Insects can be some of the most persistent organisms on the planet.  And no other insect defines this as much as the cockroach.  They can survive without their head, without food for a month and they can hold their breath.  And if you’ve ever had roaches in your home (a Tulsa exterminator can help with that), you know that they can multiply at an alarming rate.  But how do cockroaches multiply? Cockroaches usually require two individuals, a male and a female, to reproduce.  The females carry their eggs outside the body in a sack called an ootheca.  

Cockroaches can turn from one or two to an infestation very quickly.  They use sexual reproduction to fill out their population.  Cockroaches find themselves on the bottom of the food chain, so rapid reproduction helps them to stay around.  Most roaches are oviparous — their young grow in eggs outside of the mother’s body.  


There are many species of cockroach, but the most common one is the german cockroach.  German cockroaches can not survive without living with humans.  They require warm climates, so without heated homes, they don’t survive.  As stated above, they incubate in egg sacks called ootheca, that are carried by the mother.  The young come out of the ootheca as nymphs, or smaller versions of the adult roach.  They do not have wings at this point.  

The nymph will forage for its own food and water and eventually molt.  It will molt six times and at the last time, it will be an adult with wings.  Molting is the process of shading the old exoskeleton.  Insects like roaches do this because the exoskeletons have a limited amount that they can grow.  To grow beyond that point, young roaches must shed the old exoskeleton.  It usually takes about 100 days to grow to adulthood, depending upon environment.  


It is said that in any growing population of cockroach, 80% are nymphs and 20% are adults.  Each ootheca can contain 30 to 40 eggs and a female can produce up to 8 ootheca in her lifetime.  So to give you an idea of how fast they are multiplying, this means that every 100 days, the population grows by a factor of 30.  So if one cockroach has 30 nymphs, 100 days later, each of those 30 could have their own 30.  And 100 days later….  You get the picture.  

Cockroaches also have another reproductive trick up their sleeve.  Scientists call it parthenogenetic reproduction.  It basically means that if no reproductive male is available, the females can still reproduce alone.  They produce clones of themselves, but they can keep this up for multiple generations, until a suitable male comes along, or a good Oklahoma exterminator.  


Cockroaches are very quick.  They can run at up to three miles an hour.  That doesn’t sound super fast, but when you realize that these insects are one to two inches long, that is pretty quick.  And baby roaches can run just as fast as adults, straight out of the ootheca.  They can also hold their breath, swim and hide very well.  

Cockroaches are often hitchhikers as well.  These insects do not do well without human hosts.  Its because of this that they will hitch a ride on a pant leg, jacket or book bag.  Once they get to their new residence, they will set up shop and start reproducing.  This would definitely be a good time to call an Oklahoma pest control company.  


I know.  It sounds like something out of a bad sci fi movie.  But the truth is often stranger than fiction.  Mythbusters put this myth to the test.  They found that, of thousands of roaches, ten percent of them could survive radiation levels of Hiroshima for over 30 days.  That’s a long time to be that hot.  

Scientists believe that the reasons for this are that these cockroaches are simple creatures.  Because of this, they have fewer genes that could have mutations.  Their cells also divide more slowly than humans, so there is more time to repair damaged DNA, giving them an edge.  


There are over 4,000 species of cockroach.  But if you ask any Tulsa exterminator, they will tell you that there are only four kinds that plague most of our homes.  The first is the german cockroach.  This is the most common cockroach.  It hides down low and loves to live in your kitchen.  Next we have the brown banded cockroach.  At a glance, it looks a lot like the german cockroach.  One of the big differences is that it prefers to hid up high, often behind clocks and wall hangings.  

The American cockroach is the largest of these four roach species.  It comes in around two and a half to three inches long.  American cockroaches prefer damp areas.  When you see them, you can almost guarantee that there is a water leak or a drain somewhere close.  Lastly, the oriental cockroach is a large black roach.  It predominantly stays in drainage ditches and sewers, but will occasionally venture into your home.  Again, water leaks and old drains bring them in.  


Cockroaches like living it up in our homes.  They are difficult to get rid of.  In most cases, the best policy is to contact a Tulsa pest control company.  Here at TermMax, we’re here to help!

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