Do Cockroaches Fly?

People dread running into cockroaches in their homes. This is why they’re often looking for ways to prevent that from happening. But flying cockroaches? For many, that might just sound like their worst nightmare.

Fortunately, it’s pretty rare for most people to see a flying cockroach. Some adult roaches do have wings and can fly. So, if you’ve ever wondered, “Can cockroaches fly?” or “Do cockroaches have wings?” the answer is yes.

We should clarify that it’s a little more complicated than a simple yes or no answer, though. Read on and we’ll explain it in more detail!

The Wings

People don’t often see roaches flying, but roaches with wings are common. In fact, the roach you see scurrying away is most likely an adult cockroach with wings. But since their wings are brown, like the rest of the body, and they lie flat over the body, it’s not always obvious that roaches have wings.

After all, most of the time, you’re too busy trying to kill the roach to examine it up close. This is why you’re more likely to notice the flattened brown body and the long antennae than its wings.

So, if they all have wings, do all cockroaches fly?

No, because their capability to fly depends on the stage of development they’re in as well as the species of cockroach you’re dealing with.

Young cockroaches, known as nymphs, don’t have wings and so they can’t fly.

Some species of adults do have wings, which means that yes, they can also fly. Luckily, even the roaches that can fly don’t do so very often.

This will hopefully give you a bit of peace of mind when it comes to cockroaches and their flying skills.

The American Cockroach

The American roach is one of the most noticeable cockroaches species because they are quite large. Adults can grow to almost 2 in. (5 cm) in length and have well-developed wings. Male roaches have longer wings than their female counterparts.

The cockroaches of this species don’t fly much even though they can. They’re more likely to scurry across the room on foot and hide as soon as they’re disturbed.

In fact, seeing a flying American cockroach is quite uncommon. In warmer parts of the world, they’re sometimes seen flying into houses at night. Why? Because they’re looking for cooler places to live and simply want to get there faster.

The heat causes them to burn up too much of their energy. This is why the roaches fly into people’s homes: to find those cooler spots to hunker down in.

When it comes to the American cockroach, you’ll see one or two individuals scurrying across the room more than you’ll see a large group of them flying around. If you see these roaches out and about, no matter if they’re running or flying, there are probably many more hiding in places that you can’t see.

This is one of the main reasons why you should act as soon as you notice the first roach.

And just because the name of this species is the American roach, don’t think that you won’t find them outside of America.

The reality is that these roaches exist in many countries around the world, including Asia and Africa. A single roach can lay about 50 egg cases a year, each of which holds up to 16 eggs. So, you can imagine why it’s so imperative that you start combating these pests sooner rather than later.

The German Cockroach

The German roach is quite a lot smaller than the American cockroach. They usually reach only about 0.6 in. (16 mm) in length. But despite their small size, they can quickly become your worst nightmare.

This is not only because of how quickly they breed but because adult German roaches also have wings.

Have you ever wondered if German cockroaches fly?

The answer is yes, but rarely. German roaches have black stripes near the head and brown wings that lie flat on the body. Even though they can fly, they do so very rarely since they prefer running.

These roaches prefer moist and warm areas. They’re particularly common in very dirty spots where you’ll often find them in very large numbers. So, if you’re aware of areas like this near your home or have seen German cockroaches around, you should start thinking about how to get rid of them immediately.

If it hasn’t already begun, a roach infestation might just be brewing.

How To Get Rid of Flying Cockroaches

The key to removing flying cockroaches is to eliminate all cockroaches from your home.

It doesn’t matter if they’re adult roaches, nymphs, or unhatched eggs. If you fail to remove all stages of cockroaches, the nymphs will develop into adult roaches while the eggs will also eventually hatch and mature.

There are many products you can buy that work really well on roaches. It’s best to know the species of roach you’re dealing with first since some chemicals only work on certain species of cockroaches.

For example, bait stations with chlorpyrifos or fipronil work well for both American and German roaches. But fipronil will be more efficient at killing German cockroaches than American ones.

Besides bait stations, you can also buy a spray can of cockroach insecticide and spray it directly on the roaches you see around your home. This will kill them on contact, making it so that you have one less cockroach to deal with.

Remember that roaches are attracted to damp areas and bits of food lying around. So, it’s important for you to not leave food out and to fix all leaks so they’re not creating damp, roach-attracting spots in your home.

You should also place bait traps in naturally damp places, like your bathroom and under the kitchen cabinets. This will help you further avoid a cockroach infestation. Even better, they can help prevent roaches from coming into your home in the first place.


Vivianna Roldan

I recently was awakened by a a german roach crawling on my pillow and then scurrying across my headboard at night. Thankfully I killed it but as I went to dispose of it I ran into an american roach! Obviously I’m now traumatized. We plan to do pest control soon but in the meantime, I’m having trouble sleeping bc of my newfound paranoia. I’ve always been afraid of roaches and now that I’ve seen one in my room I can’t sleep. Anyway my question is, I’ve read that it’s useful to wrap silicon tape around my beds legs so the roaches can’t climb up—is this effective for both german and american roaches? Also, I’ve read that roaches like to eat silicon—is that true, and if so, wouldn’t silicon tape be a bad idea?? Is teflon tape better?? If so do I have to get the tape or is teflon spray just as effective? I’ve also read that bay leaves and coffee grounds repel roaches. Is that effective for all breeds? Sorry for so many questions but I’m just really freaked out.


    To be completely honest, you should skip the idea about simply trying to avoid them crawling into your bed or repelling them from certain spots. If you’re seeing the roaches, it’s often a sign of an infestation going on. Usually the roaches will live their lives, staying out of sight. Now, while seeing one roach might happen, having seen two, especially in such a short period of time, is likely that you’re dealing with a rather serious situation that you should be taking proper care of. That means that contacting the specialists should be done sooner, rather than later. While you’re at it, you can also find some DIY ideas in our article about getting rid of roaches to manage the situation until the professionals arrive.

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