut and with a slow squeal that would do most horror films justice, I was standing on the mattress screaming for my daddy.

In college, one was in the shower curtain and I didn't know until I was already wet and soapy, but naked and like my hair was on fire, I ran down the hall screaming for help (and a towel), I wasn't embarrassed, I was scared.

I buy roach motels or roach bait traps the way hoarders buy canned goods for the Apocalypse.  Every cabinet, closet, top of appliances, corners, wherever I can place one without the pets reaching it, has a fresh one.

I also have two very large cats that enjoy eating anything that moves.  I can't watch, but they get lots of spoiling later.

When I lived in Utah, we didn't have roaches (I never wanted to leave), but we did have earwigs.

Let me tell you this:  earwigs, beetles, junebugs, or anything similar is just one evolutionary side-step from a roach and I hate them too.  Not to the point of fear and paralysis, but definitely deserving a shout for my husband to, "HELP!"

In Florida they put a sweet spin on it and call them Palmetto Bugs.  They think this will keep people happier by making them believe they're just a bug that comes from the palms.  No big deal.

Balderdash, I say.  Liars! 

I know a roach when I see one and no cutesy name will make me any less afraid.  I had one fly down a shirt in a public place and without hesitation stripped down to my underwear while waving my arms like a muppet and screaming like a four-year old throwing a tantrum.  No shame. 

Everything in my garage is sealed in a bin with a bait trap on top.  I take no chances.  Once I abandoned my running car in a parking lot because like an idiot I left my windows down and one flew in.  A call to a friend had her at my rescue shortly after with a kitty litter scooper and a can of hair spray (really).  She drove my car home. Then I set off a bug bomb in it. I'm not kidding.  And I love you, Amy.

My husband has come home to find me standing on top of a newly dented washing machine with a broom in one hand and half a warm bottle of white wine in the other.  It was in the corner.  Watching me.  Stupid cats sleeping twenty hours a day!

He's had to come home from work because when we were first dating, I was in an apartment with one door in or out and a roach was on the back of it.  There was no escape and I was hysterically crying.

I threw away a rather expensive fur coat that had a roach on it.  Who knew where it might have laid eggs in all that fur and it was a mighty cold winter in South Dakota.  No regrets.

We received a package once and a roach was sealed up inside.  When it popped out, I went out the door just as fast as it came out of the box.  I wouldn't come back until my husband could produce a dead body and let me tell you, it took him some time to find it and while barefoot in the snow, I felt nothing but my fear.

After the danger is gone, we often laugh about what they had to go through to get it out, like my friend and her weapons, but mostly it's that rush of adrenaline that courses through me once I know I'm safe.  Relief!

**No real photos in this post, I wouldn't be able to search for one...


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