Cockroach


Cockroach -

An orthopterous insect which may be classed among the most offensive and objectionable of domestic pests. It is extremely voracious, not only devouring all kinds of provisions, but destroying silk, flannel and even cotton fabrics in the absence of anything more edible. It is nocturnal in its habits and exceedingly active and swift of movement, its flattened form enabling it to insinuate itself easily into crevices and thus escape detection. It is found in many varieties and in every part of the world - from the Frozen North, where it is often responsible for the destruction of the winter's supply of dried fish, to its most favored habitat, the tropical zone.

The three chief domesticated species found here are, Blatella Germanica, the small variety known as the German Cockroach, Water-bug, Croton-bug, etc.; Blatta Orientalis, the Common Cockroach or "Black Beetle"; Blatta Americana, the American Cockroach, which averages the largest of the common varieties, and the Periplaneta Australisae, or Australian Cockroach. In spite of their geographical titles, these four are now international in distribution. The Australian Cockroach is not so frequently seen in northern states, but it is the most plentiful and obnoxious in Florida and other parts of the South.

Except for differences in size, the domesticated roaches of temperature climates resemble each other in general characteristics, but the wild roaches of the tropics present a wonderful diversity of size, color and shape, one species attaining the enormous length of six inches. Another large, partially domesticated variety found in the West Indies is locally known as the "drummer," from the tapping noise it makes on wood - the sound thus produced, when joined in by several of the creatures, as it usually is, being sufficient to destroy the slumbers of a household.

The only certain way of

ridding an apartment or store of roaches is by fumigation, the two most widely approved agents being hydrocyanic acid gas and bisulphid of carbon, but this method is not always practicable or convenient. If the warfare against them is conducted persistently and systematically, they can generally be driven away or destroyed without fumigation, by the distribution of small pills of Phosphorus Paste, or by the use of Flowers of Sulphur, fine powdered Borax or Persian Insect Powder, blown by bellows into cracks and crevices in the floor, woodwork, walls, etc., and distributed in all corners and obscure parts of rooms and closets.

Another method is to smear a piece of wood with syrup and float it in a broad basin of Water before retiring. When fires and lights are extinguished, the roaches come out of their holes and drown themselves in the Water in their efforts to reach the bait. The chinks and holes from which they have come should be filled with unslacked lime. Traps of this - or any other - character are though seldom efficacious against the very astute Water-bug.


Arround Cockroach in The Grocer's Encyclopedia


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