What If No More Cockroaches?

Suppose that for some reason, every cockroach on Earth suddenly disappeared without a trace. (Maybe a space ship from the planet Zargox comes and beams up all the cockroaches.) What impact would that have on Earth? Would there be any negative effects from suddenly not having any cockroaches?

i know it wouldn’t have a negative effect on me!! more like a “thank you, god” effect.

Sadly, there is only one way to find out. And unfortunately it will be when Zargox comes to collect them. Sounds good? Don’t you fools realize that Zargox Interferomerizers are fueled by cockroaches? And that Interferomerizers destroy spotted owls?

The geckoes in Hawaii would starve! :eek:

Well, I’d be out of a job, for one thing.

Seriously, though, I imagine it would impact the food chain somehow, as all these things are interconnected. And the economy would be changed, since the impact roaches have on all aspects of life are more vast than you would wish to consider.

Think about it: Roaches are linked to respiratory difficulties such as asthma. While the improvement many people would feel were there no roaches would be a blessing, a large part of the pharmaceutical industry, research and development, etc., would suffer economically.

Besides the fact that I’d be out of a job.

I’m not even sure what the questions is asking. Are we talking here about all cockroaches or just the pest species? If it’s just the pest species then the answer is probably that there would be few discernible environmental effects. These species are all generalists and it’s a fair bet that in their natural ecosystms something else would take their place. Generalists are like that.
If we’re talking about all the thousands of species of cockroach worldwide the answer would probably be that there would be an impact, but how big or small would be unknown. Most ecosystems seem fairly resilient to having one species removed. The cases like the sea otter/sea urchin interaction where the removal of one species had a dramatic effect tend to be very rare. However these systems are very complex and it’s almost impossible to tell exactly what the keystone species might be.
To give you one hypothetical example the giant burrowing cockroaches found in various troical woodlands around the world play a vital role in breaking down leaf debris in dry environments. These things reach quite high densities at times and are larger than a mouse, so I imagine they eat a fair quantity of litter. If this species were wiped out it’s concievable that the buildup of litter would result in more and hotter fires that would kill out many plant species and change the whole system. But that’s pure speculation

Am I the only one wishing DAVEW lived a lot closer to me?

Aww, but they’re so cute, and they make great pets. (Bottom of this page. And that photo’s not a real big one.)
Can’t you just imagine falling asleep to the sound of your giant cockroach scratching around in it’s cage, trying to get out…:eek: