Hughes Exterminators Blog

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Monday, February 4, 2019

Think Roaches Can’t Get Any More Disgusting? They Can.

If you’re like most people, the thought of a roach is enough to make you shiver. From their shiny, lacquered bodies to their spiny legs, roaches are just gross. They scurry and stowaway in the dark, forgotten corners of your home — beneath the fridge, the sink and even your air vents.

Unfortunately, winter is the season for roachy, midnight mischief. So, if you need some roach-trapping motivation this winter, we’ve got 18 reasons why these buggers are the absolute worst.

1. Cockroaches will eat anything — including you.
They love meats, sweets, starches and beer, but when pressed, they’ll feed on book bindings, wallpaper, pet fur, dead skin, soap, garbage and feces. And they’ll even munch on your toenails, eyelashes and eyebrows while you sleep. Eek!

2. Roaches love the nightlife.
Roaches like to sleep in. They snooze while we’re awake and they party when we’re asleep. In fact, they’re so sleepy during the day that they’ll fail food puzzles because they’re unable to form new memories in the morning hours.

3. They’re in your chocolate.
There are eight insect parts — antennae and all — in the average chocolate bar. The same goes for peanut butter, cheese and popcorn. But don’t worry. A little roach here and there never hurt anybody.

4. Roaches hate Yankee Candle.
You know all those smells we love — peppermint, bay leaves, tea tree oil? Well, roaches hate those scents, along with mothballs and citronella. They love the smell of vanilla though, because vanilla means food.

5. Cockroach farms are all the rage.
In China that is. Why? The value of dried cockroach increased tenfold between 2010 and 2013. These nasty little buggers are popular in traditional medicines, cosmetics and even protein powders. 

Profit margins can be as high as 650 percent, and a single chicken coop can house 10 million roaches. Sure, it’s disgusting, but cockroach nerve cells have the ability to kill germs like MRSA and E. coli.

6. Jurassic roach.
Actually, roaches are even older than T-Rex and his friend, triceratops. Fossil records show roaches dating back 350 million years, to the Carboniferous era. Yay for us.

7. Off with their heads.
Yes, the terrifying rumor is true. Roaches can live over a week without their heads. Why? They have an open circulatory system and their vital organs are found in the thorax. But these headless buggers won’t be able to drink, so they’ll eventually die of thirst.

8. The pollen of the bug world.
Roaches are gross in many ways, but for people with asthma and allergies, they are downright dangerous. Cockroaches produce proteins that can aggravate the respiratory system. Their fecal matter and molted exoskeletons are no walk in the park either. Roaches also carry 33 kinds of bacteria, six different types of parasitic worms and seven known pathogens.

9. The Magellan of insects.
One of the most successful creatures in the history of the planet, roaches are pretty much everywhere. They’ve traveled on ships, hitched rides in boxes and now they’re downright global — thriving everywhere humans live. The one exception? Antarctica. Get your tickets now, because this icy southern continent is roach free. 

10. Dinner time, table for one.
We’ve already established that roaches will eat anything, but if the going gets tough and food is scarce, they’ll even eat each other. This cannibalistic quality reduces population sizes when an infestation becomes too large to feed itself. 

11. 4,000 wonderful flavors.
There are over 4,000 roach species in the world, and lucky for us, 70 are found in the U.S. With so many species, are you ever safe from roaches? Apparently not. They can hold their breath for 40 minutes and survive being submerged for half an hour.

12. Got roach milk?
Forget smoothies and kombucha, roach milk could soon be trending at a grocery store near you. Diploptera punctate, the only roach to give birth to live young, feeds its babies via milk-like protein crystals. And these tasty crystals are four times as nutritious as cow’s milk. Yummy.

13. Cockroaches can eat anything — including nothing. 
Cold-blooded and blessed with low metabolisms, roaches can live over a month without food. But they can’t live more than a week without water. If you spot a dead roach, it probably died of thirst.

14. Cockroaches are crazy fast.
These scary critters can scurry up to three miles per hour, which is crazy given how small they are. Their hind legs can move 27 times a second, and a day-old, spec-sized baby cockroach can run almost as fast as its parents.

15. They can see you coming.
How do they move so fast? Roaches have eyes on top of their heads, giving them a 360-degree view of their surroundings. And while humans see only one big picture, roaches have over 2,000 lenses, giving them the ability to see multiple images at once.

16. Smartest guys in the room?
Probably not. Roaches have incredibly tiny brains — a million brain cells compared to a human’s 100 billion. But their neurons are 10 times more densely packed than humans, and they can memorize complicated routes back to their shelters. Like Pavlov’s famous dogs, they can even be trained to salivate in response to sugary smells.

17. Back against the wall.
A roach’s exoskeleton and open circulatory system creates a hydraulic effect. It takes force just to straighten their legs. Older and weaker roaches have a harder time keeping their legs straight — causing them to fall over. Roaches who are too weak to right themselves die quickly. That’s why the dearly departed often expire with their legs in the air.

18. They’re primed for the apocalypse.
In this life, three things are certain: death, taxes and cockroaches. Yep, these feisty buggers were forged in the age of the dinosaurs. They’ve outlived numerous mass extinctions and a little radiation isn’t going to stop their party.

Roaches can survive 10 times more radiation than a human. How? With simple organisms, fewer genes mean fewer mutations. Roach cells divide more slowly than human cells, giving them more time to repair broken DNA strands and other problems caused by radiation. Ok roaches, you win this round too.

Prepare for roach season.
It’s gotten cold and roaches are heading home — to your home — looking for dark, warm and moist corners to hide. To keep these pesky critters from colonizing your coziness, seal and secure all food and trash bins, and close up any cracks and holes in your home. To be on the safe side, make sure your crawl spaces and other roachy haunts are kept ventilated and dry.

If your home has gone to the roaches, call us and we’ll make sure the only roaches you experience are the ones you read about in this blog.