For years, people have talked about how cockroaches could survive a nuclear attack.
Some of it was pure speculation, based on the fact that roaches can live for up to a month without a head. Cockroaches are survivors.
They’re also very prolific – each momma roach lays eggs in groups of 10 to 50 and can lay up to 300 total eggs in a year.
Additionally, cockroaches are very adaptable – they easily adjust their feeding patterns and lifestyle to their surroundings and they’ve been doing it for millions of years. Cockroaches have been around since the dinosaurs.
But it’s not just speculation and rumor - cockroaches also have a higher tolerance for radiation than humans or other animals. In fact, cockroaches were supposedly spotted alive and well within 1000 feet of the Hiroshima nuclear explosion.
Cockroaches are not alone in this – most insects can handle more radiation than we can, in part because they wear their skeletons on the outside.
But Are They Truly Indestructible?
Remember Mythbusters? Back in 2008, the team of debunkers took on the roach question.
True to their usual approach, they organized an experiment, testing not only cockroaches but also fruit flies and flour beetles. Over the course of their research they did discover that Brown German Cockroaches, the most common in our homes, were about 10 times more resistant to radiation.
They also found that flour beetles were even better at surviving exposure to radiation than the roaches.
The team decided though that cockroaches would not survive a nuclear detonation. Just like us, if they were close enough, they’d be burnt to a crisp.
The cockroaches that were far enough away from the blast could live on and likely would survive some of the nuclear winter scientists say would follow a global nuclear attack.
But it’s likely those would not be the same cockroaches. Not that they’d mutate like in the movies Mimic or Terra Formars. The cockroaches MythBusters tested were all house roaches who were used to co-existing with us. As soon as our food supply ran out, they’d have to adapt again.
They Are Not Alone
More recently, scientists have pointed out that the MythBusters only tested one species of cockroach, when entomologists have cataloged more than 4000 species on earth.
So, it’s entirely possible other roaches may survive and thrive if we ever completely blow ourselves off the face of the earth. On the other hand, wouldn’t it be better now to do what we can to steward our planet? To protect the land and the people while eliminating some of the worst insects? After all, although roaches spread sickness and disease, often people think the answer is harsh chemical treatments that can be almost as dangerous as the bugs.
That’s why we’ve spent more than 30 years helping families across the Gulf Coast of Florida with green pest solutions.
Our Go Green Perimeter Plus treatment keeps the creepy crawlies – including roaches, silverfish, and ants – out of people’s homes, while keeping your family and four-legged friends protected. And at an affordable price. It’s more effective and safer than the usual pest control approaches. For more details on this or any of our other solutions, please, just give us a call!
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