Roaches to the rescue!

Imagine yourself trapped in a building after a strong earthquake blocks the exits or maybe you’re stuck in the attic during a flood. At some point, some form of panic will set in. You’ll wonder if you will be rescued. Will the building collapse before help comes? What if the waters continue to rise and I drown in my attic?! The thoughts swirl a hundred miles an hour around your head and hope begins to fade.

You quietly whisper your last prayers when you hear a faint hissing sound. Is it the sound of death?! Suddenly a swarm of Madagascar hissing cockroaches enter your place of captivity from all cracks and corners. Things couldn’t get worse! They approach quickly and begin crawling over your feet and body. You do your best to knock them off while screaming frantically with the hopes that Death comes quickly! Unexpectedly, you notice something different about these roaches. There’s something attached to them. You swallow hard, pinch one of them, and examine its small looking backpack. Then, you hear human voices! You’ve been found and realize the tiny backpacks are tracking devices.

Researchers have a hopeful future for our creepy, crawly house mates! “One day, when people see a cockroach, they’ll be relieved instead of repulsed.” Alper Bozkurt, an engineering professor, believes that we can use cockroaches during emergency situations to save lives. He may be a little optimistic thinking that people – even those in dire need of saving – will be welcoming our critter friends with open arms.


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