Seaweed Glue?

My job description got a bit stranger today. I got a page at lunch and called the number.

Daktari? We are trying to pick out an agent to treat the cockroach problem in nursery.

Well, that sounds like a good idea.

Could you come up and give us your opinion on the safest chemicals to use?

Hmm... (I have no idea.) Sure. I can come up in a bit.

--See, the issue has been around for a while, really everywhere in the hospital, but recently a family in the nursery has complained, and thankfully, a solution is being sought. The only trouble is that I have no idea which chemical might be problematic for 2 lb preterm infants. Probably all of them, I guess.--

Daktari, thanks for coming. Here is the man.

(She introduces me to a very young man in a black suit who is apparently the sales rep for the insecticide company.)

Nice to meet you, daktari. Can I show you one of the products?


(We go down the hall, and he pulls out a small purple container with a couple of air vents on top, with a distinct smell of lilac. It is, to my eye, an air freshener.)

This gets rid of cockroaches?

Yes. It is a repellent.

(I read the label. It talks only of how it will emit a pleasant odor for the next 2 years. I read the ingredients. It includes a few things that sound very non-insecticidal.)

You see this ingredient, "seaweed glue"? It chokes cockroaches, mosquitoes, and something else that I can't remember.

It chokes cockroaches?

Yes, but it doesn't hurt people.

--At this point, I advised the nurse in charge that anything that was airborne and choked cockroaches was probably not advisable for our NICU. She agreed with me, and therefore told the rep that we would buy some for public areas, like the restaurant, but not for patient care areas. And I guess having pleasant-smelling public areas is not a bad thing, but I'm not thinking we're making a lot of headway on the cockroach problem. I went and googled "seaweed glue" and, not so surprisingly, only found references to it as... glue. So, I think I made the right choice for the NICU, but I haven't figured out whether I should tell the proper people that I think the air freshener rep is seriously trying to pull a fast one.--


Anonymous said...

Hey Eric, Vicki Lee from the lunch bunch follows your blog regularly and came up to me at church and said ""Boric Acid, tell Eric that takes care of roaches". Reminds me when I went to Peru and they also used Boric Acid for their roach problems. Can be put with a sweetener and placed on a card in the corner. Mom