Cockroaches are gross. Nobody likes seeing them. They don’t particularly love seeing anyone else. Did we say they’re gross yet? While cockroaches may not be the most favored pest in existence, they do have a few unique traits that most people don’t know about. Does that make them any more appealing? No. But people do say that when the world ends cockroaches will be one of the only things still around, and that’s for a reason.

1. There are bacteria that live in roaches & help them survive.

We’re obviously not campaigning for cockroaches over here, but it’s important to know how it is they survive so well. Surprise: they have bacteria in their bodies they inherit genetically. These bacteria feed off the cockroach and, in return, provide vitamins and amino acids the cockroach needs to survive. What does this mean? It means cockroaches don’t have to watch what they eat. Seriously, they don’t have to find nutrient-dense food. They can feed on just about anything and still get the nutrients they need to survive.

2. Cockroaches can, and will, eat anything.

Piggybacking on our last point – cockroaches in nature act as garbage disposals, eating organic waste. The bacteria in their bodies, combined with their genetic makeup, allow them to eat pretty much anything and go long periods without even eating – some going as long as 2-3 months. This is one of the more annoying facts, as it’s one of the traits that make them such a problem for homeowners.

3. Cockroaches are really old.

Take a time machine and go back millions of years. You probably won’t recognize much, but you’d recognize these things. Cockroaches have been around since primitive times, dating back almost 350 million years. They looked slightly different back then, but the cockroaches we see today look the same as they did 200 million years ago.

4. They are faster than you think.

Ever seen a cockroach as it’s trying to get away from you? Turn on the lights and watch how fast they try to hide. This is credited to a few things: one being that they have six legs. Once these six legs start moving, cockroaches can go about 3.4 mph. That may not seem very fast but, considering their size, that’s pretty far. If cockroaches were the size of humans, their length-to-speed ratio would convert to about 220mph. That’s fast. Another factor contributing to this is that they detect threats by the air current. Once it notices a shift in air pressure, it has about ten milliseconds to react. Pair this with its overall speed, and it’s pretty understandable why they’re so elusive.

5. They like to “feel” things.

One of the main reasons poisons work so well on cockroaches is because they enjoy the sensation of things pressing their exterior. This is why they are attracted to small spaces and cracks. They can squeeze through most holes and enjoy the sensation – or pressure – associated with this. Think the opposite of a claustrophobic person.

6. We have it easy in the United States.

Cockroaches are pretty big, right? WRONG. We have it easy here. Our cockroaches are domestic, far removed from their tropical cousins. In Peru, there are cockroaches with 7-inch wingspans. Mexico? They have the “giant cave cricket,” which grow to roughly 4 inches in length. How about Australia? Their cockroaches weigh in at about 33.5, which is more than an ounce. Next time we see a cockroach in your home just know: it’s bad, but could be worse.

7. They don’t need their heads.

You’ve heard the expression: running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Well, cockroaches take that to an entirely different level. Most things can’t live without their head. Maybe a minute or two for some animals, but no longer. Well, cockroaches can go up to two weeks. How? They don’t need their heads. Cockroaches don’t bleed; they breathe from their sides, and they can go weeks without food. If a cockroach loses its head, it’ll most likely die from dehydration or starvation as opposed to, you know, not having a head.

8. Cockroaches can hold their breath for roughly 40 minutes.

As we just said, cockroaches breathe through their sides, using small tubes called spiracles. These tubes transport water vapor and aid in the way they regulate water loss. Long-story-short: cockroaches can survive underwater for a long time and hold their breath for almost an hour.

9. They’re cannibals.

As we said at the beginning of this list, cockroaches can, and will, eat just about anything… Including other cockroaches. Why? Well, it depends. When food is scarce, cockroaches will begin to eat one another. Another reason is if their population gets too large, in comparison to the food source, they’ll start to eat one another as a type of population control. How sweet.

10. Cockroaches enjoy a nice, cold beer now and then.

After a long day of being the most hated pest, most cockroaches just like to sit back and enjoy a nice beer. Jokes aside, cockroaches have shown a remarkable fondness for beer. The hops and sugar in the beer tend to be the primary attractant.

Cockroaches are fascinating pests when it comes to their unique traits. This list could be much longer, as cockroaches have a long list of crazy features and genetic characteristics. They are interesting, as long as they stay out of our homes. Cockroaches are a lot of things, but they’re not good roommates. So, if you have seen a cockroach lately, or feel like you may have an infestation, contact us today!