10 Fascinating Facts About Cockroaches

Many people see cockroaches as disgusting and horrible little creatures that we just can’t deal with. Even a first mention of cockroaches can make your skin crawl and your hairs stand on edge. Actually apart from their disgusting habits and assist in the spread of diseases, they are quite fascinating! Listed below are some most interesting facts about cockroaches.

Cockroaches belong to the Phylum Arthropoda class of insect and Order Blattodea. But, there is a various number of species under this Order. Some of the most common species of cockroaches (and their scientific names) also included at the end.

facts about Cockroaches
Interesting facts about Cockroaches.

Top 10 facts about Cockroaches

10.  Edible Cockroaches

Cockroaches are edible, high in protein and healthy to eat! This is a very sickening idea for most people as everyone wants to stay away as far away as possible not put them anywhere close to their mouth. The most interesting among all facts about cockroaches. Cockroaches are themselves too filthy to make food. But when they are domesticated and bred in a safe environment, they can be quite safer to use.

This cockroach farming is a dominant in China. And a fried cockroach is served in the streets in some places. Cockroaches can actually be very fresh, clean and tasty insects, especially if they are fed on fresh vegetables and fresh fruits. In Asian countries particularly in China, Cockroaches are served as fried, sautéed, boiled or toasted. Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches have a taste and texture like greasy chicken.

9. Flying Cockroaches

There are 3500 above cockroach species in the world. And most of them have wings. But the flying ability is not shared among all cockroaches. Actually brown-banded cockroaches are the only ones known to fly especially when temperatures are high. Cockroaches are cold-blooded. They get more active when the temperature rises. They may start flying to try to find a new home. However, other cockroaches use their wings only for glide and flutter for short distances in order to find food and water or use their wings to stabilize themselves when they jump to a lower surface from higher.

 The flying cockroaches are really dangerous. While bites from flying cockroaches are rare, most of the danger comes from the spread of various pathogens and diseases. For example, they can pick up bacteria for diseases like Salmonella and later deposit them on foods, causing food poisoning.  One of the reasons that most of the flying cockroaches do not really depend on flying is that because of their size. Their large body mass and flight wings are not conductive to speed and maneuverability. A large slow flying cockroach is an easy target for any birds or bats. So, even though they can fly, they prefer to use their highly effective legs for running rather than flying most of the time.

8. Surviving a Nuclear Holocaust

Cockroaches can’t survive a nuclear explosion, Can they? This claim is mostly a myth, but it has some truth as roaches have better odds of surviving radiation than humans. The myth first appeared after the events in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 where roaches were the only survivors. 

However after some investigations of testing the effect of 3 levels of radiation have on German cockroaches; It was found that cockroaches can’t survive on nuclear explosion. But they can endure far greater level of radiation. It has been investigated that Cockroaches exposed to 1000 rads (radon units) lived. But they might experience a decreased ability to reproduce and surprisingly, 10% of Cockroaches still managed to survive.

7. Talking Cockroaches

This is also a largely myth apart from the Madagascar Cockroach well pass for the only “talking” insect on the planet. Cockroaches usually communicate with each other using a foraging pheromone released through their guts.  Interestingly, the Madagascar hissing roaches have a way of blowing air through their breathing tracts to give the hissing sound that gives them their name. This hissing sound is used to express aggression especially among males when either fighting a mate or expressing affection when mating.

The Madagascar hissing Cockroach has a unique way of producing its hisses. This roach produce sound by forcibly expelling air through spiracles which are breathing pores of the respiratory system. As the spiracles are involved in respiration, this method of sound production is ore typical of the respiratory sound made by the vertebrates.

6. Farting Cockroaches

Cockroaches tend to fart more than any insect in the world! Actually they do it lot. Cockroaches can produce methane through their breathing tracts. Gases produced as a byproduct of digestion are absorbed into an insect’s hemolymph – its blood – and then released through its spiracles. This habit is usually associates with all animals that consume a lot of fiber foods. Cockroaches release more methane in relation to their body weight than any other insect.

