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Cockroaches are insects of the Order Blattodea.

There are roughly 3,500 species in 6 families.

Cockroaches exist worldwide, with the exception of the polar regions.

Cockroaches are also simply known as "roaches".

Among the most well-known species are the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, which is about 3 cm long, and the German cockroach, Blattella germanica, about one-and-a-half cm long, and the Asian cockroach, Blattella asahinai, also about one-and-a-half cm in length.

Tropical cockroaches are often much bigger, and extinct cockroach relatives such as the Carboniferous Archimylacris and the Permian Apthoroblattina were several times as large as these.

When infesting buildings, cockroaches are considered pests; out of the thousands of species, however, only a handful fall into this designation.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Cockroach", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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