HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
What's your latest food quest?

How do you handle seeing a roach?

gryphonskeeper Feb 17, 2009 02:42 PM

There I was, sitting at the sushi bar, putting a beautifully crafted piece of food/art into my mouth, when I gaze over and one foot from my head is staring back at me.... you guessed it... a roach. Now, mind you it is noon, and very bright.... and this thing was just sitting there! I casually grabbed my napkin, and WHAM, I showed the waitress who just shrugged at me and said "Oh they come back all the time"

o.O ?!

You know, I used to love this place, ate there once a week. The whole rest of my lunch was ruined at that point, and I don't know if I can return.

Now, before I hear it repeatedly, I know there are roaches in most restaurants... just this is the first time I had one a foot from my head while I was eating!

  1. c
    Cachetes Feb 17, 2009 02:51 PM

    Yes, there are roaches in restaurants. But, if you are seeing one in the dining area, there is a very good chance that the infestation in the back of the house is much worse. I'd have a lot of trouble returning to a place that did not respond appropriately to a patron pointing out a cockroach. In my opinion, you were right to be put off by the waitress's response. What does it say about their attitude toward cleanliness in the kitchen if they can't even fake it to the customers?

    On the one occasion I found a cockroach in my food, they apologized and comped my food (which I didn't finish) and my companions' food (which I thought was really unnecessary, but definitely considerate on the restaurant's part).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cachetes
      LJBTampa Feb 18, 2009 11:00 AM

      Well said, Cachetes. Even if it is common, the server should have the good sense to act shocked even if she wasn't.

    2. w
      wtl488 Feb 17, 2009 03:05 PM

      If you are going to "black list" every restaurant because of a roach that was spotted in the dining room I think you would run out of places to eat. Roaches are in most restaurants but as long as the business is taking the proper steps to control them its ok, they won't kill you. In Florida I have notices roaches in many places... due to the warm/humid weather... get over it, you'll be ok!

      4 Replies
      1. re: wtl488
        alwayscooking Feb 17, 2009 03:46 PM

        I won't run out of places to eat because I would ultimately eat at home where I know it's clean. Fortunately, I know that there are good restaurants that actively keep ahead of the roaches (from urban centers to the tropical extremes) by pursuing cleanliness with the same attention they pay to food.

        If I see a roach near me or my food, I can assume it is a only foot soldier for the battalion living in the kitchen. And that is not just ick, it's sick.

        1. re: alwayscooking
          kchurchill5 Feb 19, 2009 05:54 PM

          My house is very clean and I get pest control ... however ... I still get the occasional roach more than just the occasional one. No matter how clean ... FL?? Well I worked in my fare share of restaurants and people would be appauled. Trust me, but even my house, clean and neat gets them on occasion .... sorry but 1 roach doesn't bother me. I can pretty much tell by looking at the overall appearance.

          Not a big deal

          1. re: alwayscooking
            AngelSanctuary Mar 21, 2009 11:31 PM

            You've never seen a bug in your house? Ever? Wow...

            1. re: AngelSanctuary
              danhole Mar 24, 2009 02:42 PM

              Me either, and I live in Houston. See my posts below.

        2. g
          gloriousfood Feb 17, 2009 04:00 PM

          Roaches will outlive us. The two times I encountered them in a restaurant, one was dead and in my dish; the other was very much alive, crawling along the wall, minding his own business, hanging out. In the first incident, I immediately told the waiter, who later came back and "joked" how they were eating my dish for lunch in the back and it was fine, everyone is still alive, har har. They're no longer in business.

          The second incident, we discreetly told the manager, who was very apologetic and somehow managed to get rid of it w/o the other diners noticing.

          Then there was the time I saw one in an airplane, but that's another story....

          1. s
            smartie Feb 17, 2009 06:12 PM

            a couple years ago I did a Food Managers Certification course in Fl. The trainer told us there is not a single restaurant in South Fl without roaches or rodents. Even our houses have roaches no matter how clean and no matter how often the exterminators come.

            I still hate them and can't stand to see one (or more).

            13 Replies
            1. re: smartie
              danhole Feb 18, 2009 07:47 AM

              I disagree about all of us having roaches. I live in Houston, Tx, in a house built in the 50's, and I do not have roaches in my house, and I don't use pesticides either. Occasionally one of those large tree roaches (lots of trees in our yard) but the cats consider those to be toys, so they are eliminated quickly.

              Funny story about those tree roaches. They are pretty large, and we knew a woman who moved here from NYC. She saw one and screamed "what is that?" Without batting an eye the person with her said "Oh, that's a baby armadillo", and she actually believed him for awhile!

