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Can Cockroaches Swim?

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Can Cockroaches Swim?

Some species of cockroach can float in the water for long periods of time. This is the closest they get to what we think of as swimming. 

Cockroaches are able to hold their breath for 40 minutes. Because of this, they are able to “swim” up through the drains in your floor to your toilet or shower drains. It’s not common, but it is possible. Roaches breathe through spiracles on the side of their bodies. In order for them to essentially move through the water, or what we might call “swim,” they just close these spiracles to trap oxygen in their bodies and keep the water out.

How Do Roaches Breathe?

Roaches have 10 different pairs of respiratory openings, called stigmata, on their bodies. Of these 10 different pairs of stigmata, 8 are located on a cockroach’s abdomen. The other 2 pairs of stigmata can be found on the thorax region of a cockroach’s body near the front. Each pair of stigmata lead to “spiracles” which are external openings that deliver oxygen into a roach’s trachea. Small branches called tracheoles branch off from the tracheal tubes to bring oxygen to the roach’s tissue. When a roach needs to retain water or keep water out, it can shut the tube, both trapping much needed moisture inside or keeping air inside while it “holds its breath.”

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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