General21 Apr 2008 10:01 pm

Okay, this post might be a little much for some of you, so I’m going to post most of the photos and story past the jump. Be warned, it’s extremely creepy bug heavy. Like, cockroach bug heavy. Yikes. But, consider yourself warned.

Click “Continue reading” to continue….

About a year ago, we bought 10 discoid, aka false death head roaches aka Blaberus discoidalis at a reptile show. They were going to be used as feeders for our various bugs, and are actually really good for this use since they breed so quickly.

They can’t breed in the cold weather here, and cannot climb glass so I thought they wouldn’t creep me out since there was no chance of them getting out or breedingly wildly behind the fridge or something. And they didn’t give me the heebie jeebies, atleast for the first few months.

I still remember how excited Mike was when he spotted the first offspring. The roaches grow in a series of stages through nymph-hood up to adult, with the smallest stage being a bit smaller than a Tic-Tac. They have live births, so one day there are just lots of tiny bugs running around. From then on in, it was all hell broken loose.

We got a heat lamp, and our closet glowed red. I called it the boudoir, in fact. The roaches also like to live in sort of condos, so egg crates do them a world of good. I would wake at night to see the red glowing lamp and to hear the scuttling of hundreds of legs on cardboard.

Returning home from Asia, we realized the bugs were out of control. We had a few casualties while we were gone (from the spider and centipede sectors), and we just didn’t have the volume of mouths required to keep the roaches in check. The 10 gallon tank we had them in was teeming with roaches. Looking at the bottom, you’d see heaps of dung and then the dung would heave, and tens of roaches would burst forth. It was horrific. They had to go. Mike was very supportive and agreed, even though the little guys were his favorite, I think.

So, we found a good trade on a bug messageboard, and the little guys are leaving tomorrow, in return we get some new scorpions. But first, we had to get their home ready. The colony was pretty huge; there are about 50 adults and thousands of nymphs. Our favorite thing to do lately is toss in bits of banana and watch it be swarmed by the roaches, who love banana. Well, they love most anything it seems.

Anyhow, we had to clean up, first.

Looking at this picture gives me the heebs because I realize how close to the bed skirt the cockroaches got. We’re pulling them out of their old roach motel and moving them into their big new condo. The gloves were an absolute, the dung was just…well, it was sick, okay? We probably should have worn dustmasks as well.

These are the infirm cockroaches in their little Ziploc hospital. When their population gets dense they wingchew, which you can see on most of them; their wings are almost all gone. I kind of felt sorry for them, actually. We separated them because the guy taking them wanted them separate.

Checking the old motel for any stragglers. There were lots of holes for them to hide in. And there were roaches in almost every one. And I shrieked every time one of them came crawling out at me.

The nymph stages. The darkest ones are pretty near to adulthood. The tiniest ones are probably in the top right hand corner, if you can see them.

Eeeeek! Look at all those holes! Look at all those roaches in them!

I think the worst is when you see a roach that has just moulted, like this asshole. Just looking at him now creeps me out, actually. It reminds me of when you leave a Band-Aid on too long and your skin goes all wrinkly and soft and white underneath. It’s fucking sick, right?

Look how frazzled I am! The messy hair, the sweaty brow. And you can’t tell, but I have no pants on in the picture because I didn’t want any roaches scuttling up. I’m pleased to say we had no freedom runners though.

So, one more sleep and the dicks will be gone. I think Mike is still going to keep a small batch though. You never know what we might be able to trade them for in the future…

2 Responses to “Bug Watch”

  1. on 21 Apr 2008 at 10:32 pm 32-P

    I read most of this post with a look of horror on my face, until I got to the last photo… and burst out crying with laughter. So frazzled! Even the unicorn on your hoodie looks frazzled. 😀

  2. on 22 Apr 2008 at 5:20 pm Old Man Winter

    The weather has conspired to keep our trader our of town and cockroaches safe at home for another few days. I’m gonna miss those rascals.