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Amazing Roach Facts

Run for Your Lives! 

The world's largest roach (which lives in South America) is six inches long with a one-foot wingspan.

Roaches By the Numbers

6 -- Number of legs on a cockroach 

18 -- Number of knees on most cockroaches (at least!) 

40-- Number of minutes cockroaches can hold their breath 

75 -- Percentage of time that cockroaches spend just resting (how lazy can you get?) 

5,000 -- Number of species of cockroaches worldwide 

280 million+ -- Years ago that cockroaches are thought to have originated (during the Carboniferous era)

Bad News 

Some female cockroaches mate once and are pregnant for the rest of their lives (bummer).

The Legend of the Headless Cockroach
A cockroach can live a week without its head. The roach only dies because without a mouth, it can't drink water and dies of thirst.

Wanna Race? 

Cockroaches can run up to three miles in an hour. (Hey, it's no marathon, but it's not bad.)

Better Check Those Cracks in the Wall 

Young cockroaches need only a crack as thin as a dime (about .5mm wide) to crawl into. Adult males can squeeze into a space of 1.6mm or the thickness of a quarter. Pregnant females need the most space to hide: 4.5mm or a space as tall as two stacked nickels.

Little Hearts 

A cockroach heart is nothing but a simple tube with valves. The tube can pump blood backwards and forwards in the insect. The heart can even stop moving without harming the roach.
If these facts aren't enough to satisfy you (you must really want to impress your friends)

Thirsty Critters 

Roaches can live without food for a month, but will only survive a week without water.

When Cold, Roaches Snuggle 

Most species of roaches live in the tropics. But roaches live all over the world, including the North and South Poles. Pest cockroaches can withstand temperatures as cold as 32°F (0°C), but will die if the temperature goes much below that. In extremely cold places, however, they survive by moving in with humans. (Hey, quit hogging the covers!)

Better Than Air Jordans! 

Cockroaches can climb walls because they are equipped with a set of little claws on their feet designed for that very purpose.

Crushed-Roach Bandages? 

Crushed cockroaches can be applied to a stinging wound to help relieve the pain.

Smell You Later 

Sniff, sniff...oh, it's just Uncle Leo. Roaches use their feelers, or antennae, as noses. Their sense of smell is so great, they recognize family and friends by their distinctive odors.

Roach Perfume 

Female roaches attract male roaches by producing pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals that make the female roach smell REALLY good to the male roach.

Alright Kids, Beat It! 

Some female cockroaches incubate their egg cases in their bodies until they are ready to hatch. These babies stay with their mothers a day or two after they are born.


Male cockroaches transfer sperm to females in a "gift-wrapped" package called a spermatophore. Some males cover the package in a protein-rich wrapping that the female can eat to obtain nutrients to raise her young. Delicious!