Most people think of Hawaii as a tropical paradise so, being something of a contrarian, I feel obligated every now and then to post something about the seamier side of the islands, and I think most would agree that today’s subject falls squarely into that category. Cockroaches are everywhere. Houses, shops, restaurants (eek), even the fanciest resorts have them. If you don’t see them, it’s because they’re out of sight, not because they’re not there.
Supposedly, Hawaii hosts 19 species of cockroach, of which three are most associated with human activity. These are the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), German cockroach (Blattella germanica), and Surinam cockroach (Pycnoscelus surinamensis).
The beauty in these photos is an American cockroach. This one was around an inch-and-a-half long, not including its extremely long antennae; some are bigger. They’re a fearsome sight in the air, speedy on the ground, and loathsome in a sandwich. But living here, one has to get used to them, because they’re also survivors. Chances are that when humans are long gone, cockroaches will still be around, scampering across the rubble, skittering into semi-destroyed fast-food joints, and snacking on the still fresh-looking chicken nuggets.