Cockroaches. When most people hear that word, they shudder and feel pretty uneasy. A perfectly understandable reaction, when you think about how ghastly these creatures are. Not only are they seen as a sign of filth and dirt, but are known to carry and spread disease. It’s fair to say that cockroaches are probably one of the least popular insects in the country. One of the most popular questions we get asked, for example, is: do cockroaches bite? Find out the answer and more, below…
That doesn’t stop them being absolutely fascinating though. There are also a lot of misconceptions about cockroaches. In the following post, we are going to discuss some of these facts, and look at some of the most common questions people ask about cockroaches.
How Many Species of Cockroach are Found in the UK?
Before we begin looking at things like whether cockroaches bite or not, it’s worth answering this basic question. There are four species found in the UK – Brown Banded, Oriental, German and American. Though it’s the oriental and German species are the most common.
Can Cockroaches Survive a Nuclear Explosion?
Well, as amazing as it would be if it was true, it’s something of a myth. This originates from Nagasaki and Hiroshima during 1945, when the insects appeared to be the only living things that survived.
The US television show MythBusters disproved it by testing German cockroaches with 3 different radiation levels. They found cockroaches would not be able to survive an actual nuclear explosion because after 100,000-rads of radiation there were no insects still alive. Cockroaches can endure much higher radiation levels than humans, though.
Can Cockroaches Live Without a Head?
Most of us have heard the rather gruesome rumour that makes cockroaches seem like something from a horror film. The amazing thing is though, that cockroaches can continue to live for a week without a head.
The reason for this is all about breathing. Cockroaches don’t need a mouth to breathe through. Rather, they use tiny holes known as spiracles on their body to inhale oxygen and then transport it. When you combine this and their astonishing ability to live for a month without food, cockroaches are really quite awe inspiring. Still extremely disgusting, but amazing all the same.
How Old Are Cockroaches?
Although the average individual cockroach only lives for a year, they are an ancient species of insect. There’s evidence that cockroaches have been on the planet since the days of the dinosaurs.
This is, in part, due to their afore mentioned resilience, toughness and personal habits. They are one of the hardiest creatures to have roamed the earth.
Can Cockroaches Hold Their Breath for as Long as 30 Minutes?
Following on nicely from the above, another question often asked is if it’s true that cockroaches can hold their breaths for up to 30 minutes or more. The answer is yes. It’s also because, like the above, they don’t use mouths to breathe. Their spiracles are used to direct water vapour from their bodies, but they can also keep them shut. Which means they can stay alive underwater for around half an hour.
Do Cockroaches Bite?
So do cockroaches bite? This is a very common question for good reason. If you have ever had these insects in your home, or have got some now, you need to know if they are dangerous to humans. You might not like the answer, but yes cockroaches do bite. But it’s not really in their remit to do it unless necessary. It’s also worth pointing out that cockroaches don’t spread diseases by biting.
How Do Cockroaches Carry Diseases?
Although it’s scary to think about it, the next question is an even more important one than do cockroaches bite. Unfortunately, one of the ‘facts’ people always note about cockroaches is their rather impressive (it would be impressive if it wasn’t so genuinely worrying) ability to carry and spread diseases.
They do this by contaminating our food. Some of the illnesses cockroaches are known to carry and spread through food poisoning reads like a veritable ‘what’s what’ of the worst blights known to man, including:
- Escherichia coli
- Poliomyelitis virus
Are Cockroaches Really Cannibals?
If a lot of the answers to these questions didn’t already describe just how gross cockroaches are, the answer to this one just might. Yes, the truth is cockroaches are not especially fussy eaters.
They will happily eat just about anything they can get hold of. This includes poo, glue, fruit and yes – even other cockroaches. The reasoning behind their cannibalism is mainly population control and survival.
How Fast Are Cockroaches?
If you’ve ever had the displeasure of playing host to cockroaches, you will know they can run incredibly fast. Think Sonic the Hedgehog or The Flash in bug form. They can reach speeds of up to 1.5m a second. In human terms, that’s the equivalent of 200mph.
Can Cockroaches Fly?
No, despite the fact some species have wings, they can’t fly. Not in the traditional sense, like bees or wasps, for instance. They can flutter and glide over short distances, but as they move around quicker on foot, they rarely participate in air travel.
Households and business premises in London commonly suffer from cockroach infestations and Empire Pest Control can provide immediate help and advice. Please get in touch sooner, rather than later. You know it makes sense.