Download Twelve Little Housemates. Enlarged and Revised Edition of the Popular Book Describing Insects That Live in Our Homes PDF

TitleTwelve Little Housemates. Enlarged and Revised Edition of the Popular Book Describing Insects That Live in Our Homes
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LanguageEnglish
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Total Pages151
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Page 1

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Page 2

Twelve Little Housemates
Enlarged and Revised Edition of the

Popular Book Describing Insects That
Live in Our Homes

BY

KARL V O N FRISCH
Nobel Laureate

Translated by A. T. Sugar,
formerly of the BBC Monitoring Service

PERGAMON PRESS
O X F O R D N E W Y O R K T O R O N T O S Y D N E Y P A R I S F R A N K F U R T

Page 75

THE COCKROACH 79

Common cockroach depositing its egg capsule.

Cockroaches moult six times before they reach maturity. Since we
have come across this process already we need not describe it in detail.
From the biological facts we are already acquainted with, we should not
expect a cockroach to go through a pupal stage, and it would be useless
to look for one. From the start the larvae have the same habits as the
adults; but for the missing wings, their bodies have the same shape and
no great transformation is necessary. After the last moult the wings
grow quickly to their full size, and development is thus complete.

During the moults one of the long, delicate legs or some other part
sometimes catches and is damaged by the sharp edges of the chitinous
skin that has been cast. Trivial though such an accident may seem, it
may have very serious consequences. For the greed of cockroaches
knows no bounds. They have no objection to licking the blood of a near
relative and once they have tasted it, they cannot stop until they have
gobbled up their victim alive. Such cannibalistic habits may be of

Except that they have no wings, the larvae resemble their parents
even in the first stage. They are at first so tiny that they can gain access
to fresh territory through a hole 1 mm wide and 0.5 mm deep. So such a
minute crack is big enough to enable these unwelcome visitors to enter
a clean house.

Page 76

80 TWELVE LITTLE HOUSEMATES

The benefit of chewing

It is related of John D. Rockefeller that he wanted to live till he was a
hundred and that, in order to achieve his aim, he used to spend a long
time chewing his food very thoroughly. This may sound odd, but the
idea behind it is absolutely sound. The digestive juices can act far better
on well-masticated food than on solid lumps. It can then be assimilated
more quickly and thoroughly. This is important for our general
efficiency, since food is the source of all the energy we require for
physical labour or mental activity.

It is natural for us to chew a piece of bread before we swallow it. A
glance at the entire animal kingdom shows that the ability to chew is
actually a rare gift. It is true that the pike's mouth is full of teeth, but
they are sharp cones, pointed backwards, not adapted for biting up its
prey, but only for preventing its escape. The frog gulps its flies down
whole, and the giant snake similarly swallows a pig at one go. Of the
vertebrates only the birds and the mammals grind down their food
mechanically, the former by means of the grinding-stones in their
gizzards, the latter with their teeth. It is no mere chance that the birds
and the mammals should be warm-blooded creatures with an active
metabolism, energetic, and ahead of other vertebrates in mental ability
too.

The same phenomenon can be observed among the lower animals.
Such insects as do not live on liquid food are able to chew, and it is not
fortuitous that they are superior to all the other lower animals in agility
and general efficiency.

John D. Rockefeller might have envied the cockroach. It chews its
food, not only with its mouth but, after the food is swallowed, with its
stomach too, this organ being equipped for chewing with sharp, hard,
chitinous teeth and strong muscles. Ingenious though this invention is

importance in maintaining the vigour of the species, since they ensure
the elimination of weak and diseased members. Their practice of
eating cases of quite sound eggs, which they often do, is inexcusable.
Householders will naturally not protest. It is only a pity that such a
habit has little influence on the fecundity of these creatures. They breed
continuously in warm houses, even in winter.

Page 150

154 INDEX

Lepisma saccharina 114
Lice 55-62

body 5 6 , 5 8 , 5 9 . 6 1 , 6 2
crab 5 6 , 5 8 , 5 9
diet of 55-56
eradication 60
fumigation methods 60-62
head 56, 58, 59

infection 62
insecticides 62

infestation 59-60
sense reactions 57
species of 55-56
tenacity of 56-58
see also Aphids

Lindane 2 3 , 7 4 , 1 1 2

Macrosiphum rosae 86
Maggots 14, 16, 1 7 , 2 1 , 3 5

wound healing aid 21
Malaria 29
Malathion 62
Malmignatte 139
Meningitis 148
Methylbromide 12
Micro-lepidoptera 64
Midges 2 5 , 2 8
Million fish 32
Mites 120,143
Moles, fleas 40
Molluscs 11
Monomorium pharaonis 110-11
Mosquitoes 12, 24, 28

as fever-carriers 29-32
blood-sucking 30
breeding-places 29,31
malaria 29, 30, 31
protective measures 32
see also Gnats

Moth-bag 73
Moth-balls 73
Moth control measures 73-74
Moth holes 63 ,67-70
Moth-proofing 74
Moths 6 4 , 6 5

diet of 65-67
female 70-71
••fur" 72

male 71
tapestry 72
see also Clothes moth

Miinchhausen's horse 120
Musca domestica 22

Naphthalene 73
Nits 5 6 , 5 8

Parasites 29-30
Parthenogenesis 87, 88
Pathogenesis 90
Persian bugs 148
Phyllodromia germanica 11
Plant-lice see Aphids
Poecilia reticulata 32
Pontine Marshes 29, 31
Propoxur 84
Protein 66
Protozoa 10
Pupa 17

Pyrethrum 2 3 , 3 2 , 1 1 5

Rats
extermination of 61
fleas 40

Rockefeller, John D. 80
Rodolia cardinalis 97
Rose fly 86-89

Salivary glands 51
Shrews, fleas 40
Silk glands 120-3
Silk-worm 140
Silver-fish 113-18

ant 116
characteristics of 113-14
control measures 115
diet 115
relatives of 115
species 115

Smell, sense of 1 3 . 3 6 , 1 4 6
Spiders 119-49

Black Widow 139-40
Black Wolf 139

Page 151

INDEX 155

Spiders icont.)

catches 125-7
crab 122
deceiving 128
eggs 137
garden or cross 121, 123-5, 128, 129,

136,137
house 123, 138-9
jumping 121
male 136-7
malmignatte 139
mating 137
memory 128
poisonous 139
sense of touch 125
silk glands 120-3
silk "milking" 141
silk uses 140-1
species 120
spinnerets 121, 122, 129-30
water 139
webs 123-7
web-weaving 129-35
wolf 121. 139

Spinnerets 121, 122, 129-30
Springtails 117
Stickleback 31
Stomoxys calcitrans 22
Symbiosis 53, 54, 109

Tarantula 139
Taste, sense of 14
Tegenaria domestica 119
Termites 12
Thyroid gland 51

Ticks 142-9
as disease carriers 147-8
bird 148
characteristics of 143
diet 145
eggs 144
extracting from skin 149
female 143-4
life cycle 144-6
moulting 145
pigeon 147
protective measures 148
senses 146
wood 142, 147, 148

Touch, sense of 125
Tubercle bacilli 20
Typhoid fever 20
Typhus epidemics 60

Vapona Pest Strips 23
Vedelia beetle 97
Vertebrates 10,11
Vitamins 52-54
von Linne, Carl 77

Wasps 82
Wax moth 66-67
Wings, housefly 15
Winter habitats 18-19
Worms 11

Zeuxis 128

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