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Cockroach

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Matilda Cruz
Matilda double majored in zoology and animal behavior at the University of Hawaii. She’s been an animal lover from a young age and knew she wanted to study them even more for her career. She’s always looking for ways to spread her animal knowledge.

Cockroaches are six-legged insects of the order Blattodea. There are many different types of cockroaches around the globe. They have adapted to different environments to survive. We consider most cockroach species pests, creating a health hazard and a social nuisance associated with dirt and filth. There are about 4,600 cockroach species, out of which about thirty of them are found in human settlements. Some common household cockroaches include:

  • German Cockroach
  • American Cockroach
  • Australian Cockroach

Anatomical Features and Fun Facts

  • Cockroaches often have a black to a reddish hue
  • They can grow to between one and five centimeters
  • Most cockroach species have wings but are not fully capable of sustained flight
  • A single cockroach has a pair of antennae placed at the front of the head
  • Their bodies are flat and oval for effective hiding
  • Their long spiny legs allow them to walk upside down and up steep surfaces
  • Cockroaches can survive incredibly harsh environments
  • They breathe through structures called spiracles located on their body segments

Cockroaches are prolific breeders. One female cockroach can lay up to 40 eggs which she carries around in a pouch at the end of her body. It takes five hours to lay the egg, which initially appears white. Once the nymphs break free from the shell, they start self-inflation, which eventually turns them dark. It takes a nymph three to four months to grow into an adult cockroach. In her lifetime, the female can hatch over 400 nymphs if the conditions are favorable. Some cultures, such as the Chinese, do not view the cockroach as a repugnant insect; instead, they raise cockroaches for medicinal purposes.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Ugh! I live in NE Florida. These nasty things walk boldly through our living room and every where else in our rural home if you’d let them. I’ve been here 42 years. First, keep all food carefully sealed, dishes washed, trash taken out (in garbage bags), keep pet food out only as long as it takes your pet to eat it . Spray bug spray regularly around the outside of your home and in damp places like sheds and garages. Wash out your garbage cans occasionally especially if you keep them close to your house. Set out “sticky boxes” for the larger species that come in during damp and rainy weather. I’ve never had to call the “Bug Man”. Remember, “If you feed them they will come”! 🪳🪳🪳🪳🪳

  2. I had a cockroach infestation, as did the rest of the apartments in the condo building where I live. We never did actually find the source although we did have some suspicions, as did both the Orkin man and the Anderson man. However, we all went above and beyond in cleaning our individual unit, including emptying all cabinets and drawers in the kitchen (thank Heaven the disgusting things were confined to the kitchens and hadn’t spread elsewhere), throwing away boxes of things they feed on (they also feed on cardboard, by the way), putting down poison, etc. and we got rid of them. Unfortunately, we had to have the Health Department issue citations to two unit owners who were not cooperative and each was fined $250; they quickly complied as if they had not within five days they would have been fined again and every five days for as long as they did not comply. It took about two weeks to complete the job but it’s been three weeks since we completed it and there has been no sign of them – so far. I hope it remains that way but the only way that will occur is if everyone exercises due diligence as far as cleanliness and clutter.

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