Saturday, March 2, 2024

Pestilence

My home city of Melbourne and Australia's best known city Sydney are rather different, at times even with words.

If I was in Sydney and I said I stomped on a cocky and killed it, I would be praised. 

In Melbourne if I said a stomped on a cocky and killed it, I would be a social pariah and probably charged by police for my act.

Sydney cocky.



Melbourne cocky. 

 

And just to confuse things, there are cowcockies. I can't imagine the origins of this phrase but it refers to dairy farmers. NB, he looks more like a beef farmer but you get the idea. 

Apparently we had a very warm winter last year. You could have fooled me. We certainly had a very wet spring and mid summer, and it was an ideal climate for crickets to breed. 

I didn't shriek, but I did rush inside and tell R a cockroach had run across our balcony. A few days later I heard about the cricket pestilence. They had bred in high numbers and were everywhere. With my new found knowledge I calmed R down when he fled his bathroom after his morning shower, saying there was a cockroach in there. With a bit of carboard and an empty yoghurt container from the recycling bin, I removed the cricket, chucked it off the balcony and it fell down then flew away. 

Another ran across in front of us in the foyer when we going out one day this week.

At 5.30 in the morning one day last week I was woken by a very loud cricket. I was convinced it was in my bedroom. I pulled apart the nest of tables at my minor bedroom window and I couldn't find it. In spite of our very thick window glass, I suspect it might have been on the outside window ledge. Enough to wake me at 5.30, it must have been loud. I did go back to sleep.

We have resident cricket under our balcony air con unit and today after we traced another cricket sound, found it is one is living in the bulkhead of our living room, where the various bathroom, toilet and range hood ducts go to the outside.

Living high up off the ground, we don't see too many pest critters. In about 2004 we had an ant invasion that thought my hair removal wax was very tasty. A few years later what is now perhaps a threatened species, we had an invasion of Bogong moths. We rarely get flies inside.

Google tells me crickets live to an age of eight to ten weeks, or a year or more. Maybe it depends on the cricket species.  

38 comments:

  1. I so wish that I could now unsee that image of the cockroach. One creature guaranteed to reduce me to a quivering jelly. Yuk.

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    1. You wouldn't have them on IOM would you JayCee? Maybe you came across them when your were abroad.

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  2. I don't mind bugs but not in the house with me.

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  3. Bugs have their place in the ecosystem but that does not include my house.

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  4. I read an article on cockroaches on new scientist. Americana is the pest to be health hazard in Australia. The rest are actually good for environment

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    1. Roentare, we have our own native cockroaches and they stick to bushland, not houses.

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  5. Cockroaches are pretty revolting. They can grow to quite a size. You can stamp on them and make them go crunch, but they just get up and walk away. They can also survive being frozen solid. I remember there were some psychology experiments about the formation of long-term memory, which involved teaching them the location of something, and then freezing them to prevent protein formation, and those that had been frozen forgot, whereas those that had not been frozen remembered. It provided evidence that memory has a physical basis. All I could think that while they were in the fridge, I hope nobody mistook them for Cornish Pasties.

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    1. Most interesting Tasker. What a horrifying thought that someone would mistake them for food.

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  6. Stalker
    Andrew
    We have crickets at the momemt in the courtyard, the cacophony begins just after dark each night . Never had them before..wonder what’s going on. They are asleep by morning
    The courtyard is paved and had 2 lime trees and a Japanese box and I cannot see the crickets!

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    1. Stalker, sometimes they do come out from cover but tracing them by their noise is impossible. Ours are at their fullest at night but they still chirp during the day.

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  7. We have lived in this house since 1982 and have never seen a cockroach. Until 2024! I am guessing that the road repair men in the street have been making such a mess since late January, the roaches ran into the house for protection.

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    1. Hels, if nothing else has changed, that could be a reason for your invasion. Are you sure they are cockroaches and not crickets?

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  8. Keep a tight lid on your hair removal wax! I don't shriek at cocky's but I will smack them with a spare thong (flip flop) and then run around setting out a new batch of cockroach baits. The other cocky's, the big white feathered kind, often shriek at me since I stopped feeding them.

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    1. River, it is a long time since I have used wax. A thong is a good weapon against cockies. You deserve the reproach from the feathered cockies.

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  9. A couple of those cockroach looking crickets even found their way into the change rooms at the pool recently. Many ‘screams’ from some female swimmers - staff just said ‘can’t do anything about them, they come in through various outlets.
    In other words - they aren’t doing you any harm, just ignore them

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    1. Cathy, I can well imagine the screams. If people looked a bit closely at them, they would see they are crickets, a kind of grass hopper.

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  10. It is rather funny how the same name for a creature and humans often mean the same in different States and Territories in Australia.
    Sometimes we have crickets in the backyard but haven't heard of any lately and we don't seem to get creatures inside much at all. Spiders sometimes but not that often.

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    1. Margaret, we still behave like we are individual colonies at times. No creatures inside is good. Today I was telling Tradie Brother about how many insects we killed on the front of our car as we drove from Devonport to Launceston....hundreds. We just don't see that in Victoria now, which worries me.

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  11. eek cockroaches I heard they get quite big in Melbourne. I have encountered any in NZ yet. We do have thousands of noisy cicadas atm in Christchurch. Love the cockatoos they are gorgeous

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    1. Marja, cicadas here come every few years and it seems this year is not one of them. They seem to like hot summers.

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  12. Having lived in Florida, the land of roaches, I just crush them underfoot.

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    1. TP, yes they do flourish in tropical areas.

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  13. In England, if you step on a cocky the man usually screams... unless of course he is playing cricket because then he'll be wearing a box.

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  14. I have a friend who calls a cocktail a "cockie" so I think when she stomps a cockie she's getting drunk?

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    1. I am amused Bob. I can imagine young people saying that.

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  15. I once picked one up with a generous wad of toilet paper and flushed it. I don't know if that's environmentally sound or not (or if it killed it or not) but there was no way I was going to let it stay in my bathroom.

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    1. KIrk, I think there would be a good chance it did survive as they do love drains and once out of the 's bend', there is plenty of space in drains.

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  16. Ugh. Oh just ugh. You have hit on the one 'thing'...i don't know what you would call it; it doesn't rise to the level of a phobia...but man oh man! I cannot abide bugs in the house! *stifles shriek*

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    1. Anon, that particular bug in particular. Some bugs don't worry me too much.

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    2. NO BUGS IN HOUSE! NO BUGS IN HOUSE! Ps: this is Debby.

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    3. Well Debby, you seem quite decided on that.

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  17. There are many advantages of looking down on the rest of us from your high rise but I hadn't thought about your lack of flies and bugs.

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    1. Marie, while we are not immune, we don't normally get bugs. It seems the only appear here when in plague proportions, like Christmas beetles in December/January. I don't know why but we also get lady bugs on the balcony often enough, which I like to have as visitors as I remember how they used to eat thrips from our roses many years ago.

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  18. Here comes a nature lover. I must admit that regiments of insects in the house are not wanted but the odd one does not come amiss. But then I don't live in a country where you can be stung to death by spiders or scorpions. Our country crickets are losing out as well.

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    1. Thelma, thankfully we have never felt endangered by our wildlife and I don't know anyone who has been. I don't fuss about insects inside but I would not tolerate cockroaches and nor mosquitos. I grew up with large huntsman spiders living on ceilings and walls. One I considered to be a pet as it was always present.

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