10 reasons why it’s hard to kill cockroaches

dangerous cockroaches

We have all encountered that roach problem at least once in our lives. Hell, you might even be undergoing this exact issue right now in your home.

And it seems that no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to eliminate these very annoying insects from your living space. You have every reason to want to do away with these disgusting creatures, some of which range from their ability to spread harmful bacteria and allergies to inducing asthma attacks.

Exterminators, natural methods and store roach killers just don’t seem to cut it. If this is you, then we know how frustrated you must be. No one wants to be relaxing at their home and suddenly a roach scuttles by. It’s worse if you have guests over because, in that one instance, all your housekeeping skills come under review.

We know how tough it is to get rid of roaches in your home. And this is what precisely inspired this post. Today, we are going to delve deeper into reasons why it’s hard to kill cockroaches. This might help you understand why it’s been quite a task eliminating them, and what you can do to make your treatment techniques more effective.

So, below are 10 reasons why it’s hard to kill cockroaches


Strong exoskeleton

I bet you did not know that a roach’s outer covering can withstand weights of up to 300 times more than their own weight, when in small crevices. And that’s not all when in other areas, let’s say along floorboards, these insects can withstand a whole 900 times their body weight.

This is what allows them to scuttle off so fast when they sense danger. You might also have noticed that sometimes you will squash them but still not manage to kill them. Their exoskeleton seems to be made of steel.

Additionally, the exoskeleton is also super flexible, which allows them to get in and out of very small spaces unscathed.



This may sound like an overly complex scientific term but it’s really not. Scientists use this to refer to organisms that don’t rely on the males to reproduce; female cockroaches being the organisms in this case.

Unlike most reproduction necessities out there, female roaches will go out and breed up a whole colony without the help of their male counterparts.

And how is this relevant to being able to kill cockroaches? Most treatment techniques are laden with synthetic female hormone chemicals geared towards luring the male species out of their nests to meet their untimely deaths. When the colony is made up of just females, then this complicates the process because they remain immune to the killers and therefore do not die.

The American cockroach for instance, has been known to go for years without needing the male species for reproduction. If you have such roach species in your home, just a simple sugar and baking soda solution will do the trick.


They possess nocturnal characteristics

You might have had cockroaches in your home for a long time without even knowing it. And it’s dangerous because it puts your family at risk of diseases and allergies and you end up making too many unplanned trips to the doctor.

Roaches are nocturnal in nature, which only means they come out to play at night. If your home is not well lit, then chances are you won’t notice them going about the house hence you will not have a plan to eliminate them.

They are also quite good at dodging items in the living space like shoes and unless they reproduce to very large numbers, you will live in the same home and not even have the slightest clue.

Keep in mind that even with being nocturnal, they are not afraid of the light. They will run away at any sense of light because they are afraid of predators.


Fast reproduction

Even if you manage to kill a couple of roaches, their quick reproduction still guarantees that there will be hundreds of survivors left to keep invading your home.

This is especially for the German cockroaches that have the females producing one egg capsule at a time, which has about 48 eggs. The eggs take an average of about 50 to 60 days to mature into adults and start reproducing on their own.

The process goes on and on and within no time, you have roach nests all over your home, which is quite an unpleasant situation.


Open circulatory system

Cockroaches are weird creatures and their body does not function like most of other organisms out there. They breathe through very little holes located in each of their body segments which means squashing one segment still leaves other ways they can breathe through, and it keeps them alive.

Moreover, they are not so dependent on their mouth and head, even for breathing. Did you know that these creatures can live for up to a week without its head? Imagine managing to cut off the head only to see it still scurrying about like nothing happened.

Truth is, the only reason they die after the seven days are up is that they get dehydrated and without the mouth, they can’t get water into their bodies.


Survival for long periods of time

You might keep your house very clean and free of roach baits like uncovered food or sugar but this rarely kills them. Cockroaches will go for up to 18 days without food and just wait until you leave something out that they can feed on.

This makes elimination very tasking because if your plan was to starve them to death, then you have another thing coming.

The good news is, they can survive for only a week without water and severe dehydration will definitely kill them in most cases.


Immunity to roach killers

Some cockroach species especially the German roach have a high tolerance against some pesticides you might use to eliminate them, one being the sugar baits.  They will come into contact with the chemicals but since they have built up a resistance, they won’t die.

However, these baits can be effective in killing some other species and it helps if you know which specific type of cockroach you are dealing with first before you think about a treatment plan. It will save you a lot of headaches and money in the end.


Lack of natural predators

Unlike some other pests that can be killed naturally by other predators, cockroaches have none that can help eliminate them for you. It’s this fact that will have them surviving and reproducing in your home without worrying about encountering a predator.

Unless you start trying to get rid of them using chemicals, then they will keep being a nuisance. These are not the kind of pests you just let nature handle them for you. Eventually, you will have to take matters into your own hands and look for alternative ways to kill them.

The worst part is, even if there were predators that could kill roaches, it’s highly unlikely that you would keep additional pests in your home just for this purpose.


They are fast

Cockroaches are known to have a very fast relay system. When they sense light or motion coming their way, they have the ability to dart off at speeds of about 50 body lengths per second, which is simply about a couple of hundred miles per hour.

There is no way you can beat this speed and catch them as they are trying to scuttle away. And that’s not all. Even a one day cockroach can run as fast as its mother, leaving you with very few chances to catch it and squash it to death.



Can survive radiation

This is a scientific theory that scientists are still trying to develop. Cockroaches, unlike other organisms, have cells which seem to divide about once every other week during their molting cycle.

This makes them susceptible to radiation, only once, for just about 48 hours, which translates to about ¼ of a week. Since their cells are not constantly dividing like other organisms, roaches can be the only survivors of a nuclear bomb.

Doesn’t this make them sound even more dangerous?

cockroach funny

Concluding thoughts

We have come to the end of our article today and we hope that you have gained some new knowledge on why roaches don’t die easily.  Reason being, we all try to deal with cockroaches using various methods but rarely sit back and try to understand just why they don’t succumb easily.

You have seen the factors, mostly which are centered on their bodies; strong exoskeleton, open circulatory system, and resistance to pesticides. Ultimately, we all want them gone from our apartments, cars and working areas at all costs.

It helps to understand which specific species has invaded your living space so that you can know how best to eliminate it, being that different methods work for different kinds of roaches.

Did you learn something new today or feel that we left some relevant information out? Feel free to comment and let us know your views. To top it off, share our post with your family and friends to help them gain a little more knowledge on these creepy creatures.