Do you ever notice that killing one cockroach seems to attract more of these pests into your home? Is this just a coincidence or is there something else going on? Does Killing a cockroach attract more? Well, here’s the truth — killing a cockroach does attract more, and this is because a dead cockroach releases a specific kind of pheromone.
Why killing a cockroach attracts more
- Cockroaches release pheromones when they die. Every time cockroaches die, they release pheromones, including one that is called oleic acid. It is often called by researchers as the death pheromone because many insects release it when they die. It’s even worse if you kill a cockroach by squashing them. Their guts will be splattered on the floor, releasing everything inside their bodies including their pheromones. If you want to kill a cockroach, you may want to try a different approach.
- The pheromones attract other cockroaches. Cockroaches use pheromones to communicate. They release pheromones not just when they die, but also when they find food. This will signal to other cockroaches that the area has food they can consume. This is why killing a cockroach attracts more to the area. The dead cockroach releases a pheromone that signals to other cockroaches the availability of food. It doesn’t help that cockroaches are cannibals too. The dead cockroach can technically count as food for them.
- Cockroaches are social insects. These pests like to live in groups. Sure, their societies have no hierarchies like those of ants and termites. They also tend to be independent. But they still like to live in family groups. This is why when they sense pheromones, they don’t shy away and go to the area where they have detected them.
How to kill a cockroach properly
- Be careful if you squash a cockroach. Yes, you can kill a cockroach by stepping on it or hitting it with a hard object. Cockroaches like to play dead, so seeing their guts splattered on the floor is an assurance that they are indeed dead and not just playing. But the problem here is that you are making it even more effective for a cockroach to spread pheromones on the area where they have died. If you still want to pursue this method of killing a cockroach, make sure to clean the area immediately to wipe off the pheromones and prevent them from attracting other cockroaches.
- Use commercial products like insecticides and baits. There are other ways to kill a cockroach without splattering its insides. Insecticides and baits are great choices. Insecticides work by attacking the cockroach’s nervous system and eventually killing it. Baits work by being toxic to a cockroach. And since cockroaches are cannibals, this toxicity can be passed from one cockroach to another. Thankfully, there are a lot of commercial insecticides and baits available even to non-professional pest controllers. Just remember to read their instructions for their proper and safe use. They have ingredients that can be dangerous to you and your family after all.
- Try home remedies. There are also ingredients in your kitchen that can kill a cockroach without having the need to squash it. They work the same way as commercial insecticides and baits. Baking soda, boric acid, and diatomaceous earth are effective home remedies. But be careful with cockroach home remedy articles you read online. Some of them contain ingredients that don’t kill cockroaches and just repel them. They can be very ineffective in getting rid of infestations. Such ingredients include bay leaf, cinnamon, and essential oil.
How to get rid of a dead cockroach
- Wrap them. Killing a cockroach does attract more cockroaches in the area because of the pheromones they release. Prevent the pheromones from attracting others by containing the cockroach’s carcass. Put it in some kind of container, like a plastic bag. While doing so, don’t touch the cockroach itself. It may contain dangerous microorganisms that can give you diseases, such as Salmonella Typhimurium and Entamoeba Histolytica. Use a brush, a pair of gloves, or a small broom.
- Throw them in garbage cans far away from your home. Don’t just throw the plastic bag with the cockroach’s carcass in a garbage can inside your home. Don’t even throw it in a garbage can outside, like the ones in your garden or yard. It may still be able to attract other cockroaches in your vicinity. If cockroaches thrive outside your home, these pests can still easily get inside through the smallest cracks in your walls and the tiniest gaps on the edges of your doors and windows. Throw the plastic bag in a garbage can far away. Even better if you can give it directly to garbage collectors immediately if they happen to be passing by.
- Clean the area where they have died. If you kill a cockroach, especially in a closed space like a cabinet, the entire area may stink because of the pheromones it emits. Clean the entire area, not just the very surface where the cockroach has died. Use a disinfectant or soapy water to wipe off any cockroach residue and smell that may linger otherwise. You can also try using smells that cockroaches hate, such as eucalyptus or lavender. You can use essential oils of these ingredients when you clean the area.
Killing a cockroach attracts more because of oleic acid
Yes, killing a cockroach does attract more of these creepy crawlers because they release pheromones like oleic acid when they die. These pheromones signal food in the area, so other cockroaches are attracted. It doesn’t help that cockroaches are cannibals, so there is indeed “food” for other cockroaches in there.
You can kill a cockroach by squashing it, but this may end up releasing more pheromones in the area. Consider using other methods like buying insecticides and baits or trying home remedies. When you have successfully killed the cockroach bothering your home, put it in a container and throw it in a faraway place where it can’t attract cockroaches to your home. And then clean the area where they have died.