Benefits of Cockroaches to Humans

by | Last updated Jun 28, 2023 | Roaches

Do You Know Any Benefits of Cockroaches to Humans. It is no secret that roaches are some of the most nauseating household pests. The moment you see one, all you want to do is smack it out of existence.

Research has shown that they are super-spreaders of some of the deadliest bacteria in humans. They trigger asthmas and leave behind a trail of disgusting smell once they infest your space.

But before you raise your flip flop to smash and crush the roach to death, have you thought of how it could be of benefit to you?

Of course, it is a repulsive creature, no doubt and this question seems to be totally out of context. But research seldom misleads. Evidence suggests that roaches have massive benefits to humans and the ecosystem.

Benefits of Cockroaches to Humans

The hideous nature of roaches could make you think nothing great can come from them. Humans are curious, and given the 360 million-year relationship roaches have had with humans, calls for more research. How could a man possibly benefit from these creatures? Maybe this was the question that leads to the discovery of medicinal and economic values that roaches offer.

Medicinal Importance of Cockroaches

Most people who talk of how disgusting roaches fail to speak of the immense benefits they present. According to Chinese researchers, extracts from cockroaches can treat ulcers, skin wounds, and even stomach cancer. They also hinted at ongoing research to use roach extracts in the manufacture of hair loss treatment products. The company responsible for the manufacture of these drugs claims that they supply them to more than 4000 hospitals in China.

Of the one billion Chinese population, about 40 million people use the drugs to treat stomach problems and other ailments. Recently scientists made a somewhat surprising discovery. They found out that roaches’ ground-up brains may be very instrumental in the fight against antibiotic resistant infectious diseases. The research is still underway, but this could be the beginning of a groundbreaking discovery.

Economic Value of Cockroaches

You may see a roach as the cause of deadly bacterial infections, but a man in China sees them as the source of his livelihood. A story is told of this 47-year-old Chinese man who used to sell cell phones. He invested his lifelong savings in a cockroach farm where he sells the products to pig farms and fisheries. Some of the cockroaches are sold to pharmaceutical companies for the manufacture of drugs.

Benefits of Cockroaches in the Ecosystem

It would be correct to say that the ecosystem is interdependent on itself. All insects, including roaches, play a significant role in the sustainability of an ecosystem. They are a source of food for birds and reptiles such as lizards. But their prominence goes beyond just aiding as a link in the food chain.

As they move around looking for food, cockroaches crawl over plants and flowers, and with them, they carry pollen grains which are crucial in the pollination process. They feed on what is left behind by other organisms breaking it down to produce nitrogen for the soil, which is essential for the growth of trees and other plants.

Food waste and filth could be harmful to other living organisms, but roaches prevent this from occurring because they feed on this waste and produce nitrogen for the soil. This phenomenon has led to the study of possible roach antibiotics that could solve resistant human infections such as MRSA.

Related reading: Types of House Cockroaches

Benefits of Eating Cockroaches

If you thought that birds, pigs, lizards, and fish are the only creatures that found cockroaches a delicacy, you might want to think again. Most people would throw up at the thought of eating a cockroach which is understandable. I mean, who would even want to eat a roach? But you will soon need to get over your aversion and consider the nutritional benefits these creatures have to offer.

Of course, you will have to wash and properly cook them to kill the bacteria they always carry around. Cockroaches have very high protein levels, which are essential in general bodybuilding functions. For every 100 grams of roaches served, there are 24 micrograms of vitamin B12, which helps in DNA reconstruction. Lack of enough vitamin B12 in the body could lead to heart-related diseases, anemia, and even hair loss.

Related reading: I Saw One Cockroach, Should I be Worried?

Benefits of Cockroach Milk

Of all the creatures on the planet, who would have thought that milk would be found from roaches? Although produced by a specific cockroach species, it can still beat your consciousness how roaches produce milk. The Diplotera punctate gives birth to live cockroaches and feeds them; they produce protein crystals, which is supposedly the roach milk.

The scientist got into the business as usual, and in no time, they discovered the milk was highly nutritious and was a rich source of protein, carbs, and fats. Some even considered it a complete food, and more than often it was referred to as a superfood. Surprisingly, the milk was found to contain all the nine essential amino acids.

Additionally, research has shown that milk provides nutrients such as vitamins, omega three fatty acids, minerals, linoleic and oleic acids. This non-dairy product could be the solution for lactose intolerant individuals; it is just as effective as ordinary milk. It may contain very high calories, but it shouldn’t deter you from enjoying the nutritional benefits with certain restraints.

Related reading: Why Cockroaches Fly Towards You


Do cockroaches provide any benefit?

In recent years roaches have been found to be very beneficial. Pharmaceutical companies use them to manufacture drugs that are said to cure ulcers, wounds, and even stomach cancer. They are a great source of proteins and vitamin B12 when cooked and eaten. Some species produce milk which scientists refer to as whole food because of the complete nutritional value.

Is Cockroach safe to eat?

Yes, cockroaches are edible. But you will have to wash them properly and have them cooked well so that you don’t feed on the bacteria they always carry around.  You can have them deep-fried, boiled, or roasted. When deep-fried, they present a taste like that of greasy chicken.

What happens if we eat food with cockroaches?

If you unexpectedly fed on a cockroach that was cooked with some other food, it would be best to seek medical attention. But not so fast; if the food you were eating was cooked properly, then it is unlikely the bacteria in the roach survived. However, if the food wasn’t properly cooked, the bacteria could still be alive and lead to you contracting some infections.

Related reading: cockroaches benefits


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Bottom Line

Why do cockroaches exist? If you have been asking yourself this question, then maybe roaches are the insects of the future. But they have been in existence for an eternity, and the recent discoveries of their importance, point to how critical they may be to humans’ survival. Some functions in the ecosystem couldn’t do well if roaches were nonexistent.

For instance, without roaches, forests and plants wouldn’t be as healthy because of less nitrogen produced after roaches break down food materials. The medicine from cockroaches has saved people’s lives, and with the ongoing research to use its brain to fight resistant infections could be the best thing to ever happen to humanity. Now we can have highly nutritious milk from roaches, but as unappreciative as we’ve been as humans, we will always find roaches nauseating creatures.

Related reading: Research

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