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Cockroaches Use Their Legs To Kick Their Parasitic Wasp Enemies

There are many parasitic insects in nature that affect humans, other mammals, other insects, and in some cases, all three. The most abundant group of parasitic insects on earth are parasitic wasps. In fact, wasps may be the most species-rich insects on the planet due to the massive amount of parasitic wasps that exist but have yet to be documented in detail. Parasitic wasps infect several insect species, and the manner in which these infections progress is always brutal for the insect victims. One of the most well known parasitic wasp species is the jewel wasp, which attacks and parasitizes cockroaches. Jewel wasps lay their eggs on the bodies of cockroaches. In order to prevent a cockroach from attempting to remove eggs from its body, the wasp literally stings the cockroaches’ brain. This sting to the brain causes the cockroach to become a zombie, as the scientific term for this state is “zombification.” Once a cockroach is zombified, it no longer seems concerned with the wasp eggs on its back. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae eat the zombified cockroach alive. Ever since this process was discovered, researchers assumed that cockroaches were defenseless against attacks from jewel wasps, but now researchers know that this is not the case. As it turns out, cockroaches attempt to fight off jewel wasps by using their legs to deliver kicks to their parasitic enemy.Waco Roach Control

According to professor Ken Catania, cockroaches make an effort to combat jewel wasps with a series of different fighting styles, one of which Catania calls the “en garde” position. This position has a roach extending its sensory antenna in order to make contact with an attacking wasp’s body. This allows the roach to determine where the wasp’s weak points are located so that it can aim its kicks properly. This method of combat is effective at fending off jewel wasps 63 percent of the time. Some cockroaches even follow up their kicks with bites to the wasp’s body. Sadly, younger cockroaches almost always succumb to their wasp attackers on account of their inadequate size. Researchers gathered this information by slowing down video footage of roaches fighting jewel wasps.

Do you believe that only the most aggressive cockroaches can survive potentially deadly wasp encounters based on the above described research?





How Did The Invasive Turkestan Cockroach Wind Up In Homes And Buildings In Texas?

International commerce and travel have facilitated the spread of many insect pest species into new regions of the world. Although cockroaches are common house pests in the United States, most species that infest homes and buildings in the country originated from other parts of the world. For example, the non-native German cockroach is the most common roach pest found within homes in the United States. Despite having originated on another continent, the German cockroach has adapted to living and breeding solely within indoor structures in the US. The Turkestan cockroach is the newest non-native roach pest found in urban and residential regions of the US, and they have become well established in the southwest. These cockroaches are native to the middle east, but they were spotted for the first time in the US back in 1978 in California. One year later, a second Turkestan cockroach sighting occurred at Ft. Bliss in El Paso.

The cockroaches at Ft. Bliss had established an infestation within a housing unit. Several more Turkestan cockroach infestations were documented at other military bases during subsequent years, leading experts to believe that the roach species arrived in the US after hitching a ride on military equipment returning to the country from the middle east. Today, Turkestan cockroaches are abundant in urban and suburban regions of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Researchers claim that up to 75 percent of all peridomestic roach species found within structures in the southwest are Turkestan cockroaches, making them more abundant within structures than the Oriental cockroach species. Turkestan cockroaches are well adapted to arid desert environments, which explains the speed with which these roaches gained a foothold over Oriental roaches in the southwest. Turkestan cockroach infestations see a greater number of individual roaches within structures than Oriental roach infestations. The Turkestan cockroach is quickly surpassing the oriental cockroach as the most abundant roach pest around homes and buildings in Texas.

Have you ever found food that was infested with cockroaches?



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Cockroaches Did Not Exist In The United States Until 400 Years Ago, But More Species Are Being Introduced Regularly

Cockroaches are among the hardiest of all insect species, and they did not even exist in North America until 1625 when they were brought to the continent from their native Africa. However, the introduction of different cockroach species into North America has been occurring ever since then. In just the past decade, several new cockroach species have arrived in the United States from foreign regions. For example, the Periplaneta japonica species that is native to Japan was recently spotted in New York City for the first time ever. This species of cockroach is notable for being able to withstand relatively cold temperatures. The first ever finding of a Turkestan cockroach was recently documented in the southwest US. Now researchers believe that the Turkestan cockroach may also have invaded New York City. The rapid introduction of new cockroach species into the US can make it hard for experts to stay on top of the roach species that have come to call America home.

