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LANZAROTE & COCKROACHES - what you should know

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

Cockroaches, the little enemies: They are sporty, undemanding and very affectionate, people have already dedicated songs to them, but they are not liked. We are talking about the 'Cucarachas'.

The title heroin

es of the song to sing along to: 'La Cucaracha'.

We are talking about the cockroach, the insect that hardly anyone associates with anything positive.

„The Art of War': Only if you know your opponent, then you can defeat him!” - Sun Tzu

Since we also have to share the habitat with these illustrious cockroaches on Lanzarote and there are often combative confrontations with these armoured little animals, we dedicate an article to them, ... why? Well, we keep it with the ancient Chinese general and book author Sun Tzu, who said well over 2,500 years ago in his legendary work 'The Art of War': 'Only if you know your opponent, then you can defeat him!"


1) Cockroaches are cannibals.

Cockroaches will eat just about anything they can find: Fruit, glue or even faeces. When there is a strong need for food, they even eat their fellow species.

Scientists suspect that this follows a self-regulating order. If the infestation of cockroaches is high, i.e. if there is a high population of cockroaches and only limited food supplies, it is assumed that cockroaches eat their conspecifics in order to reduce the population number. Well then, bon appétit.

2) Cockroaches can survive for a week without a head.

The reason for this is that - unlike humans - cockroaches do not use their heads to breathe. Instead, they use small holes in their bodies to take in oxygen. And what about food? Cockroaches can survive for just under a month without eating. And already we have an insect that can survive for a week without its head.

3) Cockroaches are old

The Penn State College of Agricultural Science in Pennsylvania, USA, has found fossil remains that suggest cockroaches existed on Earth more than 300 million years ago.

In other words, even cavemen had to deal with cockroaches.

4) Cockroaches can squeeze through the smallest holes.

The reason for this is the cockroach's impressive exoskeleton, which gives it special mobility. Due to its laterally attached legs, a cockroach can barely reach through an opening that is a quarter of its body height.

5) Cockroaches are fast

As cockroaches are the favourite prey of several other animals, their speed is their main defence mechanism. They are able to travel more than 1.5 metres per second.

6) Cockroaches love beer!

Studies have shown that cockroaches love to consume beer. It is the hops and sugar that particularly attract them.

In addition to beer consumption, however, the local cucarachas also really 'let it rip', if the old folk song is to be believed, here is the translation of the refrain:

"[...] The cockroach

The cockroach, the cockroach,

Can't walk any more

Cause he's missing something, cause he's got

No marijuana to smoke.

Already he's dead, the cockroach,

Already they're burying him,

Between four vultures

And a mouse for a sexton."

With this in mind, we wish you a more relaxed approach to our native species on Lanzarote 😉


Text: Chris Ernst | Foto: Montefuego Media Services / iStock

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