They are very close ...

... and you can’t escape them


Deputy Head
& Illustration
They survived three mass extinctions and appeared on Earth 300 million years before mankind. Humans consider them one of the most repugnant of all creatures, but only a few of the 4,000 species are considered pests. In this graphic, we show you everything you need to know about these hardiest of insects.

The long timeline of a born survivor

Morphology, a close glance

Characteristics of the American cockroach, which also apply to the German, Oriental and Brown-banded cockroaches

Mobile antennae are the tactoreceptor organs that allow cockroaches to feel and smell everything around them. These are made up of a number of small hair-covered segments called sensilla

Life cycle

Each species of cockroaches has a different ootheca, which contains a number of eggs. This diagram shows the periplaneta americana specimen

Spread out

When you see one, there is a huge likelihood there are many others hidden nearby

Super divers

Some cockroaches can dive and swim under water for almost 30 minutes. They can travel quickly over long distances in sewer pipes

Paper eaters

Some cockroaches can eat non-organic items like paper or toothpaste, but their extraordinary digestive system can absorb nutrients from almost anything

Survival without water and food

Size for common pest

Between 3,500 and 4,000 species of cockroaches have been identified, but only a few are considered a pest. These are the most common:

Jointed exoskeletons

The articulated exoskeleton allows the cockroach to adapt the interior of its soft body to any space and to move very fast

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