Just found this article in the latest issue of the Economist which is helpful for understanding how cockroaches escape danger. Confirms that my technique of dealing with them was correct: you have to slow them down first with neurotoxins followed by a huge smash with a newspaper stick.
Here is what the the guys at UC Berkeley had found,
Dr Full had been using high-speed photography to study how cockroaches employ their antennae to sense and cross gaps. When the researchers made the gaps wider, they saw the animals flipping back underneath the ledge at the edge of the gap, rather than jumping across the empty space. As they report in the Public Library of Science, cockroaches running towards a gap suddenly grip the edge with the hooklike claws on their rear legs and swing 180° to land firmly underneath the ledge, upside down. They can pull off this stunt in a fifth of a second—so fast that the animals’ bodies are subject to between three and five times the force of gravity, and also so fast that the movement is invisible to the human eye.
This is good but these guys are also gaining the knowledge to build military robots with such capabilities. Why do you think they had bothered to study the roaches in the first place? The smarter ones might not even bother to build mechanical bugs. It could be easier to control the roaches by implanting them with chips. Yikes!