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THE SECRET LIVES OF COCKROACHES – TRUE OR FALSE?

By Chris Williams on October 17, 2017.

1. The most common cockroach living in homes in the Northeast is the American cockroach? TRUE or FALSE?

FALSE. It’s the much smaller German cockroach. The large American cockroach is sometimes found in lower levels of commercial buildings such as office buildings or in sewers.

2. A German cockroach female gives live birth to an average of 12 baby cockroaches at one time. TRUE or FALSE?

FALSE. Actually, it’s more like 32 babies at one time and it’s not live birth. All of the little cockroaches develop inside one egg case that the female carries until almost hatching time.

3. Cockroaches can fly. TRUE or FALSE?

TRUE. Sort of. Although our German cockroaches have full-length wings, they don’t fly. However, American cockroaches, wood cockroaches, and some of the larger tropical cockroaches in southern states can fly or will at least glide from high perches.

4. About one in every 1,000 cockroaches will be born as a white albino cockroach. TRUE or FALSE?

FALSE. Every cockroach becomes an “albino” cockroach for a short time after it molts or sheds its skin. It remains in hiding until its new skin darkens and hardens.

5. German cockroaches become inactive when the temperature is above 85 degrees F. TRUE or FALSE?

FALSE. Their ideal temperature range is 85 up to 95 degrees with humidity above 90%. These conditions mean maximum rates of reproduction.

6. Cockroaches can walk across ceilings upside down. TRUE or FALSE?

TRUE. They can climb up smooth walls, too, thanks to the suction cup-like pads on the bottoms of their “feet.” Oriental cockroaches, however, lack these pads and can’t climb vertical surfaces.

7. German cockroaches will avoid areas where there is the odor of accumulated roach poop. TRUE or FALSE?

FALSE. They are actually attracted to pheromones in both dry roach feces and dark fecal spots left on surfaces. Lots of cockroach fecal spots in an area signals to other roaches that this is a good place to find food and shelter.

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