              1. re: danhole
                queencru Feb 18, 2009 08:25 AM

                Roaches are a huge problem in Florida. I know people who are immaculate and still get them, because the big roaches have nothing to do with cleanliness. If you are lucky enough to be free of them, you are in the minority. When I lived in Florida I had to have exterminators come out at least yearly to keep my house from being infested by ants and roaches. My parents are immaculate and still have issues. It's hot, it's humid, it doesn't get cold enough to kill the roaches off--- they love it.

                1. re: queencru
                  KevinB Mar 8, 2009 03:04 AM

                  I had a friend who moved from Canada to Sarasota a few (decades?) years back. He was appalled to discover "palmetto bugs" (the cute name that Floridians give to their mutant roaches) in his home, and called an exterminator. They came, fumigated, and asked him how often he wanted them to come back. Peter was miffed, and said "Hey, I can keep my house clean". The exterminator smirked and said "You're from up north, aren't you?". Six months later, Peter signed up for quarterly visits.

                  But I have to say I worked in a lot of different restaurants in Ontario, and the only "creepy crawlers" I ever saw were the occasional one that sneaked in the lettuce on the salad bar, or in the salads.

                  I really think it's an issue of temperature. I remember my first visit to the Philippines; my brothers-in-law took us out to what was considered a very nice place for breakfast. I was a little offput when the resident cat did its business in the planter a few feet from my head (much to the bs-i-l's amusment!), but I was quite gobsmacked when I noticed the pattern on the ceiling tiles was shifting. At first, I thought it was just jet lag, but then I realized these were little lizards - dozens of them - crawling around.

                  I really think in those fecund atmospheres where the joke is "Throw down a seed, and stand back!", people just have to accept insects as a fact of life. Here in the Great White North, where we have winter to keep them at bay, not so much.

                  1. re: KevinB
                    Sam Fujisaka Mar 8, 2009 10:41 AM

                    Those are gekkos and they eat the bugs! Harmless and clean.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                      Caroline1 Mar 8, 2009 05:56 PM

                      When I first moved to El Paso, I had a major infestation of roaches, which I blamed on my mover. Turned out not to be the mover, but my builder. He had build my brand new house on land infested with German cockroaches! So I got a gorgeous turquoise and lime green gecko. Named him Jose Gecko. He totally eradicated the roaches. I didn't realize he was starving until the cat ate him. I cried. But even after his sad demise, I NEVER had another roach in that house!

                      I never buy any produce in those "net" bags, like onions or potatoes. They are major transportation for roaches.

                      1. re: Caroline1
                        danhole Mar 9, 2009 08:55 AM

                        I know what happened and why you never had another roach - after your cat ate Jose Gecko it got a taste of german cockroach, and then feasted on them!

                        We have lots of geckos that hang out under our mailbox, which is on our house, not out in the yard. Maybe that attributes to the lack of roaches, but we have never had any.

                        1. re: danhole
                          Caroline1 Mar 9, 2009 09:37 AM

                          Geckos are MAGIC!

                  2. re: queencru
                    lynnlato Mar 11, 2009 06:22 AM

                    You mean water bugs or palmetto bugs? These are what they are called in NC and SC. LOL I love how people give them different names to clean up their image and make them less scary. Roaches terrify me!

                    I can remember dining at a nice resto and seeing a roach FLY across the dining room and land on a pillar near our table. I nearly screamed out loud I was so freaked out. However, another time I was eating wings at our favorite wing bar in PA (they had the best wings ever) and I saw a small roach march across a neighboring table. I talked myself out of fleeing and tried to stay focused on the tasty wings. Funny how good food can sometimes change your perception... at least it did for me that one time.

                    1. re: lynnlato
                      Bill Hunt Mar 16, 2009 05:36 PM

                      IIRC, the Cockroach Association has retained a famous Madison Ave. PR firm to help with those images. Some of the new names are supposed to be "Azalea Bug," and "Magnolia Bug." Maybe these terms will be introduced during the TV coverage of The Masters this year? I heard that "Gardinia Bug," did not make the final cut, as most of the focus groups could not tell the difference between a gardinia and a jasmine plant....


                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                        Servorg Mar 16, 2009 07:03 PM

                        A very, very grande one made off with my steak while my head was turned and we nicknamed him the "Steal Magnolia Bug" -

                        1. re: Servorg
                          Bill Hunt Mar 16, 2009 09:18 PM

                          I love it!


                  3. re: danhole
                    goodhealthgourmet Feb 19, 2009 06:17 PM

                    i remember those "baby armadillos" from my years in ATL. those things were so damned huge, you could HEAR the tick-ticking of their legs when they walked.


                    i still get the heebies just thinking about it!

                    gryphonskeeper, we had a discussions about this last year...


