Roaches – disgusting things


According to some experts, “A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death.” I know that is really disgusting!
Before we continue with that thought, I want to review my history with cockroaches. Admittedly, it is limited, but even the thought of them gives me the creeps. All my incidents involving them have been while in Florida, where these creatures live and I should say, thrive. When there, we are warned to keep drains closed and plug up any entrances to inside a wall. They live there all the time and want to come out to see us. I’m not sure what they are eating while in there. Apparently, they aren’t particular.
These insects are so really ugly! One morning I was walking down the bedroom hall in Naples and there it was right in the middle of the floor. I almost stepped on it with my bare feet! That wakes you up right away.Fortunately it didn’t move (they probably can run really fast). I smacked it hard with a magazine and that was the end of him.
Immediately my son said that eggs would come out when it died and they would hatch later. What? It turns out that is half true. My research says that when a roach feels threatened (are you serious?) they do drop their eggs, which can lay around for a long time, unnoticed, and hatch. What a wonderful thought! I do remember running the sweeper just in case, but what if they hatch out in there? Thankfully that didn’t happen.
The second event involved one of those roaches coming up the drain and looking at me from the sink when I entered the bathroom. It went like this. It was dark so I spotted something moving in the sink. I didn’t turn on the light, but began hitting it with the closest thing – a full box of tissues. Let me tell you that doesn’t work very well. It didn’t die so I turned on the hot water and attempted to shove it down the drain. I don’t know how it got up from there to begin with because it barely fit through the hole. Oh my gosh my heart was beating fast!
So, clearly I don’t like these things, but was fascinated with this fact about living without a head. Research has proven this to be true. In fact, they may be able to live for a few weeks without a head. Are you grossed out yet? They differ from humans in many ways, of course, but one important way is that if the head is removed, the neck closes right up and clots so they don’t actually bleed to death. They also do not need a head to breathe because they use tiny holes on the side of their body and breathing is not controlled by their brain. So they can exist on one meal for a very long time. This is why roaches are believed to be the most likely to survive a nuclear attack. All the extermination efforts have not been able to rid us of them, so we’ll just have to keep trying to control them.
You know what they say – “We are all really brave until we realize that a cockroach has wings!”
About last week
I received this note from Jan Kelley about last week’s column concerning scams:
“I always read your column and I want to respond. This week I received phone calls from IRS scam, grandparent scam, and a Nigerian email letter scam. My solution to dealing with these is to forward any emails to I have been doing this for quite some time now and even though you will not get a response from them, at least it is comforting to know that you have placed the monkey on the government’s back.”
“I even have a solution for the local scam you described. We live back off the road and have many stop and knock on our door under the pretense of ‘out of gas’ or ‘need to use the phone.’ I began using this ‘procedure’ while Ed was still working and was gone three to four nights a week – I kept a loaded pistol at the door and greeted the person knocking on our door after dark. Friend or foe was quickly determined. Since Ed retired we both obtained our concealed carry permits. I continue to answer the door at night with my gun in hand. In the 29 years we have lived here, I have had three questionable people up to no good and I believe that me and my trusty loaded pistol changed their minds.”
If you missed last week’s column, just go to and click on community, then on off the hook and finally click on archives.
(Melanie Behrens –

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