It's amazing how the appearance of cockraoches in one's home can cause one to descend to the deepst pits of paranoia and self flaggelation. We all assume that if we have cockroaches we must have brough it on ourselves: we are disgusting, lazy, slobbish human beings.
I for one know for more than sure that I have lived in worse homes than this, and that before we had our dishwasher, the dishes sat out more often and for longer than they do now. Yet never before have we had an evil infestation.
When the first few bugs appeared, though worried, I was sure that they were just a few passing travellers. It's when they moved on into the bathroom that I started to worry. Then the day came that I offered tea to a guest - and to my horror when I opened the cupboard for mugs, there was a roach crawling down the inside of the door.
Being hip and savvy, I of course logged on to my computer and quickly performed a search on Google for cockroaches, to learn how I could take care of the problem.
The more I read the larger the lump of panic in my gut grew.
Cockraoches, I read, are very difficult and expensive to get rid of.
First - you practice 'exclusion' which means you work to keep food sources from being available.
Wipe all counters down regularly. Ok I can do that.
Wipe up all spills immediately. That's just common sense.
Vaccum all crevices that may have crumbs, such as between the stove and the counter, under the lip of the cupboards, in crackss on tile. Uh....OK now we are getting a little overwhelming.
By the end of my research I invisioned myself scouring my home from top to bottom, securing all dishes, silverware, utensils, mugs, cups, wineglasses and miscellaneous in some sort of air-tight containers, removing any and all foods that *may* have already been crawled on...heck...while I was at it I'd have to get rid of the couch (which was second hand and could have roaches in it) the stove (also second hand) and the dishwasher, a hand-me-down (nooooo not my dishwasher!!!).
Visions of an old Twilight Zone swam through my head - the one where the OCD guy lived in a white, empty room and still had himself encased in plastic because he was afraid of the bugs.
I was able to calm myself and my husband down. We had to talk untill 2 AM about the bugs, our life, other peoples lives, the bugs, work, the bugs, the kids, the bugs and finally the fact that maybe we were over-reacting to the bugs.
I can see clearly, at times like this, the fine line I could cross to be completely mad.
We live in a world that is full of crawly gross things that leave trails of slime behind them - how could one *not* go mad if one thought too deeply about it?
So the key, I suppose, is not to let the mind get away from one. Call the landlord, have the kitchen sprayed (but make sure to keep the cats tucked away so they don't get sick), have yourself a burrito for a late night snack (and don't forget the salsa), and move on.