Tales From The Tech: The Cockroach Hammock

This is a story that happened when I was in training. At the time, I had yet to get a properly fitting uniform, so my options were pretty much limited to flood pant level short or much too long. I opted for the latter usually, because when I was wearing my work boots the bottom hem of the legs would rest on the top of the boot and just crease the leg so as to make it look like they almost fit properly. On this day in particular, I had opted for this look.

The training day was one of the first days I had done a roach unit with significant activity. So, my co-worker advised me to tap my boots to make sure there weren’t any critters hiding in the bottoms. When we first got into the unit, it looked normal enough, if a bit dingy. I was tasked with spraying baseboards, and he started on aerosoling the cupboards.

The thing with bugs is that, oddly enough, they don’t like their nooks and crannies being engulfed in toxins. So, the more you spray, the more come out of hiding. By the time I circle back to the kitchen area, the once plain walls were now riddled with roaches scuttling away from their inevitable death. Slightly perturbed, my co-worker ventures off to treat the bathroom, leaving me alone in the living room. Well, me and more roaches than I would like to count.

I start to prep insect monitors, idly glancing around at my newfound friends, when I happen to briefly look up. Fun fact: cockroaches can climb across ceilings with as much ease as Spiderman! I continued to fold and date monitors, keeping an eye on my ceiling buddy and trying not to squirm too much. Eventually I forget about it and start placing out the monitors. Once I remember, the ceiling dweller is nowhere in sight. At this point I recall the toe-tapping advice, and look down at my shoes. It was then that I realized the disadvantages of the pooling of my pant legs at the top of my shoes because resting comfortably in a hammock of fabric is my dear roach bud. Following this discovery in quick succession was a series of noises I was unaware I could produce, panic-induced limb flailing, and a genuine but failed attempt to salvage my dignity as a very concerned co-worker came out to investigate.

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