                    1. re: danhole
                      Emmmily Feb 20, 2009 06:32 AM

                      I'm surprised a New Yorker was so shocked; I've seen some roaches on the sidewalks here in NYC that could probably eat a real baby armadillo in one bite :-P Luckily I only get the little ones in my apartment; they're gross enough. It's true, no matter how scrupulously clean you keep it and how many traps you put out, there's no stopping them entirely.
                      I've never seen a roach in a restaurant. If it was on the wall I could probably handle it, but it my food or on my table staring me in the face - dinner would be over.

                  4. Jasz Feb 17, 2009 09:59 PM

                    Had dinner in Hawaii at a nice beachside resto this past summer when one went scurrying along right beside me—frankly, unless it's in my dish or on the table I just shrug it off. Seen too many in Europe and Asia to be bothered by them. Except in a dark bathroom where I'm afraid of stepping on one by accident.
                    Btw, does anyone know if they ever put in an appearance this far north (Canada)? I don't think they do but I could be wrong.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Jasz
                      alwayscooking Feb 17, 2009 10:12 PM

                      I'd expect to see a roach on a beach side Hawaiian restaurant since they fy there. The big hotels liberally apply pesticides nightly to keep them at bay though - the flying dinosaurs don't fit with the eden image.

                      What I do not like though is being greeted at the door and shown to my table by the colony. Nor having a large one crawl alive from my spaghetti (the waitress simply brushed it to the floor). Seeing roach paths in the hallways near kitchens and bathrooms also tend to diminish my culinary enthusiasm. These things do bother me and I will report the restaurant. Simply being eyed by a roach begging like my pet for a taste - I'll comment on it to the staff and not return.

                      There are just too many food oriented diseases that cockroaches carry for me to be really casual about these buggies.

                      1. re: alwayscooking
                        Jasz Feb 18, 2009 10:18 PM

                        Agreed, having one come out of your spaghetti would be...ew! And the waitress should definitely have reacted. I guess if it was on the table too I might have a different reaction than scurrying across the floor. As for the colony, we were greeted by such upon entering our hostel room in Japan—I guess that's a touch better than in a restaurant, at least no food involved.

                        1. re: alwayscooking
                          latindancer Feb 20, 2009 06:05 AM

                          "I'd expect to see a roach on a beach side Hawaiin restaurant since they fy there. The big hotels liberally apply pesticides nightly to keep them at bay though-the flying dinosaurs don't fit with the eden image".

                          If that were only true.
                          What's to worry about in Hawaii though? They're everywhere including on some of the most elegant 5 stars restaurants.
                          A flick of their body onto the floor rids the table for the time being.

                        2. re: Jasz
                          KaimukiMan Feb 18, 2009 02:06 AM

                          Roaches like warm weather, but they NEED humidity. And yes Hawaii has plenty of both. Still most restaurants manage to keep them to a minimum. If you are eating alfresco it is not reasonable to assume that there is an infestation in the kitchen if you see one or two in the dining area. If it is an enclosed room, the odds change somewhat.

                          There is a popular noodle house that until recently I went to fairly often. Last time I was there we had two decide to check out our table and saw a couple more scurrying across the floor. None of us have been back since.

                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                            monku Feb 19, 2009 06:29 PM

                            In Hawaii, not only are they in restaurants they're in rental cars too. One night after dinner in Kona came back to the car opened the door and when the dome light came on they were scurrying all over the floor to hide.

                          2. re: Jasz
                            Sooeygun Feb 18, 2009 05:34 AM

                            Oh yes, there are definitely roaches in Canada. I had them in my apt in Kitchener. The landlord refused to spray the whole building, only individual apts on request, so it was impossible to keep them away. My apt was sprayed and kept very clean, but they would still show up.

                            And I have seen them in a restaurant or two here in Toronto. As long as the restaurant seems otherwise clean and they aren't in my food, it doesn't worry me.

                            1. re: Jasz
                              gryphonskeeper Feb 18, 2009 05:36 AM

                              I was in Manchester NH... only 120 miles from Canada! This was a shock to be sure.

                              1. re: Jasz
                                maplesugar Feb 18, 2009 06:54 AM

                                I saw one scurry across my table while at a restaurant in Chinatown here in Calgary. Sorry if it makes me a wimp but I immediately lost my appetite. (the restaurant in question is no longer in business btw). Montreal has had a roach problem for years too... used to be commonplace to check apartments (under sinks, behind the fridge etc) before signing a new lease.

