Pest Advice Blog

Roaches: Scary, Gross and Possibly Zombies

interesting and weird facts about roaches

From their pre-historic origins, for over 280 million years, these dreaded creatures have been wandering the globe. Over 4,000 species exist worldwide, with one species or another either creeping around in your basement, flying right at you, dropping on you from trees and ceilings in the dark of night or others scattering in throngs of thousands, when caught invading your kitchen, cockroaches are one of our most terrifying pests.

Huge cockroaches live in South America and they can fly

While gargantuan South American cockroaches, the stuff of nightmares, grow up to almost 4 inches long with a 6-inch wingspan, the most common cockroaches in the US include American cockroaches (also known as: palmetto bugs, water bugs and fudgies), German cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches and brown-banded cockroaches.

Cockroaches transmit dangerous pathogens, cause respiratory viruses and allergic reactions

Not only do these creep show characters give us the heebie-jeebies, some transmit respiratory viruses, such as the Hantavirus, provoke asthma attacks and cause allergic reactions. Spreading over 30 human pathogens, in addition to a variety of parasitic worms and viruses, cockroaches can spread food-borne illnesses by transmitting Salmonella and Ecoli viruses picked up on their legs as they roam around in waste and decaying food scraps. And just in time for Halloween, here’s some more facts about cockroaches to enhance their squirm factors.

A cockroach can live for a week with no head

Often remarked that roaches will be the only creatures that survive in a post-apocalyptic world, according to a PestWorld.com article, cockroaches can live for a week without their heads. Because of their circulatory system, they can breathe without their head or mouth. In fact, they are able to breathe through small holes in each body segment. But because they need mouths to drink, cockroaches die from thirst in a week or so with no heads, during which they stumble around like zombies. And because they are cold-blooded, cockroaches with their heads intact are able to survive a month without food.

Submerged in water, cockroaches can survive up to 40 minutes

Thinking you can flush your problems away? Think again. Like that scary monster that just won’t die, a cockroach can hold its breath underwater for 40 minutes. Seems these creatures practice holding their breaths to regulate water retention. American cockroaches, in addition to their large sizes, their reputation for flying right at people, as well as, allegedly chasing them around their homes are also attracted to beer, according to PestWorld.com. Attracted to the hops and sugar, American cockroaches may also use the beer as a source of water and food!

New, invasive cockroach can survive freezing temps

According to NBCnews.com reporter, Frank Eltman’s 2012 article, “Invasive Cockroach Resistant to Freezing Cold Found on High Line,” winter can’t even stop some cockroaches. Observed in the High Line, a raised park that runs along Manhattan’s West Side, an invasive Asian cockroach, Periplaneta japonica can survive freezing temperatures.

With their ancient lineage, cockroaches have developed scary skills

As one of the oldest insects in history, cockroaches have developed some spooky skills over time. Cockroaches can spread viruses and pathogens throughout homes in very little time. Plus, as the US’s most common roach, German cockroaches mature in little over a month, enabling them to cause allergic reactions and outbreaks of other illnesses throughout the US. To top it all off, they are quick! Adult cockroaches can run up to three miles an hour and baby cockroaches can run just as fast as their parents at one-day old. Creepy!

Truly Nolen, your roach control experts

Unlike ghouls, goblins, mummies, monsters and man-eating arachnids, cockroaches won’t disappear into the dawn of a new day, like the creatures of haunted house fame. While DIY products on the market promise to eliminate cockroaches in your home or business, Truly Nolen suggests contacting a professional pest control company to safely and effectively address your cockroach concerns.

Technicians, trained and certified in control and treatment measures for different types of cockroaches keep your home and family in mind, using eco-friendly and naturally occurring methods and materials whenever possible. For on-going seasonal protection from all household pests, ask about our Four Seasons approach to household pests that creates a pest-free barrier around your home, using our innovative, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system.

Along with a professional pest control company’s protocols, homeowners can help deter roaches and other pests. Homeowners can take some common sense measures to keep cockroaches out of their homes. Prevention tips include:

  • Sealing cracks and crevices around your home’s foundation.
  • Regularly cleaning and sweeping food prep and dining areas.
  • Carefully inspect and/or discard all cardboard boxes or bags brought home from the store to ensure you’re not inviting a hitchhiking cockroach.
  • Tightly sealing all dried food items in glass, metal or hard plastic containers.
  • Storing all open food in the fridge or in tightly-sealed containers.
  • Keeping all outdoor trash receptacles clean and sanitized.
  • Removing all debris and unkempt vegetation from house exteriors.
  • Repairing all screens and sealing cracks around entryways.
  • Repairing or replacing all leaky faucets and water prone areas.

Halloween can be frightening, but not as scary as cockroaches. For expedient and expert solutions to your roach and other creepy pest concerns, contact your local Truly Nolen location to schedule a free pest inspection today! Happy Halloween!


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