Lesson #417: Cockroaches Can Swim

This is a lesson I learned when I watched a cockroach jump into a pool and walk on the gutter cover. Which is under a half inch of water.

How we got here: I teach and coach swimming in the evenings. I also tend to be the person who cleans the scum line in the pool every week because it’s easier to clean in the water than on the deck, and I’m the person who spends the most time in the water. As I was cleaning between my swim and my lessons today, I came across a cockroach. So I commented to the head lifeguard about it, and when I turned back to shoo it off to whatever dark corner it crawled out of, it jumped into the pool. At this point, our curiosity won, and we watched it. It seemed to be doing okay for a bit. And then it sank down to the gutter cover. At which point, I felt kind of bad and sent the lifeguard to get the skimmer. And then it started walking. Underwater.*

It turns out cockroaches can hold their breath underwater for up to 40 minutes. Which…explains a lot, but also WHY?!? I hate cockroaches. This is nightmare fodder.

*This story ends badly for the cockroach, which got itself too close to the filter suction and ended up getting sucked down before the lifeguard could get the skimmer. Plus side, it reminded me of the time The Swede ended up standing on the bed in our hotel in Berlin until I disposed of a(n admittedly fairly large, but not *that* large) spider.

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