It’s close to Halloween
And something evil’s lurking in the dark
You turn on the light
You see a sight that almost stops your heart
Scarier than zombies, roaches rule the night
It will be a different Halloween this year, so if you’re sticking close to home don’t panic when the roaches come out. And they will come out. We all know roaches aren’t something you want in your home, crawling around in dark places, spreading foodborne diseases, causing respiratory allergies, and skittering into crevices and under your fridge when you turn on the light. Beware – in South Florida, several species of roaches want to live in your home, multiply exponentially, and take over your world. Resilient and prolific breeders, German, brown-banded, and Asian cockroaches can make your life a living nightmare. Worse still, though they usually only venture inside to get out of the rain, the Godzilla of cockroaches, the American wood roach, aka Palmetto bugs, grow as large as some pets and have been known to fly at people, mistaking them for trees. Roaches do some really scary things that will make you howl.
Roaches will eat anything, including you and their own
Roaches like nibbling on your toenails, eyelashes, and eyebrows while you sleep. In true Hannibal Lecter fashion, roaches will also eat their own dead in a pinch, as well as meats, sweets, beer, book bindings, wallpaper, pet fur, dead skin, soap, garbage, and excrement.
Roaches can see what’s happening behind them
Talk about horror staring you right in the face – did you know roaches can see behind themselves? Yes, with eyes on the top of their heads, roach eyes sport over 2,000 lenses so roaches can see multiple images at once. Not only can they see you coming, but roaches can also run faster than you can scream like a horror movie victim.
Roaches can run up to three miles an hour
With their hind legs moving at 27 times per second, even day-old, baby cockroaches can run almost as fast as their parents, spreading germs and pathogens along the way, as they scurry through your garbage, race across your kitchen counter, down your sink drain into the sewer and back to that potato salad you left out after dinner (before you knew they were even there).
Roaches can live for a week without their heads
Unlike The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’s Headless Horseman, roaches don’t bother looking for their heads after they have been severed from their torsos and can survive up to a week without them. Roaches possess an open circulatory system and breathe through tiny holes in their exoskeletons. The problem is that roaches need their mouths to drink water and to eat. While these headless creatures can live for a month without food, thanksfully they will only survive around a week without water.
Roaches can hold their breath for 5 to 7 minutes
Like in horror movies, just when you think the monster is defeated, it resurfaces and the terror continues – water is not a deterrent for cockroaches. They don’t drown when flushed down the toilet because they can hold their breath for 5-7 minutes. Some sources say that cockroaches hold their breath even when they are on dry land to help conserve the water in their bodies. Perhaps roaches are preparing for an apocalypse and who knows if there will be any water around.
Roaches can survive ten times more radiation than humans
Urban myth has it that nothing will be left after a nuclear explosion except cockroaches. While it’s true cockroaches can survive ten times more radiation than humans, a massive nuclear event is still anybody’s guess. When you stop to think about it, what would all of that radiation spawn in cockroaches? Maybe something along the lines of the giant bug of Men in Black fame.
Roaches have survived since before the age of dinosaurs
Roaches are simple creatures without complex organs, making them able to recover and adapt to almost any environment ever. That’s why they’ve existed since before dinosaurs. Older than triceratops and T-Rex, fossil roaches, preserved in amber date back to the Carboniferous era, some 350 million years ago. In the Cretaceous era, a 100-million-year-old insect specimen resembled a roach, a crane, and a praying mantis. These prehistoric roaches did eat bugs but only measured about a half an inch in length. Some of today’s roaches are larger than that and can be found everywhere on Earth, except Antarctica.
Roaches in chocolate bars? About eight body parts per bar
The idea of roaches crawling around in dark, damp spaces in your home is cause enough for alarm but when you realize they’re present in some processed foods, you might snap and go on a Freddy Krueger rampage because a certain percentage of insect parts are allowed in popcorn, peanut butter products, and cheese, as well. A little extra protein? In China, cockroaches are raised on farms, to be used in traditional Chinese medicines, cosmetics, and protein powders.
This Halloween, have fun but be mindful of goblins, ghouls, and roaches . . . and stay safe. Protect yourself and your loved ones from the onslaught of frightening roaches by contacting a professional pest control company to ensure these nasty insects stay away from your home. At Petri Pest Control Services, we are available to address your pest control concerns throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
Why Roaches Are So Scary in South Florida
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