Depopulation of cockroaches in post-Soviet states

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A mass depopulation of cockroaches has been observed since the beginning of the 21st century in Russia and other countries of the former USSR. Observers have noted a quick disappearance of various types of cockroaches from cities and towns in Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus.

Possible explanations[edit]

The depopulation of cockroaches may be exaggerated, or this phenomenon may be temporary or cyclic.[1][2] A number of explanations of the phenomenon are discussed in the media, of varying degree of credibility.

  • Usage of plastic bags to store domestic waste and the discontinuation of rubbish chutes usage.[3]
  • Cockroaches may have migrated out of homes to other, more suitable places.[4][5]
  • New, improved chemicals and methods to fight cockroaches may have led to migration, or direct depopulation.[6][7][8]
  • Usage of modern construction materials may also contribute to the phenomenon; the population of cockroaches might have been reduced due to their purported ingestion of unsafe substances.[9][10][11] However, cockroaches were noticed to disappear even in the houses where such construction materials were not used.[12]
  • The emergence of Pharaoh ants, who compete with the cockroaches for food, and may even feed on them.
  • The introduction of genetically modified food might have a negative influence on cockroaches.[13]
  • Radioactive or chemical pollution (in Chernovtsy, Tambov, as well as due to Chernobyl disaster) may also be a factor,[1] although there is an opinion that cockroaches are insensitive to radiation.[9]
  • Widespread introduction of mobile phones and wireless networks might have a negative effect on the cockroaches.[3][10]
  • Ozone holes may also lead to abnormal biorhythms in cockroaches.[10][11]
  • Internal competitions between cockroaches may decrease the number of cockroaches.[3]

Scientific attention to the problem[edit]

Scientists from Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg have suggested that the Oriental cockroach should be added to the Red Book of Endangered Species.[14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Исчезновение тараканов на Белгородчине не связано с радиацией :: ИА Бел.Ру - Новости Белгорода он-лайн (in Russian). Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  2. ^ Alexandr Goncearenco neksa "Архив за 02.06.2006 - "Независимая Молдова"". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  3. ^ a b c "Газета Русский Курьер :: Тараканы в бегах". Archived from the original on 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  4. ^ "Тараканы бегут из Украины". 2007-11-07. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  5. ^ В Алмате вернулись тараканы
  6. ^ "Факторы, вызвавшие исчезновение тараканов, могут привести к гибели человечества". 2009-01-28. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  7. ^ "3 канал - Главная тема. Итоги". 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  8. ^ "Тараканы в опасности". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  9. ^ a b "Украинские ученые озабочены исчезновением тараканов » Наука и здоровье » Корреспондент". 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  10. ^ a b c Большой город (in Russian). Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  11. ^ a b Задумайтесь: куда исчезли тараканы?. "Задумайтесь: куда исчезли тараканы?". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  12. ^ "Почему из российских городов сбежали тараканы - интересные обзоры интернета". 2006-06-19. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  13. ^ "Тараканы в Москве исчезают, а собаки - умнеют, выяснили ученые". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  14. ^ "Российские экологи бьют тревогу: исчезающих из домов тараканов хотят переселить в Красную книгу". 21 April 2008. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  15. ^ "Тараканы вымирают : Насекомых занесут в Красную книгу". 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2010-08-23.