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Few things cause an involuntary shiver as much as the sight of a cockroach scurrying across the kitchen floor. When it comes to the cockroach there is an almost ingrained sense of revulsion and disgust.

However, as with many creatures we deem to be pests, these beasties are fascinating. An argument could even be made that they are amazing.

How long do you think a cockroach can live without its head? Imagine this. In a controlled experiment a cockroach actually lived seven days with no head.

The cockroach can eat almost anything, or nothing at all. Fecal matter, dead insects or animals, some glues, paper, wood, types of soap, hair, and cloth can all be considered food for the cockroach. But fasts of several weeks without food or water have been documented.

There is more than a grain of truth to the urban legend that cockroaches can survive high levels of radiation. Numerous scientific studies have shown that extreme radiation levels are survivable by the cockroach.

In fact after atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during WWII cockroaches were found alive. They were even found after the nuclear accident in Chernobyl.

Have you ever given thought to how cockroaches survive in drain pipes? Well, some studies have shown that cockroaches can avoid breathing for at least a half hour.

Breeding is another fascinating and somewhat disturbing aspect of cockroach life. It is not necessary for them to mate every breeding season. In fact females can store sperm and then use it for the next few seasons when food is plentiful and conditions are favorable. In species with shorter lifespans, it is possible for the females to store enough sperm to last them a lifetime.

Still as amazing as they may be, you do not want them in your home. Did you know that the warm, dark atmosphere interior inside electrical appliances such as televisions, game console and computers is a near perfect nesting site for cockroaches? Did you know that they can short out these appliances and even cause a fire?

Then there are the health concerns associated with cockroaches. The most obvious is associated with food contamination. Did you know that cockroaches are associated with allergies?

Medical studies have found that a large percentage of residents in urban settings are allergic to cockroaches. Manifestations can range from itching to skin rashes. There are also studies that show a link between cockroach allergies and asthma.

The bottom line is that cockroaches are counted among some of the most fascinating animals on earth. There is ample fossil evidence that they have existed with little change for millions of years. And there are thousands of species found on every continent.

Still, you do not want them in your home. And over the counter solutions will seldom work to fully eradicate an infestation. So, here in the Colorado River Valley and in western Arizona, it is best to call the professionals at Baron Services. For all of your pest control needs, Barons is just one phone call away.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America