We’re all guilty of shuddering when we think about cockroaches, and for good reason; but before pulling out your heaviest shoe to smash that six-legged intruder, here are the top five most interesting facts about him.

1. Cockroaches Are Older Than Dinosaurs

During the time that life exploded from water on to land, there existed a creature called the Archimylacris Eggintoni. This was the ancestor of today’s cockroach, and was not only fast on land but could also fly. It was a much larger version of the cockroach we know and loathe today, and between its size, ability to outmaneuver its predators with flight, and rapid reproduction, the period between 359 and 259 million years ago, called the Carboniferous period, was also referred to as the Age of Cockroaches

2. Cockroaches Can Hold Their Breath For Up To 40 Minutes

You’ve captured your home intruder in a plastic cup or paper towel; flushing him seems to be the obvious choice of disposal, right?  Wrong!  Cockroaches can survive up to 40 minutes without air.  Cockroaches breathe through holes located on their body called spiracles, part of an open circulatory system. These can be opened or closed based on the insect’s needs, and can easily afford a roach time to surface from his watery grave and scuttle to safety after being flushed.

3. A Cockroach Can Live For A Week Without A Head

You read that right. A roach can go for a week without its head, and will only die because it can’t drink without a mouth. The organ that controls the movement of the roach is in the abdomen, not the brain. Another factor working in the roach’s favor for surviving without a head is that fact that it breathes through its aforementioned spiracles, part of an open circulatory system that doesn’t depend on a mouth to draw in oxygen.

4. Cockroaches Can Run Up To Three Miles Per Hour

When was the last time you ran at a speed of three miles an hour?  Try it sometime and compare yourself to that little brown insect.  Three miles an hour may not be considered breakneck pace for us, but considering a roach’s size, that speed is pretty impressive.  A cockroach’s back legs can move a whopping 24 times per second when it’s on the run from something (or someone) looking to do it harm. When you turn on the lights in your kitchen and see intruders scurrying to the darkest crevices of the room, you may have yourself a cockroach infestation.

5. Cockroach Milk Is Nutritious

Who knew you could milk a cockroach? Barbara Stay did. She found that not only is milk produced by the Pacific beetle cockroach is three times richer in calories than buffalo milk, it is one of the most nutritious substances on Earth. Move over, almond milk, cockroach milk is the next big thing!  Or not…


While these facts are indeed fascinating, cockroaches are still an unwanted pest in our homes.  Contact us here at Consolidated Pest Control to handle your critter problem.