bug of the day on Flickr.

I have a confession to make: I am a bug racist. Having lived in a big apartment building in Boston for many years as a grad student, seeing any roach-like creature causes a visceral reaction in me, about 90% grossed-out-ickiness and 10% nausea. Which really isn’t fair, since the cockroaches that infest urban households are just a few of many species and genera of roaches, most of which stay outside. Thank goodness.

Anyway, here’s a female wood roach, genus Parcoblatta I believe, that was hanging around my stairs. Totally harmless. The colors are kind of cool to look at. But still. *shiver*

This is a special BotD for coleopteragirl on tumblr (sorry, not a Blattid, but the best roach I could find!). And because I know a lot of you, like me, are not roach fans, there’s a bonus beetle chaser coming up soon…:-)

280 days of Urbpandemonium #52:

It’s understandable that some people panic when a large (over 1 cm) roach appears at their porch light. But if you live in New England, at a regular house that gets cold on a regular basis, chances are very good that you shouldn’t worry. Cockroaches live all around the world, and only a handful of Tropical and Mediterranean species become household pests. This one is our largest native roach Parcoblatta pennsylvanica*, like its kin a harmless detritovore. Males like this one can fly and find themselves confused at or into houses at night–firewood brought inside can also bring these roaches inside.

But unlike our pest roaches, these ones are found by themselves. Roaches adapted to living inside buildings live in great numbers, which is why they become pests in the first place.

*“Sparing cockroach from Pennsylvania,” I think. “Sparing” meaning appearing sparsely–one at at time, as opposed to the cockroaches that are more commonly known, through being pests.