Blog: Mother Earth Heals
by Liora Leah

Cockroach Totem!

My kitchen has been inundated with cockroaches lately--the huge "water beetle" kind, and also their numerous smaller offspring...What could this all mean?

Date:   9/28/2007 5:33:25 PM   ( 14 y ) ... viewed 11827 times


I've been so nice to the darn things, catching them and putting them outside...well, yesterday I had to strip everything out of my kitchen drawers and lower shelving, smash a bunch of roaches hiding in convenient places like an old styrofoam container--convenient for them, anyway--throw away a bunch of stuff they'd pooped on, clean up their poop, wash all of my cutlery and kitchen gadgets, take all of the kitchen drawers outside to bake in the sun--you'd be surprised how many bugs came out of the woodwork--literally!--when the wood got too hot for them--now I know what that expression means!--and put up my "roach traps" all over the kitchen. Fortunately, the roaches haven't found their way into the upper cupboards, so I didn't have to clean those out!!! After I washed everything, all the kitchen items went into the cupboards, where they will stay; the drawers and lower shelving are going to remain empty. Then off to the chiropractor I went, to unkink my neck and back after doing some strange contortions in order to clean the furthest corners of my shelving. Darn roaches!!

If something good came out of this, it's that a lot of junk that had been sitting in those drawers and on those shelves that hadn't been used in years has been thrown away or recycled--old plastic containers, ancient packages of tea, old paper knapkins, plates, and table cloths left over from holiday and birthday parties, old newspaper clippings, old receipts, etc. etc etc--junk my parents had saved and I just hadn't gotten around to sorting through. So, thanks to the roaches, this stuff is gone!

After the kitchen drawers have "baked" outside for a few days, I'll bring them in and line them with aluminum foil, taped into the drawers with packing tape--the roaches like to squish themselves down flat and squeeze into the smallest little gaps in the wood; I hope to eliminate some of their hidey-holes by covering them up with the foil. Haven't decided if it's worth the effort yet, but I'm thinking of caulking the inside of the drawers first along the "joint" lines with silicone caulking--I've found this to be the less toxic of the different kinds of caulk, with the least amount of VOC's (volatile organic compounds)that add to air pollution and indoor contamination. If I caulk, I'll do it outside and leave the drawers to "outgas" in the garage for a week or so.

My "traps" consist of beer and bread in glass containers with a paper towel wrapped around the outside of the glass. The roaches smell the "bait", climb up the paper towel around the glass, crawl down (or fall in) to get the bait, then can't get out and usually drown in the beer. I've used it before and it really does work, but generally if you don't have a lot of roaches. You have to keep checking the traps every other day or so, 'cause the bread will get moldy and start to stink if you leave it too long. I put 6 of these traps around my kitchen yesterday; so far, no trapped roaches, although I did smash a large one this morning that was running around under the kitchen sink!

If the bread/beer traps don't work I'm trying boric acid next--this is a powder derived from borax mineral--you put it where the roaches like to gather. When they walk in it, it sticks to their legs, and they lick it off, which kills them by blocking their digestive system. This is good to use if you don't have pets or kids who'll get it on or in themselves. It's as nontoxic as you can get, besides the bread/beer trick, without using pesticides. I don't want to have to use it, but I've given up being nice to the roaches!

I woke up this morning in the worst of moods, and finding another roach in my kitchen after all of that cleaning certainly didn't help! This is what I wrote in my journal: "I feel so defeated! It's like the roaches--everything is corrupt, rotting, falling apart...I wonder what cockroaches mean spiritually? gonna look it up right now..."

WELL! You'd be surprise by what I found out!!

Found this great website: Animal Totems
and read this about roaches:


Not everyone wants a Cockroach totem
but this totem is one of the most powerful for it gives the gift of survival.
Think about it -- no matter what life throws at you, you will survive.
That's powerful!


Then I went to the cockroach page and read some more:


The Cockroach teaches us how to use what we have available to us for survival.
To clean out the dead and useless aspects of our lives.
When the Cockroach appears as a totem,
our sensitivity to subtle changes will be magnified.
We will have the power to scurry out of danger.

People with this totem often find that they had an abbreviated childhood –
a premature movement into adulthood, the necessity to take on early responsibility.

Although often seen as a disgusting animal,
the Cockroach is actually a gifted teacher in the art of survival and successful adaptability, especially in environment that may seem a bit hostile.


This is certainly true of my situation now, with my moldy house falling apart and my having to move! I will survive, I AM surviving! Look at all of the other adversities I've gone or am going through in life that I've survived--difficult childhood, depression and anxiety, chronic illness, pathological marriage and divorce, death of both parents, single motherhood, financial hardships, etc etc etc!!

This puts a much more positive "spin" on cochroaches than I've given them before! Now I feel sort of bad for killing all of those roaches running around my kitchen--just sort of bad, but not really bad!

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