Fact Friday – Roaches

It’s summer which means those crappy little flying creepy crawlies are coming out, or I should rather say coming IN. And of course with the drought it’s even worse as they’re trying to find any food source and water available to them. Spiders I can deal with, they at least eat the mosquitoes that come with living near a vlei. But roaches? I just can’t deal. They make me feel dirty and itchy and I constantly feel like they’re crawling on me the moment I see one even if I’ve just flushed it.

Google spouts so many ways of getting rid of them but most don’t actually work. Even borax doesn’t kill the little effers! I mean these are guys that would survive a nuclear blast :/

There are ways to sort of keep them under control though. Vigorous almost OCD cleaning – bleaching and vacuuming and sweeping at least a few times a day because if there isn’t food left out they’ll even eat hair (and I shed almost as much as my animals! damn medication side effects).

As it turns out they actually do serve a purpose though. They help decompose decaying matter and their poop has nitrogen in it that soil needs and they are a food source for certain animals. But that doesn’t make them any less disgusting and shiver worthy.

Five not so Fabulous Facts:

  • A cockroach can hold its breath for 40 minutes, and can even survive being submerged under water for half an hour.
  • A cockroach can live for a week without its head. Due to their open circulatory system, and the fact that they breathe through little holes in each of their body segments, they are not dependent on the mouth or head to breathe. The roach only dies because without a mouth, it can’t drink water and dies of thirst.
  • Because they are cold-blooded insects, cockroaches can live without food for one month, but will only survive one week without water.
  • The world’s largest roach (which lives in South America) is 15.2 cm long with a 30cm wingspan. Average cockroaches can vary in size from 2cm to 5cm long.
  • Cockroaches spend 75% of their time resting and can withstand temperatures as cold as 0 degrees Celsius.
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