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Residents say they come up from city sewer
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South Jack Tone Road resident Donna Drawdy uses a fly swatter to get the last of the roaches on a sewer manhole cover in front of her home Thursday morning. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

The city signs say you’re on South Jack Tone Road.

But frustrated Ripon residents in the 300 block have erected a sign reading “Cockroach Alley”.

Dave Drawdy and his wife Donna said they have been fighting the intrusion of the bugs for the last three years. And now out of frustration they have placed a large black board on the back of a utility trailer along the street in front of their home that reads, “Cockroach Alley”. 

The couple noticed a larger than usual number of the bugs exiting the sewer through holes in a city manhole cover in the middle of the street Wednesday night. Drawdy said he got his Home Defense bug spray and his wife grabbed her fly swatter to get those attempting to crawl away before they could reach nearby yards and eventually houses.

“A city guy drove by our house and we flagged him down about the roaches and he came back and sprayed the rest of them at the manhole and a second cover just down the street,” Donna Drawdy said.  

Thursday morning, she was back out in front of her home with her fly swatter smashing those she could reach that had escaped the spray.  

Drawdy said his next-door neighbor told him of standing next to a dead tree trunk recently when the bugs started crawling on him off the bark.  He quoted his neighbor as saying the infestation was the worst he had ever seen.  He added that his wife walked across the street by a sound wall last week and saw them crawling on the bricks.

Drawdy said he had collected 100 roaches in a bag and took them down to city hall to make a point. He said he was told by city staff to take them away and leave.

Drawdy said he regularly walks around the perimeter of his home and sprays with a concentrated bug killer and finds many of the roaches lying upside down the next day.  He has also been routinely spraying the gutter across the street from his home. 

Drawdy added that he and his neighbors also have a speeding problem with cars and trucks by their home and has asked the police department to come and monitor the speed of the traffic and the semi-rigs braking on their way down to Doak Boulevard late at night.

Unfortunately the speeders haven’t been successful at squashing the cockroaches on the street.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email