The Courier-Mail - QWeekend


- Mel Buttle is a Brisbane comedian

“Why is it always night time when cockies show themselves?”

My home has been taken over by bugs – there are wasps on the front stairs, cockroache­s in the bathroom and geckos on the window. Yes, I realise geckos are a lizard, but they behave like a bug, always on windows and behind TV cabinets, that’s a classic bug move.

I don’t know what to do about this influx of critters, I’ve tried playing nice, I’ve put my honey jar in a bowl of water so ants can’t climb into the lid and ruin my farmer’s market find. A lesser person might spray their house top to toe with chemicals, but I wanted to try and work with nature. Mi casa, su casa as they say.

I have two dogs, who sometimes show an interest in air snapping at flies but have done nothing at all to stem the tide of beetles and bugs that are treating my bathroom cabinet like their own Airbnb. Where’s your prey instinct, Ruby? Are you just going to take that level of disrespect from a gecko, Coco? Apparently so.

Why is it always night time when cockies show themselves? I see it as a threat, as they loom on your wall above the bed as if to ensure you have a restless sleep worrying about one of their roach mates crawling up the doona towards an orifice.

I’m no Dr Karl, but I reckon flies like a sleep in. You ever seen a fly at 5am? I haven’t. I kind of admire them for working their own hours like that. Flies seem to be out and about on the same timetable as a teacher aide who works part time. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11-2.30pm

I got asked if I was allergic to bees recently. I genuinely don’t know, but I feel I look like someone who would be allergic to bees. That’s one of those things your mum remembers on your behalf, like your blood type and what day you were born.

Crunch time arrived, and I had to dispose of a cockroach in my bedroom the other night. I chose a shoe that I don’t like very much for the initial kill shot. Then a wad of toilet paper to collect the body and bin it. That’s my method.

Previously, I have gone direct and mashed a roach with the toilet paper, but there’s something yucky about feeling the crunch of death between your fingers. I’m a sorry excuse for a Queensland­er I know.

I caved and called a pest guy to come over and spray the house, he ran me through everything he did, lots of big words that sounded somewhat familiar from that term of chemistry we did in Year 10. Just like Year 10 chemistry, I didn’t understand a word, but I definitely felt like we wouldn’t be seeing anything that scatters under a skirting board when a light gets turned on for quite some time.

I feel I need to make a confession here. I know what you’re thinking: Mel, do you live in squalor? How are all these creatures coming into your house? I have to come clean, I don’t have flyscreens at home. I have an old-style house, with windows that aren’t all that compatible with fly screens. Every day, I have a choice between no fresh air and no critters, or windows open and the wilds of southeast Queensland in my home.

Either that or they ride in on the dogs’ backs when I’m not looking. Ruby and Coco were all too chummy with a daddy long legs the other night. I’ve got my eye on you two. Just one eye, the other is on the window doing my nightly gecko check.

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