Millions of roaches found themselves locked out of their favorite motel chain as the sagging economy claimed another victim. The closures came unexpectedly and caught many roaches off guard. Some were permanent residents, others overnight guests.
The Black Flag Roach Motels, with their trademarked box-like construction and minimalist furnishings of cardboard and poisoned bait, owed their distinctive look to the Bauhaus movement. They were an immediate hit when they first opened in the early 1960's, catering to the rich and famous roaches of the time.
In later years the motels fell into disrepair and were disparaged in radio and television spoofs before being bought and renovated by a large conglomerate, which cleaned them up and turned the motels into family destinations. The chain was then sold several more times.
Homax, the current parent company of Roach Motels Inc. said in a press release that the economic climate made it impossible for the motels to be profitable. "How can you run a motel where the guests check in but never check out?"