How long have Cockroaches Been Around? [Older than Humans!]

How long have Cockroaches Been Around

Wondering how long have cockroaches been around?

Well, that’s longer than humans have been on the planet and even predates the rise of the dinosaurs

It’s hard to imagine, but these ancient bugs have outlasted countless species, geologic ages, and even the rise and fall of entire civilizations. 

You would be amazed to know that these creepy crawlers have been around for over 320 million years. 

Wanna know more about them,

Then sit tight and prepare to be amazed as we explore the incredible resilience and longevity of these tiny creatures that have survived everything that nature has thrown at them.

Table of Contents

How long have roaches been around?

Cockroaches are no ordinary insects. They are time travelers, survivors, and masters of adaptability. 

They have been around for so long that even the dinosaurs couldn’t outlast them.

Fossils of these hardy creatures have been found dating back to the Carboniferous period, which was a whopping 320 million years ago!

Since then, cockroaches have made themselves at home in nearly every corner of the world. 

They’ve colonized every type of habitat, from steamy rainforests to icy tundras.

They’ve learned to thrive in the most inhospitable of environments, and they’ve done it all while barely changing their basic body plan. 

Truly, they are one of nature’s most successful and resilient creatures.

But for all their achievements, cockroaches have also earned a reputation as pests. 

Their ability to spread disease and trigger allergies has made them unwelcome guests in many homes and workplaces. 

And yet, despite our efforts to get rid of them, they persist. 

They continue to thrive, adapt, and survive. 

Perhaps there’s something to be learned from these stubborn insects after all.

Now, let’s get into a bit of details 🙂

History of Cockroaches

When it comes to the history of cockroaches,

It’s important to first understand a little bit about the timeline of natural history.

This scale is divided into three eons, each of which is subsequently divided into eras, periods, and epochs.

Eon - Geologic Time Scale

Eons – Geologic Time Scale

During the Hadean eon, the first eon in the geologic time scale, there was no life on Earth.

It wasn’t until the Archean eon that soft-bodied creatures like worms and jellyfish began to appear in the world’s oceans, though the land remained barren.

In the Proterozoic eon, which followed the Archean eon, the first oxygen-dependent animals – known as the Ediacara fauna – formed.

But it’s the Phanerozoic eon that we’re most interested in when it comes to the history of cockroaches.

The Phanerozoic eon is the current geologic eon, and it’s during this time that abundant animal and plant life has existed on Earth. This eon is divided into three eras:

  • Paleozoic
  • Mesozoic
  • Cenozoic

– each of which is further divided into periods and epochs.

As you can see on the timeline below, cockroaches first appeared during the Paleozoic era of the Phanerozoic eon.

Geological time scale

The geological time scale.
Source –

This was long before the Mesozoic era, during which dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and even longer before the Cenozoic era, which is the era during which humans appeared.

So just how long have cockroaches been around?

While it’s difficult to say for certain, estimates suggest that these resilient insects have been around for at least 320 million years – much longer than humans, dinosaurs, or even most mammals.

  • Cockroaches – 320 Million years ago
  • Dinosaurs –  252 – 201 Million years ago
  • Humans – Around 2 Million years ago

Where do cockroaches originate from?

Cockroaches are believed to have originated from tropical regions of Africa, specifically from the region around the equator. 

From there, they spread to other parts of the world, including Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

In fact, some species of cockroaches are now found in almost every part of the world.

One of the reasons why cockroaches have been able to spread so widely is because they are highly adaptable insects.

They can survive in a wide range of environments, from tropical rainforests to arid deserts (except extreme polar regions of the planet).

They are also able to feed on a variety of different foods, including plant matter, decaying organic matter, and even other insects.

Key Takeaways

I am really amazed to know that cockroaches have been around for much longer than humans, with fossil evidence indicating that they have been present on Earth for at least 320 million years.

Cockroaches have had a long and fascinating history on our planet.

Despite their negative reputation as pests, they are truly remarkable insects that have survived for millions of years through their incredible adaptability and resilience.


Where did roaches originally come from?

Cockroaches are believed to have originated from tropical regions of Africa, specifically from the region around the equator. From there, they spread to other parts of the world, including Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

Is the cockroach the oldest living insect?

Although cockroaches are among the oldest living insects, they are not the only ones. For instance, spiders likely evolved approximately 400 million years ago, making them older than cockroaches.

How long have cockroaches been on earth?

Cockroaches have been on the earth for approximately 320 million years, having first emerged during the Carboniferous Period (358.9 million to 298.9 million years ago).

This lengthy existence makes them one of the oldest insect groups globally.

How have cockroaches adapted to survive for so long?

Cockroaches have survived for a long time by being highly resilient and adaptable insects that can thrive in diverse environments. 

They can feed on various sources, such as plant matter, decaying organic matter, and other insects. 

And also they possess a sturdy exoskeleton that enables them to endure severe conditions.

Are cockroaches older than humans?

Yes, cockroaches are much older than humans. 

Cockroaches have been on Earth for over 300 million years, while humans have only been around for about 200,000 years.

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