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Do cockroaches fly?

You may have clicked on this blog hoping or even praying that the answer to this question would be a clear no. Cockroaches are detestable creatures to most, ranking high on every “top most hated insects” list. So naturally, a cockroach being airborne sounds like the makings of a real-life horror movie. But unfortunately, the truth is yes, cockroaches can fly. The real question is, do they? Read on to find out the answer.

To answer this question, it’s first important to be aware of the fact that there are about 3000 different species of cockroaches but there are only a few that can fly. Hopefully, that news calms your heart rate down. 

Do all cockroaches have wings?

Among the thousands of cockroach species, many share common anatomy characteristics, one of them being two pairs of wings. However, not all species have wings. One example is the Madagascar hissing cockroach that is completely immobile. Other species, such as the female Oriental cockroach, have only undeveloped wing pads. Most cockroaches in the nymph stage across all species do not develop wings until later in the life cycle.

How do cockroaches fly?

Cockroaches only use one of their two sets of wings. The front set of wings covers the back set and provides a thick protective casing to their body. The back pair of wings are the ones used for flying and are delicate and clear. When the cockroaches are ready to fly, they lift their front wings to expose the back set. While in flight, they keep their front wings lifted and travel in the air using the back pair.

Why do cockroaches fly?

Flying cockroaches are not more harmful or dangerous than any other cockroach. It just means they are able to fly away quickly from a predator if they feel threatened. Additionally, if they find themselves on top of a high surface, cockroaches will use their wings as gliders to get down to ground level.

In general, most species of cockroaches prefer to get around by crawling on the ground. In fact, they are some of the fastest creatures around. The American cockroach is able to cover 3.4 miles per hour or about fifty body lengths per second. Taking size into consideration, that’s 3 times faster than a cheetah! Cockroaches are also fairly large creatures and their wings tend to be much smaller than their bodies, making their wings less than helpful. 

cockroach on log

Where do flying cockroaches come from?

As previously stated, not all cockroaches that have wings can fly. There are actually only a handful of species that are known for their flying abilities —the American cockroach, Cuban cockroach, Asian cockroach, Australian cockroach, Pennsylvania Wood cockroach, and Megaloblatta. As you can see from the names, very few come from North America. 

How to get rid of flying cockroaches 

Cockroaches are the oldest surviving insect form on the planet, which must mean that they aren’t that easy to get rid of. Cockroaches have been on this planet long before humans even were in existence and are not going anywhere anytime soon. They also are equally as difficult to remove from inside a house or apartment. The best way to get rid of flying cockroaches is to put these preventative measures into practice, making your space unappealing to them. 

cleaning supplies - get rid of flying cockroachesĀ 
  • Keep all areas clean: Wipe down countertops and mop floors frequently, sweeping up fallen crumbs and mopping up any liquid spills immediately. Cockroaches love dirty environments, so going the extra mile when cleaning will greatly help the cause. 
  • Remove all food sources: What is a cockroach’s diet you ask? Any and everything that is left out for them to eat. This is why it’s vitally important not to leave any food or liquids out on top of kitchen or dining room surfaces. Tightly seal up any leftovers and be sure to regularly wipe down and empty out trash cans. If you have pets, consider putting away their food overnight. 
  • Maintenance: Cockroaches love damp spaces so make sure to repair any pipe or drain leaks. Seal any holes or cracks in walls that may provide roaches access to your home. 
  • Organize: Cockroaches are excellent at getting into tiny cracks and crevices in your home. You can prevent this by removing clutter and storing items in plastic containers. Avoid leaving out large stacks of books and magazines. 

At the end of the day, the most successful way to get rid of flying cockroaches, or any cockroach, is by reaching out to a pest control expert. Using the cockroach services and solutions from a professional will make certain any possible cockroach problem is thoroughly taken care of. Call us today at 888-444-6138.

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