Would you have a cockroach for a pet?
"Roaches actually make really good pets," says Scott Martin of Rockville, Md.
Used to skeptics, enthusiasts will explain that not all cockroaches are created equal.
The most common pet roach is the hissing cockroach, 2 to 3 inches long. Its name comes from the sound it makes when disturbed, although it may lose that habit when it gets used to being handled. Hissers make a good display not only due to their size, but also because they don't instinctively hide.
If one were to escape, the only danger would be to the insect itself. Hissing cockroaches can't survive on their own in the typical home, where the temperature and humidity are unsuitable and they can't find food.
"If you let a thousand hissers loose in your house, they're not going to do anything," says roach expert Orin McMonigle . "There's over 4,000 species of roaches, and only about 25 are classified as pests, and only five of those are any good at it."
A parallel might be to an escape by guinea pigs, he says: Just because they're related to mice doesn't mean they can take up residence in your walls.
Critical thinking challenge: What are the advantages of having a cockroach as a pet instead of a cat or a dog? Are there any advantages?
Define these words: skeptics, enthusiasts
- Posted on February 5, 2013