• Cockroaches are older than dinosaurs. They have been around longer than we have! That’s a strange thought.

  • There are more than 4,000 species of cockroaches in existence. And they live on every continent except Antarctica.

  • Some cockroaches can get very big: over 3 inches long.

  • Cockroaches can eat just about anything. And even though they can eat whatever and will never run out of food, they can also live for weeks without it! This is because they are cold-blooded, which means they can keep their metabolism rate low. Cockroaches can’t live very long without water, though – two weeks at most – and most dead cockroaches you see probably died of thirst (unless a human or pesticide got to them first).

  • Cockroaches can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes! So flushing them down the toilet won’t necessarily kill them...

  • A cockroach can live for a week without its head! This is not because they don’t have brains. It’s just that their brains do not control all their functions. The organs that control the vital functions can be found in the thorax which is in the midsection of their body. It won’t be able to drink, though, so it eventually will die of thirst.

  • Cockroaches can survive a nuclear explosion. Studies have shown that cockroaches can tolerate high radiation levels, far beyond the levels that we humans can live with. In fact, cockroaches were found in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the US dropped atomic bombs, and in Chernobyl, where the worst nuclear accident happened. Scientists aren’t entirely sure how they survive.

  • Cockroaches are fast runners. Anyone who’s ever tried to chase a cockroach knows this for a fact – cockroaches are racers. They can go up to 3 miles per hour, which is really fast for the size of their bodies. Their back legs are built for speed, and can move 27 times per second. Cockroaches can also move up walls by running faster than they do on flat surfaces and the spines on their legs help them stick to slippery surfaces.

  • Cockroaches prefer to live in groups. When a good source of food is found, they leave chemicals that signal other cockroaches to join.

  • Some cockroaches are kept as pets. To many, cockroaches are hated. To some, though, they are beloved pets. The Madagascar hissing cockroach and the true death’s head cockroach, for example, are popular pets since they are odorless and require minimal care. As mentioned before, cockroaches are not picky eaters and they do not get sick easily. They only need a terrarium with a lot of hiding places.

  • Cockroaches are edible. In China, cockroaches are deep fried and sold on sticks on the streets. Although that practice is not common in the United States.