Because Cockroaches Aren’t Strong Enough?

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a TINSTAAFL Tuesday.  I know it’s not Tuesday, but this is definitely TINSTAAFL (“There is no such thing as a free lunch”) worthy. In fact, I’m changing the category while I make blog adjustments.

From Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain USDA image)

From Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain USDA image)
Click image to go to source.

Cockroaches are gross. There I said it. I grew up in the Houston area where the cockroaches grow as large as small puppies.

When I was six or seven, I was waiting on the school sidewalk for my mom to pick me up. I was wearing sandals, and something tickled my foot. I ignored it for a second. Then I used my other foot to scratch the itch. It still itched. I looked down to see a ginormous roach on my practically-bare foot. I screamed and kicked my feet and danced around like the cowboy who has someone shooting at his feet in a Wild West movie.


What if you were in a disaster and your only hope for being rescued was a cyborg Madagascar hissing cockroach?  How about a cockroach with its own fuel cell?

Did I mention that I can’t stand these insects? I hope I’m not offending anyone out there who might love them.


Back to the disaster…

You’re trapped in a destroyed building. That’s pretty stressful (I know, understatement!). Then a cyborg cockroach runs toward you. I don’t know about you, but I might be tempted to smash it before I realized that it had some kind of technology attached to it, squishing my one chance of survival.  I hope I have something nearby to cover up the cockroach carnage so that I don’t have to look at it while I remain trapped.


To keep things interesting, check out this article about cyborg flying insects.  The circuitry is implanted in the insect pupae and the adult moth’s flight can be controlled for military or security use.  The pictures and diagrams are fascinating. Evidently, this technology was inspired by a science fiction novel called Sparrowhark by Thomas A. Easton. I haven’t read it, but this is a clear case of science fiction intersecting with or inspiring current science.

While the bugs don’t seem to be harmed (beyond having someone control them), I just have to wonder if it is really necessary to make a practically-indestructible insect even more powerful.  They will outlive us all. Do we have to give them help?

Do the benefits outway the risks?  What kinds of things can you see go wrong with this kind of technology mixed with insects?  How would you react if a cyborg insect (crawling or flying) approached you in a disaster situation or any situation?

21 thoughts on “Because Cockroaches Aren’t Strong Enough?

  1. darcyflynn

    I can’t answer any of your questions cuz my mind just doesn’t think that way, lol, but I’ll tell you my cockroach story. When I was a teenager, I was eating in a restaurant on Lake Pontchartrain and I felt something crawl up my leg. I looked down and it was a large cockroach. I flew up out of that chair so fast that every head in the famous seafood restaurant turned toward me. I didn’t scream but I squealed and slapped my legs. This happened in New Orleans, where I grew up. New Orleans is a lot like Houston when comes to our cockroaches. Do you remember the flying ones? Floridians call the flying ones Palmettos, which I believe is the official name but they are roaches to me!!!

    1. Diana Beebe Post author

      Omigosh, the flying ones! Like the mosquitoes down there, they are large enough to carry a kid off. Maybe not, but that’s how I thought back then. LOL I thought all roaches could fly until I moved to DFW.

  2. lynettemburrows

    Ewww! I’m with you, they will already out live us – why give them help?! I like to see heroes in everyone, but I’m not certain I could see the hero in a cockroach. I think I’d kill the creepy crawly flying things before I even knew it was cyborg. At least I hope I could kill it. Next thing you know there will be cyborg ants, houseflies, and crickets. I foresee a _Starship Troopers_ kind of future. Has anyone let the folks at Raid know that they need to step up their program to take down the cyborgs?

    1. Diana Beebe Post author

      There are some women who can catch or flatten a bug without flinching. I am not one of those women. I don’t think the bug spray people will be able to keep up if cyborg and bionic insects get on the loose. Eeeek.

  3. KM Huber

    I was eagerly awaiting this post, Diana, and you did not disappoint. You know how I am, Zen and oneness, so I am not for controlling anything. As a Floridian, I am quite familiar with the ever larger Palmettos and their flight patterns, which always seem a bit unplanned but then, I am not a Palmetto. I agree that the roaches will survive humanity; perhaps, our only hope is if they decide to keep us as pets. Wonderful post!

    1. Diana Beebe Post author

      Thanks, Karen. Your sweet comments mean a lot to me. Great point about their flight patterns. They know what they’re doing. LOL. I don’t think I’d want to be a pet when the bugs take over. 🙂

  4. Author Kristen Lamb

    I’ve encountered Black Widows, rattlesnakes and wild boar, but NOTHING can send me screaming like a girl like a cockroach. *shivers* I guess if my survival depended on a roach, no one lives forever, LOL. I think any time scientists start tinkering this way it goes south. Just what we need, sentient fire ants.

  5. Julie Glover

    I’m right there with ya! Cockroaches are the ONE thing I can’t abide. Stick me in a room of spiders, and I’m fine. Roaches, no way.

    And I’ve lived in several areas of Texas, but West Texas has the biggest cockroaches I’d ever seen.

  6. Karen Walters

    Cockroaches are the nastiest insect around. All those legs and antennae waving around and the awful crunch when I kill it. I hope that one of those cyborg bugs NEVER comes to rescue me. It would fail because I would squash now and ask questions later. Ugh.

  7. Debra Kristi

    Bugs are just ick! I am with you 100%. It must be the little boy in scientist that want to experiment the way they do with ants and cockroaches. I find it totally gross. I’m jumping up and down, smacking, scratching and bombing the heck out of the suckers! LOL.

  8. Pingback: Weekly WTF? | Jordan L. Hawk

  9. renée a. schuls-jacobson

    Hi Diana: One day, I will have to write about my time in the “Bug House” in New Orleans. I swear my husband and I suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after we got out of there. Everywhere, we looked, we saw things moving. As much as I dislike our Upstate New York winters, I hate bugs with crunchy shells much more. 🙂 Thanks for the follow! Nice to meet you!

    1. Diana Beebe Post author

      Hi, Renee! It’s nice to meet you, too! As long as your story about the “Bug House” isn’t too horrific. Ick! The crunchy shelled ones really gross me out. Sometimes I wish we had more of a winter than we do, just to kill off some of the creepy crawlies.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s