Cockroaches can last days to months without food and 7 days without water. The way their bodies work allows them to last long without eating. This varies depending on the species.
Cockroach infestations are a global phenomenon due to how good they are at surviving. The US Census Bureau says that 14 million US homes saw roaches in their house during the last 12 months from April 2021. Due to how common they are we should get to know them more.
Their ability to last long without food gives them an edge in terms of survival. We’ll look into how cockroaches can go on long without food and other related questions.
How can cockroaches live for so long without food?
Cockroaches are cold-blooded insects. Like other cold-blooded animals, they adapt their body processes to the temperature. If there’s warm weather they become more active. If there’s cold weather they become sluggish. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all rule, species like the Japanese cockroach are adapted to a cold climate.
Warm-blooded animals use more energy to regulate their core temperature. Cockroaches can conserve body energy since they don’t have to regulate their temperature.
Another reason for their low energy use is the open circulatory system. They don’t have blood vessels, blood just flows freely in their system. Open circulatory systems use less energy at the expense of having blood delivered at a slower rate. The slow rate of transporting blood isn’t a problem since cockroaches are small.
It’s very unlikely for Cockroaches to go for long periods without eating. They are very resourceful which puts them above other pests and can easily find food no matter where they are.
Are all cockroach species able to survive without food that long?
A cockroach infestation is one of the most difficult pest problems to solve. Cockroaches are among the most adaptable creatures on the planet. The most common species can survive from weeks to months without any food intake.
A German Cockroach (the most common type of cockroach in the US) has been observed to survive without eating for 8 days up to a month. The German cockroach is the most difficult species for pest control to deal with despite them surviving the shortest without eating.
The American Cockroach and the Oriental Cockroach (most commonly found in Asia) can survive up to a month without eating. Other cockroaches can survive for long periods as well.
It’s not the same for water. They cannot last more than 7 days without hydration. A water source isn’t much of a problem to cockroaches. They are very resourceful when it comes to finding water.
Frequently asked questions
Can you starve out cockroaches?
Starving a cockroach is a close to impossible task. Cockroaches can survive off almost anything organic. They are resourceful and can find food almost anywhere. To control roaches with this approach is almost impossible.
You shouldn’t put most of your focus on denying roaches food in hopes of getting rid of them. What you should do is clean up the areas where you don’t want them lounging around. You can make food inaccessible by cleaning dirty dishes before sleeping or keeping food sealed or away from roaches.
After cleaning up leftover food or possible food scraps you could deny them access to water. Keep your place as dry as possible, use humidifiers, fix leaks, and wipe out places you can’t cover.
What do cockroaches eat?
Cockroaches are omnivorous and will eat any food source that has protein, starch, and fats. Their preferred food is the same things we eat. When the going gets tough they can eat other organic matter available to them.
They can eat foods that would be considered inedible for most humans and other omnivores. They can eat things like book pages, decaying food, feces, toothpaste, and many more.
Do roaches play dead?
Yes, Cockroaches can technically play dead. When a threatening situation arises cockroaches stop moving. They can even become unresponsive even when you move them around. This usually happens when they experience threatening situations. It includes being accidentally stepped on, being submerged in water, or being exposed to pesticides.
They will flee if the coast is clear and there are no more people around the area. You need to be sure they’re dead. The best ways to kill Cockroaches are to forcefully stomp on them or use good quality pesticides. Despite what others may believe, cockroaches can’t go back from the dead.
Conclusion – How many days do cockroaches survive without food?
Common cockroach species and other cockroaches can survive 8 days to about a month without food. Common cockroach pest species are American, Oriental, and German cockroaches.
They can only survive around 7 days without water similar to other insects. They use less energy since they’re cold-blooded and have open circulatory systems.
It’s impractical to starve out roaches because roaches eat almost anything organic. Their preferred foods are the things we eat, but they can survive off of most organic material.
They can also technically “play dead”. This is due to their tendency to immobilize themselves during a threatening situation.
You should keep these in mind during your cockroach control efforts.