Health and safety forum
21st September, 2009
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Having travelled SEA a few times now i have yet to find how to deal with cockroaches. Is there a way to put them off entering your room or getting them to leave in a natural way? i.e. without the need to use chemical sprays etc? I know they are harmless but its the one thing that keeps me awake at night....i have stayed at places where they have been in the bed and i've awoken to find them next to me on the pillow...that was in Laos by the way.
#1 Posted: 21/9/2009 - 05:06
I've tried yelling and asking them nicely to leave. Neither had any effect.
I've been living in Asia for 3 years now and they still freak me out.
My worst cockroach story is from when I was living in Thailand. It was my birthday but I still had to go to work, I went to the bathroom, washed my face, then reached for the towel so I could dry my face with a BIG COCKROACH on it.
#2 Posted: 21/9/2009 - 10:04
The best way to deal with this problem is to eat a cockroach. Go to a market and buy some, they will have them all ready to go.
After you eat one you'll no longer be afraid of them. I did the same with snakes and a few others.
#3 Posted: 21/9/2009 - 10:17
natural way = fresh pandan leaves, contains plant chemicals that repel roaches. can get them in SE Asian markets. here in Singapore people put a bundle of the leaves in their cars (often see them in taxis) or kitchen cabinets.
#4 Posted: 21/9/2009 - 11:17
I just try to stay in clean guesthouses, and if by the beahc, sealed huts/bungalows!
Keep the bathroom door closed and make sure there isnt a gap under the door, and do the same with the room door and I've found it was ok.
Only time they truly freaked me out was when I arrived at Ko Chang late at night. Tired, I booked into the first huts I could find, which didnt turn out to be the best of places to choose. As soon as I went in the bathroom, 4 or 5 HUGE cockroaches came out of the drain. No worries I thought, I'll just keep the door closed. Seconds later I was dismayed to see that even the WALL between the bathroom and room wasnt sealed as they streamed underneath.
When they started crawling around on my bed, I'd had enough. I went out, got very drunk and slept on the beach. Much better option
#5 Posted: 21/9/2009 - 19:00
I was sitting on the toilet in our room in Koh Nang Yuan, with my undies around my knees. After finishing my business I went to pull my undies up when I noticed a big crock roach in them!! I can only presume he had crawled out from under the toilet seat. Gross!
Sorry guys - but I think you would be very lucky to avoid them. :-D
#6 Posted: 22/9/2009 - 03:15
oh lizzy, that's awful. I assume you ran out of the bathroom pantsless and screaming? (cuz that's what I would have done)
#7 Posted: 22/9/2009 - 12:40
I was with my sister at the time, and she says I shrieked rather loudly and used language that wasn't, well, ladylike! That's her version of the story, anyhow.
What made it worse was that this particular toilet was raised up on a platform that was so high that my feet were dangling in the air. It wasn't an easy thing to run away from those great heights!
#8 Posted: 22/9/2009 - 16:57
I have a photo of me and a large plate of insect delicacies (lizzy knows this is true) and although we did our best to finish them there were quite a few left over ... including ALL the cockroaches .... so offered the plate to staff working at the GH.
Guess what they ate first.
#9 Posted: 22/9/2009 - 18:25
Hey Matt and SBE,
It's unlikely that those were roaches you were eating. They were probably Giant Water Bugs with their piercing mouthpart removed (otherwise it would puncture the inside of your mouth and go straight through your tongue or cheek.) People see these all over the place in the "snack carts" that wander the streets. Most people who see them assume that they're roaches, but they aren't. To the best of my knowledge, Thais don't eat cockroaches.
As I haven't seen your photo I can't say this with 100% certainty. But take a look at this link and tell me what you think.
#10 Posted: 23/9/2009 - 00:17
Yes that looks like the beast. It's great having an expert on bugs around here!
Umm, what's the difference between eating a giant water bug and a cockroach. They look equally crunchy.
#11 Posted: 23/9/2009 - 11:17
>> Umm, what's the difference between eating a giant water bug and a cockroach. They look equally crunchy.
#12 Posted: 23/9/2009 - 18:48
Let's try this again ...
"Umm, what's the difference between eating a giant water bug and a cockroach. They look equally crunchy.Umm, what's the difference between eating a giant water bug and a cockroach. They look equally crunchy."
Having never eaten a cockroach I cannot vouch for their crunch factor, though I'd assume that if one was deep-fried enough it would be satisfyingly crunchy.
Cockroaches are able to survive pretty much anywhere, are scavengers, and are considered by most to be filth pests. This is why they aren't consumed.
Giant Water Beetles spend most of their lives in freshwater (which could very well be filthy), are predators, and are in no way pests (except to the small creatures that they capture in those crazy front legs and then pierce with their needle-like mouthparts and then suck dry ... crazy.)
Roaches are in the same group as grasshoppers and crickets. They aren't "true bugs." When you eat a Giant Water Beetle, you're eating a "true bug."
#13 Posted: 23/9/2009 - 18:52
Man, it messed up again ...
#14 Posted: 23/9/2009 - 18:53
LOL. Me and busylizzy will be working on the edit function shortly. ;-)
Thanks for the interesting explanation Tilapia... I have another question. I've always wondered how they catch all these "edible" insects ...insecticide?
Just wondering how healthy they are to eat (apart from the very high fat content and whether or not they've led hygienic lifestyles prior to being killed).
#15 Posted: 24/9/2009 - 06:00
I'm not sure they'd just have a water bug to eat on a plate, they have a strong taste for an insect. I've only heard of them being made into jeao where the taste can carry it's own. I guess the female tastes stronger than the smaller male.
Called Maeng Dah in Lao language I missed out on my first jeao but my Lao consultant made up another batch for me when I got back.Jeao Maeng Dah
I don't know how they catch water bugs. Methods I have heard of for others are,, just turning over old buffalo piles, (maeng kii kwai) shaking a tree with a piece of plastic underneath, (maeng sahn) big basket on a pole for ant egg nests,(kai mot daeng) throw nets for stream dwelling bugs, probably many different ways for many different bugs. Never heard of eating cockroaches. Maybe they were maeng ee nyow which resemble cockroaches in size as well as looks.
#16 Posted: 24/9/2009 - 06:45
They looked more like Maeng Dah than Maeng ee nyow!
Sounds very labor intensive catching all these bugs. They have great heaps of them on food carts in Bangkok so that must represent hours and hours of turning over buffalo piles etc.
What about the fried spiders you see in Cambodia? I think they're tarantulas (but I could well be mistaken) and you don't see many of those running around alive. Do they farm them?
#17 Posted: 24/9/2009 - 12:58
"Sounds very labor intensive catching all these bugs. They have great heaps of them on food carts in Bangkok so that must represent hours and hours of turning over buffalo piles etc."
These insects spend most of their lives in water, so no buffalo pile-turning required. They fly between bodies of water and are attracted to light. So, they are captured in the evenings through the use of light traps. Very labour un-intensive.
Not sure about the spiders. It's a good question.
#18 Posted: 24/9/2009 - 22:45
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