Of the 4,500 cockroach species that have been documented, only 30 are categorized as pests. Of these 30 cockroach pests, four are particularly problematic within American homes. These four cockroach species are the German, American, Australian and Oriental cockroaches. While the German cockroach is the most abundant cockroach species in America, it is the American cockroach that people hate finding within their homes, as these cockroaches are large in size and fast on the ground. Australian cockroaches look similar to American cockroaches, but the Australian cockroach is smaller is size. The Australian cockroach is often reported as flying into people’s faces and hanging from ceilings. However, the oriental cockroach is considered the most significant from a public health perspective, as these cockroaches dwell within sewer systems where they collect numerous disease-causing pathogens on their body.

Have you ever witnessed a cockroach emerging from a sewer?


Cockroaches: Why They Are So Hard to Control on Your Own

Cockroaches: Why They Are So Hard to Control on Your OwnWaco Roach Control

Cockroaches are known to cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. These pests can also spread 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella. If spotted, homeowners should call a pest professional to evaluate the severity of the problem and recommend a course of treatment.

iPest Solutions offers insight into what makes cockroaches so difficult to control for homeowners:

  •  Resilience. Cockroaches can live for up to a week without their heads. They can also hold their breath for 40 minutes and even survive being submerged in water for half an hour. Additionally, some species are able to withstand freezing temperatures.
  • Small size.Cockroaches are small pests, so they can easily hide in cracks and crevices. Male cockroaches can fit through an opening as small as 1/16 inch in width or the thickness of a quarter.
  • Quick speed.Cockroaches are very fast and can run up to three miles an hour. A newborn cockroach, which is about the size of a speck of dust, runs nearly as fast as its parents.
  • Irregular feeding habits.Cockroaches can survive for up to one month without food and one week without water. They are omnivores and are attracted to all types of foods, including sugars, proteins and fats.
Cockroach Control Waco

The Ridiculous Things People Have Done To Kill Invading Cockroaches

One of the only things that unite almost every single person on this planet is our deep hatred of cockroaches. Have you ever met someone that doesn’t despise cockroaches? The correct answer to that question is no because they are the bane of our existence; they’re impossible to kill, disgusting-looking, disease-ridden, and essentially the metaphorical super villain to all of our superheroes. They exist only to make our lives worse. Our level of hatred for cockroaches is so great that we will do almost anything to get rid of them. While many people stick to using a good old shoe to crush the critters, others out there have much more creative and extreme methods of killing roaches.

We all know the tried and true method of smashing cockroaches to smithereens with a big shoe, but this method is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting rid of cockroaches. Another somewhat common method is to use a Bissell vacuum cleaner to suck them up. One recommended method is to fill a giant trash bag with heavy magazines such as National Geographic, find a safe place off the ground to climb on, and drop it on the little suckers like an anvil being dropped on someone in an old-timey cartoon. These are all good ways to deal with the brown, lightning-fast creatures from Hell, but there are other methods used by people that take things a step or ten farther.

Andrew Couts, Gizmodo’s managing editor, was forced to take a more creative approach to killing the cockroaches in his home after traps, sprays, and bug bombs just couldn’t do the trick. He purchased six house geckos online and set them free in his apartment in the hopes that they would eat the cockroaches. He never did see the geckos again after freeing them, but he also didn’t see any more cockroaches. Some people take this even farther, releasing banana spiders in their homes to eat the cockroaches. Of course, getting rid of cockroaches by introducing another creepy-crawly such as a banana spider might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially if they are terrified of spiders.

What are the most interesting methods of getting rid of cockroaches that you’ve heard of?