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Why Do Some Cockroaches Favor Indoor Habitats Over The Natural Environment, And Which Predatory Animals Can Be Used As A Form Of Natural Cockroach Control Within Homes

The phylum arthropoda is comprised of all the creepy-crawly creatures a person can think of including insects, spiders, scorpions, slugs, snails, centipedes, millipedes, lobsters, crabs and more. Arthropods have existed for around 500 million years, and they make up the vast majority of all animal species on earth today. Unsurprisingly, arthropods are easily the most successful of all organisms, as they have managed to survive numerous global disasters that resulted in the extinction of countless species, including dinosaurs.

Insects are the most abundant class of arthropods, and while most insect species inhabiting earth have yet to be discovered, well over one million insect species have already been documented and described by experts. The most primitive and widely distributed organisms in existence are generally the most successful in terms of adaptability. Considering this, many people may guess that ants, flies or termites must be the most successful types of insects, but as it happens, cockroaches emerged long before these three insect groups.

In addition to being one of the most successful organisms found in the natural environment, many cockroach species have become well adapted to living alongside humans within homes and buildings. In the northeast US, the German, American, Oriental and brown-banded cockroach species are the four primary cockroach pests. Although the German and brown-banded cockroach species have only inhabited North America for 250 and 120 years respectively, they have both adapted to live solely indoors.

American, Oriental and several other cockroach species found in the southern US have adapted to proliferate indoors by exploiting human living conditions, but only the German and brown-banded species dwell primarily within homes. There are several reasons as to why some insects may sometimes favor an indoor habitat to the natural environment. Within structures, cockroaches often have an easier time collecting food, avoiding extreme climatic conditions, and avoiding natural predators.

Because of their constant exposure to a wide range of insecticide formulations within homes during much of the last century, the most common cockroach pest species have adapted to survive the toxic effects of insecticides. Because of this, some residents have allowed natural cockroach predators, particularly geckos, to wander throughout their home in search of cockroach prey. Many recent studies have shown that a variety of parasitic wasp species naturally infest, and ultimately destroy cockroach egg cases. Unsurprisingly, at least one study on the use of parasitic wasps for the purpose of cockroach control within homes revealed that residents may have a difficult time cohabitating with the harmless, but annoying winged insects.

Would you be willing to live with geckos if doing so came with the guarantee that cockroach pests would never become a problem within your home?