Why Can Cockroaches Survive Just About Anything?

While it is not impossible to kill a cockroach, it is more challenging than it should be to kill an insect of that size. Cockroaches are notorious for being able to survive just about anything. In fact, many people joke that cockroaches will be able to survive a nuclear weapon. There is some truth in that joke. After all, cockroaches survived the mass extinction event that killed all of the dinosaurs. However, to be fair, so did many other animals. To understand why cockroaches are so resilient, it is important to understand some facts about these hardy bugs.

The Types of Cockroaches

First, there are three types of cockroaches in Australia. Not surprisingly, the Australian cockroach is one of them. However, we also have the German cockroach and the American cockroach. Recently, they have sequenced the genomes of the American and German cockroaches, which provides some clues as to why these bugs are so hard to kill.

How they are so resilient

What this gene sequencing reveals is that cockroaches are the ultimate scavengers. They have evolved to thrive by living on garbage. To do this, they have to be able to smell and taste a wide variety of things. They also have to be able to routinely deal with toxins and germs. As a result, modern cockroaches are experts at detoxification with naturally high immunity to a wide range of germs.

Roaches quickly adapt to the conditions surrounding them. For example, sugar traps have been a popular way to target roaches. However, some roaches have developed an aversion to glucose, which means that they will avoid eating sugar. These adaptations may take several generations to take hold in a local population, but given the rapid lifecycle of a cockroach and their breeding capabilities, the changes could show up in an area with a short period of time.

Roaches are also omnivores. Because they can and do eat just about anything, they are adapted to survive and even thrive in conditions that would kill other types of animals. While they can eat almost anything, they can also survive for a long period of time without food or water. This means that they can survive drought conditions and even short periods of famine.

Combine all that with roaches’ tough exoskeleton, fast running speeds, ability to live almost anywhere, and the fact that they can survive for up to a week without a head, and it may seem like cockroaches are indestructible. They are not. While they can be a difficult pest to eradicate, they are not exterminator-proof. If you have a cockroach problem, contact Flick Pest Control. We can help you get rid of roaches.