A 2012 research found the American cockroach to be the fartiest animal in Britain releasing up to 35g of methane a year, up to 45 times its actual body weight! Even after death they can release methane at least for 20 hours, making Cockroaches are one of the main contributors for Global warming.

5. Headless Cockroaches

The most exciting feature about these creatures is that they can live up to few weeks even their heads cut off. This is not at all a myth but a ghoulish fact. When a cockroach decapitated, the roach’s circulatory system clots off at the neck and the rest of the body continues having a constant circulation. The reason is roaches do not breathe on their heads but spiracles or tiny holes in their body. In other words, even after being beheaded, they continue to receive oxygen to their viral body parts. What’s more fascinating is that the roach’s anti-decapitation defense is the independent muscle control that does not depend on their brain coordination and that’s why they can keep moving weeks into its decapitation.

Moreover, they have clumps of ganglia-nerve tissue agglomeration-distributed within each body segment, and these are capable of performing the basic functions responsible for their reactions and other responses. Without a brain, they can still function using small reactions. However because of not having a mouth to feed, they will finally starve to death or even from dehydration. In fact, it is not just the body but the lonely head also can keep functioning too, waving his antennae here and there for several hours.

4. Cockroaches being as old as the Dinosaurs

According to history reports, Cockroaches are actually older than Dinosaurs. As the oldest known Cockroach has survived during the asteroid attack that wiped out the Dinosaurs. Fossils of Cockroach ancestors trace back to about 300 million years ago when the life had just left the water to land. According to scientists the body structure is more or less similar to modern Cockroaches. This is another proof that they are one of the oldest creatures on earth.

3. Cockroaches usually dye on their backs

Cockroaches have a slightly rounded and greasy back, and a flat body with long legs. These long legs give them a high center of gravity, meaning that they carry most of their weight around their backs.  When a Cockroach gets old, its high center of gravity pulls its back toward the floor, and its rounded back and weakened muscles prevent it from restoring itself, especially on smooth surfaces. Then again the insecticides we use to kill Cockroaches have the same effect. As most of these insecticides are neurotoxins. They can produce tremors, lack of muscle coordination and again, with the rounded back and high center of gravity may cause to get stuck that way.

2. Cockroaches Allergy

Cockroaches release a protein from their bodies that causes allergic reactions. Another facts about Cockroaches – Cockroach allergy is real and a significant health problem. And humans can develop an allergy to cockroach saliva, waste and bodies. This is worse as they even can produce allergic reactions even when they are dead. Asthmatic patients are at the highest risk of suffering from this allergy. As the main symptoms of allergy include skin rashes, coughing, wheezing and difficulty in breathing, runny nose, itchy eyes and other symptoms common to allergic rhinitis.  Certain medicines ay help reduce cockroach allergy symptoms like oral anti-histamine, Decongestants and Nasal corticosteroids. If you have asthma, your Doctor will prescribe you anti-inflammatory and bronchodilators also.

1. Cockroaches can squeeze through the tiniest of gaps

An the top facts about cockroaches – they can squeeze. These creepies can squeeze through smallest of cracks! With the help of their amazing flexible exoskeletons; Cockroaches are able to fit through a hole as small as a quarter of their body height by flattening their flexible exoskeleton and spreading their legs to the side.

The Scientific Names of the Cockroach.

  • The American cockroach (Periplaneta americana).
  • The Australian cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae).
  • The Florida woods cockroach (Eurycotis floridana).
  • The Madagascar hissing cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa).
  • The Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis).
  • The German cockroach (Blattella germanica).
  • The Asian cockroach (Blattella asahinai).
  • The Surinam cockroach (Pycnoscelus surinamensis).
  • The brown-banded cockroach (Supella longipalpa).
  • The smoky brown cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa).
  • The Pennsylvania woods cockroach (Parcoblatta pennsylvanica).
  • The brown cockroach (Periplaneta brunnea).