Conservation Status

No species of cockroaches are officially endangered. The greatest threat to wild cockroaches is the destruction of their habitats, especially tropical species that have a very limited geographic range or live in small, specialized habitats. At least one species, the Russian steppe cockroach (Ectobius duskei), has become extinct because the continual expansion of cultivated wheat completely replaced its habitat.


Despite their reputation as disgusting pests, cockroaches are used as food by humans. Those daring enough to try adult cockroaches have said that they taste like shrimp. The Aborigines of Australia and the Lao Hill tribe of Thailand eat them raw, while children throughout Laos collect the egg capsules for frying. In the United States cockroaches are never on the menu, but they still occasionally wind up on our plates, accidentally served up from kitchens that have fallen behind in their pest control efforts.

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