Cockroaches have earned their reputation through their incredible ability to adapt and feed. These insects belong to the order Blattodea. They are fascinating creatures that have developed since ancient times.
Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, making them difficult to get rid of. Cockroaches are rampant in South Africa because of humid conditions and our warm climate. If we do not keep them in check, they could overrun our kitchens and living spaces.
Our homes also often provide easy access to food sources and water. Cracks in walls and gaps under doors allow them in, and the ideal climate makes them feel at home in your space. IF you’re worried about roaches in your home or office, it’s time to call in expert pest controllers.
How Many Types of Cockroaches are There in the World?
There are over 4,600 different species of cockroaches, but some of these are beneficial to the environment. Of the 4,600 species that exist, only 30 are household pests.
In South Africa, there are 3 main types of roaches. The most common species range in size between 15mm to 30mm. Some rare species are huge and could be as big as 97cms long. We find these in South America.
What Are the Most Common Cockroach Species in South Africa?
- The German cockroach (German cockroach allergens are especially harmful to asthma sufferers).
- Oriental cockroach.
- The American cockroach.
What Colour Are Cockroaches in South Africa?
The colour of a cockroach can range from very light brown to a dark, reddish brown. Some are grey and white. Most cockroaches have distinctive markings.
The Life Stages of a Cockroach
- All cockroaches species have 3 life stages. These include the egg, nymph, and adult. Roaches moult several times during the nymph stage. They do this until their organs and their wings are fully developed.
- Cockroaches produce eggs sacs (ootheca). A cockroach with ootheca produces many eggs. The ootheca is a protective sac with a protective case. They lay eggs inside this case. Cockroaches produce 10 nymphs per case (nymphs are newly laid eggs).
- The female lays up to 20 cases in a lifetime. For cockroaches to have a successful gestation, they need a temperate environment. Female cockroaches store sperm for long periods after mating.
- They reproduce more than once from stored sperm. The average time it takes for an egg to hatch is between 38 to 103 days. This is all-dependent on the species.
10 Interesting Facts About Common Cockroach Species in South Africa
1. Cockroaches can live without their heads.
The reason for this is they breathe through the holes in their body segments. They would die from dehydration as they need their mouth to drink water, but only after almost a week.
2. Cockroaches can hold their breath for long periods.
Cockroaches can hold their breath up to 40 minutes! You cannot drown a cockroach. Submerging roaches for long periods won’t kill them. They hold their breath to replenish any water losses.
3. Cockroaches are fast runners.
Cockroaches are fast runners. They can run up to 4.8km an hour! The faster they run, the quicker they spread germs and bacteria throughout your surroundings.
4. Baby roaches can run as quickly as mom and pop.
Immature cockroaches the size of a grain of sugar can run almost as quickly as adult cockroaches. Cockroaches are quick, and their young are inconspicuous. This combination is dangerous as they spread diseases.
5. Cockroaches grow up really fast. In fact, babies become adults in 36 days.
These prolific breeders are carriers of disease and spread germs. They mature in just 36 days and breed fast, becoming infestations in a mere few months.
6. The German cockroach likes beer.
Certain pests enjoy alcohol, particularly beer. The sugar and hops in beer seem to attract the German cockroach.
7. We can trace roaches back for millions of years.
We can trace back cockroaches for 280 million years. They date back to the Carboniferous era. The Carboniferous era dates back to 359 to 299 million years ago.
8. The biggest cockroach in the world is 15.24cms long.
The longest cockroach is a frightening 15.24cm long. Thankfully, we only find this insect in South America. The wingspan of this enormous insect is 30.48cm.
9. There are 4,600 species of cockroaches worldwide.
Not all cockroaches are pests. Some are good for the environment. Most cockroach species in the world do not infest human living spaces.
10. Cockroaches are survivors and can live without food for 30 days.
Cockroaches are cold-blooded creatures. They are therefore can go without food for long periods. They need water to live and can only live for a week without water.
For this reason, we often find them in areas of high humidity. Places of high humidity are basements and bathrooms. Cockroaches are adaptable. These are some reasons cockroaches are so rampant in South Africa.
Getting rid of cockroach infestations is often extremely difficult. Call in the experts the minute you suspect you have an infestation.
If I See One Cockroach, Why Is It a Problem?
Seeing one cockroach is a problem. Because soon you will have many. The cockroach reproductive system is prolific. 1 cockroach will soon become 40.
Want to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Your Space?
Call Mostert Pest Control now to nip this potential hazard in the bud. Cockroaches are difficult to get rid of using DIY methods. Our teams are experts at cockroach control and can help you get rid of a cockroach infestation fast.
Why Cockroaches Are So Rampant in South Africa
Are you worried about cockroaches infesting your home? Find out why they are so prolific in South Africa and what you can do to get rid of cockroaches here.