5 terrifying cockroach facts that prove they'll outlive us all


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You’ve heard it before: Cockroaches could survive a nuclear war. Hard to say if that’s really true, but there are a few disturbing reasons why those damn pests are so damn resilient.

In fact, there are five of them, according to the National Pest Management Association:


Off with its head

No head? No problem. A cockroach can live for a week without its head and can hold its breath for 40 minutes. Some can also survive freezing temperatures.



Small size. Big problem.

Although they seem like giant monstrous creatures, cockroaches are actually pretty small and can hide in cracks and fit through an opening as small as 1/16-inch in width.



Quick as a cat — or cockroach

Cockroaches are super fast and can run up to 3 miles per hour. A newborn cockroach — the size of a speck of dust — can run about nearly as fast as its parents.



I’m a survivor

Cockroaches, which are omnivores, can survive for up to one month without food and two weeks without water. And they’ll nosh on many types of food, including sugars, proteins and fats.



Breeding bonanza

A female cockroach can produce as many as 30,000 cockroaches in one year.



"Not only are cockroaches hard to eliminate, but they also can pose health risks to humans if they find a way inside,” said Missy Henriksen, VP public affairs for the NPMA. “Cockroaches are known to spread diseases, trigger allergies and exacerbate asthma symptoms. This makes pest-proofing the home all the more important to protect your family and property.”

There’s no foolproof way to keep cockroaches out, but maintaining a clean home is critical to avoid an infestation. The NPMA recommends the following:

  • Store food in sealed containers.

  • Keep kitchen counters and pantry cabinets free of crumbs.

  • Vacuum often.

  • Dispose of garbage regularly.


If you do have an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional.