Gross. That is the natural instinct a majority of the world has when the see a cockroach scattering around somewhere in front of them. This induce an immediate instinct of fear and a natural desire to hurt them for some.
They are, however, very difficult to destroy. They lived way back when the dinosaurs were roaming the earth. They survived ice ages and anything else that came along leading up to the way of the modern world we have before us today. The dinosaurs, not so lucky.
There are more than four thousand different species with fifty of those being American roaches. The American came to us around 1625 on a trip from Africa. They like the tropical region the best. That’s where they’re most common.
A roach egg “case” is dark brown and rectangular. Inside this case are approximately fifteen cockroach eggs. Once hatched, these eggs produce a nymph or baby roach which is lighter in color. The immature cockroach is like the adult but has no wings.
The adult is around 1.6” long and .28” tall. They are reddish brown in color with a yellow marking behind their head. The body is flat, oval with shield-like plate covering body.
The American cockroach likes to live where it’s warm, dark and moist e.g. household basements or in the sewer. It is rather large, but it is so flexible it can fit into very small cracks and crevices.
Despite the stigma, roaches aren’t associated with a dirty place. They are attracted to food and water. Your place can be immaculate. But if you have access to food and water for them, they’ll come.
They are actually said to be cleaned than humans believe it or not. They eat our trash but they don’t typically carry disease. Actually, the pesticides we use to kill them can be much more if a threat to us than they are.
Roaches will eat anything from leftover food to the scum left in your shower drain to the glue that holds card board boxes together. (They love the taste of alcoholic beverages.) That’s why pesticides used to be effective. It tasted sweet to them.
Over time, the taste changed and became bitter. Now they won’t touch it making it even more difficult to exterminate them.
Getting rid of them, as terrifying as they may be, could be a bad thing, though. They do have certain purposes in this world.
- Food source. Birds, mice, insects and even some people in the world find them as a delicacy. It would thin out some of these populations and render the parasitic emerald wasp extinct as that is their sole source of food.
- Scientists are studying them for varying health reasons. They are genetically amazing with their survival ability, their brain produces powerful antibiotic properties able to resist even MRSA. They’re legs are being analyzed due to the speed, agility, flexibility for possible future prosthetic and mechanical hand products. They’re able to compress their bodies to withstand almost one hundred pounds of force coming down on them and comfort to fit in tight spaces.
- In forests, roaches eat decaying organic matter and then release their feces into the soil which causes the nitrogen to recycle back into the plants.
Knowing that they have such health benefits is pretty awesome. It doesn’t really diminish their scare factor. They do have a lot to teach us, though. They have survived all this time over every other life before them through any condition or happening on earth. There’s got to be something we can get from that.
Let’s see what other fun facts we can learn about roaches.
Facts about Cockroaches
- Roaches have no memory from one day to the next. They wake up each day not remembering anything from the day before.
- They live in groups. Just because you only see one out roaming around. His friends are very close by.
- They have been around for over 359 million years since before dinosaurs. Boy, the stories they could tell us. If they just had a little black box in their brains.
- Roaches can go ninety days without food. That’s a long time considering that’s their main objective.
- Some females mate only once and stay pregnant for life.
- Bacteria in their bodies feed them with vitamins.
- The roach body can live without its head for up to 40 days and only dies because it has no mouth to feed.
- The decapitated head can live without the body for 12 hours.
- They can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes.
- A roach can run close to three mph.
- They will eat anything.
- Females can have as many as 400 babies at a time. This is why being infested happens so quickly. The reproduce at such a rapid and voluminous rate.
- Small roaches can be a dangerous pest but larger ones are harmless.
- Some folks choose to use roaches as pets. Actual cockroach farming is gaining popularity in China. The wild thing is cockroaches enjoy being touched and petted which you wouldn’t think as skittish as they seem. They immediately scatter when a light is turned on or someone walks up to them with a fly smacker raised high on the air.
- They are really bad for people with asthma or allergies.
- There is a new species. This one can jump. Oh, my. Its name is the leap roach. There’s nothing indicating how this guy cane to be. If there was some crossbreeding with other insects which would probably be the only explanation most likely.
- Most common roach is the German. If you get a female inside your house, she can have over one hundred thousand babies in one year. That would just be a nightmare to try to take care of especially knowing they no longer like the taste of the pesticide and are virtually indestructible.
In a sense it seems like they’re little trash collectors trying to clean up after everybody, and we’re all giving them a bad rap. Maybe that’s how we should look at it when we see one. Click here to read more about cockroaches. Read more about cockroach removal here.