The disappearing act played by dead roaches has baffled many homeowners. They see dead roaches, and after a while, the dead cockroaches vanish from the place.
This guide will unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of dead roaches.
You’ll find out why dead cockroaches disappear, where they go, and if the cockroaches that are dead are dead at all!
2 Reasons Dead Cockroaches Disappear
- Other bugs took the dead roaches away to eat
- Cockroaches were playing dead
These are the two main reasons for the disappearance of dead roaches. Want to know more about these reasons?
If yes, let’s dive in.
Other Bugs Took The Dead Roaches Away To Eat
The disappearance of dead roaches in your home can signify the presence of ants, mice, and other surviving roaches.
All these pests eat roaches.
A dead roach emits oleic acid and pheromones that will alert other bugs like ants and roaches hiding in your home.
These pests will pick up the scent and take the dead roaches to their nests to feed on them.
Ants, especially carpenter ants and fire ants in the house, can even start to feed the roach on the spot.
Roaches are cannibals. They eat their dead and their nymphs (baby cockroaches).
The oleic acid smell that dead roaches emit signals to the other alive roaches that food is nearby.
However, the most underrated reason for the disappearance of dead roaches in the house is the presence of mice or rats in your home.
Both mice and rats eat roaches of all species. They can even hunt and eat cockroaches that are alive.
So, if you’ve been using roach elimination methods in your home, you must remove the dead roaches too.
Dead roaches attract more roaches and many pests like ants. Even geckos can sneak inside the home by picking up the presence of dead roaches.
Cockroaches Are Playing Dead
Yes, cockroaches play dead. Why do they do it? There are many reasons for it.
Some experts believe that cockroaches play dead because it’s their way of self-defense against predators.
Many cockroaches also go into what entomologists believe is a “state of shock” when you spray an insecticide on them or when they’re facing extreme temperatures.
Most roach killer sprays, like Raid, kill roaches. But there are times when the roach spray doesn’t make enough contact with the roach’s exoskeleton.
All roach killer sprays have neurotoxins that mess up their neural systems, causing the roaches to die.
And partial exposure to the spray’s chemicals only temporarily affects the roaches’ neural system.
So, the effect is not lethal.
But partial exposure to the spray causes contractions in the muscles of the roach, which can make it flip over.
A roach turned upside down and in a state of shock can’t get back to its feet even when the effect of spray abates.
The roach’s center of gravity is high on the back.
The cockroach lying on its back will die within 2-3 weeks because of starvation and dehydration.
Bugs like ants and rodents can eat it too.
But some roaches can cling onto something and could get back to their feet and disappear.
Why Do Cockroaches Still Move When They’re Dead?
Now that you know why dead cockroaches disappear, one more thing about roaches baffles many people.
It’s when the cockroach moves when it’s badly maimed, crushed, and even cut into half or beheaded.
The interesting reason is that the roaches’ brains don’t control their limbs. Independent sets of nerves on the limbs function with full autonomy.
So, you might notice that some roaches still move even when dead.
What Does Seeing Dead Roaches Mean?
Seeing dead roaches can mean two things. First, the roach treatment that you used is working.
The insecticide is taking its effect, penetrating the roaches’ hiding places and causing them to come out of hiding to die.
Another reason is its exact opposite.
Seeing dead cockroaches in the house or on your property can also mean a severe infestation.
It’s very true when you haven’t used no roach elimination measures.
Cockroaches completing their lifecycle are dying, and their corpses are visible in random places.
Some dead cockroaches can be leftovers of their predators, like mice or geckos. If you see dead roaches with chewed bodies or broken wings of roaches in your home, then chances are roach predators are hiding in your home.
What To Do If You’re Seeing Dead Roaches Disappearing?
If dead roaches disappear, your house can have a two-pronged problem.
First, the roach infestation is still active in your home. Second, there are pests like mice and ants in your home.
If you did a roach control in your home recently, it’d be best to wait a few days and let the insecticides take effect.
However, if you’ve been using only insecticide sprays like Raid to treat roaches in your home, it’s time to hire a pest controller for at least a home inspection.
In case of a heavy cockroach infestation, you’ll need to hire a professional pest control company to eliminate roaches from your home and property.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.