Cockroaches are six-legged insects of the order Blattodea. There are many different types of cockroaches around the globe. They have adapted to different environments to survive. We consider most cockroach species pests, creating a health hazard and a social nuisance associated with dirt and filth. There are about 4,600 cockroach species, out of which about thirty of them are found in human settlements. Some common household cockroaches include:

  • German Cockroach
  • American Cockroach
  • Australian Cockroach

Anatomical Features and Fun Facts

  • Cockroaches often have a black to a reddish hue
  • They can grow to between one and five centimeters
  • Most cockroach species have wings but are not fully capable of sustained flight
  • A single cockroach has a pair of antennae placed at the front of the head
  • Their bodies are flat and oval for effective hiding
  • Their long spiny legs allow them to walk upside down and up steep surfaces
  • Cockroaches can survive incredibly harsh environments
  • They breathe through structures called spiracles located on their body segments

Cockroaches are prolific breeders. One female cockroach can lay up to 40 eggs which she carries around in a pouch at the end of her body. It takes five hours to lay the egg, which initially appears white. Once the nymphs break free from the shell, they start self-inflation, which eventually turns them dark. It takes a nymph three to four months to grow into an adult cockroach. In her lifetime, the female can hatch over 400 nymphs if the conditions are favorable. Some cultures, such as the Chinese, do not view the cockroach as a repugnant insect; instead, they raise cockroaches for medicinal purposes.