Sunday, 1 April 2012

B for Blattella germanica

Commonly known as the German Cockroach

Fun Facts:

1) This cockroach has worldwide distribution and is one of the most important urban pest species on the planet. Chances are, you've already come across one of these guys.

2) They have changed little during the 300 + million years they've been around. I  guess the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

3) After mating, the female will produce an ootheca. The ootheca is an egg casing that is attched to the tip of the females abdomen. A few days before the ootheca hatches, the female will deposit it in a sheltered locations. Each ootheca can contain up to 48 eggs!

4) In one year over 10,000 descendants can be produced, assuming two generations per year. (source: Penn State Entomology Department; website)


Ants scavenging on a dead Blattella germanica.
And yes, I did take this picture. (:
5) Blattella germanica can transmit several different forms of gastroenteritis such as: food poisoning, dysentery and diarrhea. However, this does not make them "dirty." Cockroaches in general spend a lot of time resting and cleaning/grooming themselves.

6) They can eat just about anything with nutritive value including things such as soap, glue, and toothpaste. Garbage tends to be their primary food source.

7) Blattella germanica is nocturnal (active at night) but can be seen during the day if the population is high. Heavy infestations can cause asthma in allergen-sensitive individuals.  In other words, if you see one of these walking around at noon, you may want to call a pest management professional.

8) Blattella germanica is harmless in the sense that it cannot bite you. Its mouth parts are designed for chewing and it's not strong enough to break the skin. They do not have a stinging mechanism and their main defense is to run and hide. I would know, I've personally handled them before. 

Flash Fiction: ~ 350 words. Yesterdays flash fiction had no dialogue in it other than internal thought. So thoday, I thought I'd write strictly dialogue. The trick was trying to set the scene without making the conversation sound forced or fake. Enough bla, bla. Enjoy.
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“Billy, you’ve been sitting in that tacky, Jedi t-shirt for 3 days now and God only knows how long you’ve been in the rest.

“Your point?”

“Well, the lads and I think it’s time you get off your arse and stop moping about like a broken-hearted schoolgirl.”

“I can’t.”

“Yes you can and you must. This place is a disaster. There’s barely enough scraps on the floor to feed the others, the rubbish bin hasn’t been filled in days, and Arthur just polished off the last of the bacon stuck to the bottom of the toaster.”

“That’s all you care about, the trash and the leftovers. What do you know anyway? You’re just a dirty, roach.”

“I beg your pardon! The correct name is Blattella germanica and unlike you, I just washed.”

“Oh yeah, then what’s that smell and why do you have a British accent?”

“Well I don’t know, ask the writer!”

“I hate the writer. It’s her fault I’m in this shit hole and the reason Cindy left me for the mailman. I mean seriously, the mailman? As a writer you'd think she'd come up with something better. I swear she’s got the imagination of a peanut and an obsession for stinking clichés, literally.”

“That’s right Billy, go on and blame everyone else for your loathsome predicament.”

“Do you ever just shut up?”

“Did it ever cross your pea-sized brain that maybe, if you weren’t such a prick, the writer might fix you up a bit?”

“What, like she did with you?”

“What’s wrong with me? I actually like being who I am.”

“You’re a six-legged garbage disposal that eats the matted gum stuck to the bottom of my shoe. You snack on my bellybutton lint and spend hours sleeping under the rim of the toilet seat. Come to think about it, I should just step on you and take you out of your misery.”

“Wanker.”

“What did you just say?”

“Wanker. Wanker, wanker, wanker, wanker!”

“Well that’s great. I just got called a wanker by a roach. I’ve finally hit bottom.”

12 comments:

  1. Don't you love those profound conversations when you are in the dumps, and the whole world seems to be mocking you? Enjoyed this...nice to meet you via A-Z

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    1. Nice to meet you too and thanks for stopping by. (:

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  2. I shall break out this latin name soon enough to amaze my co-workers! I like how the guy is wearing a Star Wars themed shirt. Oh stereotypes...how we love you!

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    1. I have a lot of stereotypes in my closet. :D

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  3. You have handled Blattella Germanica!! *eyes popping & jaw dropping moment*
    I have an aversion to them and guess what? We have HUGE roaches here in my city... the flying ones! (because of the unbearable humidity, especially during summer).
    One would think I'm accustomed to them by now... another guess? It's my NUMBER ONE phobia...

    The fiction was SUPERB! ROTFL! Great dialogue.

    Hey and I forgot, congrats on your placing in the Platform-Building Campaign Challenge!

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    1. I've also handled American cockroaches and Madagascar Hissing cockroaches (my favorites of the cockroaches). (: Yeah, in the tropic regions cockroaches do fly/glide, plus they tend to be a lot bigger. You're so lucky!

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    2. In our area we have those huge ones that look like hummingbirds they're so big. Love the posts. Educational and entertaining.

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    3. Thanks Bethie, come back anytime! (:

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  4. Oh my, that last big paragraph was positively revolting, but also hilarious! :)
    I never knew these little beasts are called "german" cockroaches ... does this mean they really originate from Germany??

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    1. No, not at all. This species most likely originated in Asia. I have no idea why it's commonly known as a German cockroach. Same thing goes for the American cockroach, that probably originated in Africa. (:

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