Cockroaches are known to do some pretty extraordinary things: They can find food from miles away, they can scurry into the tightest of spaces, and they can be mighty darn hard to exterminate without the right tools. However, cockroaches are infamously known to be able to survive a nuclear explosion, making them one of nature’s most resilient critters. This week, we’re going to take this myth head on, and see just how strong this little guy is.
People started to believe that cockroaches could survive a nuclear war after the United States dropped the atomic bombs on Japan. After the blasts, people reported that cockroaches were the only survivors in the city. This sparked theory after theory that cockroaches would rule the planet if in the event of a nuclear war, but to really test this hypothesis, the Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters set out to find the truth.
They took a few groups of German cockroaches, and exposed them to different levels of radiation. At the basic level of 1,000 rads (enough to kill a person in 10 minutes), all of the critters made it through. At 10,000 rads (what the original nuclear explosions were) only about 10% of them made it. At the highest level of 100,000, none of the cockroaches survived. While they are more resilient to radiation than humans are (due to their longer cell cycle), a powerful enough blast would not fare well with the cockroach population.
Believe it or not, the cockroach isn’t the only organism that can survive extreme radiation. Other pests, such as certain types of wasps and wood-boring bugs can withstand radiation even better than the cockroach can.
Sure, a colony of cockroaches may be able to survive a nuclear blast, but they are no match for our dedicated technicians at Tri-County Pest Control. We use cutting edge techniques in combination with time-tested methods to make sure that your infestation does not come crawling back once we’re done. So, while an atomic bomb may not do any good to get rid of the cockroaches in your home, a quick call to us will more than surely do the trick.