Cockroach Facts You Might Not Have Known
Fact: Many things people think they know about cockroaches are false. One of the most common myths concerns a nuclear holocaust; if the world came to an end, the only survivors would be cockroaches. While roaches can withstand more radiation than humans, they couldn’t withstand the 100 million degree heat of the blast or the nuclear winter that would result. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about actual, real-life cockroach facts.
- When cockroaches are startled, they can bolt away at 50 body lengths per second. That’s the equivalent of a human running more than 200 miles per hour. Good luck catching a running roach.
- Roaches are not only fast, they are superheroes when it comes to escape. Researchers armed with high-speed cameras found that a roach running at full speed can come to the end of a counter, dive off, and then grab on at the last second with its hind legs and swing underneath to escape. Again, good luck catching one.
- Junk food is bad for roaches. Researchers in England fed roaches a diet consisting only of fish food. This is the roach equivalent of burgers, fries, and shakes. Compared to roaches that ate a more balanced diet, the fish-food-fed roaches were fatter and took longer to mature. Even when they were switched back to a balanced diet, the roaches remained unhealthy.
- Cockroaches are nature’s recyclers. While no one wants roaches in their homes, the world would be a much dirtier place if not for cockroaches. That’s because roaches chow down nearly everything—including feces and dead plants and animals. This redistributes the decaying matter as organic fertilizer.
- Around 35 million Americans—nearly one in ten—is allergic to cockroaches: Cockroaches produce trails of saliva and feces that is left behind when they explore your home. This matter dries and becomes a fine airborne powder which enters the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth, and lungs causing allergic reactions in some.