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The Cockroach

Cockroaches, from an evolutionary standpoint, are among the most successful animals on Earth and are the oldest surviving insect form on the planet. They predate humans by more than 300 million years. Still plentiful today, more than 3,500 species of cockroach have been identified, and scientists believe more than 5,000 remain undiscovered. Of the thousands of cockroach, however, fewer than a hundred live close enough to humans to be seen by them.

Cockroaches are omnivorous and born scavengers. In the wild, the guts of feral and peridomestic species that forage in leaf litter and vegetation contain plant material, woody chips, leaf chips, arthropod cuticle, fungi, and algae. Because of their omnivorous eating habits, cockroaches probably fed on materials used by early humans. Finding an abundance of food and favorable conditions within human dwellings, some species were transferred in to these residences and thus became cohabitants with humans. The handful of species found living around people will eat almost everything a human will. They are especially fond of starchy materials such as cereals, sweetened or sugary substances, and meat products. Other foods include cheese, beer, leather, hair, wallpaper, artwork, paper documents, postage stamps, draperies, and dead and/or rotting organic matter. They also eat books, particularly those soiled with perspiration, and will feed on book bindings to eat the paste beneath the binding. Cockroaches often damage seedling plants and soft fruit such as strawberries, mangos, and bananas. Indoors they abound near hot water pipes, moist kitchen sinks, behind stoves and refrigerators, and I any cracks or crevices big enough for them to hide.

While very few cockroach species are considered pest species, those that are can cause considerable damage. The economic consequences of cockroach infestations are significant in hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, private homes, apartments, cruise ships, railroad cars, and warehouses. Besides pilfering food, cockroaches apprise humans of their presence with odor and fecal pellets. The “attar of roaches”, the unpleasant odor so well associated with these insects, is the combined product of their excrement, the fluid they exude from their abdominal scent glands, and a dark-colored fluid they regurgitate from their mouths while feeding. Cockroaches stain their runways with these secretions, ruining any surface they repeatedly contact. Other material losses occur when cockroaches stain or contaminate food dishes, utensils, packaging, clothing, and stored items. In the high-tech world of electronics, moreover, cockroaches have found new methods of destruction. They disrupt electronic cash registers and computers with their bodies and excrement. They also have been known to get into they electronics of kitchen appliances such as microwaves, and refrigerators. They have also caused electrical fires by chewing the wires of televisions, stereos, and computers. The US Department of Agriculture estimates that about $240 million is spent annually trying to exterminate cockroaches.

Cockroaches are a MANAGED pest. It is a pest that needs constant professional pest control services in order to keep it at bay.

THE AMERICAN COCKROACH:



THE GERMAN COCKROACH:



All cockroaches undergo a gradual metamorphasis that is characterized by three distinct stages-egg, nymph, and adult. For most species, females produce an egg case, also called an ootheca or egg capsule, in which a number of eggs are lined up in two equal rows. The ootheca has a distict shape and varies in size and number of eggs for each species. Most species deposit their egg case in a protected location soon after it is formed. A few species retain the egg case partially lodges in the abdomen, and one group of cockroaches in cubates the egg case wholly within the female’s abdomen and bears live young.

PATHOGENIC ORGANISMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE COCKROACH: