They hide away, unseen, lurking in dark corners and crevices.
When they emerge, they aimlessly scurry and swarm, often around our houses, kitchens and supposedly dirty hotels and restaurants.
We end up despising them for their natural behaviour, seeing them as nothing more than pests to be avoided, exterminated even.
But cockroaches have in many ways been given a raw deal.
Scientists are discovering that these supposedly crude, and creepy automatons are much more sophisticated than we thought.