Cockroaches are a nuisance to most people in the US since they can survive in a wide range of conditions.
They can infest your home in an urban area or remote location, provided you have the right conditions for them to breed and feed.
But where do these annoying critters come from? How are they born? What makes them so hard to kill? Let us break down this topic and help you learn more about cockroaches, so you know how to get rid of them in your house;
How Are Roaches Born?
There are many cockroach species, and the way of reproduction differs since some are oviparous while others are ovoviviparous. Oviparous species lay their eggs outside the cockroach’s body.
You must have seen the cockroach eggs around the house since they are in a dark brown case, an ootheca. Mostly, you will find them in warm dark places like inside electronics or crevices of old or dirty furniture.
Most egg cases have between 14 and 16 eggs; thus, you should understand why cockroaches multiply fast.
The ovoviviparous species will have the eggs in a casing, but the eggs remain in the mother throughout development.
Some species develop their young like humans. They will grow in the mother’s uterus without an ootheca surrounding them. Once mature, the mother will give birth to live young, very much like mammals do.
Why Do Roaches Even Exist?
Despite their bad reputation, most cockroaches play an essential role in the environment, and there is a lot we can learn from these creatures. Cockroaches eat anything they can find, making them a problem while presenting a solution.
Poison tastes sweet to the roaches, so they eat it, and it kills them. The impressive thing is that some cockroach’s evolved new physical chemistry that makes the poison taste bad; hence, they can’t eat it and don’t die.
There are more than 4500 species of cockroaches worldwide, and less than 1% live with humans. Those in houses are often full of bacteria and fecal matter, which sticks to them. They eat it and defecate everywhere.
The proteins in their saliva, eggs, and feces are among the most prevalent causes of allergies and asthma for city dwellers.
Beyond the cities, however, cockroach poop is a good thing since it plays a crucial role in the nitrogen cycle.
Cockroaches eat decaying matter and release their nitrogen back to the soil as feces; thus, plants can reuse it. More than 99.7% of cockroaches live in wooded areas, far away from people with roles in nature.
In some ecosystems, cockroaches are pollinators for flowers, making the ecosystem self-sustaining.
Some experts call roaches nature’s decomposers since the microbes in their bodies can break down substances that mammals can’t digest.
Cockroaches are also an essential food source for some animal species, including lizards, birds, and centipedes.
They are a big part of emerald wasp reproduction since they store the eggs and provide food for the wasp offspring when they hatch.
Cockroaches can help humans too. Because they live in the dirtiest conditions, their bodies produce natural antibiotics to keep them safe.
They produce more potent bacteria than human medicine; thus, research into them will help produce better medicine in the future.
Scientists are also studying the legs of cockroaches. The legs are springy and flexible, and they work together seamlessly to help a roach run very fast on uneven ground. Scientists hope to develop new prosthetics by copying these impressive insects.
Engineers are turning roaches into robots, in a way. They install some technology that helps them manipulate the cockroaches to move in specific directions as they are needed. This can be an excellent tool for spying in highly defended areas without getting spotted.
Why Are Cockroaches So Hard To Kill?
Bugs, especially cockroaches, are nasty to have around the house since they mostly live in dirty areas.
If you see cockroaches in your home, you will feel the immediate need to use insecticide to poison them, but this might not work.
Roaches are common in the US; thus, it’s not surprising that humans try so hard to kill them. Regardless of how often you smash them or spray them with pesticides, they always come back, so what is going on?
In any population of roaches, there might be one or two that have immunity to an insecticide. If you go and spray a group of them with a toxin, those without immunity will die, and their genes end at that point.
The survivors are free to continue living, and they pass on their insecticide-resistant genes to the following generation.
This means you will have a new generation of cockroaches immune to pesticides, and only a few will die if you use them.
The population will become impervious to the toxins than to the survivors from the initial generation.
Before you know it, you have hundreds of roaches in your house, and insecticides don’t work on them.
Cockroaches have been alive for over 300 million years, and they will be among the few species that will probably never go extinct.
The incredible creepy crawlies will not die quickly, and they can survive a nuclear blast and the radiation that follows.
Cockroaches have some of the most extensive genomes in insect species, and these genes play a significant role in making cockroaches master survivors. One of the most significant genes is chemoreception, which helps roaches smell and taste.
Roaches have about 698 receptors for smell and taste, the highest on the planet. This makes them eat almost anything they can find, including book bindings, cardboard, blood, toenails, and other crippled or dead roaches.
This comprehensive menu makes it easy for cockroaches to find food, even if it can poison other animals.
The abundance of food means that the population will always have the resources it needs to flourish and spread around your house despite your attempts to eradicate them.
Facts About Cockroaches And Dealing With Them
We all know and hate cockroaches, but there is more to these creatures than meets the eye. There are aspects of the cockroach’s life and physiology that we need to look at to understand them better, so let us gets into it;
Roaches have unique genes called Cytochrome P45s, and they help them cope with poisonous chemicals since it produces detoxification enzymes that protect the insect.
They also have a robust immune system that kills fungi and bacteria; thus, they survive in the most unsanitary environments.
Cockroaches can live for almost seven days without their heads should you decapitate them. Roaches don’t have blood vessels like mammals; decapitation will not cause them to bleed out.
Instead, their necks will heal the wound and keep the insect alive. They can’t regrow the head, but they have incredible levels of regeneration in other parts. A roach molts several times in the first two months of its life as it matures into an adult.
During one moly stage, a roach can regrow its limbs, and over several molts, it can regrow its antenna and eyes.
This makes it such that you can’t wound a roach and have it die later; it will heal and reproduce, so you have a bigger problem in a few months.
Roaches might be challenging to kill, but there is a sure way to keep these buggers away from your house, tidiness. A roach enjoys unsanitary environments, so having a dirty house will attract several colonies.
A clean house means that roaches will not get any food there, so they can’t come in or stay. To keep roaches away, keep leftovers in closed containers and keep the basement dry. It is also intelligent to seal all holes in your walls or sockets you don’t use.
Roaches will get into any crevices they can find and lay eggs there to start a colony. They need water when laying eggs, so a wet basement with cracks will be the perfect breeding ground for them.
It would be best to cover your sink drains when you aren’t using them. Believe it or not, roaches can climb up from sewers into your bathroom sink through the plumbing. These are some ways you can keep the roaches out, and once they are in, you have to try pesticides.
If you always use the same pesticide, regardless of how potent it is, you might want to use a different one with different chemicals.
Changing chemicals means that the new chemicals will kill the roaches even if they are immune to another chemical.
Most roach species lay eggs, but others give birth to live offspring. Roaches are mature in about 600 days and will be ready to lay eggs and reproduce. You need to take precautions to prevent these insects from building colonies in your home.
Keep your house clean at all times and keep the food in closed containers. Close your bins to ensure the roaches don’t get any food in your house; thus, you will avoid an infestation.