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Know Thy Enemy: Cockroaches

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Jessica
07.21.12

It’s 5 AM. You’re thirsty, and stumble into the kitchen only to be met by a dozen cockroaches scattering in different directions when you turn on the kitchen light. Gross!

Before you start swatting at them with kitchen utensils, get to know these small, crunchy beasts a little better so you can mount an informed defense. For example, did you know that cockroaches have been around since the dinosaurs? How can you expect to triumph with a spatula when they outlived T-Rex?

To learn more about roach defense, read: Pest Control: Cockroaches. That way, you can stop holding your breath when you turn on the lights. Learn more about your enemy before you plan an attack:

Cockroach facts:

  • Cockroaches are nocturnal – that’s why they freak out when you turn on the lights.

  • Cockroaches are spry – they have one massive nerve connecting their tail to their head, which alerts them to ambushes and makes them hard to squash.

  • Cockroaches can survive for over a month without food, but only about a week without water.

  • Some types of cockroaches mate once and then spend the rest of their lives pregnant.

  • A decapitated cockroach can survive for up to a week, the only reason it dies is because it can’t drink anymore.

  • Cockroaches are native to Asia and Northern Africa, but were able to spread across the world as stowaways on ships.

  • Cockroaches aren’t stupid – they can make complex decisions as a group and will divide their numbers according to available resources.

  • Just like vampires, cockroaches hate garlic. So, spread garlic in infested areas to ward them off. Other natural deterrents include: bay leaves, cucumbers and soapy water.

  • Cockroaches love high places, so place any traps or poison on top of cabinets for maximum effect.
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