Summer is rapidly approaching and brings with them a few of our all-time favourite things. Sun, summer cocktails and beach time. However, a few not-so-favourite things will be making an appearance as well.
It’s no secret that the long cold winter months have been hiding a few critters. Many of the companies handling pest control Alburylocals need will soon be inundated with calls when the summer pests start showing up.
Debunking a Few Tall Tales About an Age-Old Enemy
One of the most annoying critters to show up at the beginning of summer is the dreaded cockroach. If you’ve had a cockroach problem, you’ll know the dread of seeing one scurry across your sink.
As one of the most common household pests, these pesky critters come with a host of myths surrounding their very existence. Some are merely tall tales passed through the ages and others are remarkably close to the truth. Let’s have a look at a few of these common and sometimes outrageous myths.
Myth # 1: Cockroaches Are as Old as Dinosaurs
This myth is true. The critter we now commonly refer to as the household cockroach is 200 million years old. Studies have found that some cockroach fossils are in fact 350 million years old, the reality is, they re-date some dinosaur species.
Myth # 2: Cockroaches Can Live Without Their Heads
This ghoulish myth is true. A cockroach can survive without its head for up to a week. Since they breathe through tiny holes in their body segments, they don’t need their heads to breathe. However, since it requires its mouth to drink water it will eventually die of dehydration.
Myth # 3: Cockroaches Can Survive a Nuclear Holocaust
This is one of the oldest myths that everyone swears is true. It’s however, not true! While it’s true that these pests can withstand up to 10 times more radiation than a human, they still wouldn’t survive a nuclear event.
Myth # 4: Roaches Only Invade Dirty Homes
When you hear of someone having a roach problem, you automatically wonder how dirty their kitchen must be. The reality is a colony of roaches will invade a space if there’s access to food and water. A not-so-tidy home just makes access that much easier!
Myth # 5: Roaches Drink Beer
This might sound like nonsense, but it’s actually true! Some cockroach species have shown a great interest in beer beverages. This does however not mean that you have alcoholic roaches on hand! They are simply attracted to the sugars found in alcohol.
Myth # 6: Nothing Except Poison Can Kill a Roach
Fortunately, this myth isn’t true. As with every other living creature, roaches are somewhere on the food chain. Believe it or not, there are animals, centipedes, wasps, gecko’s and even spiders that prey on cockroaches.
Myth # 7: Roaches Can Run Extremely Fast
If you’ve ever had a roach scurrying around your kitchen, you know this to be true. The average roach can move at speeds more than 3 miles per hour. This might explain why it’s very difficult to catch one or bash it with your shoe!
Myth # 8: Roaches Are Clean Creatures
This myth probably originated from people seeing roaches regularly cleaning their antennae, but this myth is false. Cockroaches are notorious for carrying over 33 different types of bacteria which include parasitic worms and human pathogens. They also scurry around in dustbins and even over pet faeces. It’s safe to say, there’s nothing clean about them!
Myth #9: Cockroaches Can See Humans Coming
Believe it or not, roaches have excellent eyesight, and it accounts for part of the reason they often escape your grasp (or your shoe). Their eyes are made up of a compound lens which consists of over 2,000 mini lenses.
These minute lenses are photoreceptors that allow them to see in complete darkness. This is why they seem more active at night.
Myth # 10: All Roaches Fly
This myth is false. Only a handful of roaches can fly. Other species use their wing to stabilise their bodies when they jump. To a scared human, this might seem like flying, but it’s simply jumping.
Most household species can’t jump or fly and get around by scurrying across surfaces when they think you aren’t looking!
Myth #11: Bigger Roaches Create Bigger Infestations
Again, this is one of those old myths were a scared human mistakes size for quantity. This myth is false. A roach’s size doesn’t make any difference to the level of infestation you can expect. While there are some small roach species and some very large types, they all carry bacteria and disease.
When it comes time to separate fact from fiction, it’s important to remember that a small infestation of roaches can lead to a much bigger problem. If you suspect that you have a roach problem, it’s best to take control of the situation and call in the professionals!