5 Fascinating Cockroach Facts


It’s not hard to see why cockroaches have a bad rap, given their reputation as garbage lovers, disease carriers and the species most likely to survive a nuclear explosion.

A closer look at the cockroach’s biology, though, reveals a fascinating creature capable of amazing feats. Here are five lesser-known facts about this common household pest to share with your customers.

1. Cockroaches can live for a week without their heads

It’s a horrifying thought, but did you know that if you cut off aa cockroach’s head, it can continue to survive for up to a week? This is mostly because cockroaches breathe through little holes in each of their body segments, and rely on clumps of nerve tissue instead of a single brain to perform basic movements. Eventually a headless cockroach would die of thirst, as it still requires a mouth to drink.

2. Cockroaches are super fast

We’ve been there before: that moment when you switch on the light, only to glimpse a blur of cockroaches running in different directions. Cockroaches can run up to speeds of 1.5m per second. The human equivalent is around 320km per hour! They can also use their rear legs to grab a surface and swing their bodies underneath ledges, making them better able to escape predators.

3. Cockroaches are cannibals

When it comes to food, cockroaches will eat almost anything: fruit, glue, faeces and yes, even their own kind. Put it down to survival: a cockroach population can rapidly outgrow its food source, causing the creatures to turn on each other to survive. Typically, the old feed on the young, with females eating their own eggs and nymphs when no other food is available.

4. Cockroaches can trigger asthma

We all know cockroaches spread diseases like salmonella and gastroenteritis, but did you know they can also trigger an asthma attack? The excrement and debris shed by cockroaches are not only small enough to be inhaled, but also contain a protein that can trigger an asthma attack in some people. If you’re treating a house with asthma sufferers, it’s well worth advising them on how to keep infestations at bay.

5. Cockroaches love beer

Here’s another reason to get that ADVION quick smart: cockroaches love to consume beer. Researchers from Purdue University tested different attractants like peanut butter and beer on cockroaches. The bread soaked beer was the best, capturing more than five times the number of cockroaches. It’s thought that the sugar and hops is what they find appealing.