Category Archives: pest

Close Encounters Of The Detestable Kind

I remember when we were kids, one day my cousin was taking a bath and suddenly she let out a terrifying primordial scream and the door crashed open and out dashed she in her birthday suit — all because of one roach that crawled out of the drainage hole and started to fly…….

OMR – Oh My Roach!

Actually cockroaches can be used for medicinal purposes. In my very young days, when kids sometimes got a boil (bisul) on their bodies, the parents would go and catch a cockroach, twist its head off (but leaving its entrails stuck to the head) and then apply the entrails onto the sides  of the boil.

Within minutes, the entrails would become bloated, and the swelling and redness around the boil would be alleviated. That was another kind of TCM (Traditional Cockroach Medicine).

“Tails I Lose, Tails I Gain” – So They Said

Looking back, the gecko (aka ‘lizard’/ ‘cicak’) might have been the strategy guru of modern-day also-ran “experts” who go around touting their “Win-Win” business plans.

During my kampong days (1950s~70s), lizards thrived and roamed freely in the house – on the walls, upside down on ceilings, and occasionally scurrying across the floor.  We normally observed a peaceful co-existence pact with them.  However, sometimes accidental skirmishes did occur.

Those little fellows usually made a quick escape, after leaving behind their twitching appendages to bewitch their “aggressors”.

As kids, we were very fascinated by those meaty tails abandoned by their ex-owners, as they wriggled for quite a while.  “How was that possible ?”

Of course, those hardy cicak which ran away like heroes, would gain new tails within days, and return to their favourite foraging haunts.

They Ate My House

Quite literally, am not joking!  Folks like me who used to live in wooden houses in the kampong had to be on constant guard against termites – those tiny milkish white creatures for whom cellulose was one continuous daily Happy Meal.  And their appetites were voracious, to say the least.

Often, they also constructed tell-tale “covered walkways” on walls and other surfaces, which probably led from nesting holes to feeding grounds. 

But the real damage was always underneath the surface of the timber. Everything would look fine until a force was applied, and then it would crumble, revealing a severely-damaged interior. Sections of the house would collapse too.

Am glad that since 1973, I have been blessed to be living in concrete buildings, which are relatively unappetizing to those creepy white six-legged fellas.