Flying cockroach: Every Jamaican woman’s worse nightmare

Many women have a serious fear of flying cockroaches.

The following is a true story. In the weeks following Hurricane Gilbert, a teenage girl was home alone trying to read her textbook by lamplight, when through the window flew a giant flying cockroach, or at least to her it seems like it was gigantic, as this child has a serious fear of flying roaches. That night, as the cockroach invaded her home, she decided that once and for all, she is going to be brave and face her fear head-on and not do her typical routine of running, screaming into the next room to escape the insect.

Creepy crawly vermin

She sat down and watched the roach circle the room, pitching every so often on furniture, the ceiling and the walls. She did not run. The creepy crawly vermin circled the room once again, but this time it landed smack in the middle of her forehead. To say that the next day she was not only hoarse but had no skin left on her forehead would be an understatement.

The teenager is like the typical Jamaican female who has a phobia for flying roaches. Now, the regular garden variety crawling roaches are bad enough, but when they sprout wings and can dive like a bomber plane, it is pretty much established that it is of the devil, and we want no part of it. Roaches are among the lowest of the low when it comes to things people despise, as they breed, gather in dark places and tend to thrive in sewage pits. Hence, they feed off faeces and other stuff that no one likes to talk about much less see or smell.


Our distaste for nature’s bottom feeders is a long-standing one. Flying cockroaches pop up at the most importune time such as when you have guests over or are trying to put a fussy baby to sleep. They are drawn to warmth, so they fly out of the cold and want to be comfy on your nice walls and around your light bulb that generates heat. Now, if your repulsion level was not already on high alert after reading the word ‘roach’, you are going to have a fit when you see what they can actually do to you and your home.

These pests release secretions from their mouths and glands which can result in humans suffering from nausea and even mild vertigo. The secretions may also have an unpleasant odour which is why homes that are infested with thousands of roaches, roach babies and droppings tend to smell pretty awful and overwhelmingly foul. 

Trail of bacteria

Now, if that was not bad enough, they can leave a trail of bacteria, regurgitated digested food and even faeces, which other roaches search out as this is their mating card to attract others in their species.

Having roaches is unsanitary and should not be taken lightly. While most people will see a roach or two pass through their homes on occasion, if you have so many that you cannot count them, you have an infestation and an exterminator needs to be on your speed dial because when they swarm or even if they die, their bodies produce allergic reactions that irritate the skin of most humans. So, the scratching of the skin that most people do when roaches are around is not just a psychological reaction, it is also physical.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of BUZZ or its employees.