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Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

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What Is A Madagascar Hissing Cockroach?

The Madagascar hissing cockroach is one of the world’s most interesting species of cockroach. A large, wingless cockroach, this insect comes from Madagascar, an island off the Eastern coast of Africa, hence its name. Not much is known about how Madagascar hissing cockroaches interact with their native habitat, but it is surmised that it lives on the forest floor in decomposing logs and eats fruit that has fallen from the trees above. Madagascar hissing cockroaches can be found in zoos around the globe as they attract spectators and fans with their unique appearance and unusual ability to produce sound. 

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Facts

As one of the largest cockroach species on Earth, they can grow up to 7.5 centimeters, or almost 3 inches, in length and are brown in color. They can live up to 18 months and eat a diet exclusively of fruit. Madagascar hissing cockroaches live in large colonies and are active at night. 

Their most distinctive trait is that they make a hissing sound when threatened by a predator. This sound is made when they quickly force air out of the small holes located on their backs called spiracles which are otherwise used for breathing. This specific method of sound production is common in birds and mammals, including humans, it is very rare for insects to make noise in this way. Typically, insects that produce sound do so by rubbing body parts together or through the vibration of membranes.

Despite their formidable size and threatening sound, Madagascar hissing cockroaches do not pose a threat to your home, your family or your pets. In fact, these cockroaches are incredibly clean and do not like to be handled by humans. You will often see them cleaning themselves after being touched by humans as they find us very dirty. Madagascar hissing cockroaches do not natively live in the United States. If you have found one in or near your home, you may have a neighbor who is missing a pet, found an escapee from a pet store, or possibly discovered a runaway from an elementary school classroom. 

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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