26 Facts About Roaches That You Need To Know

What is the most disturbing and annoying existence in each household around the world? Well, mostly depends on where you live, but everyone will agree that cockroaches are one of the most hated species around us. They are the uninvited “guests” that will not leave. But why are they so hated? Even the song “La Cucaracha” could not make them more popular. Here are 25 fascinating facts about them and what makes them absolutely unique.

1. Amazing Diversity

How many are there? The number is quite mind-blowing and scary – 4,600 different types of cockroaches inhabit our planet. Only 30 of them have the same habitat as us – humans, if that is any consolation. You will find most of them if forests, brush and caves.

2. ​They Love Beer

The most common types are, of course, American cockroach, German cockroach, Australian cockroach and Oriental cockroach. It is scary and familiar, American cockroach love alcohol. They are attracted by sugar and they love beer – sounds similar to other species, right? If you see a German cockroach, you have a big problem – when one leads, many follow. It is one of the smallest species – up to 15 mm and can be found all around the world, despite the name. It takes 123 days for a baby German cockroach to grow up to an adult, while most of them take up to 1 year.

3. Size matters​

They are not all very small. The largest cockroach can be found in South America is six inches long and has a wing-span of one foot. It is considered a giant roach as an average one is around 2 inches long.

4. They Can Live without Its Head

4. Decapitation – they can live without their heads! Yes, this one is quite unbelievable. They can live up to one whole week if you take their heads off. How? It is remarkable. After the head is gone, clotting is preventing the blood loss by sealing off the neck. Unlike most species on this planet, the brain is not responsible for breathing. Also, their blood is not responsible with carrying oxygen throughout their body. They will actually die because of thirst and hunger.

​5. Spiracles

5.  Well, if their brain Is not responsible for their breathing, what is – something that has the name “spiracle”. Almost everywhere on their bodies they have small holes and the pipes are sending the air to the tissues using the tracheae. They can also hold their breath for up to 40 minutes and can survive under water for 30 minutes.

6. Fast Runners​

It is well known for the grown ups that can get up to very fast speed, but the little one can get to whooping 3 miles per hour! Since they cannot fly and they are the pray of many predators (including humans), this is their only way to defend themselves. The fastest adults can go up to 1.5 meters per second and if we turn this to human speed – we have to run at 200 miles per hour. This also means that they can be spreading bacteria and germs very quickly around your house.

7. Can we eat them?​

The simple answer is yes. In fact, they are quite popular in China. They are roasted or deep friend and sold on sticks on the street – who would not want to buy that? Funny enough, some consider them healthy snack.

8. What are they afraid of?​

Most of them hate cold and cannot survive too long in cold conditions. If they are surrounded by the cold, their chances of surviving are slim. The warm homes that we live in are the perfect environment for them – contains food and it is not cold. So it is simple – if you do not like cockroaches, go to the North Pole.

​9. Thigmotropism

Most of us who do not know what that means – they like to be touched from all sides. Love to have a solid contact from all sides. They seek out small crevices and cracks just to make sure that they have a solid and tight fit. Even a bigger, pregnant female can fit in almost no space at all.

​10. Can They Survive Nuclear Blast

Probably the most famous fact about the cockroaches is actually a myth. They have a bigger tolerance level to radiation that us – an average person can withstand up to 800 rems, while our “favorite” insect can bear up to 10,500. The myth first began when the cockroaches were the only survivors after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing in World War II. The myth has been ended however, when 3 different levels of radiation were tested and it was clear that no insect can survive a blast of 100, 000 rads.

​11. They Can Be Trained

Almost like a dog, some cockroach species can be conditioned. In the Japanese college Tohoku, two scientists discovered that they are drooling by the smell of sugar, after a few days of having vanilla and other treats.

12. Fartiest Animal In Britain

Yes, weird but true again. They can fart methane up to 43 times their own weight. Thank God we cannot do the same.

​13. You Have Eaten One

You do not want to eat one? Well, mostly like you have, or at least parts of them. Parts of them get stuck on delicious food that they have been in contact with, especially if the food contains sugar. It is being suggested that people who are allergic to chocolate, they are not actually intolerant towards the chocolate itself, but the leftovers from a cockroach.

​14. They Like Big Crowds.

They are not moving in groups like many other animals out there, but sometimes they like to hang out with a big group. How many times we have woken up in the middle of the night to see many of them around some food we left over? The science behind the groups is amazing – when a roach poops, it leaves a certain smell (of course), which helps others know where they are. This way, when they are gathered together, it is easier for them to explore new territories and get even more food. When they have found a bigger source of food, they are sending signals to one another, so that they can be eating together. Obviously, they like to share.

