#1003: The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Original Air Date: 01.16.2010

   Best Moment

This week on Car Talk, a creative birthday present spawns an auto-infestation crisis for Beatrice in Pennsylvania. The pregnant cockroach she got for dad got loose in the family BMW, and when it emerged, it may have left behind a few hundred cockroach juniors. Can the car be returned to its pre-bug state? Find out. Also, on Stump the Chumps, Tom and Ray find out if they correctly diagnosed the noise coming from Malcolm's steering wheel, and get a jaw-dropping reply; a VW tries to escape from its owner when it's parked; and has Tommy's dream job finally opened up? All this, plus a new puzzler from the Automotive History series, and lots more, this week, on Car Talk.

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This Week's Puzzler

A puzzler from the world of automotive history, concerning a bet with Cousin Vinny about two vintage cars. Could their years be told apart? Find out!

Last Week's Puzzler

Tommy has harvested 100 pounds of tomatoes, and he and the tomatoes weigh 248 pounds. After a week in the sun drying out, what would the scale read? Find out!

Show Open Topic

The obituary of Prince Georgio of Seborga.

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Show Review - 1062

by Anonymous

alternative diagnosis

by Anonymous

In the middle of the show 201003, caller 4, you suggested low transmission fluid as a possible solution to transmission/drivetrain noises/klunks for a ~ 30 year old car with 1/2 shafts in the rear. I have a 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D with the same problem. About a year ago the u-joint in the driveshaft froze/stiffened and the driveshaft and 1/2 shaft to one wheel from the differential were replaced. After a few months the inner CV joint on the half shaft leaked (spewed) grease. Upon further investiagtion the inner CV joint can rotate/slip around the half shaft and stub shaft into the differential; it is a faulty replacement part from a national auto parts store/supplier. In the near future I will replace the 1/2 shaft and the part supplier will honor the part warrenty.

Roach solution

by premeditator

The Dry Ice solution was a bit weak, especially since roaches can survive without oxygen for as much as an hour; additionally, they can go months without food or water. As always, you can use the natural approach, and introduce a predator species .. like a wasp. Okay, maybe that isn't the most practical solution for a vehicle infestation... ... however from wikipedia ... An inexpensive roach trap can easily be made from a deep smooth-walled jar with some roach food inside, placed with the top of the jar touching a wall or with sticks leading up to the top, so that the roaches can reach the opening. Once inside, they cannot climb back out. An inch or so of water or stale beer (by itself a roach attractant) will ensure they drown. The method works well with the American cockroach but less so with the German cockroach.[33] A bit of Vaseline can be smeared on the inside of the jar to enhance slipperiness. The method is sometimes called the "Vegas roach trap" after it was popularized by a Las Vegas-based TV station.

Beer Remedy

by Anonymous

The huge cockroaches native to The U.S. love beer, and will die happily if she puts a few open saucers full of it around on the flat surfaces overnight (or more than once if needed). Maybe these foreigners will too!!

Bugs Bugs Bugs

by TTTTrina

I thought the segment about the teenager "losing" a hissing cockaroach in her parents' car was a hoot! But dry ice? Didn't someone kill someone with that stuff in an episode of CSI or Law and Order on TV? Yikes! Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV9M45WuG2g&feature=channel to see how gross these bugs really are. How about next time just consulting with an exterminator! Or go see the movie Mimic and realize roaches are forever ....

Acura vs. Forrester...um, guys?

by archmac

The 2009 Acura has 6.3 inches of ground clearance, while the 2009 Forrester has 8 inches (new body style). Unless she's had her car lifted, his wins on that score. Perhaps he is one of those absent-minded geniuses who is always saying "up" when they mean "down"? Otherwise, I'm not sure how he could miss the fact that his car is almost 2 inches higher than hers! They are both AWD cars, although I would prefer the 50/50 F/R AWD ratio on the Forrester to the 90/10 ratio on the Acura (in my view, it's really an 'on-demand' AWD system...they're just playing with the numbers). But, since they're both AWD, I don't see that either car has an advantage here in general on-snow driving. Depending on the driver and the conditions, her car being so much heavier than his could be a blessing or a curse. Still, what REALLY matters in this situation is which car has the better snow tires!

Favorite Moment: The hissing cockroaches! I think the dry ice idea was kind of dumb, but the story is great. She should use the jar trap, but put something in the jar that they can stay out of the beer on, and sell the cockroaches back to the pet store! Although, I suspect that most of the cockroaches have left the car in search of food.

Roach loose in car

by mariann

Obviously you don't live in the south. Here we have a product called Boric Acid powder. You can buy it anywhere. It kills roaches and all types of crawly bugs. You spread in the cabinets and corners, sweep it into your carpets and by open doors. When a roach crawls over it the boric acid gets on the roaches feet and legs and they carry it to its den. It eats up the roaches stomach (since a roach is very fastidious) and obviously dies. It is not poisonous, does not harm pets or kids and kills fleas, ants, silverfish too! What more could you want?

Favorite Moment: Dry ice, what a hoot!


by stanvale

As always, I enjoyed your show. The blend of good advice and great humor is unbeatable. About getting rid of the cockroach, you suggested dry ice and I am wondering if the CO2 would displace enough OX to kill the little bugger. If not, I would like to suggest a hose from the exhaust pipe to the interior of the vehicle. I would think the CO from running the engine for an hour or so might do the job. I hope you do a follow-up on this subject. It could be useful info for people with all kinds of uninvited guest in their cars--mothers-in-law not included.

FiddleDee Icer

by Jim

Thawout the Mini Cooper with a couple sacks of environmentally safe de-icer. You'll be out before you can boil the feathers off the turkey in your cooker. Albeit much more fun to watch these guys set the car ablaze.

Cockroach Killer

by jnortonsr

I looked it up on the web and this seems to work: http://www.ghorganics.com/Cockroaches.html mix sugar and baking soda and the die, unfortunately the first explode

Favorite Moment: Cockroach jumping on the mother. At my grandmother's house her garden was once infested with large red insects that she could not get rid of. She bought Ginny Hens to eradicate them but not before I was driving home from a visit and almost crashed the car because one of them crawled out of my shirt cuff and onto my Hand. Nuke them!


Could This Be Tommy's Next Job?

Hey, it's good to be the prince.

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