Have you ever killed cockroaches only for them to disappear after you have left them for a moment? Many homeowners are baffled by the disappearing acts of these household pests. So why do ‘dead’ cockroaches disappear? The reason is very simple — the cockroaches are actually not dead.
Why ‘dead’ cockroaches disappear
- Cockroaches are only pretending to be dead. Cockroaches are resilient creatures. Their strong bodies can withstand force multiple times their body weight, not to mention that they can also regenerate limbs over time. They can also hold their breaths for more than 30 minutes because they don’t need oxygen as much as we do. These characteristics make cockroaches very difficult to kill. It doesn’t help that they pretend to be dead when you hit them hard and then escape when you are no longer looking.
- They are very good at escaping and hiding. Seemingly dead cockroaches disappear because cockroaches, in general, have impressive stealth skills. Have you ever noticed how cockroaches quickly scurry away when you suddenly turn on the lights in your room? It’s all thanks to their hind legs that make them move at 50 body lengths per second. In human scales, that is a few hundred miles per hour. Cockroaches can also squeeze through the tiniest of cracks and crevices, making them even harder to catch or spot.
- You are using products that can’t kill cockroaches. If you want to truly kill a cockroach, make sure you use products that are actually meant to kill them. Don’t just randomly buy insecticides and assume that they will work. There are also a lot of DIY solutions out there, but many of them actually just repel cockroaches, not kill them. For example, you see many articles online suggesting bay leaf, cinnamon, and other household items. But they can’t actually kill cockroaches. What they can only do is repel them because they don’t like the smell. These household items will not solve your cockroach problem.
Why disappearing cockroaches should concern you
- There may be more cockroaches in hiding. If supposedly dead cockroaches suddenly disappear, you should be proactive. It may mean that you have an active cockroach infestation at home. This is because cockroaches are social creatures. If you see a few of them, there is a big chance that there are more in hiding. They can be in your bathroom or kitchen, old clutter, or undisturbed spots around your home like attics and basements.
- Cockroaches are health risks. You don’t want cockroaches at home simply because cockroaches are dangerous to your health. They are nocturnal and reclusive animals that will eat practically anything organic. Because of these characteristics, they often end up in unsanitary places like sewers where they harbor dangerous microorganisms that they can pass on to you. Salmonella typhimurium, Entamoeba histolytica, and the poliomyelitis virus are just some of these. Cockroaches also bite, though rarely. Cockroach bites can lead to allergic reactions and infections, so don’t underestimate them.
- It’s sometimes difficult to get rid of cockroach infestations. Cockroaches are resilient creatures. They are also very good at escaping and hiding. And to make things worse, there are so many articles out there on how to get rid of cockroaches and many of them don’t work. When you combine these factors together, they can make cockroach infestations difficult to eliminate. You may need a methodical approach to effectively get rid of cockroaches. But if you don’t like to bother, you may also just hire pest control professionals.
How to truly kill cockroaches
- Use products that are actually meant to kill cockroaches. Cockroach infestations are manageable if you stick to products that actually work. Commercial products such as insecticides are the most reliable, but not always. There are commercial products that still can’t kill cockroaches. Some freezing sprays, for example, can only immobilize cockroaches, making you think they are dead. But once they thaw, they will be able to move as if nothing happened. The great thing about insecticides is that they target the nervous system of cockroaches. You attack them from the inside, unlike freezing sprays that only attack the outside body of cockroaches, which they protect very well with their exoskeletons anyway.
- Crush them. No matter how resilient cockroaches are, they can’t survive blunt force that completely destroys their organs. You can kill cockroaches by stepping on them. But if you don’t want to get too close, you can also use a long and sturdy object like a rolled newspaper. Just make sure that you see the guts of the cockroaches splattered on the floor. This way, you are sure that they are dead and not just pretending.
- Call pest control professionals. There are many advantages to just letting pest control professionals do the dirty work for you. Firstly, they know more about cockroaches than you, so they can efficiently diagnose and get rid of your cockroach problem. Secondly, they have access to powerful insecticides that only licensed professionals can handle. And thirdly, they put you out of the equation. This means that you don’t have to touch cockroaches or deal with them in general, keeping you safe from the potential dangers associated with these dirty and disease-carrying pests.
Cockroaches like to play dead
No, cockroaches don’t resurrect. The supposedly dead cockroaches that have disappeared in your home are not actually dead. And they just escaped when you are already not looking. Cockroaches escape death because of their resilience, stealth skills, and your ineffective use of pest control products. Some products can’t even kill cockroaches, only repel them.
If you want to truly kill cockroaches, use proven products only. Stick to commercial products like insecticides. If you want to go the DIY route, make sure to use products that actually kill and not just repel. Baking soda, boric acid, and diatomaceous earth are good choices. But remember that they can be toxic to humans and household pets, so use them with caution.
If you don’t want a hands-on approach to your cockroach problem, you can call pest control professionals. They will be able to competently make cockroaches disappear from your home for good.