                              2. Dax Feb 18, 2009 05:57 AM

                                It really depends on the place to me, although I guess it should not. I was eating at a higher end (well for the area) restaurant here in Birmingham with a party of about 10 for a business dinner. Near the end of the meal, I happened to be staring our table when a roach dropped down on the table about about 6 inches from my arm, I guess off the duct work overhead. I picked up my napkin and casually tried to cover it/sweet it off the table but unfortunately two other diners noticed. Since they were co-workers rather than from the other company, I gave them the stink-eye to be quiet about it and we joked about it later. I quietly told the waiter a few minutes later. Nothing was comped nor did I really expect it to be.

                                1. chowser Feb 18, 2009 08:19 AM

                                  I asked a friend who is a restaurant health inspector about it since I saw a cockroach at one of my favorite banh mi places. She said it's really hard for restaurants, especially ones that have a lot of flour or flour products to eliminate them but they try to keep on top of it so I keep that in mind. And, I'm not crazy about the idea of a lot of pesticides in food places, though I guess it's preferrable to lots of cockroaches. I did find a cockroach in the food once and that did turn me off.

                                  1. mrbigshotno.1 Feb 18, 2009 08:34 AM

                                    Last place I worked we didn't have much of a roach problem. I't was a semi rural setting, when it started getting cold we'd get field mice in the dry storage, not droves and droves of them but enough to be a pain. One of the dishwashers brought in a semi feral barn cat, did the trick, we gave him an old bustub with litter and fed him kitchen scraps, worked great. Pulled the tub and food out when the health inspecter came around, cat hid himself.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                                      Kajikit Mar 8, 2009 06:26 AM

                                      I'd MUCH rather that a business had a resident cat than a vermin problem! (shudders) We live in Florida and we've had roaches creep into our apartment a few times but the only reason you know they're there is because the cats hunt them down in the middle of the night and dispatch them, but they don't want to eat them! Roaches are a part of life but I sure wouldn't want to see one in my food.

                                    2. g
                                      gordeaux Feb 18, 2009 12:30 PM

                                      Same EXACT thing happened to me a few years ago at my favorite sushi joint. I've worked in several restaurants over the years, so they don't freak me out. I was sitting at the bar on a slow night, and the roach was crawling on top of the case. I caught the eye of the itumae, and gave him the stinkeye, and gazed at the roach to kind of show him where I was looking. In a moment of silent communication, he swiftly grabbed a napkin, scooped up the little bugger, and took care of it.. He then promptly created a plate full of nigiri for me (on the house.) It's still one of my favorite joints - even more so now. I have never seen another one since, and I really look around when I go, too. If a roach is hangin out in a well lit room with a lot of ppl, then the place has issues. Maybe sometimes, the roach population gets out of control between the regular treatments for whatever reason. If I saw one roach one time, then no big deal. If I went back and saw another one- no thanks. Fine, roaches are living alongside us. They can be taken care of, though. If a place has roaches, and ignores them, well, it's not gonna be a place I go to.

                                      1. r
                                        RGC1982 Feb 19, 2009 05:48 PM


                                        Especially if it is crawling toward me.

                                        Never go back.

                                        1. kchurchill5 Feb 19, 2009 06:32 PM

                                          They love FL too

                                          1. monku Feb 19, 2009 06:34 PM

                                            Spending time in the restaurant business you learn roaches are a way of life. Some places are worse than others. The exterminator would tell me which restaurants on his route were the worse.

                                            When I go to a restaurant and see one crawling around I'll point it out to the server just to see what their reaction is going to be.

                                            One day at a sushi restaurant I was watching a fly buzzing around the restaurant and it got near the sushi bar and I saw the sushi chef (young Asian guy...probably not a real sushi chef) kill it between his hands. He didnt' think I saw him, but the waitresses saw me watching and told him he'd better go wash his hands.....he probably wasn't going to watch his hands unless they said something.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: monku
                                              gryphonskeeper Feb 20, 2009 05:11 AM

                                              ok, that visual just make me incredibly ill. I would not even remain seated at that point. I would have walked out with my stomach in my hands.

                                              1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                                monku Feb 20, 2009 05:13 AM

                                                It was early and we were practically the only customers in the restaurant. I didn't order sushi that was for sure.

                                            2. b
                                              Bite Me Feb 19, 2009 08:10 PM

                                              I get my meal comp'd and leave.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Bite Me
                                                gryphonskeeper Feb 20, 2009 05:12 AM

                                                I should have, because I just checked with the city health inspector, and they have been sited several times for this same problem.

                                              2. thew Feb 20, 2009 06:29 AM

                                                NYC - there are roaches. rare to see one out in a restaurant, but thy are really fairly ubiquitous, and i do not care how clean you keep your place. they travel through the pipes.

