It is commonly observed that killing a cockroach is not a very easy task. No matter how hard you try, they find an escape one way or another. We usually try to kill them by hitting with a newspaper or stepping on them. But they still manage to escape somehow. How do they do it? Let’s solve this mystery.
First of all, let’s make it clear that the species of cockroaches are not the only ones blessed with this special power. This characteristic is shared by the house-fly as well. Just like roaches, it is not very easy to swipe a house-fly either.
However, Mother Nature has always been partial to the cockroach and has sustained its existence for the last 35 million years. The species of cockroaches evolved much earlier than human beings. Throughout this long evolutionary process, it has developed the ability to survive in extremely adverse conditions.
They are one of the most stubborn species in the insects’ class. They are so resistant that even exposure to nuclear radiation following a nuclear explosion, which would be fatal to human beings, animals, and birds, cannot harm a cockroach.
We generally use pesticides like DDT to kill these monsters. But who are we kidding with? These pesticides do not have much effect on this insect either. So, the question here is, why are these little insects so resistant? What is their specialty? And how do they survive in such extreme conditions?
Cockroaches are not very simple. They have special organs. Shockingly enough, the body of a cockroach can survive for days even if its head is cut-off. This repugnant insect can feed on a variety of things, from soap to leather. It can also do without food for up to two months.
The cockroach’s eating habits are not its only protective mechanism. But its body also works for its protection. Its body is so smooth and flat that it can slip into a narrow crevice to hide from the reachable spots. Also, the body of a cockroach is very elastic. If a person steps on it accidentally, almost nothing happens! This insect can withstand a weight of up to seventy kilograms. That is why, when you step on it, it mostly survives.
Now we know that roaches can easily protect themselves. But it still doesn’t justify the huge number of this creature. Well, cockroaches are one of the most highly reproductive insects. A female cockroach spawns many eggs sufficient for the birth of 180 cockroaches in 303 days. If we assume that one-half of these young ones are females, then in another three hundred days, the number of cockroaches would go up to 27,270. This explains their unlimited number on our planet.
A cockroach flies with some difficulty but is a swift runner. It can identify a threat even when it is far away. Nature has given cockroach some microscopic hair on its body. These are directly connected with its central nervous system. They are sensory hair and identify wind direction.
As a roll of a news-paper or a broom is swung down (or even up) on a cockroach, air swiftly flows toward it. It senses the approaching airflow and runs away in the opposite direction immediately.
This sensory system is not exclusive for cockroaches; a fly also employs the same tactics. That is why a racket-like fly swatter is used. This plastic device has many rectangular holes through which air escapes. This venting not only minimizes the air pressure but also allows fly swatter to move quickly through air. Thus, by the time the fly’s natural ‘radar’ senses the attack, the target is hit!
It is just mind-blowing how even a tiny insect has such an advanced defense system. We would normally think that cockroaches are small insects with no powers. Yet it turns out that theyare quite powerful and can do a lot for their defense. At least now we know what makes them so hard to get rid of. Therefore, we should try other measures to kill them instead of trying the same old hit and swipe method.