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The other night I was walking upstairs and suddenly came face to face with a Palmetto Bug (AKA a flying cockroach). I would have taken a picture of it but it was so big, it was blocking my access to my phone.

You really can’t go to sleep when there is a gigantic flying cockroach on the loose, so I knew I had to do something.

I found one of the kids’ buckets and threw it over him. I was about to write a note for my husband like this…

“Welcome home from work! There is a flying cockroach under this bucket. Please remove. Love, your wife. P.S. Don’t forget to shut off the hall lights.”

But then I started to worry that the bug was suffocating under the bucket.

Now only a crazy person would worry about this. I mean, who cares if the bug suffocates, right? But I felt guilty. I mean, that’s not a great way to go. Especially for a bug who was probably just doing his own thing, lost his way and is now confused under a green plastic bucket.

I really blame my father for my irrational state of mind. When I was a kid, we used to play these car games on long rides and one of them was, “How much would someone have to pay you to rip the wings off a butterfly?”

Well, there was no amount of money – not millions or billions – that would make my dad agree to do it. As for me at the time, I think I was willing to do it for $5 and a package of Pop Rocks.

But some of his lofty ethics must have rubbed off on me because there I was, many years later,  in the middle of my house stressing about whether a flying cockroach could breathe under a bucket.

I knew I couldn’t sleep with thoughts of his potentially diminished lung capacity, so I needed a new game plan.

I gingerly slid a manilla envelope under the bucket and then for added security, put a book under the envelope.  I then proceeded to bring the whole contraption outside and attempted to free the palmetto bug back into the wild.

But when I lifted up the bucket, he just sat there. I think it was the first time in history a cockroach had been freed, so he was pretty stunned about the whole turn of events.

I said goodnight and shut the door.

By morning, he was gone. I feel pretty good about how the whole thing went down. I’m sure he’s still telling his friends about the day he survived the green bucket.

11 Responses to what to do with a flying cockroach in your home at 11 o’clock at night

  • Patrick says:

    Your father is a wise man. You just earned MANY karma points, which will serve you well going forward. And, p.s., very nice technique with the manilla envelope.

  • Erma says:

    You did the right thing! I’ve been in that place and I always do the bucket/tupperware container/glass cover up. We recently came down to the kitchen one morning to find a mouse (a mouse!) My husband had already “tupperwared” it, and I orchestrated slipping firm cardboard under the kitchen rug he was on and it took the two of us to get him out the door and safely in the grass. Of course, then I worried he wouldn’t find the rest of his family…..

  • Suzanne says:

    Cockraoches and mosquitoes are the only two critters I’m okay with killing. Ohh, but I just hated typing the word killing…

    Everything else is strictly catch and release. Last year was the end of a terrible drought we’d been having, and there were geckos everywhere. Crawling all over our front and backdoors, on the house, just everywhere. I guess they were looking for water? It was incredibly difficult to even get in the house without a couple slipping in as well. I have a stack of Tupperware under our kitchen sink labeled “lizard catching tool” because I would often need more than one at a time to trap the little guys. Mind you, I squealed every time… I don’t know why, but they give me the creeps the way they’re almost translucent.

  • daphne says:

    Not for nothing, but the green bucket couldn’t have formed an airtight seal to the floor — I think cockroaches are built to survive nuclear bombs; they laugh in the face of green buckets

  • Princess Judy says:

    I say if you invade my turf all bets are off regarding your survival… huh, that’s my strategy for stray wildlife but I’m just now thinking I should adopt it for visitors too.

    We do trap and release the little lizards that get in our house. Lizards are cool and eat bugs. Bugs are bugs and should stay outside.

  • Steph says:

    Wow, I just can’t believe roaches are caught and released. I don’t know whether that is more sweet or more crazy–maybe sweetly crazy or crazily sweet.

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kelcey kintner