Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cockroaches eat on anything - almost.

Abe V Rotor

American cockroach (Periplaneta americana)

Being omnivorous, cockroaches voraciously consume all kinds of materials that are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fats and oils.

But when these are not available they turn to unlikely food sources like soap, photographic film, clothes, wood and even drugs. In fact they even turn into predators, devouring other insects, and sometimes biting people in their sleep. Their bite often gets swollen and infected. Cockroaches are found in all places where humans live and conduct his trade, commerce and industry. Only rats can be compared with the tenacity of the cockroach.

The cockroach has very powerful digestive enzymes: proteases digest protein, invertase breaks complex sugar, and amylase breaks starches. Its saliva contains powerful enzymes coming from the gastric caeca, while the Malphigian tubules secrete an enzyme that is equally disgusting. It is no wonder that just a single drop of frass (feces) can spoil a whole pot of rice by its obnoxious smell.

By the way there are three most common species that we encounter in the home and public places.
  • American cockroach or Periplaneta americana (large, rust red with a yellow band across its thorax),
  • German cockroach or Blatta germanica (pale yellow, only one-third the size of the American species) and
  • Oriental cockroach or Blatta orientalis (dark brown to black, the biggest and filthiest of all cockroaches.)
Meticulous sanitation is the best way to get rid of cockroaches. To keep their population down, sprinkle carbamate (Sevin) on the kitchen floor, pathways and possible hideout of the pest, preferably before retiring at night. Keep doors and screens properly closed to prevent entry of the insect.

Sweep the dead cockroaches, and leave the powder for another day or two - or until you don't find any dead cockroach in the morning.

Cockroaches are eco-indicators. Their presence speaks of untidy condition of the place. ~

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