Friday, October 31, 2008

Cockroach invasion

I figured since this day seemed all biological already, I'd keep going with the theme. There is a new import from the war zone -- outside of PTSD and missing limbs and depleted uranium dust -- the Turkestan cockroach (Blatta lateralis). According to this Guardian article, they are spreading across the U.S. at a robust pace. An added charmer, they carry diseases like Typhoid and Dysentery.

In a bizarre twist, it looks like roaches are also being shipped around the country by business people. This article talks not only about non-native cockroaches spreading on their own, but being used for reptile food. James Tuttle, who runs the roach supply company, lays out the numbers:

“It’s the economy,” he said. “You can spend $50 a month buying crickets, so that’s $600 a year, or you could spend $50 (on roaches) and in six months, never have to buy food again.”

Of course most, if not all, of the roaches being shipped around are exotics. They can escape and help the spread of non-natives across the country. Which sucks. Most of the species he keeps are warm-weather varieties from South America, so maybe climate would limit them. Regardless, it's more than likely helping the invasion.

Enjoy some news you'd probably not otherwise have thought to search out,


[Guardian article via Babs, photo credit in article]

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