10 Facts About Cockroaches You Didn’t Want to Know


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Last Updated on 2024-06-15 , 10:34 am

Most of us can’t say we have a particular liking for the pests that plague the darkest corners of our homes, and we usually react to them with screams of terror or swift murder by rolled-up magazine. 

But did you know that these hardy creatures have some rather fascinating stories to tell? 

Here we bring to you 10 interesting facts about the widely-hated insect that may just change how you feel about them. (Or maybe they won’t, but this insect-fearing author certainly can’t blame you.) 

10 Facts About Cockroaches

They can survive up to one week without a head

What’s worse than a cockroach?

A headless cockroach. 

Honestly, this would make for a horrific sight. 

Cockroaches have an open circulatory system and they breathe through small holes in their body. Hence, they do not rely on their mouth or head to breathe and they can go without their head for a week. 

They eventually die of thirst however, because without a mouth, they are unable to drink water. 

They can survive without food for one month

That’s right. While most of us (or at least this author) whine for food every hour, cockroaches can go without food for a whole solid month. 

This is because they are cold-blooded insects. However, cockroaches can only survive for one week without water. 

They can hold their breath for 40 minutes

These creatures would be champions underwater. 

They can survive being submerged underwater for half an hour, putting our human lungs to shame in comparison. 

Ursula who? It seems someone’s coming for your crown. 

Not all cockroaches can fly 

Only certain species of roaches can fly. Other species merely use their wings for stability when they jump, which may give the false appearance of flying. 

Cockroaches can trigger asthma 

This article is probably supposed to spark your interest in the commonly hated pest, but you’re probably going to hate them even more after this one. 


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Students have shown that cockroaches trigger asthma, among other allergies. 

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, there is a certain protein present in cockroaches that triggers asthma attacks. 

Female cockroaches don’t need male cockroaches to reproduce

What happens when female cockroaches don’t have any males within their proximity for reproduction? No problem!

They simply reproduce without the male roach through a process known as parthenogenesis, which basically refers to reproduction in which an egg becomes an embryo without undergoing fertilisation. 

American cockroaches seem to enjoy alcohol

Not so different from us indulgent humans, then. 


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American cockroaches are apparently attracted to alcoholic drinks, especially beer, because of the hops and sugar that can be found in the beverage, NOT because they’re trying to get lit. 

Not all cockroaches are bad 

Though most of us assume all cockroaches are equal, some are better (or worse) than others. There are thousands of species of roaches in the world and only around 1% are considered pests. 

Though in our eyes, whatever cockroach has invaded our home probably falls under the “villain” category automatically without question. 

Roaches eat absolutely anything and everything 

These creatures aren’t picky at all. They’ll eat absolutely anything, from plants to dead skin cells and even faecal matter. Yikes. 

You’ve probably eaten cockroaches without even knowing 

This final one may come as something of a shock. 

That’s right, there are usually around eight insect parts in every bar of chocolate you eat


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I hate to break it to you, but according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this is a safe amount for consumption. 

The solution to this would be to add more pesticide to the sweet snack, which would actually be even more harmful to your health. 

Be honest with yourself: is this enough for you to swear off chocolate though? That is the question.

Featured Image: supasart meekumrai / Shutterstock.com