The cockroach is one species of insect that has been around for millions of years. This prehistoric insect is also one of the most feared and dreaded invaders of our homes and businesses. Cockroaches have a bad reputation because of their tendency to seek food and shelter in our homes, but poor housekeeping is often the reason for infestations. Take our quiz to learn more about these annoying insects and how best to keep them out of your home.
How many species of insects do entomologists estimate exist on Earth?
Somewhere between eight and 16 million
Somewhere between five and 10 million
Somewhere between four and eight million
What is the biggest problem with cockroaches?
They can spread Salmonella or Shingella to humans.
A cockroach infestation can also cause allergies and can aggravate asthma.
Both of the above are true of cockroaches.
What is the main reason that most people are slow to notice a cockroach infestation in their home?
They are very good at hiding from human eyes.
They hear very well and run to hide if anyone in the home is awake.
They are a nocturnal insect.
What are the two most common and the biggest roaches that infest homes in North America?
American and Oriental
German and American
German and Oriental
How many roach species are there in the world?
What does the majority of roaches in the world feed on?
garbage and food scraps
small bugs and insect eggs
decaying wood and leaves
How many years do experts believe that cockroaches have existed in the world?
320 million years
280 million years
195 million years
About how long can a headless roach live?
more than a week
six to seven days
never more than five days
How do roaches breathe?
Roaches breathe through openings in their antennae.
Roaches breathe through holes in their sides.
Roaches breathe through holes on the surface of their underside and through holes just behind their head.
Smell is important to helping a roach find food. How do roaches smell?
Roaches have nostrils on their foreheads unlike most insects.
Roaches have sensors that smell on their thorax underside, at the end of their antennae and near the tips of their feet.
Roaches use their antennae to feel their way around and to smell as well.
At how many body lengths a second can a roach propel itself across a horizontal surface?
What does a roach often do when it runs?
A roach can rise up on its back legs only with the force of the moving air helping hold it up.
A roach will use its short front legs as brakes to help it weave, turn or stop as it runs.
Both of the above are often true of running roaches.
How is it that roaches can move quite easily over rough terrain?
They are like a tracked vehicle in that the legs on one side lock while the legs on the other side keep moving.
They can lift themselves up with their long back legs and push forward over an obstacle.
The front and back legs on one side move at the same time as the middle leg on the other side.
What function does the hook-like tarsus or ankle/foot help a roach the most with?
The tarsus helps move food from a horizontal surface to a roach’s mouth.
The tarsus helps a roach climb walls and to walk across a ceiling.
The tarsus has sensors that help a roach maneuver after their antennae have already passed over a surface.
What will a wasp often do after it stings a roach into submission or removes its antennae?
The wasp will eat the roach over a period of several days.
The wasp will use a helpless roach to guard its ground opening from predators until her eggs hatch.
The wasp will lay its eggs inside the roach that it incapacitated.
What harmless household pest should you allow to reside in your home in limited numbers because it eats roach nymphs?
common house centipede
tiny pharaoh ants
What does a roach use to help it digest wood fibers?
A roach uses a crop to hold swallowed food until a toothy section of the digestive track can pulverize it.
Sacs called the gastric cacea hold enzymes and microbes that help digest food, especially cellulose or wood.
Both of the above systems are used by the roach before food reaches the midgut for absorption into the body.
How is it that roaches can move out of the way so quickly when you try to swat, squash or catch them?
Roaches compound eyes can see in little light with a sight radius of about 300 degrees.
Roaches have two cerci on their lower abdomen that communicate with a nerve that can detect air movement.
Both of the above are true of roaches.
Where do roach eggs develop with most female roaches?
Most young roaches grow in eggs within a sac attached to the outside of a mother’s abdomen.
Most young roaches grow in eggs within their mother’s abdomen before being delivered as nymphs.
Most young roaches develop in a fluid inside their mother’s abdomen similar to the way most mammals do.
How many new roaches can a German cockroach and her young produce in one year?