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Faster-Breeding Cockroach Taking Over in Southwestern U.S.

Faster-Breeding Cockroach Taking Over in Southwestern U.S.

12/11/13

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Most people who find a cockroach in their home won't stop to determine its species, but, just for the record, the Turkestan cockroach is rapidly gaining a foothold in the southwestern United States.

This might be because Turkestan cockroaches produce far more eggs and have a shorter development period than oriental cockroaches, the species they are displacing, a new study suggests.

Turkestan cockroaches also have a faster life cycle and become adults after five molts, compared with seven to 10 molts for oriental cockroaches, according to the research, which was published in the December issue of the Journal of Economic Entomology.

The Turkestan cockroach was first reported in the United States at the Sharpe Army Depot in California and is now widespread in that state and cities in the southwest.

The species can be bought online and is popular among people who require living insects as food for pet reptiles since Turkestan cockroaches breed in large numbers, are easy to handle and are unable to climb smooth surfaces, the researchers said in a news release from the Entomological Society of America.

"It will be interesting to follow the spread of the Turkestan cockroach in the United States," said study authors Tina Kim and Michael Rust of the University of California, Riverside. "This may be the first time that an invasive urban pest species is widely distributed via the Internet and through the sale of live insects."

More information

TexasInvasives.org has more about the Turkestan cockroach.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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