Thursday, 18 October 2007

Cockies II

But not feathered ones.

When I lived in North Queensland, I tried to declare war on the cockroaches. Not the ones in the garden but the introduced species that love to hang around with people. I lost the war. I might have postponed defeat had I used insecticides but the collateral damage might have been too great. There was a bunch of insects (and insect-eaters) that I didn't mind around the house and I didn't want to kill any those. Just the bloody cockroaches.

But now I'm in Melbourne, I'm facing a quandary. There are cockroaches in the house. Not the introduced Periplaneta, which drove me mad in NQ, but a garden-loving native, Drymaplaneta. It's about the same size − 'ken huge − and looks similar but has a rather more laconic attitude. And it doesn't fly. That's a big plus.

Do I tolerate them? (When I say them, I saw this one yesterday, which was the first sighting for about ten months. So we're not talking Plagues of Egypt here.) Do I relocate them? Or do I use them as an excuse to educate myself on the wonderful variety of cockroaches here in Australia?

Hmmm ... let me think.

David Rentz's superb book 'Grasshopper Country' doesn't have much on this genus. (It's an excellent introduction to Australian cockroaches. Yes, they're related to grasshoppers. And stick insects. Go buy it to find out more.) So, if I get a moment at work tomorrow, I'll run a literature search on Drymaplaneta to see what I can find. Watch this space. I'll watch the cockroaches.


Sophie said...

Do these guys have a native predator that can be introduced in the house as a pet?
A carnivorous cute cockroach-eating marsupial maybe?
I guess not...

Snail said...

In the tropics, the house geckos would tackle the small cockroaches but I'm not sure what else I could cope with around the house.

It could end up being one of those 'old lady that swallowed the fly' situations. You know, she swallowed a spider to catch the fly, then swallowed a bird to catch the spider ...!


I say tolerate them since they are native & as long as they are not overtaking the house.

Snail said...

I am going to let them be.

I've seen about two in a year, so if they are around in numbers they're pretty subtle about it. And they don't leave poo all over the place like the introduced ones. Nor do they appear to stick their Minnie Mouse handbag oothecae anywhere obvious!