Travel Innovation #4: DIY cockroach trap from a plastic bottle
Hot Water Beach, New Zealand
I have to start by admitting that this is in no way my invention, but I've found that it's a useful thing for a traveler, so I'm spreading the idea here. I picked this up from http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Roaches , they have other useful information too.
My last "Travel Innovations" post was about how to make a wine glass out of two empty plastic bottles. Since we got through a shameful amounts of water bottles each day in Asia I felt compelled to think of something to make out of them. "Luckily" we encountered a little cockroach problem in Indonesia to fuel the flames. A little research showed that while whacking the slime out of the little w***s with a shoe is effective, there are also more subtle ways to deal with them. Supposedly just spraying the bugs with water mixed with liquid soap kills them by blocking their air holes, thus suffocating them. Also, one can make traps for them that actually work!
1. Take an empty plastic bottle and cut it in two pieces. I had a 1.5 liter water bottle which I cut from around the top where it was at its widest to make a funnel. I also shortened the bottom part a little to make it more stable.
2. Remove the cap and place the funnel-shaped top upside down in the bottom part. Tape these together, I used duct tape.
3. Pour a little water in the trap and add some liquid soap. Mix.
4. Place the trap next to a wall in a place the cockroaches like to hang around in.
5. You're done!
Supposedly cockroaches need a water supply and only frequent places where it's wet enough. Like in some hotel's bathrooms… This trap is ingenious because it attracts the roaches with nothing but the water so no other baits are needed. Putting rotten food into this might just make matters worse.
But does it work? Yes, one of the traps I made caught and killed a cockroach the first night they were out.
Does it solve the problem? No, there's plenty more where they came from. You'll still want to have your shoe ready and tuck a towel under the bathroom door when you go to sleep… But it's a whole lot better than nothing!