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It seems that the State of Florida is always a step behind in addressing the many challenges posed by non-native wildlife. State biologists are tracking pythons in the Everglades, hunting Gambian pouch rats in the Florida Keys and warning about lionfish in waters off Florida’s Atlantic coast– all animals introduced into Florida’s environment via the exotic pet industry– but are they keeping their eyes open to future threats? Maybe the idea of a 3-inch-long hissing roach will finally convince the state to be proactive and strictly regulate the trade in exotic animals in Florida. This month, two University of Florida entomologists warned that the Turkestan cockroach, the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, the lobster roach and the orange spotted roach could become established in our state. madagascar.jpgApparently, reptile enthusiasts purchase and breed the new cockroaches as food for lizards (they reproduce quicker than insects traditionally used as food, such as crickets). These roaches are also sometimes kept as pets. According to UF researcher Roberto Pereira, “All of these cockroaches you can get over the Internet — you can order something . . . and have it here in two days or less.” If the state does not act, these hardy insects may be coming to a home near you!

One Response to “Bored with Florida’s cockroaches?”

  1. on 10 Nov 2008 at 4:38 pm Rawr

    I don’t get it…I thought this was an animal right’s site, so why the article against animals (insects are animals as well)? Is it because some people think they look gross?

    Keeping nature 100% pure and never letting new species in is unnatural. One animal comes from another area and establishes itself. If the other species cannot cope, they get pushed out or go extinct. The majority of the “native” animals in Florida have not been native there throughout history; they hitched rides on floating debris, other animals (humans are animals too), migrated there, etc.

    Should we be wiping out horses and certain species of pheasants and quail? They’re not natural to the United States. Or do they get to stay because they’re “cute”?

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