Cockroaches and other insects sometimes show up in our living area at wrong times, more so in the summer months. The worst is the flying variety. I get freaked out at the very sight or imagining a roach.
How to tackle when they are sighted inside the house? A handy broom to smash it is one option. But the most preferred is my Kerosene Jet Gun which I have made esp. for this purpose. Ejecting kerosene 'on target' requires swiftness and aim like Olympic shooters because the 'blooming creatures' are fast moving having the ability to climb on people!! It is the worst thing to imagine! Being repulsive to this most horrible creature probably made me 'invent' this jet method. I rush for this weapon when I notice a roach. and keep it in a place that is easily accessible. I can't tolerate someone misplacing it. When a roach is spotted, the gun HAS to be THERE and with content.
This is how I use my weapon: Take stance, arm with gun outstretched in the direction of the enemy intruder [most usually the roach]. The position of the feet is also such that I can spring away using my reflexes if the creature suddenly moves or flies towards me before or when the jet is splashed on it. Sometimes my aim can miss as I have to maintain a safe distance lest it 'attacks'! I usually go nearer the creature if it is a lazy type.
Usually, 2-3 drops of kerosene can kill the roach in a jiffy. Some are late to surrender. They run helter skelter. Such ones require a second shot. Once they run very fast, I know the kerosene has had its effect. They will suddenly slow down, become weak-legged and die in standing position, but most others collapse to their backs.
I don't drive away lizards because they help control the roaches and other insects to some extent.
There are many varieties of cockroach. But here, two are most proliferate - Periplanata americana [the video in this link is amazing!] and the Oriental Cockroach [white spots on its back and wingless].
Someone said that if you spot one roach, there will be a hundred in hiding. They cannot be destroyed easily due to their ability to multiply and survive in large numbers and in places we wont reach or notice. It is one of the few creatures that has not evolved over millions of years due to its adaptability to varied conditions and can survive without any food for many days.
I saw with my own eyes how a Oriental Cockroach ran out of my charcoal iron box. It had been hiding in it. The charcoal had already generated a lot of heat when I heard a little splattering sound. This amazing animal still escaped through the hole in the box! They say it can survive even the cold winters.
I forgot to tell how I made the Kerosene Bottle Gun [with jet]. It is just a flexible plastic bottle - like what they have in chemical laboratories - wash bottle.
[Web grab image]
I have modified the jet, the crucial part. I have extended the nozzle by using a ball pen refill. I had seen my high school classmate Kariappa remove and replace the tiny ball in the ball point pen. He was such a skilled boy. I used this concept by removing the tiny ball so that a fine jet is sprayed through.
The ball pen refill has to be completely done with so that no ink is left in the metal nozzle. I use a tiny metal wire to clean the nozzle in case of blockages. I cannot see the bottle lying empty. It has to be 'on the ready' 24x7, just like fire engines in fire stations!
This 'bottle-gun' has served me for close to four decades now. It was once white. I remember to have bought it in the famous Mysore Dasara Exhibition in the early 70s. I also use a similar one to keep lubricant oil for the sewing machine and bicycles. The ball pen refill is so useful!
This has proved very handy even when there are no roaches or insects to kill. For cleaning or washing hands or fingers when a just a little amount is needed, this is a very handy item to have around. Moreover, it is non messy.