Are you scared of cockroaches too? Do they disgust you? No worries, it turns out you aren’t the only one. A lot of people around the world fear cockroaches or are programmed to fear them. These creepy little monsters can even make some people cry.
Cockroaches or Roaches belong to the order Blattodea of whom, termites are also a part. They have been living on Earth for quite a long time now. Ancestors of modern cockroaches are believed to have come into existence during the Carboniferous period. (300-350 million years ago)
Cockroaches that infest most of the residential areas are generally the species American cockroach (also known as sewer roach) and the German cockroach. However, you will be amazed to know that there are over 4000 species of cockroaches on Earth and only 40 of them are termed pests (which destroys plants, food, etc). These insects are actually beneficial to us and the Earth and play an important role in their respective ecosystem.
They can be creepy and they surely can be a danger to our health as they can pass diseases probably that’s why everyone hates to have them at their house. However, there are a few things about these creatures which will probably make you hate them less and even create a sense of admiration for them.
- Cockroaches as a good protein source: It has been scientifically proven that cockroaches are not only edible but healthy to eat too as they have a high protein content. It has been found in a study that proteins inside them contain a considerable amount of amino acids which are required for muscle repair. This protein is present in form of protein crystals inside them. Mexico, China, Brazil, Ghana, and Thailand are some of the countries where cockroaches are seen as great meals.
- Cockroaches, The great Survivors: You must have heard that cockroaches have enough resilience to survive a nuclear apocalypse. However, that isn’t entirely true. They can hold out against a considerable amount of nuclear radiation but they aren’t indestructible. It turns out that a certain level of radiation can kill them. Keeping aside the case of a nuclear apocalypse, You’ll be amazed to know that according to researchers, these are becoming “almost impossible to kill”. They have built resistance to a lot of chemicals and evolved to such a level where they have even rewired their sense of taste. Originally, they were attracted towards glucose but it has been found that now they found it bitter and thus, repelling.
- An important part of the environment: As mentioned earlier, cockroaches play a significant role in the environment. They do it by breaking down organic matter like rotting leaves, etc. You may not realize it but the breakdown of such matter is essential as it not only cleans the excessive junk from our environment but also enriches the soil by transferring nitrogen (serves as a natural fertilizer) from such decaying matter to soil.
- Beautiful and intelligent: Cockroaches which you generally see in houses and apartments can be ugly but you must not forget that they are not the only cockroaches on Earth. There’s a huge diversity and a lot of it exhibits striking colors and patterns. Besides their looks, they are also believed to be highly intelligent. It can be proved by the following facts –
- Humans have around 100000000000 brain cells. Roaches have around 1000000 of them. In comparison, a fruit fly has only 250000 brain cells.
- They sometimes play dead in presence of a threat. They are also capable of holding their breath for around 40 minutes which acts as an asset for their act of pretending to be dead.
- They can memorize their path and return to their shelter by mapping their way.
- Cockroaches can learn like humans and dogs. Scientists have even claimed that understanding the brain mechanism in insects can help them to understand the functioning of a human brain.
Although there’s a lot to hate about cockroaches, I hope this article made u admire the teensy weensy creature, a little.