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Science Fair Project:


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K, so tomorrow I'm going to try to convince my teacher to swap my Honor's Chem science fair project to which barrier works best for keeping roaches in their tank.

I'm going to explain about the tarsi and everything, that it would effect alot of people, and that scientists studying P. americana would be able to use the best barrier and lower the amount of "missing" variables. I'm not sure about the german cockroach as far as climbing abilities, but if they can climb, then this would be a way to keep them in their tank as well.

As for a wider benefit, perhaps the winning substance could be used around windows and cracks to prevent cockroach entry in the first place.

Anyways, To be "Scientifically correct" I will need about 200 3rd or 4th instar hissing cockroaches to use as test subjects, as they are the most common escapees and will better represent the glass-climbing species weight wise.

100 to test on smooth plastic, 100 on glass, and then 20 for each barrier.

The barriers I'm going to use for the test are:

Vaseline *petroleum jelly*


Olive Oil

Bug Stop

Canola Oil or Pam cooking spray

Any one have suggestions, comments, or objections?

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Hi Zephyr, great experiment!

You might want to try a pure silicone fluid - like Dimethicone (Polydimethylsiloxane). It's used in all sorts of "product" for humans (including food!) - and is inert, so it's safe all-around. One place I've found it that you can get the pure form of it is Clearco Products....they send out samples, so they might even send you a couple different types for free, if you explain your project to them.

It has such a low viscocity that you could probably just put a little on a cotton ball or tissue paper and wipe it on the enclosure's top three inches or so - a little would go a REALLY long way. Actually, now that I think about it, it would probably be such an effective "barrier" that you might be able to get away with one that is less than three inches. I also noticed that they have it in varying viscocities, so you could pick one that is thicker or thinner - whichever you like better or whichever ends up working better - I would imagine that the standard viscocity or a low viscocity would be best all-around. It's as clear as water, it doesn't evaporate, it doesn't glob up, it repels water, it's ultra long-lasting, and it's super-slick! Plus it would be such a thin coating that you almost wouldn't be able to see it +++! In fact the only problem with it is that it's harder than vaseline to wash off - it really stays anywhere you put it (but that could be seen as a really good thing too).

I was thinking of trying to use this stuff as a barrier if I ever plan on a colony of climbers, either hissers, or maybe the Hormetica spp. :) ...escpecially since it would be way more aesthetically pleasing than big thick globs of vaseline all over the place!

Has anybody else ever tried it?

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