What comes to mind when you think about cockroaches? I must say I immediately shudder – and then I remember that they are often said to be the only animal that would survive a nuclear war – neither of these are comforting thoughts!
But there is quite a bit more to these little insects than you might immediately think. here are 31 facts about cockroaches that you might not know.
31 Facts about Cockroaches
- Cockroaches were born 300 million years ago, and they are the survivors of ice age, asteroids impacts and giant volcanoes.
2. A cockroach is a survivor which can go for hours without oxygen, 90 days without food and 40 days without water.
3. There are 428 species of cockroaches in Australia. The most common is the German cockroach. In fact, if one German female moves into your home, you could have 100,000 more within a year. German cockroaches can live for anywhere between 100 and 200 days depending on their situation. I lived in Sydney for a year and I can tell you that there are quite a few cockroaches in even the most urban parts of the city.
4. Cockroaches are cleaner than humans. They eat our rubbish and don’t typically carry diseases. In fact the pesticides we use to kill them can be much more of a threat to us than the roaches themselves. And they can actually be good for our health, having been used for treatments of indigestion, tetanus, boils, earache, and impotence.
5. A 2010 Study found roach brains have powerful antibiotic properties killing 90% of resistant bacteria and E.coil.
6. Cockroaches have a reaction time of 40 milliseconds and can travel up to 50 body lengths per second. Human engineers are hard at work looking for the secrets of their extraordinary mechanics. One scientific project hopes to use this knowledge to make cars that are impossible to crash.
7. It has been suggested that studying cockroaches may help us to increase the life span of humans on earth. Researchers have proposed that using their genetic code in humans can make humans live for millions of years.
8. Cockroaches are 120 Million years older than Dinosaurs.
9. A cockroach head can live without its body for 12 hours. Cockroaches aren’t dependent on their mouth or head to breathe. They breathe through holes in their body segments.
10. A cockroach without its head can live for up to 40 days. It is starvation and dehydration that kills it. As they are cold-blooded insects they can live without food for one month and without water for one week.
11. Cockroaches are scared to live alone. They become sick if left alone for a while.
12. A new species of cockroach was found in the U.S that has the capability to live in the freezing cold.
13. The family of cockroaches is known as an Intrusion.
14. There is a trend of eating fried cockroaches in Thailand, China and some other countries.
15. Engineering students in china in 2015 worked on How to control cockroaches using an electronic device.
16. If a cockroach is raised in space, it will become much stronger, quicker and faster than all the cockroaches on earth.
17. They shed.
18. They can re-grow all of their 7 legs.
19. You should use CATNIP to repel cockroaches. It is the best natural repellent for cockroaches.
20. A Russian roach called “HOPE” was the first land animal to conceive and give birth in space.
21. They can run on two legs like humans.
22. They are the fastest sprinters in the insect world. They can run as fast as five feet per second. Cockroaches detect threats through changes in air currents. When they get all six legs going they can cover 80 centimetres per second or 1.7 miles per hour. And they’re not held back by kids. A one-day old baby cockroach can run as fast as its parents. This means they can spread germs very quickly.
23. Cockroaches can’t swim but they can hold their breath for a long time. It is said that they can survive being in water for half an hour.
24. Cockroaches do bite and they bit humans. Cockroach bites can be nasty and result in skin rashes.
25. Have you heard that cockroaches are the onnly living beings that can survive a nuclear attack? I had certainly heard that. Well it turns out that cockroaches can survive ten times the level of radiation of us humans.
26. The German cockroach reproduces faster than any other type of cockroach. It can go from being an egg to an adult capable of reproducing in 60 days. They also breed continually and females can produce up to 400 eggs.
27. It can be hard to kill cockroaches. They tend to survive most pest control measures and even appear to adapt to make themselves more resistant to chemical pesticides.
28. Cockroaches don’t have a particularly busy life. They spend 75% of their time resting.
29. American cockroaches love their beer! It has been shown that American cockroaches are attracted to alcoholic drinks, particularly beer. It is believed that this is because alcohol is mixed with hops and sugar which attracts them.
30. The largest cockroach ever recorded was in South America. It was six inches long with a one foot wingspan. On average cockroaches vary in size from half an inch to two inches long.
31. There are over 4,000 different types of cockroaches.
As you can see from everything above, cockroaches are very good at adapting and incredibly resilient. This is why trying to control or eliminate cockroaches can be incredibly difficult. The best defense is to prevent cockroaches coming into your home or life in the first place.
If you’re keen to make sure that cockroaches don’t enter your life make sure you do the following in your home or workplace:
- Eliminate all food sources. Make sure all liquid is gone from sinks or bowls which are accessible to insects.
- Remove all left over food right down to the crumbs
- Use airtight food containers. Cockroaches are very attracted by smells which make the airtight container twice as effective.
- Rinse out the residue in all bottles, cans etc before recyling. Cockroaches can smell out any food or water sources and will not hesitate to get into your rubbish for a meal.
- Empty your rubbish bins every day. They are a prime location for cockroaches.
- Vacuum regularly and include upholstery and other soft surfaces.
- Remove all pet food, litter etch each evening. Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures so will be exploring while you sleep.
- Keep all food surfaces as clean as possible.
- Cockroaches use pheromones in their droppings to signal to other cockroaches that they have found a safe place. They will happily do this in magazines or cardboard and other types of common household clutter. So de-clutter your surfaces as much as possible.
- Make sure that any cracks in your walls, floors and ceilings are filled – these are great spaces for cockroaches to move into and invite friends.
- Keep on top of pipes in particular – cockroaches love damp and moist areas.