March 15, 2005

Quick! Get the Broom!

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While this blog is about all the things I love about the low country it is not complete without my most worrisome pest besides spiders. Tonight I was using my mouse and something velvety brushed the top of my hand. I did not see anything but I immediately thought that I was not alone. I thought it was a roach. I did not see anything and I looked around for it, broom in hand. Nothing.

I had not see a roach since last summer. Spring is almost here so I guess they are coming out of hiding. I felt the flutter about 3 hours ago. The cat now is doing crazy things under the computer. Damn! There it is. Let me go get the broom. A little red roach. He is now on his way to China via water!

I am glad to say that I only see about 2-3 roaches a year and I do believe that they come in from outside. While they are eating them on Fear Factor, I am killing them here and flushiong them out to sea! Some stores here used to sell chocolate covered roaches. I passed on that one. They are just too dirty for me.

They are impossible to get rid of once you become infested. These roach facts are kind of wonder they are so hard to get rid of:

  • Some female cockroaches mate once and are pregnant for the rest of their lives
  • A cockroach can live a week without its head. The roach only dies because without a mouth, it can't drink water and dies of thirst.
  • A cockroach heart is nothing but a simple tube with valves. The tube can pump blood backwards and forwards in the insect. The heart can even stop moving without harming the roach.
  • Young cockroaches need only a crack as thin as a dime (about .5mm wide) to crawl into. Adult males can squeeze into a space of 1.6mm or the thickness of a quarter. Pregnant females need the most space to hide: 4.5mm or a space as tall as two stacked nickels.
  • Roaches can live without food for a month, but will only survive a week without water.
  • Most species of roaches live in the tropics. But roaches live all over the world, including the North and South Poles. Pest cockroachs can withstand temperatures as cold as 32°F (0°C), but will die if the temperature goes much below that. In extremely cold places, however, they survive by moving in with humans
  • What!?! Roaches can swim? That's right. A roach can hold its breath for 40 minutes too!
Maybe my roach is not on its' way to China long drowned. Maybe he is just going for a 40 minute underwater swim. Well at least he is not in this house anymore!
It is not the paper mill! It is pluff mud!

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