The Unknown Pop Star – Meet Mr. Cockroach


oriental cockroachIn terms of stardom and omnipresence, cockroaches would definitely be the ultimate pest. Which movie star can say that he/she has been around since the beginnings of history and always played one or other important role? OK, most of the time our cockroach only got the roles of the “evil and/or mischievous mastermind”, but in very rare occasions it had some nice and likeable roles, read on…


I was wondering, what do human stars have to say about the cockroach. What references have been made to this old-timer and what is its business successes? Madonna was obviously impressed with the Cockroach’s ability to survive almost everything, when she stated the following: “I am a survivor. I am like a cockroach, you just can’t get rid of me.” There are more quotes like this and it seems that cockroaches are admired for the one ability that makes them so unloved by everybody who has them in their home. Let’s call it the Cockroach Paradox.


iStock_000000260495XSmall singingSo much about quotes, there are some songs as well that revolve around cockroaches. I guess the first song which springs to mind is “la Cucaracha”. There are indefinite versions of this song, among the most commonly quoted lyrics would be:

La cucaracha, la cucaracha, ya no puede caminar porque no tiene, porque le falta las dos patitas de atrás.

The cockroach, the cockroach, can’t walk anymore because it doesn’t have, because it’s lacking its two back feet.

Another, more recent song that revolves around cockroaches is Necro’s “Cockroaches”. Not exactly my type of music, but interesting lyrics nonetheless. An excerpt would be:


Billions greeting, roaming around since Genesis
coming out through the crevices
infested, walls filled with termites
Bugs in the drawer, looking for food
coming out when there’s no light!
They’re small, but they make humans nervous (…)

And so it goes. What I like about this song is that there is even a reference to pest controllers and the never-ending war between pest controller and cockroach (the description makes it sound a bit likecommerical cockroach control actually)

(…) but some ain’t smart enough to evade the exterminator’s poison
So the pest takes it back to his nest
contacting with another insect it begins to infect the rest
A lot die, but it’s only a small fraction – we can’t catch ‘em
’cause there’s always new eggs hatchin’


iStock_000011686411XSmall film flipOK, enough about music, even though there are plenty more songs referring to the heroic cockroach. What about movies? (More movies to spoil for Rentokilperhaos?)

The first that comes to my mind is “Joe’s Apartment – Sex Bugs Rock ‘n’Roll”, where a guy, Joe, moves in an apartment, lives in filthy a way, defying all good sanitation rules and, as a result befriends the singing and dancing cockroaches who share his accommodation. After the initial scary moments, these cockroaches help Joe to make his neighborhood a better place to live in. This is one of my favourite movies because it is refreshingly different to all those horror movies starring insects that are blown out of proportion, and which then kill random people.

Then there is the anime movie “Twilight of the Cockroaches”, where a group of cockroaches and a bachelor (What a surprise, who else, hahaha!) coexist peacefully, until a woman moves in and the extermination of the cockroaches begins. It is described from the cockroaches’ perspective, hence it is rather sad (but then again from the human perspective it makes total sense).

And then, remembering the rumors of cockroaches surviving nuclear wars, well, there was the famous movie “Wall-E”, where the best friend of the last robot on earth is a small cockroach.  Cute? Not so sure, haha.

Madagascan cockroach = the hissing cockroachI would also mention some books, including Kafka’s Metamorphosis – but it has been mentioned already here in 5 book Rentokil would have ruined.

It was quite amazing to find so many references to cockroaches. It shows that cockroaches are way too common and thus become a topic of conversation. They do cause a lot of trouble in real life though, they are a cause of asthma and diseases; please do not feel encouraged to make your home a home for cockroaches as well. Let’s face it, most probably they will not start singing and dancing for and with you (the closest a cockroach ever got is hissing, i.e. Madagascan Hissing Cockroach) or help you to make the world a better place.

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