Thom Smith, NatureWatch columnist.


According to Thom Smith, the hissing cockroach is one of the easiest varieties to take care of. 

Q: A foolish animal to ask for, but our son wants a "pet" hissing cockroach for the holidays. We found several pet shops in Albany, N.Y., to get one. But what do you think of them?

— Sidney, Pittsfield

A: Back in the late 1980s, my wife Susan and I had the opportunity to visit the Smithsonian's Insect Zoo in Washington, D.C.,


Email Thom Smith at or write him care of The Berkshire Eagle, 75 South Church St., Pittsfield, MA 01201.