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Roaches By the Numbers

6

Number of legs on a cockroach

18 

Number of knees on most cockroaches (at least!)

40

Number of minutes cockroaches can hold their breath

75

Percentage of time that cockroaches spend just resting (how lazy can you get?)

5,000

Number of species of cockroaches worldwide

280 million+

Years ago that cockroaches are thought to have originated (during the Carboniferous

roaches

Pest species of cockroaches adapt readily to a variety of environments, but prefer warm conditions found within homes and buildings. There are over 4,000 different varieties of cockroaches, but only about thirty of them can comfortably live with humans. This number can be further reduced to include only four varieties; the main species that cause problems in homes and businesses in America.

Once cockroaches infest a home, they are rarely seen. Cockroaches are nocturnal and can live up to a month with little or no food. They can also survive by eating book bindings, furniture, glue, soap, dead insects, shoe linings, and more.

Contrary to popular belief, a cockroach infestation is not necessarily an indication of poor hygiene. Cockroaches are one of the most commonly noted household pests. They feed on human and pet food, and can leave an offensive odor. They can also passively transport microbes on their body surfaces including those that are potentially dangerous to humans. Cockroaches have been shown to be linked with allergic reactions in humans. One of the proteins that triggers allergic reactions has been identified as tropomyosin. These allergens have also been found to be linked with asthma.