By Bill Willis
February 1, 2017
With the weather changing, you may have seen one or two cockroaches scurrying into your home. When it comes to cockroaches, there are plenty of myths and misconceptions, and some of the facts may also surprise you. While some of the following myths are just that, other ‟myths” have some truth to them. It's time to set to set the records straight.
The Facts: This is false. Of thousands of species of cockroaches worldwide, only about 30 types are considered pests. In the US, pests are the American, German, Oriental and Smokey-Brown cockroaches.
The Facts: It’s true, the cockroach is estimated to be at least 200 million years old. There are roach fossils dating back as far as 350 million years, so they actually pre-date some dinosaurs.
The Facts: This is no myth, but rather, a severe problem for people with asthma. Cockroaches produce protein fecal matter and decaying molted skeletons. Roaches also carry bacteria, which can lead to the spread of disease.
The Facts: This is a myth. Roaches enter buildings depending on ease of access to water and food sources in the home. Dirtier homes just provide easier access to crumbs. It is important to not only keep your home clean, but also to ensure that cracks and points of entry for roaches and other insects are properly sealed.
The Facts: True, they eat everything from plant matter to people food, dead skin cells, and even garbage.
The Facts: Patently false. Roaches have natural predators and aren’t very high up on the food chain. In addition to people’s attempts to remove the household pests, there are animals, centipedes and certain species of wasp that prey on cockroaches.
The Facts: Some roaches do seem to like alcoholic beverages, beer included. It’s likely because of the sugars found in alcohol, not because roaches like to party.
The Facts: Cockroaches can live anywhere between a few months to a couple of years, depending on the species.
The Facts: That’s a myth, but just barely. Roaches are adaptable and find ways to survive on every continent except Antarctica.
The Facts: This is true, for most roaches can go up to a month without food but will die in a week if deprived of water.
The Facts: Indeed they do, for cockroaches, both young and adult can move up to three miles per hour.
If you’re still curious about cockroaches, check out the All-Hands article last year.