There are over 4000 different kinds of cockroaches (Blattodea). You can find a wide variety in tropic and subtropic regions, but they can be found in all continents except antarctica. In Germany the most commonly known Blattodea is the "gemeine Küchenschabe" (Kakerlake). They do not live in colonies like their close ancestor the Termite, but could be considered Pre-social. Most species are omnivores.
Sensing "A cockroach can detect the environment through various kinds of sensory organs. It has mechanoreceptors such as hair and Johnston's organs to touch and hear, chemoreceptors in its mouthparts to smell and taste, compound eyes to see, and some others to sense temperature and humidity, but a mature cockroach doesn't have ocelli, which can be widely found in other insects."
Communication We could possibly comunicate with heat, smell or physical interaction. The easiest way to "control" a cockroach is to touch it's antenna. It will think it touched a wall and move to another direction. If you could parts of the antenna and introduce a wire, you can impose the same behaviour with small electric current. (see: Roboroach )
Space Cockroaches do not need much space, but prefer dark places.
Associations Most people do not like cockroaches because of their "dirtyness". They were thought to transfer sicknesses.
Ethics Because of their bad reputation killing them is mostly tolerated. Some cultures eat them.
Logistics Cockroaches should be easy to buy as they are used to feed them to other animals.