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15 Things You Never Thought You Needed to Know About ...

They're creepy and crawly, and you may rather NOT think about them, yet cockroaches have been on this earth for hundreds of millions of years. Interestingly, through all of this time they've adapted to new living conditions, but haven't changed much -- the largest cockroach fossil, a 3.5-inch specimen that lived 300 million years ago and was found in 2001, appeared very similar to cockroaches of today.


Cockroaches spend 75 percent of their time resting.

Cockroaches are seemingly simple creatures, but the complexities surrounding these 15 cockroach facts may surprise you.

  1. If given a choice, cockroaches will choose shelters with other large groups of cockroaches (as opposed to seeking shelter alone).

  2. About 80 percent of cockroaches in the United States are nymphs (sexually immature).

  3. Female cockroaches release a pheromone to tell male cockroaches they're ready to mate.

  4. A British man holds the title for consuming the most cockroaches -- 36 in all, according to the 2001 Guinness Book of World Records.

  5. Cockroaches have lived for over 300 million years -- 10 times longer than humans!

  6. German cockroaches are one of the peskiest roach varieties; they've developed a resistance to commonly used insecticides and new commercial baits.

Madagascan Hissing Cockroach

The Madagascan Hissing Cockroach is sometimes kept as a pet.

  1. There are 5,000 species of cockroaches worldwide.

  2. A cockroach can live for one week with no head, and then it dies of dehydration because it can't drink water (a cockroach can live for one month with no food).

  3. Cockroaches can run up to three miles an hour.

  4. Adult male cockroaches can squeeze into a space that's the thickness of a quarter.

  5. A cockroach's heart can pump blood backward and forward, and can stop beating without harming the insect.


Cockroaches can survive a lethal dose of radiation that is six to 15 times higher than people can, according to University of Florida researchers.

  1. Some female cockroaches keep their egg cases in their bodies until they're ready to hatch. Then, these newborn cockroaches stay with their mothers one to two days after they're born.

  2. Bandages made of crushed cockroaches have been applied to wounds to help ease pain.

  3. The largest roach, which lives in South America, can grow up to six inches long with a one-foot wingspan!

  4. A cockroach can hold its breath for 40 minutes.

Recommended Reading

Bugs that Bite: Interesting Facts & Necessary Precautions on the Insects That Crave You

How Many Insect Parts and Rodent Hairs are Allowed in Your Food?


Science Daily

Discovery Kids

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