                                                the waitress ought not be cavalier about it, but one roach doesn't really say much about a place.

                                                1. Sam Fujisaka Feb 20, 2009 06:30 AM

                                                  Paraphrasing Bourdain: "Scream in a high pitched keening wail like a little girl!"

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                    chowser Feb 20, 2009 09:14 AM

                                                    Oh...that was going to be my response if I ever ran into Bourdain. Maybe I should rethink my way to make an impression. Don't want him to think I see him as a cockroach...

                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                      RGC1982 Mar 7, 2009 06:39 PM

                                                      I'm with you on this one, Sam. After growing up in NYC and living in NJ, I thought I had seen everything until I saw the size of Texas roaches. Scary.

                                                    2. Veggo Feb 20, 2009 09:44 AM

                                                      Unusual that the roach was out during the day -they are quite nocturnal. I'm not sure if those roach baits really work, but I can leave a small amount of Xtabentun, the Mexican liquer with honey and asise, in a glass in my lanai overnight, and 1 or 2 roaches will find it and drink themselves to death. They love the stuff.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Veggo
                                                        gryphonskeeper Feb 20, 2009 11:06 AM

                                                        They die a happy death to be sure... much better than shoe heel paste.

                                                      2. Vetter Feb 20, 2009 07:47 PM

                                                        They are so rare here in Western WA that I would probably never go back. Sadly (or is that gladly?), I'm not well traveled enough to have ever seen one!

                                                        1. o
                                                          Orchid64 Feb 21, 2009 12:36 AM

                                                          Depending on the season and where you live, roaches aren't an indication of indifference or a lack of cleanliness. In our house, we see 2 or 3 a year, and I'm meticulous about cleaning and plugging up every hole they might enter through. I discovered that the 2 or 3 we see are entering through the air conditioning vent tube and that they are attracted to the dark, moist, enclosed space. A few manage to climb up through the tube and through the air conditioner where they crawl up high on white walls in a well-lit room. Sometimes, there's nothing you can do but kill them one by one.

                                                          I imagine that it's far harder for restaurants, which have a lot of food trash outside, to keep them at bay.

                                                          1. Boccone Dolce Mar 7, 2009 06:34 PM

                                                            So....... I must not be eating in these FL restaurants or I'm just quite lucky- I haven't seen roaches flitting about or sunning themselves in my bread dish. There are a lot of bugs here, but I'm 99 44/100 percent sure I know what a roach looks like. Don't have them in my house, don't have them where I work, and I don't want them or want to see them.

                                                            Still, I must relay the story of getting take-out Chinese. I was having soup as my nephew dug into his veggie lo mein with chopsticks. He took a few bites, and as he went for another bite, while he was putting it into his mouth he saw something non-lo mein-ish. It was a HUGE bug. It must have been about an inch long. It still had a few legs, so it wasn't cooked long I guess, but then I really don't know at what temp bug legs dissolve!

                                                            I filled out a request for the DOH to check the place out, mostly because the guy just laughed at my husband who called to let them know that they may want to check the veggies for bugs. The DOH guy called back to take the complaint and told us "off the record" that this particular location was among the ONLY places he will get food from. They are "really very clean, but they do run outside to smoke A LOT and leave the screen door open, which I've spoken to them about..."

                                                            1. lulubelle Mar 7, 2009 11:24 PM

                                                              I spent a long time working in the resto biz in Chicago, and can safely say that there were roaches in every place I worked, no matter how "fine" or how clean. The best a place can do is spray frequently and keep their supplies stored properly.

                                                              I live in Asia now. Roaches are 3 inches long and are everywhere, including my very clean and orderly kitchen. Everything I own is sealed in Tupperware, but since roaches love the glue that binds books, as well as just about everything else, just having a clean kitchen will not get rid of them. I have tried to convince myself that they are exotic tropical water beetles, but they still gross me out.

                                                              I took a cooking class in Bangkok and we went to the local market to buy produce--one of the items for sale was large cockroaches, which smell strangely of green apples and are used as a seasoning.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: lulubelle
                                                                Caroline1 Mar 8, 2009 06:02 PM

                                                                All you need is one gecko lizard and you will be roach AND pesticide free! Geckos are non-toxic and friendly to humans. Even when they don't sell insurance. '-)

                                                                1. re: Caroline1
                                                                  Sam Fujisaka Mar 8, 2009 06:08 PM

                                                                  And (also see upthread) so cute: almost translucent smooth skin, large, patient eyes, sort of a smile, spatulate feet that allow them to be on you ceiling upside down. Clean insect eating fellows.

