Prepare to hear your worst nightmare: cockroaches can multiply on their own for years without meeting a member of the opposite sex.
For a few types of cockroaches, such as the American cockroach, or “Periplaneta Americana,” females are able to breed for years without the help of a male, according to a Japanese study published this month in the peer-reviewed Zoological Letters journal.
The team, from Hokkaido University in Japan and led by entomologist Hiroshi Nishino, studied a group of 15 female virgin cockroaches for three years beginning in December of 2013. The results surprised them: They grew to about 1,000 female roaches over that time. The cockroaches multiplied through asexual reproduction known as parthenogenesis — a popular method of reproducing for most roaches, but usually a last resort approach for American cockroaches.
Exterminating cockroaches can get expensive: it costs most people somewhere between $75 and $450, according to Fixr.com, with a national average of $300, a cost guide website for home projects. Roaches can enter through open windows and doors, but also from small cracks in your home and foundation.
You can tell if you may have an infestation by spotting black or brown flakes on counters and floors, a musty odor and an oily smell. Ways to rid your home of these critters is through roach bait, which lures and kills nearly all types of roaches, as well as traps and dust installed within the wall to kill the nest. “They live better close with us than without us,” said Dini Miller, a professor of entomology at Virginia Tech University, and an urban pest management specialist. “We give them food, moisture and warmth.” Another way to avoid cockroaches is to keep your home clean of potential food waste and excess moisture.
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Cockroaches, the most common of insects, according to Penn State College of Agricultural Science’s Department of Entomology, have been around for 300 million years. American cockroaches are a reddish brown color and about one and a half inches long. They have wings, though they don’t usually fly in the northern parts of the country, according to Penn State. They’re attracted to dark and warm areas, such as basements and bathtubs or clothes hampers. Adult cockroaches can survive a month without water and a few months without food.
The most roach-infested of American cities include New Orleans at the top of the list, followed by Houston, Miami, Atlanta and Phoenix, according to the government’s American Housing Survey, which includes questions about homeowners’ infestation issues.
Two common cockroach species in the country include the American cockroach and the German cockroach — German cockroaches are more often found in public housing whereas American cockroaches live in other types of homes and old locations. Both can be found indoors, though American cockroaches prefer to live and breed outside, Miller said. They also stay close to where they grew up, one researcher found: a cockroach found on the Upper East Side of New York, for example, will test for different genetics than one found on the Upper West Side, though there won’t be any other differences.
View more information: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/american-cockroaches-reproduce-at-an-alarming-rate-without-males-2017-03-20