Let’s face it – seeing a cockroach in your house is the last thing you want to deal with. They pose health risks for humans by triggering allergies and asthma and spreading bacteria and germs. Roaches are hard to get rid of once they establish themselves in your home. They are highly adaptable and have developed a unique set of survival skills over the last 300 million years. Here are 7 fun facts you may not know about cockroaches:
- They rest a lot. Roaches spend 75% of their time resting. They are also not morning people. When roaches awaken they are unable to form new memories. It takes them time to become functional and they don’t start to retain new information until later in the day.
- They’re fast! Roaches are fast movers reaching speeds of up to 3 mph. Even babies can move at these rapid speeds. This not only allows them to quickly invade new spaces but also allows them to spread bacteria and germs at a much faster pace.
- They’re master breath holders. Roaches can submerge in water for up to 1/2 an hour and hold their breath for up to 40 minutes. This is mostly due to their efficient breathing system that allows them to breathe through holes in their body segments rather than their mouths. Holding their breath also helps regulate their loss of water.
- They’re worldwide. There are almost 4500 species of cockroaches worldwide with new species still being discovered. German cockroaches are the most common species. The largest species is found in South America. This cockroach averages 6 inches in length with an impressive 1 foot wingspan! The average cockroach is only 1/2″ to 2″ in length.
- They are flexible. Roaches can squeeze through a gap as small as 1/4 of their body length. They accomplish this feat by flattening their bodies and turning their legs to the side.
- They can go without food, water, and their heads. Roaches can go up to a month without food and up to a week without water or their heads. Because of their efficient breathing system where they breathe , roaches can survive up to a week without their heads; they could live longer without them but the absence of their mouth leaves them unable to eat or drink. Roaches will eat anything from dead insects to soap, cloth, and glue. They have even been known to eat other roaches when food supplies are low or the infestation gets so large in an effort to reduce the population.
- You can, and probably have, eaten them. Yes, you read that right! There are an average of 8 insect parts in each bar of chocolate you consume.The FDA has deemed this a safe amount for consumption. The solution to this dilemma is to apply more pesticides which would be more harmful than actually consuming the insects. These parts can also trigger allergic reactions when they are consumed. That chocolate allergy might, in fact, be an allergy to the cockroaches instead. This can lead to rash, itching, respiratory problems, and even migraines.
Because roaches have learned to be resilient and adapt to their environment, they can be extremely difficult to get rid of. If you suspect a cockroach problem, contact a professional pest control company who can help identify the source of your issue and set up a comprehensive treatment and cockroach prevention program going forward.