Cockroaches are among the sturdiest known insects living on the face of the earth. They have successfully inhabited every environment, from hot-humid and tropical to continental climates. They have been continuously evolving and have been around for millions of years.
Both sea and land trade has helped cockroaches spread throughout the world. Hence cockroaches have successfully multiplied their numbers into billions, leaving their footprint on almost every continent.
There are almost 3500 to 4000 species of cockroaches found throughout the world. Although most cockroach species live in the wild, 35 types infest indoor spaces — the US alone houses almost 35 to 40 species.
The exact number of cockroaches worldwide is unknown, but according to a 1986 survey, an average low-income apartment in the Southeastern United States was infested with about 26,000 roaches.
Number of cockroaches World Wide
The widespread public awareness and use of advanced pesticides have reduced the number of cockroaches infestations. However, recently entomologists estimated that approximately 1 to 2.8 trillion cockroaches are found worldwide at a single time.
Cockroaches do serve very important purposes and are excellent decomposers of organic matter. Without cockroaches, the world would be a different place.
However, on the other side, cockroaches that infest homes can also cause disease spread, allergic reactions, and property damage.
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Number of species of roaches in the world
The first cockroaches evolved from silver fish-like creatures and appeared on the earth some 310 to 360 million years ago. From there, roaches slowly evolved into different types of cockroach species.
Some of the species of roaches preferred living in the world’s wild tropical and subtropical regions, while others slowly moved around human inhabitations.
As of 2022, there are somewhere between 3500 to 4000 species of roaches in the world. North America and Mexico alone house between 35 to 40 species of cockroaches. Many of these species do not infest indoor spaces.
Population of cockroaches
The population of cockroaches is not an easy thing to calculate because cockroaches do not only live indoors. Most cockroach species, including some of the biggest ones, live in the wild and never infest homes.
Moreover, the population of cockroaches is highly dynamic and keeps on changing with the seasons, global climate change, availability of food, use of pesticides, and pollution.
Therefore, it’s almost impossible to calculate how many cockroaches are worldwide. Moreover, no recent surveys have been carried out to calculate the population of roaches inside a single household.
However, a study conducted in 1986 concluded that a low-income house has almost 26,000 cockroaches at a time.
The estimate is based on the number of German cockroaches, Blattella germanica, found in motel-style traps placed in 1,022 low-income apartments over a 24-hour period. Researchers caught an average of 33 cockroaches a night in each of the 6,146 traps they placed. More than a quarter-million cockroaches were trapped in the sampling, the largest survey of cockroach infestation ever performed by the department.INSECT CENSUS FINDS APARTMENTS INFESTED
Recently entomologists have drawn a consensus and concluded that the population of cockroaches in the world is somewhere between 1 to 2.8 trillion. However, these are very rough calculations, and no one knows the exact figures.
What country has no roaches?
Cockroaches are remarkably sturdy creatures and have adapted to live on almost every continent except one. As a result, the cockroaches have spread worldwide via trade through sea and land.
Therefore, almost every country on the face of the earth has cockroaches except Antarctica! Antarctica has a very hostile environment, and cockroaches can’t survive extreme temperatures.
However, it is essential to know that some of the crew workers at various scientific research facilities have accidentally brought cockroaches, such as the German Cockroaches, though they have failed to survive outside the controlled environment of the research facility.
What happens if cockroaches go extinct?
Everybody hates the sight of cockroaches. They appear filthy, slimy, and greasy bad smelling creatures that visit sewerage and infest our homes, including kitchens. Moreover, they transfer diseases such as typhoid and cholera and trigger allergies.
Cockroaches also infest our electronic appliances, including fridges, dishwashers, microwave ovens, and gaming consoles like PlayStations.
However, you will be amazed to know that cockroaches serve a purpose and help nature by decomposing waste, pollinating rare flowers, and acting as a food source for many organisms, including birds, reptiles, and even humans.
Therefore, if cockroaches go extinct, it would significantly impact waste decomposition, the Nitrogen cycle, forest health, the food cycle of birds, and indirectly all the species living on the planet earth.
In short, cockroaches and other living creatures, including humans, depend on each other for survival. The problem arises once they start to invade the space of other creatures.