Eating spiders cockroaches

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Ecological importance

In their original habitat, cockroaches feed primarily on dead plant parts and fruits and make an important contribution to the decomposition of the litter and the formation of humus. The cockroaches are also an essential part of the food chains of many ecosystems. They therefore have an important function, especially in tropical forest ecosystems.

Disease transmission

The risk of the disease being transmitted to humans and animals by cockroaches should not be underestimated. While the destruction of food by eating only plays a subordinate role, the contamination of food with cockroach excrement and germs is of great importance (bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa = single-celled cells, nematodes = roundworms). These microorganisms are mechanically spread through the body through vomited goiter contents or feces. The goitre content is particularly problematic, as the microorganisms can multiply here on a large scale. In addition, allergens are released from the contents of the goiter and parts of the cuticle. Pathogens can be transmitted or carried away by adhering to the surface of the carapace or through ingestion with food and later excretion.

Natural enemies

In their natural environment, cockroaches serve as prey for many arthropods as well as amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The discarded oothecae are parasitized by parasitic wasps. The larvae of the fan beetle (family Rhipiphoridae) also parasitize on cockroaches.

© Text: Reiner Pospischil