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Are there any animals that eat cockroaches?


When ravenous roaches invade your apartment or kitchen, these insects can seem invincible! But the odds are against them outdoors, since that's where they'll find predators like centipedes, ants, scorpions, frogs, lizards, birds, snakes, and mice--all ready to make a meal out of them. (Many of these creatures have table manners, too! Once they've caught a roach, they bite the head off first, just like you'd do with a chocolate bunny, then nibble away and discard the legs and wings.) 

But hey, don't cry for the common cockroach--these bugs are built to last! Over the course of 350 million years, roaches have developed some really sophisticated survival skills. For one thing, every roach has two stick-like feelers on its abdomen called the cerci, which are incredibly sensitive to vibrations, sound, and puffs of wind. The tiniest disturbances immediately trigger the cerci to flash nerve impulses to its lightning-fast legs. These nerve signals send the roach off and running in fifty-four one-thousandths of a second, faster than you can blink an eye! As aquatic escape artists, roaches can swim from danger, too. Its body covering, or exoskeleton, is a wax-coated suit of armor that allows it to stay under water for 10-15 minutes without drowning. Roaches are also nocturnal, or active at night, and the darkness makes them harder for some predators to detect and catch. 

Despite all these defenses, there are just some places roaches would rather call home, and that's why you'll find thousands of them in restaurants, homes, offices, and sewers. And who can blame them? If you were a roach, given the choice of running into insect-eating enemies outdoors and staying in a warm, well-stocked kitchen, wouldn't you rather be living on easy street as a human's houseguest?