Run for Your Lives!
The world's largest roach (which lives in South America) is six inches long with a one-foot
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
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.
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.
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
Cockroaches and "The Bomb"
You've probably heard the story about cockroaches surviving a nuclear war: we die but they
live! This is supposed to make you feel better when you have trouble getting rid of these
So, the real truth: radiologists have found that humans can safely withstand a one-time
exposure of 5 rems (A "rem" is the dosage of radiation that will cause a specific, measured
amount of injury to human tissue). A lethal dose is 800 rems or more (people are exposed to
about 16 rems during their lifetime).
Insect researchers have found that cockroaches can tolerate a much higher dose -- really
higher! The lethal dose for the American cockroach is 67,500 rems and for the German
cockroach it is between 90,000 and 105,000 rems (yikes!). In truth the amount of radiation
that cockroaches can withstand is equivalent to that of a thermonuclear explosion. So,
show a little respect the next time your chasing one through the kitchen with a spray can in