Interesting Cockroach Facts you may not know

For all the disgust and disdain that the word ‘Cockroach’ conjures in the everyday man’s mind, the dreaded intruder has become something of a legend in its own right.

Through the ages the war between man and roach has raged on with no apparent end in site. Just when one appears to have bested the other, the other develops and overcomes the advances of the other. This being said, the Cockroach has become a focus of curiosity for many. Here are some interesting facts you may, or may not already know about this critter.

How many Species?!

There are roughly 30 species of roach that are regarded and recognised as common household pests. This may seem a lot, but, in respect of the 4600 species of roach discovered and catalogued thus far, 30 may now seem a paltry amount.

Common species found in South Africa

The most common of the many species of Cockroach found in South Africa are the American Cockroach, the German Cockroach, and the Brown Banded Cockroach, which vary in size between 16mm and 40mm, whereas the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach can reach sizes up to 70mm.

Cockroach Lifespan?

According to research, the female German Cockroach can live up to a year, and during that time it will multiply exponentially, laying up to 40 eggs at a time. The American Cockroach is not as extreme with only 18 eggs at a time.

3 Phase Life

Cockroaches live life in 3 phases; egg, nymph & adult. The eggs are laid and secured in an egg capsule which is know as an Ootheca and attached to the posterior end of the adult female, until the eggs are ready to emerge as nymphs. The adult and Nymph stages can be confused, since the nymph will moult several times until their wings and organs have fully developed, only then will they be adult cockroaches.

Carriers of Nasty things

Cockroaches are not known to be the cleanliest creatures, by human standards, and widely know to carry various human pathogens. They will contaminate any crockery or utensils they climb on, and present you with the high probability of contracting E. Coli or Salmonella. The Dropping and sheddings of Cockroaches are also known to cause allergic reactions which may be life threatening, and aggravate existing asthmatic conditions.


The WHO (World Health Organisation) warns that cockroaches tend to regurgitate fluid and undigested food from their mouths as well as dropping faeces where they eat. This, coupled with their ability to nimbly move from place to place at great speed, means that they are able to infect large areas of your home in a very short space of time. 

Brief but Freaky Facts:
    •    Cockroaches have been around since the time of dinosaurs!
    •    A cockroach can live almost a month without food.
    •    A cockroach can live about two weeks without water.
    •    Some female cockroaches only mate once and stay pregnant for life!
    •    A cockroach can live for up to one week without its head!
    •    Cockroaches can run up to 3 miles an hour.

Your Best Defense

Your best defense is simply to keep your home, especially your kitchen spotless. Ensure the good housekeeping practices are in place preventing loose crumbs lying around, leaking taps, and any oil or greasy spots being left untended to. In addition to good housekeeping, it may be time to look over the maintenance of your home. You will need to ensure that no crack or crevices are left open, or even spaces between tiles or gaps under cupboard or between fitted cupboard and walls. Close up every gap you find to eliminate any potential hidy-holes for Cockroaches.

Should you need further assistance exterminating these invaders and you live in the Zululand areas of Empangeni, Richards Bay, Kwambonambi, Mtunzini, Esikhaleni, Ngwelelzane and surrounds, don’t hesitate to give Zululand Pest Control a call, and let us eradicate these intruders for you.

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