All American pest roaches--like most American humans--were immigrants.

Roaches wear their skeletons on the outside of their bodies.

What if you skinned your knee and white blood came out? If you're a cockroach, no big deal. Cockroaches bleed white blood.

Roach mouths work sideways. Try it sometime.

Roaches use their feelers as noses.

The world's largest roach is six inches long with a one-foot wingspan.

The world's largest roach lives in South America.

Some roaches are tiny and live in ant nests.

Tropical cockroaches are often brightly colored green, yellow, red.

If you were to collect one of every species of cockroach found in the world, you'd need a lot of jars to put them in. There are some 5,000 species of cockroaches worldwide.

Most species of cockroaches live in the tropics.

Cockroaches have six hairy legs. The tiny hairs found on each leg give them their sense of touch.

Cockroaches have 6 legs and least 18 knees!!!

Many cockroaches can fly and have beautiful diaphanous--or see-through--wings. Tinkerbelle would be jealous.

Cockroach kidneys look like a bunch of writhing snakes. (Yak!)

Pregnant for life? It doesn't sound like much fun, but some female cockroaches mate once and are pregnant for the rest of their lives.

Roaches live all over the world, including the North and South Poles. In extremely cold places, however, they survive by moving in with humans.

No food for a month--not even a crumb? Roaches can go without eating for a month but will only live a week without water. If humans worked the same way popular diet programs such as the Medifast diet or no carb diets probably wouldn't be as popular as they are now. Think of the monthly savings you'd have just from lower grocery bills!

It's hard to sneak up on a roach. They have one great big nerve connecting their tails to their heads, alerting them to danger from behind.

Roaches have faster reflexes than humans--even faster than Michael Jordan's.

Roaches can swim and hold their breath for 40 minutes. But they breathe through their sides--not their noses--which makes it tough to come up for air.

Do you run away when your big brother takes off his smelly tennis shoes? Not roaches. They recognize family and friends by their distinctive odors.

You outgrow your clothes; roaches outgrow their skeletons. As roaches grow, they shed their external skeletons several times a year.

No, it's not an albino. If you see a white cockroach, it has just shed its skin.

A cockroach that has just shed its skin is white with black eyes. (Just call it Casper the Cockroach.) After eight hours, however, it will regain its regular shell coloring.

American cockroaches are speedy little creatures. They can run up to three miles in an hour.

Ever wonder how cockroaches climb walls? They are equipped with a set of little claws on their feet designed for that very purpose.

Male cockroaches weigh less than female cockroaches, and males can fly and flee faster.

Pest cockroaches are native to western Asia and northern Africa.

Cockroaches were carried all over the world in wooden ship. They were the sailors and stowaways of the insect world. Sir Francis Drake once captured a ship which was overrun with millions of roaches.

The H.M.S. "Bounty" was so infested with cockroaches that Captain William Bligh, a British admiral known for his mean temper, disinfected the entire ship with boiling water.

Cockroaches in your gourmet dinner? Maybe not as a main dish, but they have been used in sauces, condiments and as appetizers.

Don't complain next time you have to swallow cough syrup. You could be taking a dose of cockroaches instead! Processed cockroaches have been used to cure illnesses and physical disorders for centuries.

More cockroach tea, anyone? Brewed from cockroaches, this tea has been used to treat dropsy--a kind of sickness or inflammation.

Next time you have trouble going pee, and your urinary tract just doesn't want to go with the flow, why not try dried and powdered Oriental cockroaches? They are said to make a dandy diuretic.

Eat too much pizza? Cotton candy? Thanksgiving dinner? Some people eat cockroaches fried in oil and garlic as a cure for indigestion.

If you're ever stung by a sting ray, remember to mash up a mess of cockroaches to apply as a poultice to the wound.

The cockroach was once a guest of honor in European homes, and it was customary to release them in new dwellings.

Some people develop allergies to cockroaches, including skin rashes and respiratory problems, such as a condition similar to asthma.

A cockroach family tree would be mighty big and long! Cockroaches are thought to have originated during the Carboniferous era, which ended 280 million years ago. They have been abundant ever since and are some of the most primitive winged insects.

Soft food moves through a cockroach's gut in 48 hours.

A vampire's dream: blood that sloshes around freely in a body.

Roaches' blood does just that. They have no blood vessels to speak of. (Though cockroaches are probably too small for your average vampire to bother with.)

A cockroach heart is nothing but a simple tube with valves. The tube can pump blood backwards and forwards in the insect. The heart can even stop moving without harming the roach.

Female roaches produce an odor, called pheromone, that attracts males and drives them wild.

When a male cockroach is interested in a female, he gives her a wrapped gift and takes her out to dinner--well, sort of. Males transfer sperm to females in a nice, "gift wrapped" package called a spermatophore. Some males cover the package in a protein-rich wrapping that she can eat (yum!) to obtain nutrients to raise her young.

The Headless Horseman? Er... Horseroach? For a while anyway. A cockroach can live a week without its head. It only dies because without a mouth, it can't drink water.

Cockroaches are supreme couch potatoes. They spend 75 percent of their time resting.

How can you tell if a cockroach is resting or trying to remember what it came into the room for? Resting roaches point their antennae up and forward, and at about a 60 degree angle from one another.

Cockroaches can crawl into some astonishingly small spaces. Young roaches need only a crevice .5 mm wide--or a space as thin as a dime. Adult males can squeeze into a space of 1.6 mm--or the size of a quarter. Pregnant females need the most space of all to hide: 4.5 mm or a space as wide as two stacked nickels.

Some female roaches incubate their egg cases in their bodies until they are ready to hatch. These babies stay with their mothers a day or two after they are born.

Picture a cockroach in a winter parka and mittens. Pest cockroaches can withstand freezing temperature of 32 degrees but will die if the temperature goes much below that. They're better off if they have a chance to become "used" to the cold.

 



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