Menus for cockroaches can feature just about anything: rotting plants and animals, old clothes, shoe polish, ink, electric cords, toenails –, you get the idea. Not surprisingly, these bugs aren’t fussy about where they live, either. Depending on the species, roaches hang out in the soil, under plant litter, in caves, down old mine shafts — even inside city sewers.
Of the more than 3,500 species (new ones are discovered each year), most prefer the hot, moist tropics, but several live in temperate North America. Four species — originally from warmer climates — commonly live inside heated buildings. One of them, the brown-banded cockroach, was nicknamed the TV cockroach because it’s drawn to the extra warmth inside electrical appliances, such as TV sets.
Roaches usually hide when it’s light, but if you happen to spot one, don’t bother trying to catch it. Hairs on its back-end prongs, or cerci, sense the slightest pressure from air moving their way. These hairs have a direct communication link with the bug’s legs — bypassing even a quick trip to the brain — and can spur the cockroach into instant action. What’s more, the roach can cross slippery surfaces and even run straight up with help from its claws and the sticky pads on its feet and front legs.
Reproducing is no problem, either. Members of some cockroach species lay thousands of eggs during their short lifetimes. A few give birth to live young, even caring for their offspring. The moms of one cockroach species in Thailand carry their young around for a month, meeting danger by rolling themselves into balls with their little ones tucked inside. No roach shortage is expected any time soon.
Cockroaches have been around since the time of the dinosaurs. As a matter of fact, these insects are incredibly hardy. They generally prefer warm, dark, damp environments. Action must be taken immediately to rid your home of cockroaches the first instance you see them. Why? Because some female cockroaches can remain pregnant forever and produce up to 150 offspring per year.
Quick Cockroach Facts
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- One of the smallest cockroach species (2.5 mm long) can ride on the back of an ant. The largest (100 mm long) can fly on wings that spread 180 mm from tip to tip.
- After only five or six tries, roaches can race through complicated mazes.
- Roaches revolt people so much that they have starred in horror movies and played roles in adventure films, such as Men in Black and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Cockroach Facts – Anatomy
- Roaches wear their skeletons on the outside of their bodies.
- What if you skinned your knee and white blood came out? If you’re a cockroach, no big deal. Cockroaches bleed white blood.
- Roach’s mouths work sideways. Try it sometime.
- Cockroaches have six hairy legs. The tiny hairs found on each leg give them their sense of touch.
- Cockroaches have six legs and least 18 knees!!!
- Many cockroaches can fly and have beautiful diaphanous–or see-through–wings. Tinkerbell would be jealous of these cockroach facts.
- You outgrow your clothes; roaches outgrow their skeletons. As cockroaches grow, they shed their external skeletons several times a year.
- Soft food moves through a cockroach’s gut in 48 hours.
- The cockroach facts are that a cockroach heart is nothing but a simple tube with valves. The tube can pump blood backward and forwards in the insect. The heart can even stop moving without harming the roach.
Different Types Of Cockroaches
There are many kinds of cockroaches. We are going to talk a little bit more about the American cockroach, the Oriental cockroach, and the brown-banded cockroach. Of all three, the American cockroach is the largest. It can grow to be upwards of 2 inches in length. Females can hatch up to 150 offspring per year. Cockroaches don’t get their wings until they become adults.
You may be surprised to discover that American cockroaches have a reputation for eating virtually anything. This will include eating other insects as well as eating plants. Generally speaking, this type of cockroach enjoys living in a warm, damp climate. Because the American cockroach can live for up to two weeks without water or food, they are incredibly resilient. More often than not, you will find the American cockroach living in sewers, basements, and in the vicinity of pipes and drains.
Brown-banded types of cockroaches
Brown-banded cockroaches get their name from the two light bands they have across their dark brownish bodies. The male’s wings are more significant than the female’s arms. Brown-banded cockroaches often hide their eggs in or under furniture. This type of cockroach typically prefers starchy foods. It is not unusual for brown-banded cockroaches wallpaper paste, book bindings, and other various items — it doesn’t have to be organic items.
Oriental types of cockroaches
Oriental cockroaches are actually from Africa. This is something that a lot of people don’t realize. It is actually sort of funny when you tell someone that an Oriental cockroach is not even remotely from the Orient. The name itself probably comes from the fact that they were typically found on trade ships that would often move around from the oriental parts of the world, through Africa, onward to the New World. As compared to other roaches, this particular type of cockroach is quite dark. Ironically, this type of cockroach prefers cooler temperatures.
Here’s the bottom line: to the extent you find yourself confronting cockroaches in your home or place of business, you need to seek out professional help immediately to get the problem resolved quickly. You do not want these roaches spreading disease and bacteria around your house, and that includes all types of cockroaches.
In countries such as Russia, people who shared their houses with cockroaches once considered themselves lucky. They believed these fast-running bugs provided home protection. More often, though, people saw roaches as bad luck. In Ireland, they were thought to be witches. Popular methods of getting rid of them included sweeping them away on Good Friday and sticking a pin in one of the roaches to scare off the others.