The One Season Southerners Never Talk About, But Dread More Than Any Other

Roaches are among us, like it or not, and it’s enough to send some of us packing.



The hydrangeas are blooming, the trees are full of neon green leaves, and the sun is still shining well past suppertime. The most glorious season has arrived, but it brings along with it a warm-weather pest that Southerners know all too well. They're one of the most dreaded and resilient insects known to man. Roaches are among us, friends, like it or not. 

A few weeks ago my husband and I found ourselves enjoying one of the few remaining chilly nights of the year. A fire blazed in the fireplace as we chatted about the day. I was sipping a glass of wine and the kids were sound asleep in bed. I should have known this scene was a little too perfect. I felt something on my head. I shook it a little bit, not thinking twice. A moment later a brown-bodied creature scattered down my arm. 

I blacked out for a good 60 seconds, coming-to in the kitchen. I was drenched in a clammy sweat with my heart pounding out of my chest. I’m not outdoorsy on a good day, but when the outdoorsy elements are brought into my home in which a dirty dish is never left in the sink (apparently a leading cause of roach probs) it was a complete invasion of my safe haven. I was sure we were dealing with a full-home infestation so, naturally, I requested my husband start pursuing work opportunities in Idaho, one on a short list of states that see fewer roaches. Unfortunately their resiliency lends itself to many an environment and climate. 

In the South we have so much beauty to be grateful for, particularly in the spring and summer seasons when our region comes alive in all its glory. But with it comes some unsavory aspects that can put a real damper on the picturesque flora and fauna all around. Whether it’s the wasps, flies, mosquitos, snakes, or roaches, the pests down here can be downright primeval. It’s easy to get caught up in the not so pretty stuff and feel like packing up the homestead and heading for greener pastures. But, if it’s not roaches, it’ll be something else and I guess dealing with the cards we’ve been dealt is a small price to pay for the blessings all around. 

The next day we came full circle. I arrived home from morning carpool and there was my roach friend, sitting in the doorway to our office. I grabbed the bug spray as quick as my legs would take me and sprayed that sucker down as I sung “Another One Bites the Dust.” It sat there, dead as a doornail, until I picked my son up from school and he volunteered to take it to the trash. I was leaving it there as a sign of my strength and fortitude, but I allowed it. My unfazed 6-year-old picked it up and tossed it in the trash without a word. He either knows his mom well or takes all of nature’s glory just as it is. Either way, I think he’s onto something. 

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