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Five Things Cockroaches Don’t Want You to Know!

By Chris Williams on July 12, 2013.
German cockroach in my house

1. You can’t see us but we are hiding right now in that tiny crack behind the back splash on your kitchen counter.

And you know that picture on the kitchen wall, better not look behind it! – Cockroaches hide in cracks and crevices and other tight places. They are happiest when they are compressed, when they can feel a surface on both their front and back sides at the same time. For every cockroach that you see during the daytime, there can be hundreds hidden. Spraying baseboards and surfaces does little to kill cockroaches. The best methods of cockroach control are (1) insecticide directed into cracks and crevices where they hide, or (2) cockroach baits.

2. Surprise! That egg case that I just dropped inside your kitchen cabinet is going to hatch in about 24 hours.

Cockroach trouble at homeFemale German cockroaches carry their egg cases protruding from the end of their abdomen for about three weeks, until shortly before the cases are ready to hatch. About 24 hours from hatching, the female will release the case and leave it in a secure place. Egg cases are resistant to insecticides.

3. When that egg case hatches, about 32 darling little roaches are going to squeeze out and start exploring your kitchen.

Each cockroach egg case has two rows of embryos, one down each side. When German cockroach nymphs are ready to hatch, they split the case open along the side seam and out come 24-48 tiny nymphs. They look pretty much like their parents, just smaller and wingless.

4. I don’t like to say anything but I just walked through your cat’s litter box and now I’m about to walk over your kid’s sandwich. Whoops, sorry, I just pooped a little on his plate.

Cockroaches are filthy little things. They are called passive vectors since they pick up various disease organisms on their legs and antennae and then transfer them to food, dishes, and other items that they walk across. They also eat contaminated food or feces and transfer disease organisms, like Salmonella, in their droppings or when they regurgitate.

5. You think you’re keeping your house and your kitchen so spotless. You can’t figure out why you have roaches. You’d be surprised to find out how well you’re feeding us.

It doesn’t take much to keep cockroaches alive. The mistake we make is thinking that they are feeding only on people food. These are just a few of the overlooked foods that cockroaches enjoy: pet food left out in a bowl (or even a few kernels that rolled under the refrigerator), grease accumulation behind the stove, toothpaste in the bathroom sink, dead flies on the windowsill, pet feces, fruit bowl on the table, potato chip crumbs under the sofa, the sugary drops left in a Pepsi can, and of course…anything in that open garbage can.

Until you people learn to think like a roach…we win!

Photo credit: Sarah Camp / Foter / CC BY-ND

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