The American cockroach is the largest of the house-infesting roaches and a major pest in the United States. It is just one of over 4,000 different types of cockroaches- that we know about. Read on to learn some astonishing facts about cockroaches.


    • The modern cockroach first came to be about 200 million years ago, and primitive roaches appeared even earlier- about 350 million years ago.
    • According to the National Pest Management Association, a headless cockroach can live for weeks, exhibiting basic behaviors. That’s because they breathe through openings along their bodies, not through the nose and mouth like we do. Not only would the decapitated body of the cockroach survive but so would the separated head! The roach only dies because without a mouth, it can’t drink water and dies of thirst.
    • A cockroach can hold its breath for 40 minutes, and can even survive being submerged underwater for half an hour.
    • Both males and females have wings and can fly short distances.
    • Cockroaches will eat anything- even you! Most roaches prefer sugar and other sweets, but they will eat just about anything: grease, soap, wallpaper paste, and leather. They’ll even munch on your toenails, eyelashes and eyebrows while you sleep.
    • American cockroaches can move at a rate of 50 body lengths per second. That’s the equivalent of a person running at 210 miles per hour!

These facts prove that cockroaches are some of the most adaptable creatures on earth, which makes controlling and eliminating a cockroach infestation all the more difficult. Luckily, only about 30 species inhabit human dwellings.

Similar to houseflies, cockroaches become vehicles for spreading diseases when they take up residence among humans. Feeding on waste, trash, and food, they leave E. coli, salmonella, and parasitic worms in their wake. Additionally, studies indicate that cockroaches trigger asthma symptoms, especially in children.

To get rid of cockroaches in your home, seal all cracks and holes in homes, including entry points for utilities and pipes, as they can serve as entranceways for the pests. In addition, basements and crawl spaces should be kept well ventilated and dry. Be sure to keep food sealed and stored properly. Clean the kitchen thoroughly every day, wiping counters, removing the trash, cleaning spills immediately, and making sure to remove trash in a timely manner.

In addition to the “ick” factor, cockroach control and management are clearly important for health and safety reasons. Cockroaches are some of the most resilient pests in the world making getting rid of them a difficult task for homeowners to do themselves. If you suspect a cockroach infestation, call the experts- Complete Pest Solutions.