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Cockroach Species

Summary: You might have known that cockroaches can survive for a week with its head cut off, but did you know that the cockroach species might be able to predict earthquakes? Find out more interesting cockroach facts.

The cockroach species has a nasty reputation. They are known to spread disease by carrying contaminants on their bodies after crawling through sewage or other waste. Seeing one scurry across a kitchen floor can be quite startling. People do not want them in their homes and will hire an exterminator to perform pest control. However, cockroaches are an important part of the world's ecosystem. They eat a lot of organic waste and they provide a food source for larger animals. Here is some more info I have found about cockroaches.

• There are 5,000 species of cockroach. Only about 30 of these species are know to be commonly found in human homes.

• Most cockroach species are found in the tropics.

• Different behaviors are hardwired in nerve groupings throughout a cockroach's body so that they don't necessarily need their brain to perform actions such as walking or breathing.


• Cockroaches don't have blood vessels like a mammal does, and their blood is not used to carry oxygen. Their blood is usually white or clear in color. The cockroach's blood is not really pumped by their heart, either. It kind of sloshes around the cockroach's body.

• Cockroaches become more active during earthquakes.

• Cockroaches can walk up walls because of many small hairs on their feet that can create suction.

• Large cockroaches are more likely to wander around than small cockroaches.

• Cockroaches can live for a month without food, and a week without water.

• Cockroaches can live for a week after their head has been cut off. This is because their breathing is not regulated by their brain and because they do not lose much blood because they don't have blood pressure like a mammal. They will eventually die of dehydration.

• Female cockroaches prefer weaker males over dominant males when they mate. The dominant males must fight for the females to prevent them from mating with weaker males. This seems to go against Darwin's theory. Research has shown that dominant males often injure the female during mating, but the females will produce more offspring when mating with the dominant males.

• Female cockroaches sometimes mate once and stay pregnant for life.

• Cockroaches usually have three knees per leg for a total of eighteen knees.

• The cockroach has lots of hairs on its legs which give it the sense of touch.

• Cockroaches often die if they land on their backs in human environments. In the wild there is often leaf litter or debris around to which the cockroach can grab on to if it becomes overturned. On a flat floor with nothing around it is much harder for the roach to right itself. Also, pesticides that are sprayed in homes often affect an insect's nervous system and cause muscle spasms. The roach might flip itself over accidentally and be unable to coordinate itself to turn right side up.

• The cockroach's antennae are a little longer than the length of its body. It uses the antennae to navigate, usually trying to stay in close proximity to a wall when it is inside.

Cockroach foot

• The cockroach antennae have between 150 and 170 segments each.

• The mouthparts of cockroaches chew sideways.

• Cockroaches can sense danger coming from behind them because of a nerve that runs the entire length of their bodies.

• A cockroach can run up to three miles per hour. That is fast for something so small.

• When cockroaches run they have three legs on the ground at any given time.

• The cockroach is the world's fastest turner. The cockroach can change directions up to twenty five times in a single second.

• The cockroach can survive at freezing temperatures.

• The cockroach can survive for forty minutes underwater.

• Cockroaches spend 75% of their time resting.

• The largest cockroach is six inches long and has a wingspan of one foot.

• The movement of cockroaches has been studied to create robots that mimic them. The robots are very effective in crossing rough terrain. These robots might someday be used for surveillance purposes to go into battle zones or dangerous locations.

• Japanese scientists have been able to attach electrodes to the legs of cockroaches so that they can control their movement. The cockroaches might one day be fitted with micro-cameras and be used for surveillance purposes.

Hate them as we might, cockroaches are amazing.

