Cockroach Scientific Name: Periplaneta americana
All About Cockroaches
La Cucaracha, a well-known song, was named after the cockroach. It details the Mexican Revolution and infers that politicians are like cockroaches. The song capitalizes on this insects' nasty reputation to live by any and every means necessary to survive. The cockroach is said to be the only being capable of surviving an atomic bomb, and they do not have a heartbeat – a creepy notion when you consider that blood sloshes around inside of them with nowhere to go. Cockroaches surely have a displeasing reputation amongst humans. If the cockroaches in your house look black read our black cockroaches article.
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Commonly known as roaches, these creatures usually have a dark brown or reddish shell and can range from one eighth of an inch to two inches long; these sizes are relative in width. They have flattened oval bodies and long swept-back antennae, sporting striped shells or wings. The head is usually concealed, adding to their unusual and disagreeable look. Some roaches have wings and are able to fly, while others get around by scuttling across floor boards. In certain countries, roaches are fried and eaten as local delicacy.
Usually located in tropical climates, cockroaches flourish in any environment where there is sufficient food and warmth. Roaches are commonly found in America, Europe, Canada and South America. Water is essential to their livelihood, and as such, it is most common to stumble upon one of these creatures in the bathroom or kitchen of a residence.
Outside of the home, anywhere that is warm and moist is preferred as habitation, including wetlands, woodlands or near rivers. In urban areas, these critters are commonly found in sewer systems, in piping and around drains. A roach's food source is also likely to present itself in such conditions.
Cockroaches are one of the few insects which are also known to live comfortably in places that don't fit within their preferred habitat. There is nowhere on earth that these insects haven't been found; they are able to survive in cold climates due to their resilience. These bugs will live anywhere, eat anything (including each other) and are resilient to many forms of pest control. They are considered one of the biggest pests known to the human race.
Life Cycle of Cockroaches
Like most insects, cockroaches lay eggs. Females may lay up for 40 eggs at a time. Some females keep their eggs internally during this time, while others may hide them in a nest, and others still alternate between the two depending on their environment. When the eggs hatch, nymphs emerge. These are very small, white creatures that are parent-dependent. This part of the life cycle will last approximately one month, at which time the nymphs will establish themselves as adults. Females only become pregnant once in their lifetime and remain pregnant until they die laying their eggs.
Similar to many of their fellow insects, roaches require the molting process. This is a common phase that allows for the insects' accelerated growth rates and allows them to shed their skin to accommodate the growth. While they are molting, they may appear soft and white. This coloration changes as the layers shed until they become brown or reddish in color.
Most roaches may live for a few years, but their lifespan varies considerably and is dependent upon their environment. Some may also develop wings and the ability to fly. Young adults maintain their nymph aesthetics for a short period of time and will eat anything and live almost anywhere.
Cockroaches and Humans
Cockroaches are one of the most commonly found household pests. They are also one of the most difficult to remove from residences. They feed on human and pet food, and can leave offensive odors and waste. Due to their fast reproductive cycles and ability to lay many eggs at a time, these insects can quickly take over any home if not controlled. Roaches can also contribute to the levels of asthma in a home, attributed to a protein in cockroach excrement. You may also be interested in reading our Signs of Cockroaches article.
These insects have little to no merit to human existence. They do not pollinate vegetation within the environment, nor do they maintain the population of other pests; they have no commercial value. They truly are a pest and seem to have only negative connotations.
Cockroaches will probably out live humans. These little critters carry disease and allergens, it's important to seek cockroach control immediately. If you see one cockroach there is possibly thousands in between your walls. Effective control begins with an understanding of what attracts cockroaches. Read our cockroach control page and learn about cockroach extermination techniques.
Cockroach Scientific Name: Periplaneta americana
The cockroach is classified in the Animalia kingdom in the Athropoda phylum. These creatures are in the Insecta class and filed under the order of Blattodea. While there are several well known types of roach, including the American, German, Asian and Oriental, there are a total of 4,500 known species.