Cockroaches are pesky little insects that carry around many diseases. But there are a lot of myths roaming around, making roaches way more terrifying than they actually are. But the thing is, once you have a clear idea about what you are dealing with, the whole extermination process becomes much easier and more effective. That is why we have taken the effort of debunking common cockroach myths.
By the time you reach the end of this article, you’ll have a clear picture of what cockroaches are and, most importantly, what they are not. So without any further ado, let’s get down to business. Shall we?
Let’s Debunk Some Common Cockroach Myths
Here are some common myths regarding cockroaches. Let’s debunk them one by one.
Myth #1 Cockroaches Are Immortal
Absolutely not. It may be hard to catch and kill roaches, but that doesn’t make them immortal. Like any other insect, they reproduce and pass on their genes to the next generation. Cockroaches are smart and resourceful. That is why despite all your effort, they just don’t seem to die. Well, many of us feel the same way. Cockroaches have the special ability to breathe through their body and survive longer without food/water. But they are still very much killable, and once you know how to tackle them, it’s fairly easy. Just take care of a few things, and you have the cockroach population in your home under control.
Myth #2 Cockroaches Are Nocturnal
Yes. Unfortunately for us humans, cockroaches are nocturnal. So they thrive at your home and feast upon whatever they can while you are sound asleep. Seeing a cockroach in daylight isn’t normal in most cases. They usually avoid the light. So seeing a cockroach in daylight may indicate an active infestation growing behind your back. They have the amazing power to flatten their bodies to access incredibly tight spots like wall cracks. You can find cockroaches in dark and moist places like behind the fridge, under the sink/drain, or around any major appliances during the daytime.
Myth #3 All Cockroaches Are Bad
Not at all. There are approximately 4,000 different species of cockroach in the world, each species possessing different characteristics. Only a small fraction of that number invades homes or buildings and is potentially harmful to us. Only one percent (around 30 species) of the total cockroach population is considered pests. The most famous of them are the German cockroach, the American cockroach, and the Oriental cockroach. Not only do they give your home an unsanitary appearance, but some of them also exacerbate allergies and carry around many diseases. Though it might sound weird, many people around the globe keep cockroaches as pets.
Myth #4 Cockroaches Can Survive A Nuclear Blast
Nope. This particular myth has been spread across many generations. This is a tricky myth to debunk as there is some truth behind it. Cockroaches are incredibly tough insects that can tolerate 10 times more radiation than a human. But that’s about it. They are as vulnerable as we are in the case of a nuclear blast. This may be true that radiation has less chance to affect a cockroach’s cells, but they die within an hour if continuously exposed to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. So they have zero chance of surviving the scorching heat of tens of millions of degrees in the case of a nuclear blast.
Myth #5 Cockroaches Only Infest Dirty Homes
Not True. Cockroaches are scavengers by nature. That is why most of the time, you see a cockroach, it is near your trash can or in a dirty pantry. But that doesn’t mean that dirty homes are only prone to a cockroach infestation. It greatly depends on the preventative measure you’ve taken to stop the infestation. Though they have easier access to food in a dirty home, that hardly makes any difference. They’ll leave absolutely anywhere if they can. So they are most likely to invade your home because you failed to seal all the cracks and other points of entry rather than you forgetting to vacuum one day.
Myth #6 All Cockroaches Can Fly
Wrong Again. Most probably, this origin of the myth started with our unusual fear towards this creature. Though some species can fly, those who invade your house most probably aren’t among them. All the cockroaches have wings; that much is true. And some of them can jump. Cockroaches use their wing to balance themselves while jumping. And that can look a little bit like flying. But to be honest, once a cockroach seems to be flying towards you. The terror can make you jump to many impossible conclusions. There are very few terrifying things like seeing a cockroach flying towards you, am I right?
Myth #7 They Like To Eat Human Hair And Fingernails
Not Really. Cockroaches are omnivorous, meaning they’ll eat almost anything to survive. But still, a cockroach has to be pretty desperate and starving to do something like this. I mean, if you have access to quality food, why would you try to eat trash, right? It was a thing of the past in ancient sailor ships, where food was scarce, and the roach population was large. But nowadays, cockroaches have much better access to food and water. So your hair and fingernails are safe, for now at least. But try to keep your ears covered instead in case you have an active infestation in your house. They love a good ear canal!!!
Myth #8 A Cockroach Can Live For Months Without A Head
Well, this is partially true. Though no cockroach can live that long without a head, an adult cockroach can live up to a few weeks without its head, thanks to its amazing body structure. They do not share the same anatomy as us humans. They have an open circulatory system that helps move blood throughout the body without putting much pressure on the injured area. That means there is less chance of uncontrolled bleeding.
On top of that, roaches can breathe through little holes in each body segment called spiracles. This is why even if you chop off one’s head, it can live for a short amount of time. Eventually, the roach will die of starvation, though.
Myth #9 Cockroaches Fear Light
Not entirely true. Though some species prefer dark and cold places for living, others love to roam around in daylight just like we do. The reason you don’t see many cockroaches in broad daylight is that they fear you. You are a much bigger predator to them and not the only one. Roaches are on the lower part of the food chain. That is why they have to be careful about not becoming a meal/snack for other larger predators.
That’s it for today. Hope I was able to clear some confusion about cockroaches. Though cockroaches are annoying pests that spread a wide range of diseases, the myths showcase them as a much bigger threat than they already are. That’s why they introduce terror in the heart of many people, especially when they start to fly/jump around.
I hope this article proves to be somewhat helpful for those looking for some clarity. Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comment section below. I wish you all a pest-free experience. Thanks for reading this far. Now you know a bit better about cockroaches. So congratulations.