​15. They Spread Diseases

Most of their species are carrying diseases and spreading them around. According to the World Health Organization, they carry salmonella, typhoid, cholera and many more. The faster they go, the more diseases are getting spread around us. Having a positive effect – by decomposing the debris, they are bringing the nutrients back to the soil.

​16. Food for others

They are also keeping the food chain in good tact, by being eaten by lizards and birds.

17. Roach Farming​

China has an important role in the lifespan of the cockroaches. Not only they are being eaten in the streets of the Asian country, but they are found in farms. It is a great business idea over there and people are getting filthy rich with the right execution. Why and how – Chinese medicine is in high demand of “roach powder” – apparently it heals blood stasis. From 2010 to 2013, the dried cockroach had risen in its value. It was used by cosmetic companies and weirdly – as a source of protein.

​18. They Don't Like Light

They are hiding in places like the back of the refrigerator, dishwasher and your microwave ovens. When the sun goes down and the light are out, the scavenge begins – they like to eat pretty much everything. Their favorite sugar is only a part of their menu – can eat cheese, bread, food in bins. If you leave it out, you will just make it easier for them. But they are not limited to only regular food – they can eat leather, glue even hair and nails. They can go weeks without any food and it is considered that it comes from the fact that they are cold blooded. Their metabolism rate is very low, like crocodiles and snakes.

​19. Cannibalism

Despite having the option to eat so many different foods, sometimes they get down to eating each other. Food and regulation – these two main reasons are believed to be the answer behind the questions – why would you eat one of your own. When they are hungry and food is nowhere near to be found, that is easier to understand. But they also will eat each other if the population Is rising more and more.

​20. Legacy

Recent studies show that they have been around our lovely Earth for more than 300 million years. They are older than dinosaurs, they have been here when dinosaurs were the main specie and have survived even our ancestors the cavemen. The first known cockroaches – Paleozoic – have disappeared around 200 million years ago. That is the good news, the bad news is that the modern types have risen from the ashes of the old one and are not giving signs that they will be going away anytime soon.

​21. Incubating

Just as we are protecting our Smartphones, the pregnant cockroach envelops the eggs in a protective case having the name ootheca. The bigger American cockroach can store up to 14 eggs in the ootheca per capsule, while the smaller German cockroach can have up to 40.

22. ​Night Owls

Most of the human inhabitants of this Planet do not like waking up early and it takes a while (and some coffee) to be in top shape to learn and create. Cockroaches are even worse at this than us ,they cannot form a new memory in the morning. It was tested on them by testing new scents. They hate peppermint but love vanilla. Researchers have switched the two scents and the cockroaches were unable to distinguish a difference in the morning, while when the night came along, they were able to understand what is what.

​23. Sporting Events

How can a human being get more creative? We made them fight and race. One of the oldest sports in the world was first introduced in China, as a big cockroach country, and then was known to the US. Even the New York Times showed how people are waging thousands of dollars back in 1886 on cockroach fighting. Names like Green Machine were given to cockroach racers, the less violent sport of the two. It has begun in Maryland’s Layola University, when students were training Madagascar cockroaches to beat Usain Bolt. Since then, there is a pub in Brisbane, Australia, where you can race a cockroach for charity. You can use your own if you have one.

​24. Having Life Partners

The female cockroach has the quality to be very trustworthy. She can mate only once and have babies until the rest of her life. When food is plentiful, she can store the sperm for a larger period of time and she can use it in the upcoming seasons to reproduce her own little legacy. Some females can reproduce in very severe conditions without a male version anywhere close!

​25. Pets

when people are asked about the roaches, very few will have a positive opinion – some might even say – kill them all. Not all men were created equal. Some do not wish to have a dog or a cat at home, they prefer a less needy pet like the Madagascar roach. They are not only used in racing, but few people are treating them as pets. As mentioned before, they can eat almost everything, which makes them not picky at all.

​26. They Can Jump

Yes, they can jump. If you hate them when they are crawling on your floor and next to your food, you will definitely not be pleased when you learn that they can be jumping around as well. Saltoblattella montistabularis is the name of this specie, which is a new one – has been seen only recently, back in 2009 and it begs the question – are they evolving? If yes, only God can help us now. The leaproach, as it is called, can be found again in South America. It is around half an inch long and just like a grasshopper, it can be seen jumping from grass to grass. One can only hope that it does not jump to our homes.

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