According to Richard Kaee, professor of pest management at California Polytechnic University, the bay leaf method is probably unreliable, and "might be a bunch of crap." In an interview, he explained that one of Australia's invasive roach species, the German cockroach in particular, "has such a high reproductive capacity that some of the so-called natural techniques just don't work." His explanation sounded reminiscent of every Raid commercial I've ever seen. "If you've got one female, and she lays all her eggs, and that goes on for two or three months, you're into the hundreds of thousands," he said.
If cockroaches have moved in, place whole bay leaves in several locations around the infested rooms, including inside kitchen cabinets. Bay leaves smell like dirty socks to cockroaches!
"That could work, but it depends on the species," said Kaee. The chemical in Gentrol, hydroprene, can tamp down an infestation of beetles or moths, but could it handle a serious job? "You would never control the German roach with Gentrol," he said.The professor of pest management offered a caveat, however: Having roaches in your kitchen may not be as bad as people think. "It's never really been proven that cockroaches are a vector for disease," he said. "The diseases health departments are worried about could be transmitted by human hands, or with knives," just as easily as they could be carried on a roach's carapace. "But they're a health hazard, yes," he hastened to add.In any case, by the time he got to court, Hoang had lawyered up and gotten his shit together. He brought in photos of his roach-free kitchen, which the judge called "immaculate," and said that he now called for regular visits from pest control. According to the Brisbane Times, his lawyer described Hoang as having "passionate vegan values," but now realized "in hindsight, that his morals had been misguided." It's also worth noting that customers love Kingsland Vegetarian Restaurant, and speak highly of its well-seasoned meat substitutes.Maybe someday we'll invent a roach spray that compels the little guys to march out of our kitchens and move into nice compost piles around the corner to live out the rest of their days in happy exile. But until then, even vegetarians like me will have to deal with the roach blood on our hands, preferably by washing them.Follow Mike Pearl on Twitter.
For a serious infestation, you may need to resort to an insect growth regulator, called Gentrol, which nips the cockroach reproductive cycle in the bud (cockroaches exposed to it produce sterile offspring).