For many people cockroaches or cockroaches, as the vernacular usually calls them, are afflicted with dirt, dirt or even a feeling of disgust. These crawling insects are a sign of lack of hygiene for most people and are regarded as highly disturbing. The fact that cockroaches can spread diseases does not make the situation any better.
10 Bizarre Facts About Cockroaches
Let’s admit it honestly: cockroaches are not exactly the most beautiful creatures of nature. But, in addition to their many negative facets, cockroaches also have some truly extraordinary properties.
Cockroaches are Cannibals
You’ve read correctly. Cockroaches eat pretty much everything they can find: Fruits, adhesives or even faeces. If they need a lot of food, they even eat their fellow cockroaches.
Scientists suspect that this follows a self-regulating order. If the infestation of cockroaches is high, i.e. there is a high population of cockroaches and only limited food supplies, it is assumed that cockroaches eat their conspecifics in order to reduce the population number.
Cockroaches Are Old
A cockroach usually has a service life of up to one year. The Penn State College of Agricultural Science in Pennsylvania, USA, has found fossil remains that indicate that cockroaches existed on Earth more than 300 million years ago.
In other words, even the cavemen had to deal with cockroaches.
Are Cockroaches Immune To Radioactive Radiation?
One knows it from films or books, this myth that cockroaches can even survive a nuclear explosion. This is really just a myth … Actually.
First one heard about these stories after the events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. It was reported that cockroaches in the explosion radius were the only survivors. The Myth Busters team recently refuted this when they tested the influence of radioactivity on German cockroaches.
They found that cockroaches can survive far more radioactive radiation than humans. But even cockroaches cannot survive a nuclear explosion with more than 100,000 Ras (1).
Cockroaches Can Squeeze Through The Smallest Of Holes
Just like mice or rats, cockroaches can also move through tiny holes, cracks or crevices.
The reason for this is the impressive exoskeleton of the cockroach, which gives it a special mobility. Due to the laterally attached legs a cockroach only needs a quarter of its body height (2).
Cockroaches Cause Asthma?
Studies have shown that cockroaches can be associated with asthma and other allergies.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that saliva, faeces and moulting residues of the cockroach can cause asthma eggs (3). The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has been able to prove that cockroaches contain a protein which is an allergen for some people and can therefore trigger asthma attacks (4).
Cockroaches Can Survive A Week Without A Head
Yes, you’ve read correctly! Cockroaches can live without their heads for about a week.
The reason is that, unlike humans, cockroaches do not use their heads to breathe. Instead, they use small holes in their body to absorb oxygen. And what about food? Cockroaches can survive less than a month without food. And already we have an insect that can survive for a week without its head.
Cockroaches Are Fast
Actually, we should be more specific: Cockroaches are damn fast.
Since cockroaches are the favorite prey of many other animals, their speed is their main defense mechanism. They are able to cover more than 1.5 meters per second (2).
Cockroaches Cannot Fly
Some cockroach species have a pair of wings, but they cannot fly. Nevertheless, the pair of wings is helpful for them, because thanks to their wings cockroaches can slow down their fall or flutter around at short distances.
Cockroaches Love Beer!
If you have a cockroach infestation in your house, this beautiful six-pack of beer could soon disappear into your closet! But fun aside. Studies have shown that cockroaches love to consume beer. It’s the hops and sugar that attract them most.
Cockroaches Can Hold Their Breath For Up To 40 Minutes
Impressive, isn’t it? Even if it sounds impossible for us humans, researchers have proven that cockroaches can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes and survive underwater for up to 30 minutes. No wonder why they like to get into houses, cellars and halls via pipe and sewage systems.
It is believed that the ability of a cockroach to hold its breath for a long time is a result of regulating its water loss. Unlike us, cockroaches do not use their mouth to breathe, but use small holes in their body called stigmata. These are also used to transport water vapor out of their bodies, and if they need to save water, they will simply keep their breathing tubes closed.