                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                    Caroline1 Mar 8, 2009 06:25 PM

                                                                    Jose Gecko wasn't very tanslucent or smooth skinned. He was sort of a chartreuse color, similar to many iguanas, except he truly was a gecko, and he had an interesting distribution of turquoise"buttons" (warts? moles?) all over his back, from head to toe. Quite a handsome fellow! He loved basking in the skylights in my living room. I've tried to find another gecko exactly like him (he was obviously designed by an artist!), but I've never found one. I did find one close one time, but it cost a fortune! I think I paid $8.00 for Jose, not $200.00. But any gecko will keep a home bug free. They are soooooo much better than pesticides! I figure if pesticides kill bugs, they damned sure can't be good for me to live in!

                                                                    1. re: Caroline1
                                                                      Humbucker Mar 9, 2009 07:35 AM

                                                                      Just curious, how did you deal with the gecko's waste? Did you let him out of a tank regularly or did he live unenclosed?

                                                                      1. re: Humbucker
                                                                        Caroline1 Mar 9, 2009 12:49 PM

                                                                        Never had a tank. Bought him in a pet store, they put him in a "travel carton," brought him home and set him free in the house. Maybe the house itself was sort of a giant "tank". The living room was a 28' hexagon with a "tent like" ceiling that went from 8" around the walls to 17" in the center with a cluster of six skylights where Jose enjoyed sunning himself. I had a ficus tree and several other plants he probably enjoyed that my housekeeper tended to to protect them from my plant killing brown thumbs.

                                                                        I did put out water for him on top of the kitchen cabinets. He did have total free range of the house. I think it was a couple of years before George (cat) had him for breakfast, but in all of that time I NEVER saw any "gecko waste." Maybe he dug little holes in the potted plants and went there. I was always curious about no "gecko poo," but hey, who am I to complain? I never saw a cucaracha either! What could be better than that?

                                                                        The pet shop owner said there was no problem with letting him run free. But El Paso has fairly mild winters, so that may not hold true for all areas.

                                                              2. Bill Hunt Mar 8, 2009 07:43 PM

                                                                When we lived in New Orleans, we took it as a fact of life. Yes, we had Terminex montly, but that only goes so far. Luckily, in AZ we do not seem to have any. Now, the occasional scorpion does get our attention, but so far, no roaches.

                                                                I still maintain that the state bird of Louisiana is the cockroach.


                                                                15 Replies
                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                  Sharuf Mar 9, 2009 07:25 AM

                                                                  I've not seen them here in the Bay Area. Maybe because half the year is bone-dry.

                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                    danhole Mar 9, 2009 09:01 AM

                                                                    "I still maintain that the state bird of Louisiana is the cockroach."

                                                                    Bill, now that's funny! Nothing scarier than having one of those monster sized roaches fly by your face!

                                                                    1. re: danhole
                                                                      Caroline1 Mar 9, 2009 01:16 PM

                                                                      My first husband and I lived in Biloxi (Miss) while he was in air traffic control school. BIG black water roaches that were the size of a London bus! So I had him go to the commissary and buy a large can of "Free Wax." Don't know if they still make it, but it was a self polishing floor wax that incorporated a strong pesticide right in the wax. So I spent an afternoon waxing the entire apartment, if you want to glorify it by calling it that. It was over the landlord's garage and probably the woodshop project of a junior high school student who got a "D" as a grade, at best. The first morning after applying the Free Wax, I swept up SEVEN dust pans chock full of dead water roaches! I could not believe it. "Well," I thought, "We won't be seeing any more of these beasties!" Same amount of bodies the next day. AND the next. So I sent him to the commissary to buy a large container of wax remover. Better to know they have been and gone than to have to deal with all of those roach corpses! NASTY! I shed no tears when we left Mississippi!

                                                                      1. re: Caroline1
                                                                        Bill Hunt Mar 9, 2009 06:55 PM

                                                                        Just down the road, in Gulfport, we had some, but nothing compared to New Orleans. I think that the sandy soil on the Coast did not suit them quite so well as the more organic soil of Louisiana.

                                                                        I've never heard of Freewax, but I do see your point.


                                                                      2. re: danhole
                                                                        Bill Hunt Mar 9, 2009 06:51 PM

                                                                        I broke my foot, kicking at one, and hit the toilet in my actions! You are correct. When the wing cases open and those 4' wings, all 8,000 of them are buzzing right at you - wow, I'd rather face a flock of hungry vultures, or CA condors, which are all smaller than the LA cockroach.

                                                                        Back in NOLA, our Bulldog would not go to her bowl in the dark. She'd bark, until we turned on the light and whatever vermin were lurking would scutter away. Just a fact of life and not much can be done about it.

