Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Unenvited Guest

I made myself some hot chocolate last night.  I noticed something floating in it as I stirred.  Using the spoon, I pulled out a rather large cockroach.  I then drank the hot chocolate. 

I've learned a few things about cockroaches in my time here.  They are simply everywhere.  Encarta says that there are thousands of cockroach species world wide, but less than 1% of them are considered household pests.  Most cockroach species confine themselves to moist environments like bogs and swamps, rotting trees and plant matter and forest floors.  The very few species that invade our homes prefer dark corners near food and water.

The common household cockroach has a oily skin that allows it to slip into very small spaces and also protects it from dehydration.  Water is essential for survival, so most often you'll find them near water sources.  The cockroach is actually a very clean insect, spending much of it's idle time cleaning itself.  It does, however leave droppings all over the place and casts a noticeable and disgusting odor, so they aren't all good. 

Cockroaches go through several stages of development, growing larger at each stage.  They shed their exoskeletons (molt) at the completion of each stage, each time looking more and more like an adult.  They mate like most animals do, males and females getting it on.  The females lay 20 to 30 eggs which are usually then abandoned to fend for themselves.

So what have I learned from all me research and experiences with cockroaches?  They aren't all that bad, and when you see them every day you stop to worry so much about them.  You're not going to get rid of them.  Just keep your place clean and they won't bother you.  I almost feel bad for killing them all the time.  Almost...

No comments: