Pests and pestilence


Cockroach controlIn London, they say that wherever you stand you are never very far away from a rat. Apparently the whole city is crawling with them. They are there, you just can’t see them. Well in Sydney, it would seem that wherever you stand, you are never very far away from a huntsman spider and ten thousand cockroaches.

Since returning to 
Sydney after ten years in rat-infested London, my love affair with a poorly-remembered and romantically-reconstructed Australian wildlife is well and truly over. When our sulphur-crested cockatoos are not eating the solar heating tubes on our roof, they are in cahoots with the local colony of possums. Despite several attempts at blocking the holes in our roof and evicting the possums, the cockatoos and the possums are working together to peck, bite and gnaw new entry points. I’m all for the symbiotic nature of ecosystems and I’m all for team work, but this is ridiculous. In the mornings, after changing multiple babies’ nappies, I also have to wipe down the possum wee stains from our walls. Joy.

Then there are the cockroaches. No one told me the city had been overtaken by cockroaches. Big, small, flying and scuttling. Why are there so many god damn cockroaches in
Sydney? Have they mutated and developed a resistance to all known cockroach-killing chemicals as well as nuclear war? And just when I thought I was coming to terms with the cockroaches (as well as developing lighting-fast reflexes with a bottle of Raid), our annual pest inspection by Rentokil revealed that we have termites.

Yes, termites. More on that later. I have to go kill a cockroach with my bare hands. I am hardcore like that.

Blog written by 
Shankari Chandran, a parenting blogger based in Sydney. You can visit Shankari’s blog here:



  1. That’s sad to know that in any country pest are really destructive. Call some professionals to help you avoid pest.

  2. I’m loving your post. It’s sad, and funny, and horrible, and cheery at the same time. I don’t know how big the problem is in Sydney, but roaches are a problem everywhere. Just consult a professional pest control company to take care of it. But the cockatoo and possum tandem is quite interesting. I never thought those cute birds could give trouble to home owners. Well, best of luck to you.

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