Ask Rick A Question


12 Aug 2009, 13:05
this morning i found a roach that my cats had brought me half dead on its back. the stomach is dark brown with about 5 light brown stripes. i cant see the top so i cant tell u wat it looks like from that view. it probably came from the garage. its about 1 1/2 inches not including the antenae... wat kind is it?
14 Aug 2009, 13:44
We went on vacation last week & rented a cabin. We found 2 was laying an egg. Of course we freaked out & started shaking all of our clothes/bags out & left (we had stayed 2 nights already before discovering this). Once home, we washed EVERYTHING! Of couse now a little jumpy at any sight of an insect. This morning I found a little brownish bug walking very fast across my bathroom countertop. I grabbed it with a tissue & put it in a container. It's only about 1/8" long. (Long & slender) The back shell is hard looking with small "ridges" from head to tail-end. Is this a baby roach???? Could he have somehow brought an egg home in our stuff & it hatched?? Please tell me I'm just crazy & jumping to conclusions!!!!! We keep a VERY clean house...kind of a clean freak. Also, what is the best "trap"?? Like an ant trap??
15 Aug 2009, 11:35
living on the gulf coast of mississippi, i've dealt with tons of roaches. we have a saying, "for every roach you see, seven are hiding in the wall." roaches need water, food, and shelter - in that order, just like every living creature. address those issues and "bye, bye" roaches... mostly... plus poison helps! put 100% boric acid (powdered, commonly available) along cracks, corners, door and window seals, etcetera. roaches will seek shelter in your home during the rainy season. put a mothball in any sealed boxes or bags (just one works fine!). dispose of excess cardboard and paper. clean moderately well. and, remember, roaches are just bugs. they probably would eat a dead person, but they are no real harm to the living.
24 Aug 2009, 18:13
I live in NYC, down in the village. I've been very lucky so far not to have any roach problems before. Unfortunately this morning and another time 2 weeks ago, I saw a large roach-looking bug on my floor in the same spot both times. The bug was about 1 1/2 - 2 inches long, dark in color. Both times it was near my AC unit, which is against the wall. Do you think its an oriental roach? and if so, how can i stop them from coming? there was a leak in the apartment above me last month which trickled down my wall. they since fixed the wall, and replastered. do you think this is the source of the problem? i put down bait a few weeks ago. will this help? My super says its a waterbug, which i think is a nice way of saying huge roach. im SOO grossed out, especially because my roommate and i are super super clean. thanks so much!
15 Oct 2009, 01:38
what is the life span of cockroach?
10 Nov 2009, 13:14
We just moved into our new home and the lady that lived there before didn’t stay their a lot when I moved in I went down stairs to look at the drain that the washer drains into and there were 4 or 5 baby roaches in the water crawling out I killed them and went to the store (home depot) and got 2 huge jugs of roach killer. I sprayed the entire basement, outside and every drain around that I could find. I was putting the bbq pit and other items down stairs last night and saw 1 dead baby roach. None in the drain and this morning I woke up to my kitten eating a baby dead roach in my bed room. Should I call an exterminator or should I wait?
10 Nov 2009, 20:12
Is mothball any good to keep cockroach away from your home
05 May 2010, 17:54
i found a brown bug about the size of a 5p it had hard to notice wings, no anntenae or no spiny legs it was in my bedroom in the middle of the day and it didnt seem to bothered about my presence ive not seen any more neither have i seen anything in my kitchen is it a cockroach?
jerry cheek
31 May 2010, 14:41
were haveing problem with large roch looking looks to be a cockroach
about two(2 inches long)its not a pallmento bug
saltn peppa
16 Oct 2010, 15:48
i hate all bugs
Ckutee Anabella
05 Jan 2011, 21:06
We have alott Of Roch in my House but before we Brought a Mini. Ref. it start to join as a Group . also I Dont know where stink Bug comee to My Houseee.
23 Jan 2011, 10:33
How long can cockroaches survive freezing temperatures? My son lived in a infested place, moved his furniture to storage for 2 months now. We live in Mn. and it has been below zero for most of Jan. Is it safe to assume the bugs are dead and he can safely move his furniture to his new place without the bugs moving in too.
Ask the Exterminator
23 Jan 2011, 12:08
Please read It talks about bed bugs, but the article applies to most insects.
05 Jun 2011, 00:11
how fast does a palmetto bug grow?
Ask the Exterminator
05 Jun 2011, 08:22
American cockroaches molt from six to fourteen times. Complete development from egg to adult is about 600 days.
08 Aug 2012, 13:01
Last night I found a small bug crawling in my bathroom and I'm freaking out that it may be a cockroach my husband thinks I'm over reacting because he says I say most Bugs like crickets and others are cockroaches. I found a pic of a similar insect which I can email but I'm just super terrified of what this insect will be. If I can hear back ASAP I would be forever greatful
Thank you
13 Dec 2012, 20:46
I think I saw a cockroach not sure if it was an actual cockroach it was like a litish brown and skinny I've never seen any cocaroaches in my house so im really not sure what it is please help it was in my laundry room on the table of towels
12 May 2015, 12:37
I am from Nepal.last night i was with my friends out in resturant we found most of cockroaches came out in and around us even there were light and clean surrounding. Moving towards home, cockroaches were on my body later i found in my friends body too we took it normal as they were moving around streets. Today morning my dog was sick, my mom told me our neighbour might have sprade insecticide and the dog ate some of the cockroaches which i found more than 50 were dead out at garden. Till that time, I didn't notice it and moved for office. Today Noon, Nepal rocked by 7.3-magnitude earthquake near Mount Everest which is around 400-500 km far. And 6-9 aftershock greater than 4 magnitude. Is this the sign for bigger disaster? As we already been suffering from major earthquake of 7.8 and 1000 of aftershock from 25/04/2015. This unusual behavior i saw may help for further research. Hope nothing goes worst...!
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