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Thursday, September 2, 2010

A tribute to Periplaneta americana Linnaeus: THE COCKROACH

Moving to a new classroom this year.
Yesterday, I went in to organize.
Look at this lovely treat I found:

Yummy! Apparently cockroaches get stuck on duct tape (I tell you, duct tape can be used for ANYTHING!) I think one cockroach got stuck, and since cockroaches are attracted to dead cockroaches and excrement, the rest of them were like, "Yes! Lunch! Oh crap, I'm stuck."

Cockroaches are fascinating creatures. It is estimated that 2 cockroaches are enough to populate an average size home in one year with enough cockroaches to go one meter deep. Not even making this stuff up. There are at least 4000 species of cockroaches in the world. Only 70 in the United States. Most live in Florida, home of navel oranges, old people, crocs in swimming pools, and apparently 41 species of cockroaches.

They're resilient little creatures. Probably because all they need for food is their own excrement and each other. Yep, they're cannibals. And omnivores. They also love bread, stale beer, wine, alcohol, fatty acids, and peanut butter... can you blame them? They crave damp even temperatures (like my classroom) with great places to hide in the walls. They're survivors.

Because they survive and multiply like mad, they are the financial backbone of the pest control industry. Why do we want to exterminate them? Oh, I don't know. Maybe because they carry fungi, viruses, protozoa, and 40 kinds of bacteria (gross stuff) pathogenic (that can cause disease) to vertebrates (that's us). And they're middle-guy hosts to flatworms. Yippy.

And with their crazy diet and all the diseases they carry, they still scurry around like they go to the gym every day. As much as I cringe and have a quick body spasm every time I come across one, I equally salute the little vermin.

What America can learn from cockroaches:
They're resilient.
They're adaptable.
They provide jobs.


  1. Wow. WOW. I have no words. Except maybe, "Ghughwa". xo

  2. Hiya!
    Laughed so much at this post!
    Love the "what America can learn from cockroaches".
    I don't think we have them here in Ireland, haven't come across any in my classrooms yet!!LOL