News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Cockroach Info From Y2K Commission

Cockroach Facts and Figures


Cockroaches are real survivors. They have been around for 300 million years and live all over the world, either with humans or in a natural environment. Over 5,000 species have been identified.

Cockroaches are very adaptive. They can live without food for two weeks, but will only survive a week without water. Cockroaches can regenerate limbs if any are damaged. In some species, females can reproduce without male input. In the event of a nuclear holocaust, it is believed that cockroaches will be the only creatures to survive.

 Fossils show that cockroaches have been around for at least 340 million years. Nuts, seeds, nectar, and pollen would not appear for another 200 million years, dinosaurs were still 150 million years away, and humans did not appear for 300 million years.

 As humans founded new villages across the world, they carried cockroaches with them.

 Today, cockroaches live all over the world – including the North and South Poles.

 Some have been found thriving in coal mines 670 metres deep.

 One cockroach is thought to have travelled to space after it was found in the Apollo XII command shuttle.

 In the event of a nuclear holocaust, it is believed that cockroaches will be the only creatures to survive.

 Cockroaches have a lifespan of anything from 90 days to six years, depending on the species and environmental conditions.

 Cockroaches can live without food for two weeks, but will only survive a week without water.

 Cockroaches eat almost anything, including each other if necessary. An A4 piece of paper will feed one cockroach for a week.

 There are currently around 5,000 identified cockroach species.

 Less than one percent of species are characterised as pests.

 Cockroaches hate light – they hide in dark crevices during the day.

Cockroach Anatomy

 Cockroaches belong to the insect family.

 Cockroaches are cold-blooded invertebrates – they have no backbones or other internal supports.

 A skeleton shell, worn on the outside, covers everything including the eyes.

 Cockroaches can see in the dark.

 Cockroaches have more muscles than humans.

 Cockroaches can pull more than twenty times their own weight.

 Cockroaches breathe through small holes in their abdomen.

 Ears are located in each knee joint.

 Cockroaches have at least 18 knees.

 Cockroaches have two brains – one in their head and one in their tail – as a result they react to danger faster than the blink of an eye.

 Cockroaches have two autonomous brains – they don’t need both to survive. Therefore cockroaches can remain active after their heads are removed.

 The largest measured cockroach was 15 centimetres long.

 Cockroaches bleed white blood.

Cockroaches and Sex

 Courtship is typically initiated by the sexually mature female who emits a pheromone (odour).

 Males use hooks to clamp onto the female when mating – once connected, an unbreakable bond is formed between the two animals, until the female conceives.

 Some female cockroaches mate once and are pregnant for the rest of their lives. They die after giving birth.

 In some cockroach species, females can reproduce on their own, without any input from males.

 Adult females can produce up to 3,200 young in less than five months. Fortunately, the survival rate is not 100 percent.

Cockroaches and Digestion

 Cockroaches break wind every 15 minutes and continue to release methane for 18 hours after death. Insect flatulence accounts for 20 percent of all methane emissions on earth, placing cockroaches among the biggest contributors to global warming.

 Cockroaches have teeth in their stomachs to help with digestion.
Other Interesting Information

 Male cockroaches are extremely aggressive, often biting and kicking others, but aggressive female-female encounters are rare.

 Cockroaches have extreme sensitivity to vibration and have been used as earthquake predictors.

 Cockroaches contribute to allergies and asthma in humans.

 Cockroaches can swim.

 Cockroaches can run up to seven kilometres an hour.

 Crushed cockroaches can be applied to a stinging human wound to help relieve the pain.

 Cockroaches are a source of food – a succulent dish involves simmering cockroaches in vinegar, boiling them together with butter, farina, pepper and salt to make a paste, which is spread on buttered bread.

 Emergency medical technicians in Sydney were once called to a hostel to remove a 3.75cm cockroach trapped in the ear of a Swedish tourist.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>


Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>