La Cucaracha

It is funny how some animals gain a reputation that is many times undeserved. For example, the unconditional love some have for the panda is founded on bold face lies. See here for an explanation. Many think the koala is a fun snugly critter, but in reality it is a vicious killer that will rip your face off in your sleep when given the chance. It can work the other way, such as the Vampire Bat which is in reality not a vampire at all or the Loch Ness Monster which turns out does not exist.

But the animal with the worst reputation which is mostly undeserved is the cockroach.

HA!!! See? I bet you winced. Almost everyone I know is disgusted by these little guys. But I never fully understood why. Sure, it is very annoying to see one of these little dudes scurry across your kitchen floor. But they are not poisonous and easy enough to kill.

So I put on my sleuthing cap and did some investigation into our misunderstood enemy the cockroach.

It turns out that the cockroach that we know and hate only constitutes 3% of all cockroach species. Only 3%!! There are over 4800 types of cockroaches; we only encounter 30 of them. There are more species of cockroaches than types of mammals. How would you like the human race to be judged on a rat or an otter. Not fair, huh? I would call shenanigans on that. So to be just, I will call shenanigans on judging all cockroaches on the 30 types that run around our home.

It also turns out that these other cockroaches that inhabit other parts of the world are vital to keep ecosystems in balance. The food chain in the Amazon would be in complete disarray if it was not for the cockroach. And we all know how much we love preserving rain forests.

Finally, we have this idea that only the cockroach can survive a nuclear holocaust. Baloney!! Apparently cockroaches can only withstand 5x more radiate than a human (other animals can withstand much more), so the cockroach would not last through an apocalyptic event; they are about as vulnerable as well are.

So let us dial it back a bit on the cockroach. Yes, 3% of them can be put in a basket of deplorables, but there are 97% that are not so bad. Maybe if we all were open-minded about these little guys, we would make a new friend in this crazy world filled with malevolent pandas and ruthless koalas.