Holy shit Martha! ¡Estas cucarachas pueden volar!

Ξ July 3rd, 2005 | → 21 Comments | ∇ -My Favorites, Costa Rica, Humor, Maria Luisa, Whatever |

So I sorta fancy that I know a bit about my adopted country.

Arrogant maybe, but not totally unfounded as I do a lot of writing and teaching here. I run a forum on Costa Rica In fact, I just completed a section on Costa Rica’s creepy crawlies for a huge new web site on Costa Rica… so I THOUGHT I had a grasp on this bug thing. Until tonight.

Charlie starts the stalking thing and pretty soon Georgie has caught the scent of something crawling around my desk (and thus my feet… my BARE feet).

Now in CR, this can be anything from a beetle or an ant to something a bit more sinister… like a scorpion or a centipede (i.e. the ones you do NOT want under your bare feet).

Knowing this, I take a peek! What I see calms me. It is only a cockroach (albeit a really BIG cockroach!). As any regular reader of Dave Berry can tell you, the further South you travel, the bigger and badder the bugs! (Nice alliteration huh???) Costa Rica sports some truly impressive cockroaches and many are measurable in inches. This little fellow was somewhat smaller than Tom Cruise, but still a healthy specimen. He smiled up at me, winked, then headed under the PC!

OK… so I start “the search”. Those of you who think large cockroaches move noticeably slower than the tiny ones we had in Chicago might be interested to know that Costa Rica Grandes move about as fast as a good sized linebacker, so he was nowhere to be found.

I returned to work… until I felt a “tickling” on my arm. Oh shit….

Well I am considerable larger than most linebackers, but I assure you I moved my butt a whole lot quicker than Butkus ever dreamed.

There was my little buddy… looking up at me… his little feelers waiving around frantically, and I swear he winked again!

So… after changing my underwear, I returned to my desk and HE WAS STILL THERE! I am not sure, but I believe he may have found something edible in my keyboard.

He seemed unafraid, and (I don’t know why), I decided to watch him before I killed him. (Why does that sound so bad in print?).

So he moseyed around the keyboard for a while, then strolled up the monitor, back down, moved to the edge of the desk, headed down (art least until he caught site of the book in my hand), then back toward the relative safety of the keyboard (somehow KNOWING I was not going to use the book whilst he was on the keyboard!)

I then did a dumb thing… though as with most dumb things I do, it didn’t seem dumb at the time. I lowered my face down to get reeeeal good looksy at this guy (girl?). It was then it happened.

The damn thing FLEW into my face, then headed off the toward the kitchen.

I fell on my butt. ML came running over and asked if I was OK. I asked her “¿Sabes que estas cucarachas pueden volar?? or in English: Did you know these *%$^%&* cockroaches can fly??

Laughing, she said “Por supuesto!” “Of course”, and she returned to her book knowing her champion was injured only in his male pride (but I am sure she is now considerably less assured of her champion’s ability to protect her if needs be).

I set off after the BUG who laid me low and who was now caught between two cats and a palm.

This time, I took no chances and stomped his little lights out much to THE DOG’S delight as she stopped by for a quick snack of cucaracha al piso.

So, dear reader, you know know what I know (but YOU know it from the safety of your home).

“These goddamned cockroaches can fly!”


21 Responses to ' Holy shit Martha! ¡Estas cucarachas pueden volar! '

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  1. GRamir said,

    on July 5th, 2005 at 6:58 pm

    Great story! Now you know what a spooky things are those monsters…Can you imagine when I found myself in Asia and discover that “las cucas” from Asia are different from the ones from America. The Asian ones love light and company! If you are doing noise and it is very bright around you…they come to play and enjoy your company! Yuck!

    Oh! have you meet the cucas from Guanacaste? Those are bigger than Arnold! and fly even faster than the ones in the Central Valley… πŸ˜€

  2. jautry said,

    on April 24th, 2006 at 7:34 am

    You are an absolutely awesome journalist. It would be nice of you not to say G.D., however. I have muchly enjoyed reading your writings on Costa Rica. What else have you written?

  3. ticogrande said,

    on May 19th, 2006 at 2:09 pm

    Well Hello Jautry

    Here it is in MAY and I am just now finding two comments I never saw!

    I know I should not use bad words, but occasionally, they just fit the story. I think even a highly spiritual person would say a bad word if a cockroach nearly flew up their nose. Quien sabe?

    Thanks for the nice comments. I have written a ton of love letters, a bunch of poetry, and at least one Haiku, and that’s it.

    If you think I should write professionally, by all means please send me money and I’ll get started ASAP πŸ™‚


  4. on May 21st, 2006 at 9:06 am

    […] Ever since the famous flying cockroach affair, has has taken delight in tormenting me with the plethora or creepy crawlies common to Costa Rica. […]

  5. THOMAS SMITH said,

    on May 22nd, 2006 at 5:27 pm


  6. Erin said,

    on July 12th, 2006 at 6:21 pm

    Be careful! Roach karma may bite you (or at least fly at you) in the ass. You killed his brother- now you must die. They may make it their business to avenge that death. I’m not saying you shouldn’t sling that mf out the door- but maybe you shouldn’t kill it! Just a thought. BTW I love all the Google sponsered roach killer and pest control ads on the side of the page!
    (we are trying to get down to Costa Rica this December!)
    Ha ha- Erin from Austin TX
    (ps- I don’t exterminate- really. I believe in roach karma)

  7. Tim said,

    on July 12th, 2006 at 7:01 pm

    Well as you are coming to Costa Rica soon, you’re gonna get all the roach karma you can take. We shall see how you deal with those fellows. Maybe you can catch one and make a broach? πŸ˜‰

    As for Google… I guess their “content relevent” claims are valid. That pest control guy can stay at your place while in country!

