As summer crawls along, people in many parts of the world are braced for encounters with cockroaches. Any time they come into our home we are left feeling vulnerable, frustrated, disgusted, and pretty much every negative emotion you can think of.
Courtesy of Japanese chemical company LION, those of us in Japan can now get a detailed report on the level of cockroach activity in our area via the website “Gokiten” (Cockroach Weather). On the surface this might not seem so useful, but looking deeper into it, this website has a lot to offer, especially to people who just met a roach.
Upon opening the webpage you see a map of Japan where you can click on various regions to see the weather forecast combined with their “Cockroach Index,” or “Cockdex” as I will call it because it makes me giggle. The Cockdex is divided into 6 color-coded levels that determine how likely you are to encounter a roach.
Level 0.5 [Blue] – Cockroaches in Hibernation (High of 10℃)
Cockroaches are sleeping and you probably won’t see one unless you go looking for it.
Level 1 [Turquoise] – Cockroach Waking Precaution (High of 15℃, Low of 10℃)
You might comes across a dazed cockroach that has been disturbed by something.
Level 2 [Green] – Cockroach Precaution (High of 20℃, Low of 15℃)
Chances of seeing a roach are slim, but possible in high risk areas like garbage piles and restaurants.
Level 3 [Orange] – Cockroach Warning (High of 25℃, Low of 20℃)
A high chance of meeting a roach in a high risk areas and a possibility to see them in lower-risk areas as well.
Level 4 [Red] – Cockroach Alert (High of 30℃, Low of 25℃)
You’re probably going to see a roach somewhere today.
Level 4 [Pink] – Cockroaches Suffering Heat Stroke (High of 35℃, Low of 25℃)
In this case temperature may be high enough to decrease cockroach activity but is still considered a highly active time.
While it’s nice to know how likely you are to bump into a cockroach for the day, there’s a lot more going into this site. On the right side of the screen there is a panel where cockroach sightings are recorded. I decided to record my encounter today – well actually it was just my Roachbot, but shhhh…
You simply enter your location, time of encounter, room, how many roaches, the result of your encounter (killed, captured, escaped, etc.), and how you’re feeling now (angry, creeped out, easy, etc). The report gets logged by turning into a roach bomb (nice product placement), and then you’re thanked by Varsanman…
Who’s Varsanman?! Why Varsanman is only the mightiest hero of the planet Varsan (which coincidentally shares its name with LION’s brand of roach bomb). Anywho, Varsanman has traveled to Earth in pursuit of the evil General Chabane, who terrorizes us humans in the form of a cockroach. Sheesh, am I the only one on Twitter these days?
Overall, it’s really hard to tell if this site is intended for kids or adults, but I have to say after playing around with it for a while it can really help take your mind off finding a roach in your home.
Reading about other people who had the same thing happen and see how they’re feeling is comforting. Also, watching the tokusatsu saga of Varsanman unfold in all its absurdness is a fun way to kill time.
All in all, this is a pretty fun website that’s cute, helpful, and informative. And judging by its over 2 million hits last year, I’m not the only one who thinks so.
“Looking at the forecast for Osaka, we have a high of 35, low of 27 with a 20% chance of showers. And the Cockdex is a 4 today so don’t forget to keep a phonebook by your side.”
Did you find a cockroach? Check the roach watch and see how many people are having an equally bad day.