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10 Interesting Facts About Cockroaches

As Auckland cockroach exterminators, the A-Jet Pest Control team are more familiar with the humble cockroach than most. And while they may be everyone’s least favourite houseguest, they’re also a fairly interesting insect. In today’s article, we’ll share a few of our favourite cockroach facts that may make you see these creepy crawlies in a different light. 

1. There are many types of cockroaches.

In New Zealand, the four main varieties of cockroach are the German cockroach, American cockroach, Gisborne cockroach and Native Bush cockroach. The American and German breeds spread disease, while the Gisborne and Native Bush do not. A-Jet cockroach treatments deal with all types of cockroaches.

2. Cockroaches have been around forever.

Cockroaches are certainly not a modern problem. In fact, they’re believed to have been around for more than 280 million years. With our native tuataras dating back 200 million years, it’s safe to say that these two creatures are our country’s longest-standing rivals.

3. Cockroaches can live without food.

Depending on the breed of cockroach, most can survive perfectly happily without food for a month or more. However, like us, their bodies prioritise water, and they can die in a week if unable to drink.  

4. They’re great swimmers. 

In a great example of how cockroaches have managed to survive for centuries, it turns out they’re incredibly good at holding their breath. Even submerged totally under water, they can live for half an hour before dying.

5. NZ cockroaches are small fry.

The largest cockroach in New Zealand is the Gisborne cockroach, which is identifiable by its flat, dark body and white bands along the side. It measures up to 4.5cm in length. Compare this to the world’s largest cockroach, the South American Megaloblatta longipennis, which can clock in at 9.7cm and has a 20cm wingspan. As cockroach pest control experts, we know which one we’d rather tackle!

6. Cockroaches moult their exoskeleton.

Cockroach nymphs hatch from their eggs fully formed as tiny versions of their parents. As they grow in size, the nymph will shed its exoskeleton many times before reaching its adult size. For this reason, if you have a cockroach infestation, you may find broken cockroach legs and various body parts in areas that roaches frequent. 

7. Cockroaches breed quickly.

One aspect of why cockroaches are considered pests is that they are prolific breeders. A single female cockroach will lay hundreds of eggs over the course of her lifetime, averaging 30 a month during her peak. If a cockroach gets comfortable in your home, it can quickly become a much larger problem, which is why it’s essential to undergo a cockroach removal process sooner rather than later.

8. Cockroaches can cover a lot of ground.

American and German cockroaches can run 5km an hour. When you factor in that they also carry disease, you can begin to see how disruptive and damaging they can be, particularly to businesses in the food industry. 

9. Cockroaches are the Houdini of the insect world.

Yes, cockroaches can fit through the tiniest of cracks in your home. From gaps between floorboards to windows left ever-so-slightly-ajar, it’s no match for a cockroach that is looking for a dry home. Even New Zealand’s largest species, the Gisborne cockroach, can flatten its body to squeeze through a gap that is less than 2mm wide.

10. Even a guillotine won’t stop a cockroach.

Cockroaches have an open circulatory system and breathe through holes along their body, so are not as dependent on their heads as we humans are. So, if a cockroach loses its head, it can continue living for a week. In fact, it only dies because, without a mouth, it isn’t able to drink water. 

With these facts in mind, it’s no wonder that cockroaches are such a difficult pest to eradicate. If you’re ready to say goodbye to these unwelcome creatures, call A-Jet Pest Control today

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