Cockroaches are disgusting, yet quite fascinating! Here are some fun cockroach facts:
Cockroaches are cannibals
They aren't fussy eaters and will eat pretty much anything available to them. Although they prefer sweets, meats and starches, they are also known to consume other items such as hair, books, decaying matter, feces and other stuff too numerous to mention.
They will also eat each other under the right conditions. When cockroach infestations reach large numbers and food is scarce they will turn cannibal as both a source of food and to help reduce population size.
The average lifespan of an American cockroach is approximately one year, but evidence suggests that these insects have been around for a very, very long time. Penn State College of Agricultural Science says that fossil evidence shows that cockroaches have existed since forever! Even cavemen had to endure cockroach infestations in their homes!
The theory that cockroaches can survive a nuclear explosion is a myth. The myth first appeared after Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 where cockroaches were the only survivors. However, MythBusters put an end to this myth by testing the effect 3 levels of radiation have on German cockroaches.
They discovered that cockroaches can’t actually survive a nuclear explosion as none of the crawling insects survived radiation levels of 100,000 rads, but they can endure far greater levels of radiation than humans.
Cockroaches can squeeze through the smallest of cracks
...just like rats and mice. Because of their exoskeletons cockroaches are able to fit through a gap as small as a quarter of their body height by flattening their flexible exoskeletons and splaying their legs to the side.
They can cause asthma
Cockroaches contain a protein that is an allergen for many people. Studies have shown that cockroaches have been linked to triggering asthma as well as other allergies. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology explains that the saliva, feces and shed body parts of cockroaches can trigger asthma when they are kicked up in the air.
Cockroaches can live for approximately one week without a head
Unlike us, cockroaches don’t need their mouths to breathe. They use spiracles (tiny holes) in their body to inhale and transport oxygen. Combine this with the ability to survive without food for a month and you have an insect that can last without it’s head for a week.
Cockroaches can hold their breath
….for 40 minutes and can survive underwater for 30 minutes. Cockroaches don't use their mouths to breath but use small tubes in their body called spiracles. These are also used to transport water vapor out of their body if they need to conserve water they will simply keep the tubes shut.
They are often prey and only have one defense mechanism...speed. Cockroaches can run up to speeds of 1.5 meters per second which converts to 3.4 miles per hour, roughly human walking speed. If you're six feet tall, 10 miles per hour probably doesn't feel very fast. But what if you were just six inches tall, like a squirrel? Relative to the size of your body 10 mph would be quite a bit faster. This site shows the top speeds of animals, and how fast they would be going if they were your size, i.e. what their speed feels like to them. What's It Like To Be An Animal
Cockroaches can’t fly very well
Their wings only allow them to glide and flutter for short distances. It is much quicker for a cockroach to scurry to get to where they're going than it is for them to fly.
Cockroaches love beer
Studies have shown that cockroaches are quite fond of beer because they are attracted to the sugars and hops found in beer.