Local roaches preparing for their annual cockroach race
MILWAUKEE - Batzner Pest Management will hold its annual cockroach race this week. The event is part of the company’s customer service celebration week, which is a national event.
But Brandon Lemke with the company said, “we do it a little bit differently. The cockroach races are our big event that caps off the whole week-long celebration.”
The company’s employees get to choose a roach and race them to the finish. But how can you tell which cockroach is a better racer than another?
“I couldn’t tell you exactly what makes for a good cockroach racer,” Lemke said. “The employees get to pick them out when they race them.”
The employees act as the jockey for their own roach, using a straw to “guide their cockroach along to the finish line.”
But the race isn’t just based on chance. The roaches have a strict regiment leading up the races.
“We do actually have them on a strict diet," Lemke explained. "We keep them here in an aquarium in one of our conference rooms, on a strict diet of dog food and lettuce.”
When the races are over, the racers are allowed to retire outside the aquarium they were brought up in. But before that, it’s all about focusing on the big day.
“They know what to expect come race day. It’s a big day here, and I think they know when it’s coming up each year.”
This year’s event will benefit The Fisher House for Military Families.
Watch the 2009 race -