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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

COCKROACHES: A FEW REDEEMING VIRTUES

I hate cockroaches.  I have a mild form of Katsaridaphobia (read this article to learn about how to lose this phobia).  I've caught more than a thousand using Hoy-Hoy-Trap-a-Roach.  No one has ever seen a cockroach yet inside 15 Craigside where I live, but I maintain a full operational set in my apartment just in case. 

Fittingly, a poll by Fordham University indicated that cockroaches were a tad more popular than the U.S. Congress:

Q18 What do you have a higher opinion of:
Congress or cockroaches?

Congress ........................................................ 43%
Cockroaches................................................... 45%
Not sure ......................................................... 12%

Turns out that cockroaches and Donald Trump are about equivalent:

Q20 What do you have a higher opinion of:
Congress or Donald Trump?

Congress .......................................................... 42%
Donald Trump ................................................. 44%
Not sure ........................................................... 14%

But Congress beats Gonorrhea:

Q26 What do you have a higher opinion of:
Congress or gonorrhea?

Congress ......................................................... 53%
Gonorrhea....................................................... 28%
Not sure .......................................................... 18%

This could well be my final posting on this detestable pest.  Just so you know what you're dealing with:
  • been around for 350 million years, 100 million years before dinosaurs
  • During the Carboniferous Era some 220 million years ago, they were so dominant that paleontologists affectionately nicknamed this time period the Age of Cockroaches
  • the largest roaches then (above right) were about the same as the largest today (right), which is the Megaloblatta longipennis from South America (Akira Yokokura of Japan supposedly has a preserved female 3.8 inches in length, but I saw one in a formaldehyde jar of a colleague who brought it back from Ecuador, and it was larger, with much longer antennae)
  • each female produces around 300 offsprings (requiring only one impregnation)
  • can live without its head for a week
  • holds its breath for 40 minutes
  • can survive nuclear fallout
  • loves beer
  • with water, can live without food for a month
  • are among 4500 species
  • there are many more cockroaches than Homo sapiens
  • not sure what percentage are cockroaches, but insects on this planet outweigh humans by a factor of 70.  
  • can be found even on naval submarines
  • see if you go to sleep after these encounters:
    • known to gnaw on a sleeping person's eyelashes
    • this should freak you out, for it took 45 minutes of surgery to remove a live cockroach (crawled in from the nostrils) from person's skull
CHENNAI (formerly Madras, and to minimize the grossness of this topic, thank me for showing a Madras shirt instead a photo of this invader in a bottle):  After a long day at work, Selvi (42) hit the bed soon and was fast asleep when a weird sensation woke her up around midnight on Tuesday. She felt that some insect had crawled up her nose and dragging her son-in-law along, she immediately went to the nearest clinic and then to another, before finally reaching the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital the next morning.
 
There, during nasal endoscopy, the doctors found that what she felt was true.  Sitting on the skull base, close to the brain, and between Selvi’s two eyes, was a cockroach. And it was alive.

Don't watch this video.

However, on the plus side, did you know that cockroaches are known to produce an antibiotic showing promise for fighting staph infections such as MRSA?  A couple of months ago Hong Kong experience swarms of cockroaches fleeing incoming Typhoon Hato.  Hurricane prediction?

Also, did you know the exodus of roaches could be a sign that an earthquake is coming? Further, they are being studied as bio-robotic aids to help rescue people trapped after the cataclysm.

In any case, I stumbled on this blog site about a cure for cockroaches in your apartment.  My thought was, wow, I wonder where this person lived.  Sure, cockroaches are not totally gross, but with CRISPR/Cas9, science has a way now to totally eliminate cockroaches forever.  On balance, the world should be a better place without them.

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