We wonder what it would really take to kill a six-foot cockroach

Q In the sci-fi thriller Mimic, Mira Sorvino and Jeremy Northam are terrorized by human-size bugs. Just in case, we asked some specialists: What would it take to kill a six-foot cockroach?

A Since the average cucaracha is half an inch long, some simple number crunching shows that a six-foot roach would require supplies not normally found at your local Grand Union. ”It would take a bait disk of 24 square feet, holding a cookie [in order to lure the bug] that weighed about 9,865 pounds,” says Sandy Sullivan, spokeswoman for Black Flag and Combat. Or, if you want to go the aerosol route, about 25 cans of Raid could also do the trick, according to Dr. John Randall, senior research entomologist for SC Johnson Wax, maker of the bug spray. However, he adds, ”they can run pretty fast, so you’d need to chase them in a car.” (Randall estimates that a giant roach could travel up to 75 mph.) Alternatively, Randall proposes a more, shall we say, down-to-earth method: ”Find a shoe the size of a truck and just step on it.”

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