Very weird veterinary question (treatment for exposure to insecticide -- FOR A PET INSECT)

Hypothetical: Let’s say I have a pet cockroach (not periplaneta americana – those are gross. Let’s say a Madagascar hissing cockroach. I hear those are popular). I invite my mother over to meet my new pet.

Turns out Mum has a severe phobia about anything with more than four appendages. Also turns out that she’s ALWAYS prepared to deal with an encounter with one. She carries a travel-size can of Raid[sup]TM[/sup] in her purse.

So she shrieks once, whips out her Raid[sup]TM[/sup], sprays little Colin (did I mention that I named my new buddy Colin? Colin the Cockroach. I think it’s clever. If it had been a girl cockroach, I would have named her Madeline. Maddy the Madagascar hissing cockroach for short. But then I would have always been worrying about her having babies. I think they have about a thousand of them at a time. I CAN’T NAME A THOUSAND BABY COCKROACHES! I DON’T HAVE THE TIME! So anyway, it’s a boy cockroach named Colin), and goes into a cataleptic state. But I’m pretty sure she’s faking it, because she’s always been a bit of a drama queen. There was this one time, when I brought home a spelling test on which I had gotten a “C,” and you’d think I had taken a set of pinking shears to her wedding dress (which, I admit, was probably wrong of me, but come on! a pair of scissors that automatically makes perfect little zig-zag cuts? You can’t expect a little boy – all right, a seventeen-year old boy – to RESIST something like that, Mom! And I think I made the dress look BETTER! But I digress).

Where was I? Oh, yeah, Colin got sprayed with Raid[sup]TM[/sup]. He’s not dead, but he’s freaking out almost as much as I am, and I know his days (minutes) are numbered, so I get him into his favorite pet carrier (a used Kraft macaroni and cheese box) and drive him to the vet.

Is there anything at all that the vet can do for him? To save his life, I mean.


Take it out of the cage where the Raid got sprayed and hose it down with water maybe? I’d assume it would take a LOT to kill one of those big fuckers and I’ve seen Japanese cockroaches basically bathe in insecticide then stroll off grooming their antennae. I’m not a big fan of big roaches, but my sister did keep a kabutomushi (rhinoceros beetle) as a pet and it was pretty cool. Kept getting out and poking holes in the shoji screens though.

I know at least nerve gas was invented by German chemists trying to create new insecticides, so I would think but don’t know for sure that insecticides have similar effects on insects as nerve agent on humans? I’ve read that nerve agents form irreversible bonds to inhibit acetylcholinesterase from breaking down acetylcholine. I would think that if the bug doesn’t improve in some short amount of time that the damage would be permanent.

Just go buy a new one. And name colin deax.

I cannot BELIEVE that they don’t teach how to treat emergency medical situations like this in veterinarian school. :mad:

Only guess would be to rinse the bug with water. Depends on whether this insecticide is water soluble. Find an MSDS for that particular insecticide and see if it is.

Your average vet does not study insects at all, except as infestations and the like. There are some vets that study insects to an extent, primarily honeybees and other commercially important species, though in comparison to mammals, the treatment and knowledge level is nowhere near the same, and treatment and diagnosis for bees is mostly at the colony level, not the individual.

So the idea of training cockroaches to avoid my apartment by putting them through continuously repeating cycles of poisoning and being given an antidote is pretty much a non-starter, I guess.

Just kill a few and mount their heads on toothpicks by the entrance, the others will get the idea.

Permethrin (and similar/related active ingredients of RAID insecticide) are potent neurotoxins to their target species, and are not water soluble - however, rinsing may mechanically dislodge and remove some of the spray, especially if it has been delivered as a water emulsion. However, rinsing could also just drive more of it inside the insect’s spiracles and exacerbate the problem. Wiping with an absorbent paper towel would probably be better, maybe followed by dropping the critter into something fine and absorbent such as bran.

It’s likely that if enough of a dosage has been applied that the insect is ‘freaking out’, this would indicate probable fatal damage to the insect’s nervous system, as the specific action of the neurotoxin is to overstimulate the nervous system.
Your choices appear to be:
[li]Euthanise the poor thing, or:[/li][li]Wipe it off as best you can, and wait and see if it recovers[/li][/ul]

Already tried that. Didn’t work.

Weird, it worked great for the extremely cute & fluffy kittens that kept getting into my place.

I guess kittens are quicker on the uptake than cockroaches.

Maybe if I go back to school and become a leader in biotech I can genetically engineer some more intelligent cockroaches who are capable of learning that I want them to leave.

That’s not going to impress them, because cockroaches can survive for a week without their heads. So gross, if there’s anything worse than a cockroach it’s a cockroach running around headless. Guh.

I have actually experienced this, though not with a cockroach, but with a stick bug. Solution: stick the bug under running water for about a minute–ASAP after being sprayed with the Raid–then drop him into a bowl of uncooked rice to absorb the water and any residual pesticide. Cockroaches are more durable than stick bugs, so I suspect Colin will survive.

I have a virus running through my ant farm. Need help fast.

Moderator Note

Delicious, while I’m sure you intended this as a joke it’s pretty close to trolling. While I am just making this a note, you would be well advised to steer clear of posts like this if you want to continue to post here.

General Questions Moderator

I once took a young Madagascar cockroach that had been poisoned to a couple of veterinary clinics and in neither place did they know what to do. Exacerbating the problem was the fact that we did not know exactly to what pesticide it had been exposed, to how much of it, nor how long it had been; evidently long enough to do permanent damage. It did not recover. :frowning:

I suspect that a lot of these places see so many dogs, cats, and other mammals that they simply do not have so much practical experience with insects. However, if you don’t waste any time following Enola Gay’s advice and then get to the veterinarian’s ASAP there may be something they can do as far as antidotes. In any case, I hope your scenario is indeed hypothetical.

PS if you do not have a breeding pair, I don’t see how you would get a “thousand baby cockroaches”.

Raid Ant & Cockroach contains Imiprothrin and Cypermethrin, both neurotoxins. If a sufficient dose is received, he’s dead. A smaller dose rinsing might help.