As temperatures rise and winter lethargy come to an end, the appearance of cockroaches takes center stage in fields and cities. The rapid growth and high fecundity of these insects has allowed them to survive and adapt to urban environments on almost the entire planet. Recognizable for their agility, fluidity, ability to fly and the amazing ability to penetrate small crevices, cockroaches are considered by many people as one of the least appreciated invertebrates in the home.
Important link in the food chain
The work that these arthropod animals carry out in the correct functioning of the trophic chains in which they intervene is of great relevance since they are in charge of decomposing remains of organic matter . We can thus recognize cockroaches as scavengers that allow closing the cycle of the passage of organic matter and nutrients within the trophic chains in which they participate. You can learn more about Scavengers: what they are and examples .
In addition, cockroaches are an indispensable food source for many species. When answering the question of what is the natural enemy of cockroaches, we find multiple answers depending on the geographical region in which the cockroaches live. Thus, these city animals serve as food for mammals with which they often live, such as rats, mice and hedgehogs, and even amphibians, such as frogs, and reptiles, such as geckos and turtles. In this way, cockroaches fulfill the important function of keeping the population size of different species in the city and country ecosystems in balance in balance .
On many occasions, cockroaches cause rejection in people when we find them in our homes. It is hard to believe that, despite this, today there are cockroach farms with a beneficial purpose for human beings: the elimination of our own waste.
More and more countries, following the model of industrial cockroach farms created in China, choose to feed millions of these insects with the aim of reducing urban garbage, since cockroaches, thanks to their scavenger diet, contribute Ecological way to reduce the organic remains of our garbage quickly and with little pollution, amazing, right?
Thanks to the roaches ‘ability to orient themselves in the dark using their long antennae and the insects’ preference for humid environments, the requirements for maintaining these amazing roach farms are based on low light, humidity, and warm temperatures.
Valuable role in the nitrogen cycle
Did you know that roaches release nitrogen ? Both in the soil and on its predators, the release of nitrogen is a curious function of small cockroaches and large cockroaches, which is directly related to the regulation of the natural cycle of this important chemical element.
Like some bacteria and other organisms, cockroaches return part of the nitrogen that naturally makes up the earth to the soils , thus favoring the incorporation of this nutrient in the growth of plants and the general maintenance of the ecosystem in which they appear.
Despite the successful adaptation of cockroaches to almost any type of environment and the data that multiple publications assure that it would be difficult for cockroaches to disappear from the Earth , the reality is that this fact could happen if climate changes continue to evolve drastically in our planet, as well as if we continue to bet on the use of fumigations as a tool to indiscriminately annihilate the cockroaches that live with people in cities.
If this is the case, the multiple functions and benefits of current cockroaches would be lost, being reflected in the population imbalance of the links before and after the position that cockroaches occupy within the trophic chains in which they intervene.
From this, a cascade of multiple environmental , economic and social consequences would follow the disappearance of the different types of cockroaches that live throughout the planet. According to the data collected in the “Cockroach Species File”, there are currently around 4,600 species, the most cosmopolitan species being the best known, such as the black cockroach, the American cockroach and the commonly known like blonde cockroach.
Therefore, now that we know in more detail what cockroaches do and why they are beneficial for the global balance of ecosystems, we must promote less drastic measures to control cockroach populations.