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You Wish You Had Mites Like This Hissing Cockroach | Deep Look

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 Biology   |   Environmental   |   Science
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Not all roaches are filthy. The Madagascar hissing cockroach actually makes a pretty sweet pet, thanks to the hungry mites that serve as its cleaning crew.

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DEEP LOOK is a ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small.
As the weather starts to warm and cold days give way to balmier, sunny days, one rite of spring returns every year, just like spring flowers: cockroaches.

Most people run to buy a can of bug spray or to call the exterminator when they see the scurrying little insects in their kitchens or outside their homes.

But not all roaches are pests. Some are pets like the Madagascar hissing cockroach.
They can be bought at pet stores or online for $5 or less. They dont bite and dont carry diseases. They are also much larger than the run-of-the-mill roach, with adults averaging about 3 inches long. They live up to five years. They are slow-moving and mellow kind of like an old tabby cat. But with antennae. And an appetite for fresh vegetables.

---+ Read the entire article on KQED Science:

--- Why do the cockroaches hiss?
Theyll hiss when theyre sounding an alarm or startled, trying to attract a mate or protecting their territory from another male.

--- Are the mites harmful to the cockroaches?
No they actually help prolong the cockroaches lives.

--- What happens to the mites if its host cockroach dies?
The mites will mate, give birth to their young and feed on the same cockroach their entire lives so theyll usually die within a few days after the cockroach dies, too, and not seek a new home.

---+ For more information:
UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology

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Its a Bugs Life:

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Congratulations to the following fans on our YouTube community tab who correctly identified the creature from a past episode most closely related to cockroaches - the termite!

John Marvin Accad
Tiny Stash
Jeanne Cabral

Termites are basically social roaches. More info:

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