Cockroaches may be the most resilient group of insects in the world, as these hardy pests are capable of surviving seemingly deadly mutilations and exceedingly toxic environments. Cockroaches are one of the few animal groups that inhabited the planet long before the dinosaurs ever existed, and their appearance has remained largely unchanged since they first appeared at least 300 million years ago. Cockroaches have evolved to thrive in conditions that would quickly kill a human, as cockroach populations proliferate rapidly in microbe-rich environments, such as in sewers, garbage dumpsters and anywhere where rotting food and/or feces are abundant.
Due to their filthy dwelling habits, cockroach pests in homes often bring a diversity of disease-causing bacteria and other dangerous microorganisms along with them. Eating food that has been exposed to one or more cockroaches, or even maintaining a presence with cockroach-infested conditions is considered a serious health threat. Roaches are also well known for reproducing rapidly, causing infestations to reach unmanageable proportions within a short period of time. The reason for the rapid proliferation of roach communities, and their tendency to easily spread bacteria and allergens to humans within homes has recently been revealed by an astonishing study.
Researchers have found that one of the most common cockroach pest species, American cockroaches, are capable of reproducing asexually. Asexual reproduction is known as “parthenogenesis,” and this ability allows American cockroaches to multiply at tremendously fast rates. A recent study demonstrated that a mere 14 female virgin cockroaches could sustain at least four generations, resulting in thousands of all-female cockroach colonies. Female cockroaches are also larger and more likely to survive harsh conditions, making all-female cockroach infestations particularly difficult to eradicate. Also, many cockroach bait products are designed to attract male cockroaches via female pheromones, which makes these roach control methods useless against all-female infestations. Perhaps most important is that this form of inbreeding produces filthier roach communities that are likely to spread dangerous diseases to humans. According to one researcher on the project, if female roaches maintain an infestation lasting more than four generations over a period of three years, they become a major public health threat due to their enhanced ability to spread disease.
Do you believe that you have experienced an all female cockroach infestations in the past?