  8. Juan Gutierrez said,

    on August 19th, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    We are thinking of moving down there to start a fishing bizz, do you think those cucarachas will make good fishing lures? I can’t wait to see what the country has in store for us, but I think my old lady is a tad frightened. I have been around the world and she has not been out of the states but is adventurous (somewhat).

  9. Sally Waitt said,

    on September 19th, 2006 at 12:33 pm

    Bug heaven there sounds like parts of Hawaii–which is where I live. We also have humvee cucarachas that fly, and they live in all parts of our state.

    Mahalo for your great commentary. I plan to visit (with my 6 yr old great-grandson sometime in 2007. You are the best ambassador for Costa Rica. (One of my sons is a pest exterminator—maybe I should bring him along!)

  10. dan said,

    on March 4th, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    The comment that there is no deadly species of spider in CR is not right. Costa Rica has the deadliest spider in the world. It is called the Brazilian Wandering Spider if U would like to look it up.

  11. Tim said,

    on March 4th, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    It looks like you have either been watching CSI or reading Dave Barry πŸ™‚

    While you are certainly right that this spider is the most VENOMOUS (not poisonous) in the world, there has never been a recorded sighting of this spider in Costa Rica.

    I will be happy to modify this statement if you can find anything FROM COSTA RICA i.e. reports from UCR, Earth University, or any of the hospitals. I never could.

    Please… I have no interest in broad statements found elsewhere saying they are found “in Central America”. So far, research I did (some years ago and again today) indicates these nasty fellows have not decided to vacation or live here… Yet!

  12. Stephanie said,

    on May 1st, 2007 at 8:54 am

    Oh wow I HATE HATE HATE bugs they are sooo disgusting! I mostly cannot stand spiders and snakes! they are GROSS!! if I see one and it is across the room not even close to me I flip out so KEEP AWAY BUGS!!

  13. Dee said,

    on July 27th, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Hi, my husband and I are coming for a visit in the first week of Aug 2007. I was just checking out the info on the Internet when I came across your web site. I have sat here and laughed my ass off. you are just to funny. you should write prof. I don’t like the critters much either. but I now know what to expect. duck and dodge sounds like the game plan. We will be on the pacific side on the beach. any special little critters to watch out for?

  14. Sarah said,

    on September 20th, 2007 at 7:37 am

    I came across the website searching for someone as stupid as me – though I just graduated law school, am happily married and am raising 3 kids, when it comes to bugs all common sense leaves me. I think I just ruined my MAC computer – I got it around Thanksgiving time – because of a bug – albeit a small one we were not on friendly terms when he decided to fly inside my laptop’s keyboard and disappear – he cruised right in like he had done it a thousand times before and had a home in there. I set out to exterminate him and I think I exterminated my computer instead. : ( So sad! Its on warranty but I’m guessing that killing it doesn’t qualify.

  15. RSP said,

    on December 31st, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    Your blogs are hilarious. I am coming to CR in a couple of weeks, and we plan on going to the National forest on the Osa Peninsula for 4 days and 3 nites. This might be an adventure to remember. I am sure there are plenty of creepy crawlies in the forest. After reading your blogs my GF is paranoid of what may go bump in the night.

  16. nicole major said,

    on April 12th, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Thank you for the upfront, very detailed description of every area of living in CR…including this one of bugs…did not take me long to decide that we have to rethink retiring or even vacationing there because of my fear of bugs…we go to Florida often, Hawaii, wonderful visit but have never encountered such bugs as you are describing there! I am also sure you are not exagerating either…now what? I don’t know but I am about to tell my husband that I am going to think long and hard before next year and our visit for a month long…thank you so much…Nicole

  17. Tim said,

    on April 13th, 2008 at 5:24 am

    Odd you like Florida and Hawaii! Both have a ton of bugs and both have exactly the ones I have written about. Because we are further south, we probably have more variety though.

    I think if bugs are going to be the main factor in your decision making, best you remain north of Indiana. Bugs like nice weather, so you just do not get them (at least the ones you refer to) where it snows. Me? I prefer bugs to snow! πŸ™‚

  18. Teresa said,

    on July 26th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    The father of my very delightful three year old has been trying to persuade me toward moving to Costa Rica for a while now. I have about 3 years left to make a decision. Your website is very informative (and very entertaining). I do have to admit that the part about scorpions, snakes and other creepy crawleys have me terrified so much that I am afraid to put my feet on the floor just now although I almost never see any type of bug in my apartment. My question to you is… are the creepy crawlys the worst part of living in Costa Rica?

  19. Tim said,

    on July 29th, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Probably best then to ask me in about 30 months. Things change!

  20. Irene said,

    on September 5th, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    WOW! I think you just talked me out of moving to Costa Rica! The reason I refuse to visit Japan in the rainy season & summer are the flying humongous cockroaches. I have similar stories of them flying in my face, or spraying so much deet into a coffee mug it swam away. (My husband is Japanese & we have a big family there.) Of course, now I live in Arizona & have to deal with millipedes & scorpions.
    I’m glad I found your site.

  21. LeDawn said,

    on November 13th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Tim…love your web site! I have blurry-eyes from reading, laughing and looking on the floor in the dark for thingies…..my hubby and I will be moving to CR in about 36 to 38 months. Narrowed it down to SJ for sure….

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