The current US Government policy on immigration may be controversial and divisive, but when it comes to non-native cockroaches, it is fair to say that most Americans prefer to keep as many of them out of the country as possible. The last thing Americans are hoping for is to discover a new non-native species of cockroach within US borders. In fact, most Americans would prefer to live in a country that is entirely free of all cockroach species, both native and non-native. Unfortunately, cockroaches are sneaky creatures, and no political rhetoric, or even a wall, will keep the little buggers from infiltrating regions where they are not only not wanted, but are also harmful to the ecosystem. Unfortunately, a cockroach species that is native to the middle-east has arrived in the southeast United States, specifically Georgia, for the first time in history. Although this particular species of roach has already established an invasive presence in the American southwest, experts have good reason to be concerned about this species increasing their habitat range within the country.
Back in 1978, the Turkestan cockroach was discovered in America for the first time. Initially, the roach was found on a military base in California, and a few years later, the species was found on military bases located in western Texas. The invasive roach was likely transported into America by soldiers returning from the middle-east. By the mid 1980s, the Turkestan cockroach had established a permanent habitat in Los Angeles. The invasive presence of this roach in America has been a matter of concern among public health officials and entomologists, as these cockroaches can infest bodies of water that are diverted for human use. These roaches have also been found in electrical boxes where their activity could cause power outages. Although American and Oriental cockroaches also gravitate toward water bodies, Turkestan cockroach reproduce at rates that far outpace most other cockroach species. This cockroach species can also skitter across the ground at an unusually rapid speed. This is precisely why Turkestan cockroaches have nearly replaced American cockroaches as household pests within the southwest US.
These roaches are also commonly purchased online as pet food for reptiles. Some experts think that Turkestan cockroaches are spreading across America as a result of becoming a primary form of pet food among American consumers. Pest control experts were hoping that these roaches would remain contained to the southwest US, but the recent appearance of Turkestan cockroaches in Georgia makes containment efforts seem impossible. It is only a matter of time before these invasive creatures establish a habitat in New York City.
Do you, or anybody you know, buy roaches as pet food online?