You’ve seen cockroaches. You know they generally hide in dark, damp nooks and corners in the house. They tend to multiply fast and can withstand unforgiving conditions. Cockroaches are also known to eat anything just to survive. No matter how harsh the environment may be, they will adapt.
It’s a given that cockroaches are relentless, cunning, and persistent. They will do just about anything just to continue to live. But how much do you really know about cockroaches? Here are some of the fascinating facts about this common household pest.
Did you know not all cockroaches are pests per se? Mainstream TV and movies depict roaches as a filthy, disgusting insect that invades and contaminates human dwellings. But can you believe only 30 out of 4,000 species of cockroaches share living spaces with humans? These 30 varieties are what we commonly see in dark alleys or dirty apartments or categorise as pests. The rest of the cockroach types live in caves, burrows, and forests.
To survive, cockroaches will eat anything. When food is not available, they can hold their hunger and live without food for longer periods, even reaching up to 6 weeks. As the saying goes, “Beggars can’t be choosers,” cockroaches aren’t picky eaters. However, they do have their preferences, desiring the sweet stuff. But when food is yet to be had, they will dig into what they find; be it glue or grease, soap or paste, leather or hair.
Can you believe cockroaches have walked among dinosaurs? Experts say these insects have lived since 200 to 350 million years ago.
Did you know cockroaches like the feeling of being hug? Seeking tiny crevices, these insects will squeeze their bodies through these cracks or holes for a snug fit; so tight a fit that cockroaches can crawl through an opening as thin as a dime.
To protect their eggs, female cockroaches will encase them with a thick protective layer called the ootheca. German cockroaches, for instance, can enclose as many as 40 eggs. The incubation process is also facilitated by this shield.
While humans get their vitamins in the form of pills or capsules, cockroaches have their fix from the bacteria that live on their bodies. It’s a symbiotic relationship. It’s an arrangement where the cockroach-host gets to dine on its guest in exchange for the accommodation it provides.
Can you imagine literally losing your head? Cockroaches have the unique ability to live for days or weeks despite severing their heads. Scientists have delved into this fascinating phenomenon by lopping off a cockroach’s head and discovered that its legs still react to stimuli weeks thereafter. There are 2 main reasons for this: (1) a roach’s head isn’t vital as to how it functions, and (2) it won’t normally die due to “bleeding out.” Its death, however, may result due to dehydration or mould.
The biggest cockroach variety is called the megaloblatta longipennis, which has a wingspan of about 7 inches. On the other hand, the rhinoceros cockroach can weigh up to 33 grammes.
If you don’t want to share your home with a cockroach infestation, call on the professionals for effective pest control solutions against these insects.