Finding cockroaches in your home is always unpleasant. They like to scurry through your house looking for food, often contaminating surfaces as they go. While these pests can be problematic in your home, they’re still interesting creatures. We’ve made a list of fun facts about cockroaches.
1. There Are More Than 4,000 Cockroach Species Worldwide
While there are many species in the world, only about 30 are known to bug people. The most common home invaders in the United States are the German, American, brown-banded, and oriental cockroach.
2. Most Cockroaches Remain Hidden From View
Cockroaches are nocturnal and spend the day hiding in cracks and crevices. If you spot one or two cockroaches, there’s a chance you have hundreds living in a hidden nest. If you discover cockroaches, you’ll want to act quickly to keep them from multiplying.
3. Cockroaches Move Quickly
Though cockroaches rest for most of the day, they’re fast when they move around. They can scurry around your home at a speed of 3mph. Baby cockroaches can move almost as quickly as adult cockroaches.
4. Cockroaches Know When You’re Sneaking Up on Them
Cockroaches are sensitive to vibrations because of their sensory organs and sensory hairs on their legs. By the time you start moving in on a cockroach, it will likely already have taken off to escape.
5. Cockroaches Thrive in Warm & Humid Climates
Most cockroach species prefer warm and humid locations. However, these pests can withstand below freezing temperatures. When things get too cold, they often enter homes seeking shelter. They gravitate to kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.
6. Cockroaches Are Old
Cockroaches are known for being resilient and it has helped them survive for a long time. Scientists believe that cockroaches emerged during the Carboniferous era, more than 280 million years ago.
7. A Cockroach Can Live Up to a Week without Its Head
Cockroaches breathe through small holes on their body, so losing their head doesn’t cut off their supply of oxygen. However, they do need to eat and drink. While they can survive up to a month without food, they can only last about a week without water.
8. Cockroaches Are Strong
Cockroaches have hard exoskeletons that protect them. They can withstand forces up to 900 times their bodyweight. They also can compress their bodies to fit into small spaces. Some cockroaches can regenerate limbs, which makes it even trickier to get rid of them.
9. Female Cockroaches Can Reproduce without Males
Cockroaches can breed very quickly, resulting in large infestations. Sometimes, female cockroaches can reproduce without a male. This has been seen with certain species like the American cockroach. This process is known as parthenogenesis.
10. Cockroaches Can Survive Underwater for Several Minutes
Cockroaches can hold their breath for about forty-minutes. They close the holes on their body where oxygen enters. This comes in handy when submerged in water. They can survive underwater for about thirty minutes.
11. Cockroaches Can Be Trained
Japanese scientists have discovered that cockroaches can be trained (well, conditioned) in ways similar to how Pavlov conditioned his dogs. By combining pleasant scents just before giving cockroaches a sweet treat, the experimental roaches were noted to be drooling when their antennae detected one of the scents nearby.
12. Cockroaches Have an Affinity for Adult Beverages
Like other pests, some cockroaches are attracted to alcoholic beverages including beer. The sugar and hops in the drink can lure pests to your home. These pests also are a fan of crumbs and other treats, so be sure to clean up crumbs and spills.
13. Cockroaches Can Be Large
One of the largest cockroaches in the world, Blaberus giganteus, can grow up to about 4" in length. Its wingspan can measure 5". This cockroach can be found in South America. Thankfully, most cockroaches in the United States range in size between 1/2" and 2".
14. Cockroaches Can Grow Quickly
Some cockroach species quickly develop. German cockroach nymphs can develop into adults in about 50 days depending on their environmental conditions. Brown-banded cockroaches can develop in as few as 90 days.
These creepy crawlies don’t make good roommates. However, there are things about them that are interesting. Which cockroach fact was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!