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Roaches – How They’ve Survived Thousands of Years

Did you know that roaches have been around so long that they pre-date the dinosaurs? Even after several events that left all sorts of species extinct, roaches have continued to adapt and even thrive. Today, there are around 4,600 different species and the only place where they aren’t found is in Antarctica. So just what is it that has allowed cockroaches to survive for so long? 

The Diet of a Cockroach

A recent examination of the genetic makeup of the cockroach has provided some scientific insights into why cockroaches have proven to be so resilient over thousands of years. First, cockroaches have extremely high immunity levels and are able to detoxify what they consume. This allows them to safely eat just about anything including rotting food in sewer systems. Basically, there isn’t much they can use as sustenance.

Cockroaches have such a robust ability for digesting ingredients that would kill any other insect, that they can safely eat some insecticides. Over thousands of years, cockroaches have adapted to eating toxin-producing bacteria and other toxic substances found in nature. Once humans came around and wanted to get rid of these pests, cockroaches were already more than prepared to handle insecticides.

In addition, cockroaches don’t need a constant supply of food and water to survive. Some species can go a week without water and up to a month without food. They are pre-wired to survive in even the harshest conditions. 

Reproductive Habits of Cockroaches

The survival of cockroaches has also been helped by the fact that females don’t need a male to reproduce. If there aren’t any males available, a female can employ parthenogenetic reproduction, which is a type of asexual reproduction. Even though most species of cockroaches live for less than a year, they can easily reproduce. 

The Protective Exoskeleton

Cockroaches are built for defense. While their actual bodies are soft, they have a hard outer exoskeleton. While this covering is protective and rigid, it can also be flexible enough to allow cockroaches to crawl through small spaces.

If you have a cockroach problem in your home, don’t worry. While cockroaches are certainly adaptive and resilient, they aren’t invincible and you can rid your home of these pests. For help with all your pest problems, call Capital Pest today. 

Capital Pest is proud to be a family-owned and operated pest control company serving Raleigh, NC and its surrounding area (Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Clayton, Pinehurst, Pittsboro, Fuquay-Varina, etc). Contact us for our pest control services today!