Cockroaches are the oldest cave animals known to date. Just last year in a cave in Myanmar, two new cockroach species dating back to 99 million years ago were discovered. It is an understatement to describe cockroaches are very resilient creatures that can survive anywhere.
The most common types of cockroaches in Singapore are German and American cockroaches. Given Singapore's tropical climate, cockroach pest control is one of the most common services in our food paradise. At ORIGIN, we embrace their characteristics in order to tackle them.
#1 A Headless Cockroach can Live for 7 Days Cockroaches have an open circulatory system where blood gets around their body without relying on a network of arteries and veins. They also breathe through holes (spiracles) in their bodies. Most importantly, cockroaches don’t rely heavily on their brains; their nerve tissues control their bodily functions. Because of all these, when a cockroach loses its head, it can still live! Well, at least until it finally dies from dehydration.
#2 Cockroaches can hold their breath for 40 minutes Cockroaches do not have lungs. They hold their breath by closing the holes on their body which then creates an air-tight seal. Based on their environmental conditions, a cockroach can hold its breath for 30 - 40 minutes.
#3 Cockroaches can Survive Underwater Thanks to their spiracles, when submerged, cockroaches can hold air inside their body and keep water out. Because it lacks proper instincts to move in water, even though a cockroach will eventually bob to the surface, it can’t actually swim its way out. When in water, a cockroach tends to end up paddling in water without getting anywhere.
#4 Cockroaches are not indestructible Cockroaches are so resilient that their resistance to destruction has been grossly exaggerated. Radiation is measured in units called Grays. Humans can only take 3-6 Grays while cockroaches can withstand up to 900 Grays. However, there are tougher insects than them --- fruit flies survive doses of 1600 Grays while some ants species can handle up to 2250 Grays. That said, while cockroaches handle relatively high radiation exposure, in a nuclear explosion, they would die from the heat alone.
#5 Cockroaches can’t fly GREAT NEWS: Not all cockroaches fly. In fact, even for the ones that do, they’re actually just gliding through the air. This is because cockroaches have a relatively large body, coupled with muscles and wings that are not made to fly. Between the two most common cockroaches in Singapore, the smaller German cockroaches can’t fly at all. The larger American cockroaches can ‘fly’, but mostly at low levels.
#6 Cockroaches are sleep a lot Cockroaches are nocturnal insects that spend 75% of their time resting. They actually do not sleep as mammals do; they have periods of inactivity where they are immobile and do not interact with the environment. Cockroaches rest so much to protect themselves from threats and to keep their senses alert for when they are in danger. That is why if you see a cockroach in the day, it’s a big red flag that there is a serious cockroach infestation nearby!
#7 Cockroaches are fast The question is, how fast? Cockroach runs at 1.5metres per second. That means they cover about 50 times their body length every second. To give you a better idea, that’s the same as a human running 322km/h! Now you know your mind is not playing tricks on you when you think cockroaches seem to be scurrying about at the speed of light.
#8 Cockroaches love beer Researchers from Purdue University did an experiment to find out what food appealed most to cockroaches by setting up various food traps. More than 5 times the number of cockroaches were caught with bread-soaked beer. Considering other studies and observations, it is safe to conclude that cockroaches are attracted to the sugar and hops in beer.
#9 Cockroaches can fit in tiny spaces Ever wondered where cockroaches come from when you can’t find any opening or gaps around? That’s because these amazing creatures can fit into spaces as small as a quarter of their body size! Like how rodents can collapse their rib cages, cockroaches can collapse their exoskeleton temporarily to get around.
#10 Cockroaches are diverse and beautiful creatures
There are 4500 species of cockroaches in the world. And only 30 of them are considered pests. The image of cockroaches has been tarnished by the American and German cockroach species because these are the ones that invade our living and workspaces. Out in the wild, cockroaches are some of the most beautiful, colorful, and complex creatures with fascinating characteristics.
A holistic cockroach management system will be added to our repertoire of data-driven solutions. Leveraging technology, our team will be collecting and analysing data points that enable us to pre-empt infestations before they arise, and before they cause significant damage to property and brand reputation. Needless to say, this will also enhance our pest control services for cockroaches in homes.