Cockroaches are among the oldest living group of insects, as experts believe they first emerged between 350 and 400 million years ago. Since cockroaches are one of the oldest living insect groups, many other insects are closely related to roaches, such as termites. Their long evolutionary history makes cockroaches somewhat difficult to classify, as many experts disagree as to which order of insects cockroaches truly belong to. Some experts insist that cockroaches belong to the Orthoptera order, while others believe that both cockroaches and mantids belong to the Dictyoptera order, but most scientific texts place cockroaches in the Blattodea order. In any case, most experts agree that cockroaches are the most significant of all insect pests in households. Since cockroaches are often encountered inside of homes, many people cannot imagine that there is anything more that they could possibly learn about their eating habits. However, cockroaches have some pretty nasty eating habits that most people would never have expected, despite their existing reputation as disgusting insects.
Cockroaches are voracious eaters, and they are not picky about what they eat. For example, roaches have been found consuming hair, dead skin, sweat, fingernails, glue, grease, paper, soap, paint, other cockroaches, and really just about anything a person could conjure up. While cockroaches obviously eat with their mouthparts, they taste with their feet, and most cockroach species, pest and non-pest, prefer eating fats and flower. German cockroaches are the most significant indoor roach pests in the world since they prefer to dwell solely within indoor areas. The only other cockroach in the US that dwells indoors is the brown-banded cockroach, but this species is not as widely distributed as the German variety. The German cockroaches that may be dwelling within your right now prefer to eat brown sugar, light Karo Syrup, pure sucrose and nearly any food source containing carbohydrates and proteins. What is most surprising is the German cockroach’s taste for stale bread, beer and even high-alcohol beverages, such as Jim Beam.
Have you ever spotted one or more cockroaches within a partially full beer can?