Cockroaches carry an old stigma of "bad housekeeping." It may come as a bit of a surprise that roaches have been on this planet now for more than 300 million years! Humans only arrived a mere million years ago and settlements based on agriculture began springing up about 12,000 years ago.
Roaches have always been the very best recyclers in the world. They eat almost anything, anywhere and in any state of decay. Cockroaches can survive under the most appalling conditions. They adapt, survive, and are great at improvising. It makes sense that the worldâ€™s very best recyclers have chosen the messiest mammal in the world as a housemate, i.e., humans.
The irony is that of the 4,000 or so different species of cockroach in the world, only about 10 species can be considered as pests associated with human living quarters. All the other members of Blattodea (the order of cockroaches) live under tree bark or in damp leaf litter where they do the best job on earth of recycling dead organic matter.