The Walking Dead Cockroaches

Emerald Cockroach Wasp

Emerald Cockroach Wasps, which live in tropical regions of Africa, India and the Pacific Islands, are a natural way to exterminate cockroaches because they rely on cockroaches for their grisly life cycle.

Unlike many venomous predators, which paralyze their victims before eating them or dragging them back to their lair, the wasp’s sting leaves the cockroach able to walk, but unable to initiate its own movement. The wasp, which is too small to carry the cockroach, then “leads” the victim to the wasp’s den by pulling on one of the cockroach’s antennas in a manner similar to a leash.

Emerald Cockroach WaspOnce they reach the den, the wasp lays an egg on the cockroach’s abdomen and proceeds to fill in the den’s entrance with pebbles, more to keep other predators out than to keep the cockroach in. The stung cockroach, its escape reflex disabled, will simply stay in the den as the wasp’s egg hatches. A hatched larva chews its way into the abdomen of the cockroach, and proceeds to live as an endoparasitoid.

Over a period of eight days, the wasp larva consumes the cockroach’s internal organs in an order which guarantees that the cockroach will stay alive, at least until the larva enters the pupal stage and forms a cocoon inside the cockroach’s body. After about four weeks, the fully-grown wasp will emerge from the cockroach’s body to begin its adult life.

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