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Facts about Cockroach

Cockroach

The cockroach group is very old, with abundant fossils traced to over 320 million years ago (mya) from the Carboniferous period (359 mya to about 299 mya).

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A peculiar exception is the Oriental cockroach, which is attracted to light.

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A subject of considerable controversy since Jefferson's time is whether he was the father of any of the children of his slave Sally Hemings(1773-1835).

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Current evidence strongly suggests that termites have evolved directly from true cockroaches (BBC 2007).

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The first fossils of modern cockroaches with internal ovipositors appear in the early Cretaceous.

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Cockroaches are classified as "true insects" (that is, species classified in the Class Insecta).

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Cockroaches range in size from just about 1/2 centimeter (1/4 inch) to 9 centimeters (3 1/2 inches).

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Researchers found a balance between cooperation and competition exists in group decision-making behavior found in cockroaches.

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Cockroaches generally have an unfavorable reputation as slimy, smelly, food-consuming pests that are vectors of human diseases.

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Once a cockroach infestation occurs, chemical controls may help alleviate the problem.

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Another study tested the hypothesis that cockroaches use just two pieces of information to decide where to go under those conditions: how dark it is and how many of their friends are there.

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A cockroach's cells divide only once when in its molting cycle, which at most happens weekly in a juvenile roach.

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A female German cockroach carries an egg capsule containing around 30 to 40 long, thin eggs, packed like frankfurters.

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Cockroaches do indeed have a much higher radiation resistance than vertebrates, with the lethal dose perhaps 6 to 15 times that for humans.

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When the capacity of the shelters was increased to more than 50 insects per shelter, all of the cockroaches arranged themselves in one shelter.

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Cockroaches are also known as "roaches" or as "cucarachas" in Spanish (from cuca for caterpillar).

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Cockroaches are classified in the superorder (or order in some classifications) Dictyoptera.

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The world's largest extant cockroach is the Australian giant burrowing cockroach, which can grow to 9 cm (3 1/2 inches) in length and weigh more than 30 grams.

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Comparable in size is the giant cockroach Blaberus giganteus, which grows to a similar length but is not as heavy.

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Cockroaches tend to have a flat, oval body shape with long legs, long antennae, and a flat extension on the dorsal side that covers the head.

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Cockroaches have been shown to exhibit emergent behavior, a property when a number of simple entities (agents) operate in an environment, forming more complex behaviors as a collective.

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Cockroaches, like all insects, breathe through a system of tubes called tracheae.

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Female cockroaches are sometimes seen carrying egg cases or capsules, called oothecae, on the end of their abdomen.

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The cockroach's ability to withstand radiation better than human beings can be explained in terms of the cell cycle.

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The scientific name derives from the Latin word for "cockroach," blatta.

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Cockroaches live in a wide range of environments around the world, with tropical and subtropical the most common climates and with the greatest diversity in the tropics.

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Baits with egg killers are also quite effective at reducing the cockroach population.

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Cockroaches have a generally unfavorable reputation as smelly (because of various glandular secretions yielding a highly disagreeable odor), food-consuming pests that are vectors of human diseases.

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Cockroaches do provide some direct value to human beings in terms of being used in scientific research.

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Other cockroaches will follow these trails to discover sources of food and water, and also discover where other cockroaches are hiding.

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Cockroaches can survive sterile surgical decapitation for a very long period, especially if recently fed, but of course become unable to feed and die within a few weeks (Choi 2007).

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A cockroach's cells divide only once when in its molting cycle, which at most happens weekly in a juvenile roach.

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Tropical cockroaches are often much bigger, and extinct cockroach relatives such as the Carboniferous Archimylacris and the Permian Apthoroblattina were several times as large as these.

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In Asia, car owners are known to use Pandan leaves as a natural cockroach repellent in their vehicles (Li and Ho 2003).

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Some of the earliest writings with regards to cockroaches encourage their use as medicine.

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Bait stations, gels containing hydramethylnon or fipronil, as well as boric acid powder, are toxic to cockroaches.

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Female cockroaches are sometimes seen carrying egg cases or capsules, called oothecae, on the end of their abdomen.

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Some cockroaches have two pairs of wings and can fly well, while others have reduced wings or they are absent.

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Wasps in the family Ampulicidae are predators on adult and nymphal cockroaches (e.g., Ampulex compressa).

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Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal and will run away when exposed to light.

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The house centipede, however, is probably the most effective control agent of cockroaches, though most homeowners find the centipedes themselves objectionable.

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One of the major industries in Virginia is the federal government.

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Only ten percent of homeowners in the United States feel that cockroaches are a threat to their family's health.

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Their transient white stage while hatching and later while molting has led to many individuals to claim to have seen albino cockroaches.

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Cockroaches could potentially be removed from a home by leaving a chemical trail that leads away from the home.

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