is a Cockroach?
Cockroaches are insects of the order Blattodea
and are usually referred to as "disgusting," "dirty," and "pest",
just some of the words we associate with this
very objectionable and unpopular insect.
Cockroaches can be potential vectors of diseases
such as dysentery, gastroenteritis, typhoid and
poliomyelitis. They are also one of the most
ancient animals on earth with the cockroach
having been around
for 350 million years, since the Carboniferous
period, 100 times longer than humans have lived
on Earth. Cockroaches come in over 4,000 different
sizes of species, including 60 different species
known to inhabit the United States.
Cockroaches are the fastest insects on earth!
They can run up to 12 feet in just one second.
They live in groups and emit a pheromone
that signals their body for quick growth. Cockroaches
are very social and will eat anything including
soap, paper, clothes, cigarette butts, coffee
grinds, hair, glue, feces, human food, and sometimes
even each other. Some will even eat their own
cast-off skins and egg-capsules. These resilient
bugs can even live for two weeks without a head
because they have "brains" on
cockroaches are tropical, but humans have distributed
them worldwide (except for the polar regions).
Cockroaches are the most common insect pests
infesting homes, food service establishments,
and other structures. The American cockroach,
Periplaneta americana (Linnaeus) also known as
the Palmetto Bug, or Water bug, and is originally
from Africa. This is the largest of the house-infesting
roaches. They are most often found in restaurants,
grocery stores, bakeries, breweries, pet shops
and other establishments where food is prepared
or stored. American cockroaches usually prefer
dark, damp areas such as basements, floor drains,
crawl spaces, and utility closets. The German
cockroach, Blattella germanica (Linnaeus) originally
from Asia, is by far the most common roach found
in homes and restaurants. It is very successful
at establishing a niche in buildings, and is
very hardy and resilient towards attempts to
The Giant Cave Cockroach (Blaberus giganteus)
This cockroach is the largest species in it's
genus and is one of the largest species of cockroaches
known to man! The Giant Cave Cockroach is closely
related to the cockroaches living in the Carboniferous
coal forests 200 million years ago. The giant
roach has been a common experimental animal in
entomology labs since the early 1950's.
Hissing Cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa)
are large, wingless, live-bearing cockroaches.
They also produce a loud hissing sound to scare
away predators that has been used as a creepy
movie sound effect for many years.