The german cockroach is one of the most prevalent insects on the planet.  It was here long before we came, and will probably be here long after we are gone.  Many homes are infested with these small pests.  But when circumstances make life difficult, most want to know how cockroaches survive?  Cockroaches have adapted.  They are super fast at reproducing, are great hiders and have developed immunity to many pesticides.  

Their survival can come at a price when living in our homes.  Cockroaches are not clean insects.  They have a distinct oder, and are capable of spreading disease.  Many people are allergic to the dust that they bring with them.  Their feces is connected to asthma in some people.  Even though they are very adept at surviving, they can be controlled through integrated pest management.  A good exterminator will have the tools and knowledge of how to eliminate these pests.  


Outside of how gross they are, cockroaches are some pretty amazing creatures.  For instance, a cockroach can survive without it’s head.  It will eventually die, not from the removal of its brain, but of its mouth.  Without the mouth, the roach will die from dehydration in about a week.  The head does contain the brain, but the “conscienceless” of the insect is not localized in the brain like it is in we humans.  It is spread out throughout the nervous system.  

Many people know that, in the event of a nuclear holocaust, roaches would survive, even though we would not.  This is because roaches can withstand much more radiation than we can.  For a human, a lethal dose of radiation is about 800 rems or more.  The average American cockroach, on the other hand, can withstand 67,500 rems.  The german cockroach can withstand between 90,000 and 105,000 rems.  


Cockroaches can infest homes quickly because they reproduce so quickly.  The german cockroach can grow from newborn to adult in as little as 36 days.  At one day old, they are about as large as a spec of dust, but can still run as fast as an adult.  That top speed clocks in at about three kilometers per hour.  The average cockroach is about 1/2” to 2” long, but the largest roaches that live in South America can be almost six inches long with a foot wingspan.  

American cockroaches have an affinity for alcoholic beverages, especially beer.  They are most likely interested in the alcohol mixed with hops and sugar.  They can survive a month without food, and, as stated earlier, a week without water.  A cockroach can hold its breath for up to forty minutes.  They often do this in order to conserve the water within them.  This is how cockroaches survive.  


Cockroaches can find their way into your home in many ways.  Any gaps in the masonry or cracks in the foundation can make your home accessible.  Loose shingles or gaps in the siding can also provide entry.  Roaches have even been known to hitch a ride.  They will attach themselves to clothing and ride until they get into your house.  Once there, they are looking for three things.  A food source, a water source and harborage.  Its important to make sure that they can’t find any of those things.  

Cockroaches can regrow limbs, in the right settings.  They will often postpone a molt, or removal of the skin to allow for growth.  Also, it has been found that if you remove an antennae of a roach, it will still continue to respond to stimuli.  The eyes of the cockroach are fairly complex.  They see the world as a mosaic.  

If you have and issue with cockroaches, its important to understand how cockroaches survive.  The exterminators here at TermMax Pest Control can help as well.  Contact Us for a free estimate.  

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