Cockroaches are one of the pests almost guaranteed to give anyone the creepy-crawlies, and for good reason. Other than simply being pretty gross, cockroaches often cause disease or trigger allergies, and can be a sure sign of a dirty environment.

But other than the fact that you want to smack the cockroach that appeared in your kitchen, what do you actually know about cockroaches? Learn the facts about these pests below.

Most roaches aren’t pests. As hard as it is to believe when you have a roach problem, only about 1% of cockroaches are pests to humans. Of the more than 4,000 species of roaches found around the world, only about 35-40 infest human homes. Most live outside.

According to popular belief, cockroaches can survive nuclear war. Even though cockroaches have been around since before the dinosaurs they may not be that durable, but cockroaches can survive for 1-2 weeks without its head. Cockroaches breathe through holes in their bodies, and will only die because they need a mouth to drink water. However, cockroaches can withstand far more radiation than humans.

Diseases are spread and allergies triggered by cockroaches. These bugs are a major contributor to allergies and asthma, especially in children. Studies have shown that 45% of children may be allergic to cockroaches, and many develop asthma from continued exposure. Additionally, cockroaches have been found to carry the pathogens that cause tuberculosis, cholera, leprosy and more.

BUT cockroaches might be used to fight disease in the future. We know that cockroaches are survivors, and scientists have shown that the brain matter and nerves of cockroaches can kill germs, including killing MRSA and E. coli with no harm to human cells. Scientists conducting this research believe the fact that roaches live in such filthy conditions has made their body adapt and create these antimicrobial particles.

Cockroaches will eat just about anything. One of their only beneficial roles is to break down organic matter, and cockroaches will eat just about anything they can find, such as paper, glue, leather and more. This is why thoroughly cleaning areas like the kitchen and bathroom is so important to keep cockroaches at bay. Crumbs, trash and even hair offer an irresistible feast for cockroaches!

Cockroaches are generally active at night. Most cockroaches prefer to stay hidden during the day. If you’re seeing cockroaches regularly during daylight, you probably have a significant population hidden somewhere in your home.

The American cockroach is highly attracted to alcoholic beverages. Even though it is primarily an outdoor roach and rarely seen outdoors, the American cockroach has been shown to be especially attracted to beer. Many people will often spot these roaches near their recycling bins, but you can help to control populations by rinsing all glass and aluminum recycling before placing it outside.

The only way to get rid of cockroaches is to remove the population at its source. Keeping a clean home is one step to controlling cockroaches inside, but will not remove them entirely. If you’re being overrun with roaches, contact Florida Pest Control today!