Can cockroaches travel in luggage? Where on earth did they come from?
Simply because so and so went on a holiday trip abroad and returned with luggage infested with cockroaches doesn’t mean we all share the same experiences. Some travellers travel with peace of mind, carrying cockroach free luggage.
Having said that, TRAVEL is the culprit and root source of cockroaches in luggage. Let’s face it. Looking at the nature of travel, of moving from point A to point B, its quite evident travel is to blame. WHY? It is the focal point and the magnet that pulls everyone ON BOARD. These are people travelling by sea, road, air, etcetera.
Long-distance transportation of cockroaches happens on air crafts, ships and coaches. When people go on holiday or on business trips, they do not turn up empty-handed. Instead, they bring along all sorts of travel bags. Who knows what those travel bags will be carrying? No wonder why travellers get so puzzled the moment they discover cockroaches in their luggage. Neither do they understand how on earth cockroaches got into their travel luggage in the first place?
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It is no secret for those who have travelled by sea, cockroaches are not unusual pests on steamers. The real issue which keeps travellers tossing and turning at night is how to get rid of the unwelcome guests. Once cockroaches sneak into your luggage and ultimately become permanent residents in your lovely home, getting rid of them is a complete nightmare.
Cockroaches tend to hide out in cracks and crevices, familiar features on ships. Cracks provide the perfect solution for cockroaches to hide, mingle and multiply.
Cockroaches In Customs Stations
Have you ever thought Customs Inspection Stations at the border posts are entry points for cockroaches? As part of the border officers’ routine job, they ask travellers to take out their belongings for baggage checks and passport control procedures. These checks are not done there and then and may take some time. So, you can imagine what happens during the process. I’m sure cockroaches easily shift from one travel bag to another.
The Truth Is You Are Not The Only Person Concerned About Cockroaches – They Can Completely Ruin Your Business
For example, if a ship is highly infested with cockroaches, this can lead to a serious drop in business growth. At times, it can result in the business completely collapsing. Cockroach infestation has a negative connotation and is associated with health hazards. So, its very important for the business owner to convince customers measures are in place to ensure food safety.
Myth Cockroaches Could Be Good Medicine
Have you heard about this myth which links cockroaches as “Part of an old folk remedy where you mix the roaches in some medicinal cream and put it on your skin?”
An incident covered by the BBC supports this view. A Couple Had 200 Roaches in airport hand luggage Who knows how long similar incidences have been happening and how many cockroaches have been transported as a result?
Also, Scientists are reported to have recently discovered a ‘disgusting’ new idea for human health in grounding-up brains of cockroaches, which is said to help fight infectious diseases.
What Researchers Have Unearthed
Findings From Researchers Are Going To Shock You, To Say The Least. Old Cockroaches Learn New Tricks research conducted by Meek, F. revealed Cockroaches Have Learned To Avoid Baits!
Meek’s findings also reveal cockroaches to be one of Earth’s oldest species continuously learning new tricks to survive. These pests have survived 350 million years. Also, they have become so resilient. Since the 1990s, we see cockroaches’ increasing tendency to avoid pesticide baits commonly used in pest control. This is not because the cockroaches have become resistant to the pesticides BUT have “learned” to avoid the baits.
Isn’t it scary to know cockroaches have actually learned how to work around specific kinds of baits?
More so, a mind-blowing development for those in the hotel and the pest control industry. Meek says the resurgence in cockroaches has come about as a result of international travel. Cockroaches hitchhike on the luggage of unsuspecting travellers and get transported globally easily and quickly.
The Behavior and Natural History of Cockroaches
William J. Bell (2007)’ book, Cockroaches: Ecology, Behavior, and Natural History reveals everything one would want to know about cockroaches. William writes there are between 4,000 to 7,500 different species of cockroaches BUT only ONE PERCENT is a pest. Also, the diverse nature of these ‘amazing’ insects in their natural environments.
In a tropical rainforest, a cockroach lives on the forest floor and in tall trees including inside caves. They have diverse colours, sizes, and shapes and can move on land, water, and through the air.
Cockroaches’ mating mostly occurs in late summer and the newly hatched cockroaches are said to withstand the cold season. Cold has a negligible effect on them because they stay in their protective shelter of bark.
Most roaches are nocturnal. Meaning they are most active at night after dusk and before dawn. Maybe, its instinctive defensive mechanism cockroaches have developed to avoid their most dangerous predator, humans.
The Type of Habitat Cockroaches Prefer
Cockroaches prefer to live in warm and moist places. They are more abundant in tropical areas. However, they are very adaptable and can live in almost any environment and are thought to have been around for centuries.
William J. Bell (2007) Shares The Secret Behind Cockroaches’ Survival
Cockroaches have rapid reproductive cycles and adaptability to poisons, environments, even nuclear bombs. William notes cockroaches’ ability to withstand radiation is very interesting. This is because of having a very hard outer shell or exoskeleton, which is less prone to absorbing radiation.
The only way cockroaches would eventually die is from dehydration. While cockroaches can do without food for over one month, they need water at least once a week.
What Cockroaches Feed On?
They will feed on all foods, grease, paint, wallpaper paste, and even bookbinding.
What Is The Solution?
Having read about how resilient and how indestructible cockroaches are, we are better off preventing them from gaining entry into our homes than facing a mammoth task of getting rid of them. Once they get in, it will be very difficult to get THEM OUT!
For more information on how you can achieve this, please read my previous post: How to Keep Luggage Cockroach Free
If cockroaches have mastered the art of avoiding baits what effective control measures can travellers put in place? The best way, to begin with, is Keeping Your Luggage Cockroach Free.
HOW? You can achieve this firstly by studying cockroaches through reading books written about cockroaches such as Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Care: The Complete Guide to Caring for and Keeping Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches as Pets (Best Pet Care Practices).
By reading books of a similar nature, you learn the cockroach’s life cycle, how they breed, their habits and keeping your premises spotlessly clean.
If you have any questions related to my blog post, Cockroaches In Luggage, please leave them below. I will be more than happy to get back to you as soon as I can.
(1) William J. Bell, et al., Cockroaches: Ecology, Behavior, and
Natural History, Publisher; JHU Press, 2007.
(2) Meek, F. Old Cockroaches Learn New Tricks, October 2008.
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