Facts About Cockroaches – One of the Oldest Surviving Insects

Cockroaches have been around since the time of dinosaurs.

Today, cockroaches are considered pygmies if compared to those that lived about 250 million years ago (which is 50 cm long!).

The vast majority of cockroaches are not pests. Of the world’s 4000 species, there are only about 30 species that live in your houses.

Cockroaches are found everywhere on earth. Approximately 4000 to 7500 species of cockroaches exist.

Cockroaches have six legs, two antennae and wings. They emit unpleasant odors and may also produce sound.

The largest roach in the world lives in South America, which is six inches long with a one-foot wingspan.

In nature, they provide a useful service by consuming organic waste.

Cockroaches are omnivores, they eat just about anything. Most roaches will prefer sweets when given a choice, in a pinch, these scavengers can eat many things such as paper, wood, fabric, tooth paste, soap, glue, paint, grease, bookbindings, leather, or even hairs, fingernails and dead animals.

In some cultures, these disqusting insects are also praised for their nutritional value. The Egyptians and Greeks used boiled or ground cockroaches for medicinal purposes.

facts about cockroaches

Cockroaches get their vitamins from the bacteria inside their bodies. In exchange for living a comfortable life inside the cockroach’s fatty tissue, these bacteroides manufacture all the amino acids and vitamins the cockroaches ned to live.

Time that cockroaches spend just resting: 75%. They can be found resting in one spot for at least 18 hours a day.

cockroach is one of the oldest living species of insects

A cockroach can live almost a month without food – certain species can go as long as 6 weeks!

A cockroach can live without water for about two weeks.

A cockroach can live for about one week without its head! – it dies because the roach cant drink water.

Not only that, certain species of cockroaches can also go without air for about 45 minutes, and can withstand radiation up to about 15 times the lethal dose for humans.

Cockroaches have white blood. They also have at least 18 knees.

These incredible creatures are so hardy that according to researchers cockroaches were the only organisms that survived in an area after atomic experiments – except for scorpions.

Cockroaches live in all conditions – they live in the desert as well as the arctic.

antenna of cockroach

Cockroaches are thigmotropic (they like to be touched). These insects like feeling something solid in contact with their bodies and this is why they like to squeeze into spaces that provide them the comfort of a tight fit (such as cracks and crevices).

When you apply crushed cockroaches to a wound, it can help ease the sting.

If you think roaches have eyes in the back of their head then you are wrong. They are equipped with tiny hairs that can gage the air movement around them, with these hairs they can feel you but cant see you from behind.

Cockroaches can respond very, very fast – after around 29 milliseconds – to their sensory cues their antenna deliver.

In just a second, cockroaches can make up to 25 body turns – this is the highest known rate in the animal kingdom.

Cockroaches can bite people, but the wounds they leave are usually not serious.

The American cockroaches (sometimes also called as ‘water bug’) has been documented feeding on eyebrows, eyelashes, toenails, and hair of sleeping children.

Roaches not only live in dirty houses, but they live in very clean houses too.

Most roaches can fly, but not all of them.

cockroach babies

Most cockroaches will die within a year or two. Unfortunately, some female cockroaches only mate once but stay pregnant for life.

But the good news is that cockroaches have many natural enemies. They are most favored by frogs, spiders, lizards, birds, centipedes, scorpions and of course, their biggest enemies are humans.

Cockroaches and termites descend from a common ancestor – Termites are actually social cockroaches.

Many scientists believe that cockroaches are responsible for spreading harmful diseases like diarrhea, dysentery, salmonella, bubonic plague, leprosy and typhoid fever.