A Roach Coach
catering truck, especially one which frequents blue collar
places of work; generally a modified pickup truck with insulated
diamond-pattern doors covering a refrigerator case and a warmer
unit with attached griddle.
Coach Page is just fun and fascinating information about
roaches. Take some time to read this stuff, You'll certainly
gain respect if not admiration for them.
word cockroach possibly comes from the Spanish 'Cucaracha'. Like all
creatures that bring themselves regularly to Mankind's attention
Cockroaches have acquired a large number of common names, such as 'lucifaga'
because of their habitat of fleeing the light. In Sweden they were
known as 'Brotaetare' or 'Bread Eaters', In the U.K. the various
pest species have been called 'Steambug', 'Steamfly' and 'Shiner'.
In America they are known as 'Yankee Settlers', 'Croton Bugs' or
'Bombay Canaries' depending on where you are. More humorously
Blattella germanica known as the 'German Cockroach' here is
known as the 'Russian Cockroach' or the 'French Cockroach' in
different parts of Germany and as the 'Prussian Cockroach' in
Russia, while the 'American Cockroach' Periplaneta americana
and the 'Australian Cockroach' Periplaneta australasiae both
probably originated in Africa and not in the countries indicated by
their common names.
There are nearly 4,000 species of Cockroaches
(Dictyoptera, Blattodea) in the world, of which only 25 to 30 (or less than 1%)
have any pest status, the rest are innocent members of the Earth's fauna, some
of which are clean living, non-aggressive and slow moving, and as such make
great pets. The largest known Cockroaches in the world are (largest wingspan up
to 18 cm) Megaloblatta longipennis, largest body, Macropanesthia rhinocerus from
Australia weighing in at up to 50 grams. The smallest known is Attaphilla
fungicola which lives in the nests of Leaf Cutter ants of the genus Atta in
North America and feeds on the fungus they farm, it is about 4 mm long.
Nature Science update
Female cockroaches prefer males at the bottom of the social pecking
order, and dominant males try and stop them from having their way.
But when females do get the low-ranking man of their dreams, they
produce fewer sons, apparently in an effort to avoid passing on his
the laboratory cockroach, Nauphoeta cinerea. These animals usually
reproduce sexually. But in times of crisis when males are scarce,
females can reproduce by a process known as 'parthenogenesis'. They
can produce offspring-all female-with no help from males.
"Cockroaches are considered one of the most successful groups of
animals," says Steven Jacobs, senior extension associate in
entomology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
"Because they are so adaptable, cockroaches have adjusted to living
with humans much more readily than humans have adjusted to living
Cockroaches thrive in nearly every corner of the globe, despite our
best attempts to eliminate them.
Penn State Agricultural information services
Why is it almost impossible to squish a cockroach before it shoots
out of sight behind the refrigerator while it is often quite easy to
zap it with the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner?
The answer, Dr Hananel Davidowitz of the NEC Research Institute in
Princeton, N.J., says, is that the jet-propelled bug thinks with its
The cockroach, he says, is able to sense minute changes in the air
flowing round its body using tiny hairs on two posterior appendages
called “cerci”—and that includes your foot coming down. Signals from
those hairs feed into a group of 14 vital nerve cells which process
the information. The result—now you see it, now you don’t.
Confused by Vacuum
The vacuum cleaner, however, has even smart roaches fooled.
“If a vacuum cleaner approaches from behind a cockroach, the wind
goes from its head to the nozzle. It thinks the attack is from the
front and it turns round and runs straight into the nozzle,” the
Cockroaches have also developed interesting ways of ensuring that
their young make it to adulthood. Most species give birth to live
young — highly unusual for insects — but a sure way to prevent other
critters from feeding on their eggs.
And if food is scarce, adolescent cockroaches can live on a very
reliable resource — their parents’ feces.
The Madagascar cockroach can reach the ripe old age of seven and
produces less than 20 eggs during that long life span.
Cockroaches and "The Bomb"
You've probably heard the story about cockroaches surviving a
nuclear war: we die but they live! This is supposed to make you feel
better when you have trouble getting rid of these critters.
So, the real truth: radiologists have found that humans can safely
withstand a one-time exposure of 5 rems (A "rem" is the dosage of
radiation that will cause a specific, measured amount of injury to
human tissue). A lethal dose is 800 rems or more (people are exposed
to about 16 rems during their lifetime).
Insect researchers have found that cockroaches can tolerate a much
higher dose -- really higher! The lethal dose for the American
cockroach is 67,500 rems and for the German cockroach it is between
90,000 and 105,000 rems (yikes!). In truth the amount of radiation
that cockroaches can withstand is equivalent to that of a
Run for Your Lives!
The world's largest roach (which lives in South America) is six
inches long with a one-foot wingspan.
Roaches By the Numbers
6 -- Number of legs on a cockroach
18 -- Number of knees on most cockroaches (at least!)
40-- Number of minutes cockroaches can hold their breath
75 -- Percentage of time that cockroaches spend just
resting (how lazy can you get?)
5,000 -- Number of species of cockroaches worldwide
280 million+ -- Years ago that cockroaches are thought to
have originated (during the Carboniferous era)
Some female cockroaches mate once and are pregnant for the rest
of their lives (bummer).
The Legend of the Headless Cockroach
cockroach can live a week without its head. The roach only dies
because without a mouth, it can't drink water and dies of
Cockroaches can run up to three miles in an hour. (Hey, it's no
marathon, but it's not bad.)
Better Check Those Cracks in the Wall
Young cockroaches need only a crack as thin as a dime (about
.5mm wide) to crawl into. Adult males can squeeze into a space
of 1.6mm or the thickness of a quarter. Pregnant females need
the most space to hide: 4.5mm or a space as tall as two stacked
A cockroach heart is nothing but a simple tube with valves. The
tube can pump blood backwards and forwards in the insect. The
heart can even stop moving without harming the roach.
Roaches can live without food for a month, but
will only survive a week without water.
When Cold, Roaches Snuggle
Most species of roaches live in the tropics. But
roaches live all over the world, including the
North and South Poles. Pest cockroaches can
withstand temperatures as cold as 32°F (0°C),
but will die if the temperature goes much below
that. In extremely cold places, however, they
survive by moving in with humans. (Hey, quit
hogging the covers!)
Better Than Air Jordans!
Cockroaches can climb walls because they are
equipped with a set of little claws on their
feet designed for that very purpose.
Crushed cockroaches can be applied to a stinging
wound to help relieve the pain.
Smell You Later
Sniff, sniff...oh, it's just Uncle Leo. Roaches
use their feelers, or antennae, as noses. Their
sense of smell is so great, they recognize
family and friends by their distinctive odors.
Female roaches attract male roaches by producing
pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals that make
the female roach smell REALLY good to the males
Alright Kids, Beat It!
Some female cockroaches incubate their egg cases
in their bodies until they are ready to hatch.
These babies stay with their mothers a day or
two after they are born.
Male cockroaches transfer sperm to females in a
"gift-wrapped" package called a
Some males cover the package in a protein-rich
wrapping that the female can eat to obtain
nutrients to raise her young. Delicious!