Just dodged a bullet

Post check out we leave three hours before entering our apartments, and that is just for a quick look round. We leave twenty four hours before doing anything else.

So… guest checked out this morning and everything seemed good, had a chat with her and her partner before they left.

This afternoon I had my quick check and in the kitchen, lying on his back, legs in the air was a feck off big cockroach. I reckon he was about a three incher (body only) before he’d obviously been blasted by the spray of death, which we leave in the apartments for our usual visitors, ants!

The guest is a bit of a newby, only one review, so instantly quandary time.

Do I contact her or do I not. Stop it John, of course you bloody don’t.

Then ping, the Airbnb app sound. She’s written review.

She got the shortest review I’ve ever written, simply because I wanted to know what she’d said.

Phew. All complimentary and 5*.

We’ve had a few of these being blown in, American cockroaches or Periplaneta americana to give them their Sunday name. I spent fifteen minutes chasing one round an apartment before finally managing to zap it, I was knackered!

I didn’t have my phone with me at the time, else it’d be here in all its glory. He’ll be too shrivelled by tomorrow afternoon so won’t bother then either :grin:

My glass of Oloroso this evening is going down well. Not that it ever doesn’t truth be told :wine_glass:



When in doubt, blame the Americans. Works for me. :crazy_face:

Ours here are so big we call them lobsters. I had a guest once who saw one in her rental, photographed it and knocked on my door to show me the lovely little lobster portrait. There was only one thing I could think to say…

“Wow, a Palmetto Bug. I haven’t seen one of those in years. Thank you so much for showing it to me. Goodnight!”



Well, thanks SO much, John … I will now not be able to go to bed without checking every inch of the house and the apartments holding can of Everything Nasty blaster, just in case any have made their way to Malaga via Jerez from the US.


Well in that case, I’ll send you a few by Correos… oh wait, they’ll never get there then!


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I wonder if the guests Brought a Palmetto bug with them?

Maybe it was a “travel bug”


I propose a toast to those guests who understand that life isn’t always perfect, who don’t jump to blame someone else when it isn’t and to whom grabbing a can of insecticide and blasting a lone cockroach doesn’t cause some major trauma and “ruin” their holiday :clinking_glasses:


Tree roaches!
Bastards will fly right at you when you turn the lights on. Been hit in the face more than once. When there are rattle snakes, copperheads and scorpions, they don’t seem much bother at all.


As a kid, we used to visit my Grandmother who wintered on the Gulf side of Florida. I absolutely loved chasing all the lizards - til I crossed a Palmetto bug. Those are the stuff of nightmares!

I have a lot of spiders where I live, I’m not a fan of those either!


Can’t believe anyone is still indiscriminately using any kind of insect spray. Have people not heard of colony collapse? Have you not learned that without pollinators, especially bees, many food crops will be endangered? Got bugs? Close up and clean up.

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Not indiscriminately, because that’d be a waste of money, but yes, damn right I am.



Where I live, there are tons of insects. Most are harmless, some are not, some are harmless but gross, like cockroaches. I also don’t believe in indiscriminately fumigating (it kills the beneficial creatures as well, like the geckos who consume a huge amount of bugs).

For the cockroaches (which are endemic here, no matter how clean a place is), I use a gel which is squirted into out-of the way areas like the top corner of cupboards where it won’t come into contact with anything else or human touch. When the roaches eat it, they die. If I see a scorpion in the house, I’ll smash it with a shoe. Ants don’t bother me at all- they are usually just moving through. Occasionally I have to vacuum up a nest they’ve made in a drawer, with their thousands of eggs.
I do have a bottle of insect spray, but it gets used as seldom as possible. Generally the natural world maintains its own balance and if you don’t indiscriminately kill everything, nothing in particular proliferates.


So far I’ve had no complaints about either slugs or porcupines, our worst pests. :wink:

My father was an entomologist so I know a little more than the average soul about insects. The American Roach did not originate in America; it came here from Africa, where it still exists so a roach in Spain would more likely have migrated to you from Africa. They are the biggest cockroach in America – not sure about the world – and while it seems they fly lots, they actually fly very little but they do fly to lights which, I suppose, makes them more visible to us. They prefer to live outside in damp areas – wood piles and vegetative debris are favorites so be sure those are far from your home. They also live in and around sewers and that it one of the main ways they enter your home – through the drain. They are not likely to cause an infiltration and one or two here and there are not cause for concern.
The most troublesome cockroach, at least in America, is the German cockroach (which likely originated in Southern Asia). My Dad said “if you see one, there are fifty more.” They do reproduce at a high rate and they prefer to live indoors, feeding off food crumbs and the like. If you are having trouble getting rid of them, clean the places where bits and pieces of food escape to – between an appliance and the counter, behind counters and cabinets, in sink drainers and drains.
Hope that is helpful info.


I’m no entomologist, but the general consensus here seems to be that the American cockroach, which ended up in the US from Africa, came here via ships docking in Spanish ports. A curious theory when you think about it, but most sources I’ve read (while identifying our little bugger) said similar.

Yeah, we know that, but many guests wouldn’t. TBH, during the summer you see a fair number of large roaches in the street, in fact OH applied pressure from her foot to a medium sized one in our street last night.



Good advice. However, I’m sure that no conscientious Airbnb host would have such sloppy standards that meant that ‘bits and pieces of food’ weren’t eliminated at every turnover!

The problem in warmer climates is that some guests from other areas, despite being warned, often like to have the door open whilst they are in the apartments. For guests from colder climes, the warm sea air is something that they’re not accustomed to so like to make the most of it.

That’s when the lobsters and other bugs fly in, especially at twilight when the interior lights are on.

Because guests from other climates are unaccustomed to our temperatures, they often don’t realise that all foodstuffs should be put away as soon as possible. That’s just one reason why I do a mid-stay cleaning. If food is left out it can be put away and a note left for the guests to tell them why.

This stuff will very quickly get rid of a massive slug problem. One of our neighbor allowed their yard to be overgrown and it was a perfect breeding ground. They love seedlings and were attacking our garden so we went full ballistic on them and no more slugs.

We had German cockroaches come in with a short-term tenant last year. I wrote up an article here of how we dealt with it. Problem was totally solved for under $50. Just a few products, with some peanut butter (any brand) and flour.

Dont assume there’s only one, when you see a cockroach you can be certain there are more…

Stale beer is quicker, more effective, costs less, and is non-toxic, important when you have children or pets, or an organic garden like mine.

Our only real agricultural pests here in Rain Country™ are cutworm flies (we use reme cloth to keep them off cruciate veg like cabbages and broccoli), and slugs, expected where it rains 100 inches/yr. We take a disposable pie tin, fill half full of stale beer, buried in the ground so the edge is level with the ground. We then prop another upside down tin over it with something to create a gap the slugs can crawl through. The yeast smell attracts them (I’ve had great luck using leftover yeast foam from home brew batches), they crawl into the beer, absorb the alcohol through skin pores which anesthesizes them, and then drown. I just go out every day with a strainer and pull out the dead slugs (which I use to bait more slugs onto the concrete where they can also be killed) and add more beer.

If I see slugs crawling around, I grab my slug gun, which is a SuperSoaker watergun full of ammonia solution. It kills the slugs by dehydration, just like salt does, but ammonia usually won’t harm plants. It breaks down into water and urea, which is a fertilizer. I can kill a cigar sized banana slug at 20 feet!


@JJCatfinder Your dad may have been a entomologist, but what you say is not entirely true. My daughter lives in the desert in Baja California Sur, and you can see cockroaches running around in the desert there, where there are no drains, dampness, or bits of human food for them to eat.