Cockroaches get a pretty bad wrap on the big bad bug scale. There are around 30 species of cockroaches, four of which are considered to be pests. These tough little guys are also an incredibly old species, their origins dating back around 320 million years ago to the Carboniferous period! While seen as nothing more than pests in the Western world, these little guys are eaten in other parts of the world, particularly in Mexico and Thailand where they remove the head and tails of the cockroaches and then cook them in a variety of fashions. They are also farmed in China as they have risen in popularity in medical applications. There is a lot of lore surrounding the cockroach, and so to debunk some of these pervasive ideas.

Cockroaches Can Survive A Nuclear Explosion This one is a popular myth and is often quoted as fact, but it’s pure myth. It is based in fact, however. A cockroach can withstand more radiation than a human, ten times more in fact. This does not mean, however, that they could ever survive an actual nuclear event, just that they can live in irradiated areas that humans cannot.

Cockroaches Lived At The Same Time of The Dinosaurs

This myth is true. As mentioned above, cockroaches date back 320 million years. Dinosaurs only went extinct 65 million years ago! That means that cockroaches lived with the dinosaurs for 255 million years, almost four times as long as their entire lifespan!

Cockroaches Can Fly

Some cockroaches can fly. This one is partially true. It depends on their species. Other cockroaches do have wings, but their wings are used to stabilize them when they jump. Some roaches cannot even do this and do not have wings at all.

Cockroaches Like To Drink Alcohol

This one is actually true, though it isn’t because they like the alcohol content in alcoholic beverages. It’s because they like the sugars in alcohol and are attracted to it the same way that they would be to pop or a sugary juice.

Cockroaches Don’t Breathe

This is patently false. Cockroaches need to breathe to live. They can, however, go a very long time without taking a breath. Cockroaches can hold their breath up to 40 minutes, and can survive underwater for around half an hour!

Cockroaches Won’t Infest My Home if it is Clean

Unfortunately, this is false. Cockroaches like homes that have easy access to water and food sources. While leaving out food and open beverages may help attract them, as long as they can get into your cupboards and drink from a leaky tap then they’re happy as can be in your nice clean home. The best way to keep them out is to make sure that your home is sealed against the outdoors, and that there are no cracks or entryways for them.

Cockroaches aren’t really as scary as they look, but they do carry disease, and for this fact alone you need to be careful if your home ends up infested with cockroaches. If you end up getting a visit from these little guys, then call Gilpin’s Pest Control. We’ll get your home cleared out of cockroaches, which will protect you and your family from the diseases and bacteria that they spread.