Thursday, June 5, 2008

Raunchy Rotten Roaches

Roaches.... darn! I saw a couple the other day. Where there's one you can bet there's a slue more. Scurrying across the floor or up the walls. They're elusive buggers. Only come out at night. Mostly. In Arizona we have 'em as big as shot glasses, flying slow and steady.... humming 'Nanny nanny boo boo you can't catch me' as they fly by. Arrogant bugs! We've got 'em in all sizes too, from little bitty one's to those flying shot glasses. Raunchy Rotten Roaches!

My roommate interrupts my mental enumerating saying, "Eeooww, gross! There's a roach in my bathroom. I couldn't get it with my bug cup. It was too fast and ran under the floor board." Squirming she says,"They really creep me out." She ran into her bedroom. Pulled out what looked like a bundle of weeds. Lit it and started filling the house with smoke. I said, " Whoa! What in tarnation are you up to? What IS that stuff?" She said, "It's a sage smudge stick. There is negative energy associated with roaches." I say, "A sage what stick? Negative what?" She continues, "I'm cleaning the space. Lifting the energy." I retort, "Just cleaned the other day. More likely, you're smoking us out." She just smiled. When the job was done and house full of smoke she said, "Ah, there that feels better."

Coughing I say, "Ah yeah, thanks?" As I'm walking to open the doors and windows to air the place out, a particularly large roach zooms by. I say, "Duck and cover. Roach at 3:00." My roommate grabs her bug cup running after it. I'm ducking... she's jumping, we collide landing in a pile on the floor. Boy that was fun. We look at each other and start laughing hysterically.

I say, "Ok, ok there's got to be a better way." I rack my brain. Somewhere back there I have a memory. Flash! Right, my grandmother. Triumphantly I say, "Monkey balls!" My roommate gasps, "Monkey Balls! I won't have anything to do with animal products! No. Nope. Not!!!" Laughing I say, "No. Not animals... hedge apples! Osage Oranges, also known as 'Monkey Balls' in my neck of the woods. Work great for roaches. They grow on a tree and there just happens to be one down the street. Let's go for a walk." She says, "Oh? Whew! OK."

We gather up a whole mess of monkey balls and put them in our handy canvas totes. Back at the house we put a couple of the fruit in each room and one in each closet. Within a day or so we were roachless. And not just roachless; mostly spiderless, cricketless, flealess, knatless, flyless and mosquitoless too. They all skittered out of the house faster than slick lightening.

EPIPHANY: Most insects can't stand monkey balls.

Thanks Gran Gran, I remembered what you did to keep bugs at bay. What a great idea! Another earth, people, animal and bug friendly solution.

Tips: Osage Oranges ripen in July and will last 2 - 3 months in air-conditioning. For best effectiveness throw away after most of the green has disappeared. Sometimes they continue working even after they have completely dried out. If you don't have a tree near you, you can purchase them at:

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