This is southern Louisiana and we all encounter cockroaches almost on a daily basis. These pesky bugs can vary in size and seem almost indestructible. You probably tried to smash one, only to see it running off just after you hit it with your boot. They can run up to three miles in an hour, making it even harder to get them. Those skills are probably to blame for the fact that cockroaches have been around for a while. Recent studies estimate that they have been around as early as 359 million years ago. They can live several weeks without food and a week without water. The larger ones can go even longer. But, what is the purpose of cockroaches?
What Do Cockroaches Do?
There are over 4000 species of cockroaches that crawl the earth, but you will be happy to know that only 70 can be found in the United States. Of those 70, the most common are the American, Australasian, Brown-Banded, German, Oriental and Smoky Brown. But, the German Cockroach is the most common. The German Roach grows to adulthood in 123 days this is why there are so many of them. Cockroaches do have a purpose in nature.
Many bird species, reptiles and other mammals like rats and mice prey on them and rely on them as a food source. Because there are so many of them, lot of animal really enjoy the nutritional purpose of cockroaches.
Cockroaches feed upon decaying organic matter, leaf litter and wood around it. Not only do they help “clean up” degrading plant material, in the process their bodies trap a lot of atmospheric nitrogen. Basically, the purpose of cockroaches in this case is basically for cleaning. Cockroaches then release the trapped nitrogen into the soil (through their feces). Nitrogen is part of the chlorophyll molecule, which gives plants their green color and is involved in creating food for the plant through photosynthesis. This may be one of the best purposes for cockroaches.
Not In My House
The benefits of cockroaches for nature are one thing, but you really do not need them in your home. Cockroaches carry germs and bacteria and not only can infest your home, but can trigger allergies and asthma. No matter what the good purpose for cockroaches are for other animals, they can do it all outside your home. If you find several cockroaches in your home, it is time to call Terminix!