                                                                        Luckily, we've hardly seen one, since we moved to CO, and then to AZ. Now, we do get some big, honking beetles in the pool, but they are benign, compared to the NOLA cockroaches. My limited experiences tell me that FL has similar problems, even in the cleanest homes.

                                                                        We've traded cockroaches for dust (blows off the desert every day and there is nothing you can do about it). Each location has its pluses and minuses. Now, we just tie Swifters® to the Bulldogs' tails, and they help manage the dust...


                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                          tracylee Mar 11, 2009 10:24 AM

                                                                          After graduating from college, I stayed in an apartment in Corvallis, OR and we'd find cockroach egg cases in between dishes, or in the dishwasher, if things weren't used often enough. I worked at a pet store and brought home an anole (gecko-like). Ummm, my roommie freaked out and killed it while I was away one weekend. Those were the only roaches I've seen in Oregon.

                                                                          However, living coastal Ecuador, they were a fact of life - one variety was about 1 1/2" long, another was at least 4" - the kind of critter that inspired our motto: Never try to kill anything bigger than your shoe. I only occasionally had trouble with the huge ones hiding behind stuff on my walls. But..visits to other towns requiring hotel stays...yick. I could hear the roaches clicking at night. Still gives me the creeps.

                                                                          1. re: tracylee
                                                                            gryphonskeeper Mar 11, 2009 06:38 PM

                                                                            you could HEAR them?

                                                                            ...... passes out.....

                                                                            1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                                                              tracylee Mar 11, 2009 09:33 PM

                                                                              Oh yeah, they had this sort of squeaking and clicking noise. Totally kept me up at night freaking out.

                                                                              1. re: tracylee
                                                                                gryphonskeeper Mar 13, 2009 11:35 AM

                                                                                I would never sleep... ever! I would have to go into a deprevation chamber or something. I am totally wigged out my bugs, nevermind ones that click .... {{{{{{{{{{{heebee jeeebeees}}}}}}}}}

                                                                                1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                                                                  krisrishere Mar 13, 2009 12:04 PM

                                                                                  Me either! I live in Southeastern Virginia and during the summer I get the occassional palmetto bug. If I'm not able to catch it the second I see it, I flip out because I'm afraid it's going to crawl on me while I sleep.

                                                                                  I have been known to (once) wake up screaming because I thought there was a bug on me, but it was just because I saw the bug earlier in the day and it was still stuck in my mind.

                                                                                  1. re: krisrishere
                                                                                    gryphonskeeper Mar 13, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                                                    My husband and I were in Fort Lauderdale a couple years ago, staying right on the beach in a 4 star hotel, and earlier in the day saw a tiny gecko run across the ceiling... I was wigged out a little but my husband loves them. Later that night, he felt something on his chest, thinking it was the tiny gecko he grabbed it and turned on the light.... it was a 2 inch long Palmetto Bug. He simply put it in a water glass next to the bed, put the cover on the glass (the paper ones you use as coasters) and put it in the freezer. The next day we showed the hotel manager. We had one night comped on our check out bill that morning. We left our clothing there, I was terrified my bags were infested with those huge bug eggs!!

                                                                                    1. re: krisrishere
                                                                                      Caroline1 Mar 13, 2009 01:00 PM

                                                                                      One day I was sitting in a doctor's waiting room (in El Paso) reading a magazine wearing a short sleeved blouse and thought I felt something crawling on my forearm. I ignored it. It persisted. I looked. A SCORPION! To this day I am amazed at my composure. I simply put my other hand a bit above it and swept it flying across the room.. The woman sitting next to me freaked though. Stood up screaming, scampered across the room and stomped it to death, then went to the nurses station and insisted the smashed body be removed immediately. I'm still amazed I didn't try to slap it or scream or something stupid. Just brushed it away. Brownie points for me....!!!!

                                                                        2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                          RosemaryHoney Mar 9, 2009 09:05 AM

                                                                          Ah, yes, my thoughts exactly. I think the answer to this question totally depends on where you live. I had bird-sized roaches in my Louisiana childhood, then none went I went north for school. Then, I lived in a large high-rise in NYC and had the occasional roach. But when I moved to NO - wow! They were just part of life. I actually bombed my first apartment, and had roaches pouring out through the cracks in the exterior shingles. It was disgusting, and I almost didn't move back in. But of course, no matter how meticulous I was (kept EVERYTHING edible in the fridge, including the dog food), I still had roaches (and armadillos living under the house :) ). But now, back in a cold climate, we don't have them.

                                                                          So, when I saw roaches in the restaurants of southern Louisiana, it wasn't such a big deal. But if I saw them in the north - especially during winter - I would be more concerned. A restaurant should be able to eradicate them in the cold season up here...

