What Do Cockroaches Do? (The Ugly Truth)

Cockroaches are among the most despised of all insects.

The mere sight of one can fill us with dread and disgust.

But how much do we really know about these unwelcome guests? This article explores the ugly truth about cockroaches what they look like, what they eat, where they live, and the diseases they may carry.

Well also look at how to get rid of them and how they reproduce.

If youre looking to find out the facts on cockroaches, read on!

Short Answer

Cockroaches are scavengers and feed on a variety of foods that are found in and around homes, including decaying organic matter, food crumbs, and other small insect prey.

They can also feed on fabric and paper, including books and wallpaper.

Cockroaches are active at night and prefer warm, moist, and dark places.

They can easily hide in cracks and crevices, and some species can even survive for extended periods without food or water.

How Common Are Cockroaches?

Cockroaches are incredibly common pests found in many places around the world.

They are especially abundant in tropical and subtropical climates, where they prefer warm, humid environments.

However, they are also found in cooler climates and can even survive indoors in places like homes and businesses.

In fact, it is estimated that cockroaches are present in nearly all buildings in some form or another.

This is because they can survive in a variety of environments, including sewers, garbage dumps, and other areas with decaying organic matter.

They are also very adept at hiding in small cracks and crevices, making them difficult to detect.

Cockroaches reproduce rapidly, with some species producing up to four generations in a single year.

This can quickly lead to infestations, which can be a nuisance and a health hazard.

In the United States alone, it is estimated that there are more than 70 species of cockroaches that can be found in homes and businesses.

While some of these species are native to North America, others have been introduced from other parts of the world.

The most common species found in homes and businesses include German, American, Oriental, and Brown-banded cockroaches.

What Do Cockroaches Look Like?

Cockroaches are small, oval-shaped insects, usually ranging from 1/2 to 2 inches long.

They have six legs, two antennae, and a flat, oval-shaped body.

Depending on the species, their color can range from brown to black.

German cockroaches, which are the most common household pests, are light brown or tan.

Oriental cockroaches are dark brown or black.

Some species have wings, but the majority cannot fly.

Cockroaches are nocturnal, meaning they spend the day in dark, hidden places and come out at night to search for food.

They move very quickly and can run up to three miles per hour.

They are also very agile and can climb walls and ceilings as well as squeeze into tight spaces.

What Do Cockroaches Eat?

Cockroaches are omnivorous scavengers, meaning they feed on a variety of items, both living and dead.

Cockroaches have been known to eat a variety of things, from food crumbs, decaying organic matter, and even other insects.

In fact, their diet is so varied that if food is scarce cockroaches have been known to feed on non-food items such as glue, wall paper paste, book bindings, and even fabric.

Cockroaches can survive on very little food, which makes them very difficult to eradicate.

Cockroaches are especially attracted to moist environments, and are known to feed on the fungus and bacteria that can be found in these areas.

Cockroaches have even been known to consume dead skin cells and animal droppings.

Cockroaches are also attracted to sweet and sugary foods, such as candy, soda, and syrup.

They will also feed on cooked foods and meat, as well as fruits and vegetables.

In addition to their scavenging habits, cockroaches are also known to feed on other insects.

This predatory behavior helps to keep the population of other insects, such as flies and moths, under control.

Cockroaches have an incredibly fast metabolism, and can consume up to three times their body weight in food each day.

This means that a single cockroach can eat a lot of food in a very short amount of time.

It is important to note that cockroaches, while being scavengers, can also be carriers of disease-causing bacteria and viruses.

This makes them a potential health hazard, and it is important to keep their population under control.

Where Do Cockroaches Live?

Cockroaches are hardy creatures that can survive in a variety of habitats.

They are commonly found in urban environments, where they can find plenty of food sources.

Cockroaches can be found in homes, restaurants, and other places where food is regularly stored or prepared.

They are known to live in sewers, basements, crevices, and other dark, damp areas.

Outdoors, cockroaches can live in gardens, yards, and other areas with abundant vegetation.

They are also known to live in trees, under bark, and in other areas where they can find food and shelter.

