15 Unusual Facts about Cockroaches that will Keep you up at Night

If you enjoy reading this article, why not check out our articles on Everything You Need to Know About Where Cockroaches Live and American Cockroach Facts!

Could Cockroaches Get Any Weirder?

You’re at home, relaxing after a long day at work… and then you see it. A cockroach. Not too big, but definitely large enough to send a chill through your spine as it scurries across the floor. You freeze for a second, and realize you don’t know much about the little creature.

Where is it going? Is it laying eggs? I have to kill it… right?

Those questions are flying around your head at a mile a minute right about now, all while you sit there, and all while it scurries across your floor into the nearest crevasse it finds.

Don’t worry, if you’ve ever felt that way before, you’re in the right place. If you’ve ever wondered what that cockroach was doing scurrying across your floor, we have the answers for you.

Are cockroaches clean?

Cockroaches are definitely one of the most commonly known insects out there, and with that being said, they’re definitely an incredibly unsettling sight. But how much do you really know about them? If you’re not too sure about these little insects then you’ll definitely want to pay close attention.

So it back, relax and get ready to learn about 15 unusual facts about cockroaches that you probably don’t already know.

Are you ready?

Cockroaches can probably hold their breath longer than you

Photo by Robert Thiemann on Unsplash

Cockroaches have an odd ability to hold their breath, and chances are they can do it for much longer than you think. Not all cockroaches are the same, but at the end of the day, most cockroaches can hold their breath for at least 30 minutes.

How on Earth is this possible?

Cockroaches are interesting little creatures, but they actually hold their breath often. This is due to the fact that for water intake, cockroaches have to hold their breath quite often to make sure they don’t lose any water.

Cockroaches can reproduce by themselves

While this might sound strange at first, and not something that’s unique when you learn about how they reproduce it might actually surprise you.

So how do cockroaches reproduce?

While cockroaches will reproduce like any other species would, you know the whole sperm and egg process, this is not the only way in which cockroaches can get the job done.

Female cockroaches can actually store male sperm within them for months at a time. This gives females the ability to produce offspring from that one sperm for months, but this is not the only way.

Aside from storing sperm, females can also reproduce without men through a method called parthenogenesis. Technically, this is a type of asexual reproduction, and in this case, female cockroaches can have many offspring before they even come across a male mate. So the next time you see one cockroach scurry across your floor, be weary of their reproduction capabilities.

Pretty interesting right? Who said it takes two to tango.

Cockroach eggs are something you probably don’t want in your house… ever wonder if they are visible to the human eye? Read this to find out: Can You See Cockroach Eggs?

By Toby Hudson - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16198733

Cockroaches are definitely not as clean as people claim

Now, a lot of you have probably at least heard of this debate. Many times, when people want to be witty, they claim that cockroaches are very clean insects. This is due to the fact that they’re very complex creatures, and actually clean themselves quite often with their little legs.

So why are they not as clean as they say?

The reason cockroaches are not as clean as everyone claims, is due to the fact that they still bring in quite a bit of bacteria like E. coli into your home. Therefore, while cockroaches may be clean creatures in general, that doesn’t mean that they’re not dragging in all types of dirt and grime.

Not so clean anymore right?

Cockroaches don’t have only one brain

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

Okay… so this fact is a little creepy, and sounds like something straight out of a science fiction film. Luckily, having two brains doesn’t make them geniuses, but instead is built in as an extra defense mechanism.

Where are these brains located?

The primary brain of the cockroach, we know it sounds strange reading that sentence exists within the skull of the cockroach. This is the brain that is responsible for all of its decision-making functions. The second brain, which is a more primitive brain, exists within the exoskeleton of the cockroach. This is one of the main reasons that it’s so incredibly difficult to actually kill a cockroach these days.

While they might not be the smartest, believe it or not, cockroaches can be quite clever. Don’t worry, we’ll show you more on that as you keep reading.

They’re basically nuking proof

While radiation is something that can kill most living things within a few days or hours, this is not entirely true for cockroaches. Sure, eventually enough radiation will do the trick, but if you were up against a cockroach in a radiation absorption contest you would kick the bucket way before the roach does.

How is this possible?

This is due to their genetic makeup, and this is also due to the fact that they’re up to 5 times more resistant to radiation than humans are. While this might sound like a whole lot, in regard to other insects this is actually on the lower side of the spectrum.

So if you thought you could just drop bombs on roaches to make them go away, chances are you’re going to have to do much better than that. Cockroaches have survived atomic blasts more than once.

Yep, pretty crazy…. we talk about this more in American Cockroach Facts!

Female cockroaches go to sleep earlier than male cockroaches

This is one of the more strange facts on the list, but this is definitely worth noting. When female cockroaches are tired after a long day of scurrying around, their male counterparts will likely continue to stay out quite a bit later.

So when it comes to cockroaches, it’s important to understand that males and females both have different behavior patterns.

The sleeping pattern of a cockroach

While you might tend to see them more during the day, believe it or not, cockroaches actually prefer to sleep during the day. So chances are, if you see one out and about during the day, it might only be a stray hurrying home to the rest of the group.

So when do they sleep?

Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, which means that they prefer to be up during the night. So if you start to see more of them out and about at night, that’s the reason why.

If you thought that only animals could be nocturnal, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Cockroaches have a faster reaction time than you think

By Alvesgaspar - Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4907153

Remember when we talked about two brains earlier? Well this is where some of that comes into play. Cockroaches, as a species, are actually pretty smart insects.

Just how smart are they?

Cockroaches can make complex decisions, and one of them is to run away from danger. You see, cockroaches are able to react in a fraction of a second when they sense danger from their cerci (little hairs on their bodies). Therefore, they can be quite difficult to kill, because the second you walk into a room the cockroach will likely be gone.

Cockroaches tend to scurry along quite well, so the second you see them, chances are you’re already too late to squash them.

Cockroaches don’t bleed red or blue

Unlike most other living animals on the planet, cockroaches do not have any color to their blood. Therefore, when you end up squishing them, you’ll notice a clear color tone to their blood.

This is not exactly the most exciting fact, but what you might be mistaking for organs or puss, might actually be their blood.

Cockroaches are literally everywhere

While the roaches that we see in the United States are the American Cockroach, that doesn’t mean that they only exist within the United States. There are actually different types of cockroach species all across the world.

So just how many are there?

While nobody knows exactly how many different types of species exist, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t at least a rough estimate. Now, this answer might shock you, but there are over 4,000 different types of cockroach species out there.

Cockroaches come in all different shapes and sizes, and believe it or not, they technically rule this planet more than us.

Cockroaches feast on some pretty interesting things

Not everyone is exactly sure what cockroaches eat, so many just assume they eat pretty much anything we leave behind right? While this is mostly true, they tend to enjoy a whole lot more than just out scraps.

So what exactly do they eat?

Cockroaches are known to eat many different things, and some will definitely gross you out. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting things these little creatures like to eat:

  • Cockroaches tend to have an odd fixation towards alcoholic beverages
  • Cockroaches can actually live off of feces from many different organisms
  • You might want to keep cockroaches away from your babies because they seem to like the crust that milk causes around their lips
  • Cockroaches enjoy virtually any type of scraps like sugar, food crumbs, and even in some cases dust

So while you might have thought cockroaches were pretty gross before this fact, hopefully, this solidified that for you.

Want to know more about what cockroaches eat? Lucky you, we’ve got a whole article about it: What Do Cockroaches Eat?

The headless cockroach is a real horror story

Remember that story about the chicken that ran around without a head? Well, you might want to make some room for this one. This is due to the fact that cockroaches can actually survive for up to one week without a head.

How is this even possible?

The reason that cockroaches can survive so long without a head, is due to the fact that they don’t exactly survive the same way as humans do. In the case of cockroaches, they don’t need their head for all that much. Plus, remember that primitive brain we talked about? Well, that fact also ties into this as well. That primitive brain will actually keep them going for quite some time.

Cockroaches are actually able to breathe through tiny pores on their exoskeletons, and their circulatory system is open anyway. This means that cockroaches can survive for quite some time without a head.

The only reason that the cockroach will pass away, is due to the fact that without their head they can’t eat or drink any water.

Did you know a cockroach has amazing stamina?

A cockroach is able to run for quite some time without stopping. When you think about, such a little creature shouldn’t be able to cover a large distance right? Well… think again.

How far can these little creatures go?

Cockroaches can cover an incredible distance, and that distance is actually estimated to be somewhere around 3 miles at a time. For something that is only a few inches long, that’s an incredible distance when you think about.

If you thought running 3 miles was hard to do, imagine how crazy it is that a cockroach can get it done. Plus, believe it or not, they can cover that amount of distance in only an hour.

Cockroaches have been around for way longer than you think

While you may have thought that cockroaches have been around for a few thousand years, they have been around for much longer. At the end of the day, these insects have been around far longer than most things roaming the earth today.

So how long have they been around?

Cockroaches have been around for an estimated 300 million years. Now, if that number doesn’t mean much to you, think about it this way: cockroaches were roaming the planet during the time of dinosaurs.

Want to hear another quick fact? Many people actually predict that cockroaches will outlast humans, and if we take a peak at history, what’s another 300 million years right?

Cockroaches can last just as long as you without food or water

The average human being can last about one month without food, and only a few days without water. Well, believe it or not, cockroaches can last just as long as you without food or water. This is due to the fact that cockroaches are actually cold-blooded, which allows them to absorb quite a bit of nutrients from the sun.

So while most insects won’t last very long without food or water, cockroaches are extremely durable creatures.

Final Finding:

Now that you know a little bit more about cockroaches, hopefully, you’ll be more prepared for your next encounter. Not only are cockroaches pests, but they’re actually a very interesting species in general.

Cockroaches are not just pests, and there is a whole lot more to them than meets the eye.

At the end of the day, whether you’re concerned about cockroaches or just a little bit curious, hopefully, these 15 unusual facts about cockroaches have opened up your mind a little bit.

If you enjoyed reading this article, why not check out our articles on How Fast Do Roaches Spread? Short Answer FAST! and Do All Cockroaches Fly? Let’s Find Out!



Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page https://schoolofbugs.com/about-steve-foster/

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