                                                                          1. re: RosemaryHoney
                                                                            nvcook Mar 9, 2009 02:05 PM

                                                                            Never seen a cockroach here, but, several years ago we had a massive invasion of morman crickets. They are FUGLY and huge. The females also have what looks to be a large stinger but it is actually inserted into the ground to lay eggs. On the bright side, this was an outdoor invasion. I remember my daughter (high school golf team at the time) got out one of her drivers and was teeing off on them on the front lawn. They are also cannabalistic and one of my neighbors turned pysch on us by putting 2 or more in a jar to see who would survive. They were so bad in some places cars would run over them and it was like hitting an oil slick and they would go off the road. You didn't want to step on them as it was comparable to stepping on a mouse.

                                                                            1. re: RosemaryHoney
                                                                              Bill Hunt Mar 9, 2009 06:57 PM

                                                                              The tip with the food is a good one. It's kinda' like hanging your food outside your tent in the Rockies. You WILL get to meet a bear up close and personal. At least most of the bears are smaller than Louisiana cockroaches...


                                                                          2. steakman55 Mar 10, 2009 04:31 PM

                                                                            Commented once to a waiter about a roach on wall and he said, "that's nothing; you should see the ones in the kitchen."

                                                                            1. lynnlato Mar 11, 2009 06:27 AM

                                                                              Okay, after reading all of these posts I am completely skeeved. Thanks y'all.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                Servorg Mar 11, 2009 07:55 AM

                                                                                They are hardy little buggers. They were here before the dinosaurs and will undoubtedly be here after we humans are swept into the dustbin of history. Although the old story about the roaches taking over after an all out nuclear world war are a bit of an exaggeration.

                                                                                It turns out that, while roaches do much better than humans when it comes to surviving exposure to radiation, they aren't the king of the insect world when it comes to radiation resistance. Humans can't do a 1,000 rad exposure and live, (a full body scan imparts about 2 or 3 rads) and a roach can take 10,000 and still live. But flour beetles can take 100,000 rads and keep on ticking. Thanks to "Myth Busters" for that interesting trivia.

                                                                                1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                  GodfatherofLunch Mar 13, 2009 12:18 PM

                                                                                  I have found that the one thing worse than seeing a roach in a restaurant
                                                                                  is seeing half a roach in a restaurant, :)

                                                                                  1. re: GodfatherofLunch
                                                                                    alwayscooking Mar 14, 2009 05:50 PM

                                                                                    And that's why I had a mild freak out when the live one crawled from my already tasted red sauce pasta. The image/action/reaction will be there forever. [Shudder]

                                                                                2. thew Mar 11, 2009 11:53 AM

                                                                                  after killing scorpions in the kitchen in india, roaches stopped bugging me so much

                                                                                  1. maplesugar Mar 11, 2009 01:01 PM

                                                                                    All this talk of roaches and warm climes makes me (for the first time in recent memory) grateful for the cold weather here in Calgary(-25C the past few days). The ones here are teeny by comparison to the winged beasts some of you describe. *shudder*

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: maplesugar
                                                                                      Bill Hunt Mar 16, 2009 05:47 PM

                                                                                      See, each geographic and meterological area has its +'s & -'s. Now, just watch out for the "snow snakes!"


                                                                                    2. a
                                                                                      AngelSanctuary Mar 21, 2009 11:33 PM

                                                                                      It's pretty common, roaches are everywhere. I only care how they handle it.

                                                                                      I wouldn't really let a bug or two deter me, I mean I used to work at a restaurant and they have exterminators clean the place regularly but I still see one or two roaches sporadically. I will be a little concern about the waitress' attitude though...

                                                                                      1. Kholvaitar Aug 9, 2013 07:18 AM

                                                                                        Guess who's coming to dinner?

                                                                                        1. l
                                                                                          LeoLioness Aug 9, 2013 08:20 AM

                                                                                          In my own apartment? Badly.

                                                                                          In a restaurant? Depends where I saw it. On my plate or table? VERY BADLY. Crawling across the room? Not as much. I mean, it's gross, but I can think about it less from a distance.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: LeoLioness
                                                                                            latindancer Aug 9, 2013 10:24 AM

                                                                                            I have no problem with bugs but I *do* when they're found in a restaurant preparing my food.

                                                                                            I learned long ago, from an exterminator, that a very famous deli here in downtown LA employees his exterminating company to come at least 3X weekly to keep his property free of roaches and rodents.
                                                                                            If this restaurant can take such care then I'm of firm belief all restaurants can.

                                                                                          Show Hidden Posts