This post is for all of our readers who rent cottages or rooms at Ocracoke in the summer. Last night at dinner talk turned to renters who call their realty to complain that they saw a cockroach.
"Just one?" would be our seasoned reply.
Anyone who lives in the south must confront cockroaches (sometimes affectionately called water bugs or palmetto bugs), especially in the warmer summer months. As neat, tidy, and clean as Lou Ann & I both are, an occasional cockroach will slip under the door, or hitch a ride in a grocery sack...and surprise us when we turn the kitchen light on at night. Lou Ann is only slowly getting used to those dark, ugly, and swift critters (a rolled up magazine and I are often quicker than they are, however).
This week I am reading a fascinating book, Batavia's Graveyard, the true story of seventeenth century commerce, heresy, shipwreck, and mutiny on a Dutch East India Company flagship. After several paragraphs describing the passengers' and crew's battles with rats, lice, maggots, weevils, & bedbugs, and their attendant diseases, the author notes that "[t]he captain of one Danish East Indiaman was so maddened by the plague of scuttling vermin on board his ship that he offered his sailors a tot of brandy for every thousand cockroaches they killed. Within days, the crushed bodies of 38,250 insects had been presented for his inspection."
You might want to keep that figure in mind as the summer approaches. And be assured that your realty mounts a massive attack against these critters year around. If you encounter one in your cottage, don't take your eyes off of it if possible, pick up a nearby shoe or magazine, and be swift. There's probably no need to call the realty. You can handle it.
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter chronicles the story of commercial fishing on Ocracoke, and tells of the efforts of the Ocracoke Working Watermen's Association to save the island's last remaining fish house. Click here to read the entire newsletter....and learn how to make a donation.