I know this headline seems absurd.
Few people are concerned about cockroaches.
What is even more strange is I am concerned about missing cockroaches.
I should be simply happy they are gone. But, I'm not.
We live in the desert and our backyard is a green oasis.
We have created planters with enriched soil that are watered daily. Tomatoes and peppers thrive there and sometimes watermellon do also.
Usually, the planter is full of cockroaches. We do not spray pesticides.
At night the cockroaches congregate on our back patio and try to sneak into the house through the tiny hole at the base of the sliding patio door because they can feel the cool breeze from our air conditioner.
They also love to eat the left-over cat food from our cat food bowl under our cherry tree next to one of the planters (the birds eat all the cherries and none ever make it to the ground).
I've noticed that there very few cockroaches this year.
The cockroaches started disappearing last August.
They were almost all gone by late August. At the time, I thought their disappearance was very, very strange because they usually do not hibernate (or become less active) here until late fall since our days are still quite hot all the way through September (in the 100s through September).
Now it is June and there are still almost no cockroaches.
I went out last night looking for them with a flash light. I found 3 cockroaches. 2 were around the cat food bowl.
Usually, I would find more than I can count, especially around the cat food bowl.
Indeed, I usually don't like going out by the garden at night because I'm afraid they will run over my feet. Very little problem of that happening this year.
I see the disappearance of cockroaches as an ominous sign.
I have also seen very few bats this summer.
My dad and I discussed this phenomenon and he notes that he has seen almost no baby quail. I've only seen 2 family groups of quail with babies.
Quail may be impacted by the drought and the bats may be also (who knows).
However, the cockroaches' disappearance defies any explanation that I can think of other than Fukushima fallout.
They have water. They have food. They have not been sprayed. Their habitat has not been disrupted by any of our activities.
It is a myth that cockroaches are immune to radiation. http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2006/02/23/1567313.htm
Furthermore, while cockroaches simpler DNA and biological systems may make them more resilient to gamma radiation than we are, I suspect that ingesting alpha and beta particles will be just as damaging to their cells as it is for ours.
My hypothesis is that fallout deposited in the planter is contaminating their food source (rotten tomatoes and other detritus).
I could be wrong but we have lived in this house for 12 years and this is the first incident (starting last summer) where cockroaches have disappeared.