Regardless of where they live, they are considered a nuisance pest and should be eliminated as soon as possible.

Do Cockroaches Carry Diseases?

Yes, cockroaches can carry and spread diseases.

They are known to spread various bacteria, viruses, and parasites, such as E.

coli, salmonella, and shigella.

They can also spread parasitic worms, such as hookworms and pinworms.

Studies have also shown that cockroaches are capable of carrying and transmitting a variety of other pathogens, including staphylococcus, streptococcus, and coliform bacteria.

Cockroaches are believed to spread many of these disease-causing agents by contaminating surfaces and objects, such as countertops and utensils, with their droppings and saliva.

In addition, they can also spread pathogens by crawling over food and food surfaces.

This is why it is important to clean and sanitize food preparation areas regularly in order to reduce the risk of contamination.

Furthermore, cockroaches are known to be an allergen source.

They can cause allergic reactions, such as skin rashes, asthma, and other respiratory disorders.

People with allergies or asthma may be more sensitive to cockroaches and their allergens, leading to more severe reactions.

It is important to be aware of this and take the necessary steps to reduce cockroach populations and the allergens they can produce.

How Do Cockroaches Reproduce?

Cockroaches reproduce rapidly and can spread quickly if not properly controlled.

The most common species of cockroach found in homes and buildings are the German cockroach, American cockroach, and Oriental cockroach.

These species have different reproductive habits, but in general, they reproduce through a process called parthenogenesis, or the reproduction of offspring from a single parent.

Female cockroaches lay egg cases, or oothecae, which contain up to 48 eggs.

The eggs hatch after 7-8 weeks, and the nymphs (baby cockroaches) reach maturity within 4-6 months.

Female cockroaches can live up to three years and can produce multiple egg cases in their lifetime, resulting in large populations of cockroaches in a short amount of time.

Cockroaches are also known to be able to reproduce asexually, meaning that a male is not required for reproduction.

A female can produce offspring without the presence of a male, although the offspring will not be genetically diverse.

This asexual reproduction is rare, but it can occur in certain species, such as the German cockroach.

Cockroaches are resilient and can survive in a variety of environments, making them difficult to eliminate.

This, coupled with their rapid rate of reproduction, makes them a difficult pest to control.

Proper sanitation, pest control treatments, and exclusion strategies are the best way to keep cockroaches out of your home or business.

How Can I Get Rid of Cockroaches?

When dealing with a cockroach infestation, the best solution is to take preventative measures.

This includes sealing up any cracks or crevices in walls, floors, or around pipes, caulking around windows and door frames, and keeping food and organic waste stored in airtight containers.

Additionally, keeping the home clean and free of clutter will help as cockroaches are attracted to dark, damp, and cluttered areas.

For severe infestations, it may be necessary to hire a professional pest control company.

They will be able to assess the situation and recommend an appropriate and safe treatment plan.

These treatments may include using insecticides or baits and traps to kill or capture the cockroaches.

In some cases, it may also be necessary to physically remove the cockroaches using vacuums or other tools.

This process should be done carefully as cockroaches can carry disease-causing bacteria and viruses.

Vacuuming can be an effective way to remove cockroaches, but it is important to empty the vacuum cleaner and clean it thoroughly after use to prevent the spread of any bacteria or viruses.

Finally, it is important to remember that cockroaches can be difficult to eradicate.

Even after a successful pest control treatment, it is important to remain vigilant and inspect the home regularly for any signs of a re-infestation.

Regular cleanings and sealing of cracks and crevices will help to maintain a cockroach-free home.

Final Thoughts

Cockroaches are a common and persistent pest that can be difficult to eradicate.

They can carry a variety of diseases and reproduce quickly, making them a potential health hazard.

Now that you know what cockroaches do, you can take the necessary steps to keep them out of your living spaces.

Regularly inspect your home for signs of cockroaches, clean up food scraps and crumbs, and contact a professional exterminator if the problem persists.

Taking these steps will help you protect your family from the ugly truth of cockroaches.


James is an inquisitive, creative person who loves to write. He has an insatiable curiosity and loves to learn about bugs and insects.

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