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How Long Can Cockroaches Live Without Food?

Cockroaches are cold-blooded insects that are common pests in households across the world. They are known to be extremely hardy and adaptable critters, so you probably won’t be surprised to learn that cockroaches can often live for up to a month without food. Let’s take a closer look at what roaches eat and why they can live so long without food.

Recommended Read: Ultimate Cockroach Guide

What do roaches eat?

Cockroaches are omnivores. Their preferred food depends on the species, but most roaches that are common household pests are known for eating nearly anything. Some prefer sweets or starches. Other species may be attracted to proteins and fats. When push comes to shove, however, most roaches will also eat things like sewage, decaying food or wood, glue from book bindings, hair, and nearly any other organic matter they can find. If you are thinking about trying to starve out acockroach infestation, think again.

How can roaches survive so long without food?

Many species of cockroaches can live for a month without food, but only about a week without water. The key to why roaches can go so long without food is found in the fact that they are cold-blooded. Cold-blooded animals like insects and reptiles, take on the temperature of their surroundings. If it is warm, the chemical reactions within their body will happen quicker and allow them to be very active. In cold weather, they will become slow and sluggish. You will often see lizards and other similar creatures sunbathing in order to increase their body temperature. When food is not available, cold-blooded animals, including roaches, will keep their body temperature as low as possible to preserve energy. This allows them to go for extended periods of time without eating. Humans and many other animals are warm-blooded. This means that we generate our own heat to keep a constant body temperature. This is achieved by converting food into energy. Warm-blooded animals require a lot more food and must eat frequently. So, in times of famine, cockroaches may have the upper-hand.

What is the best way to control roaches?

cockroach Photo Credit Jared Belson

Now you know that starving roaches does not work, but there are many effective ways to get rid of them. Roach baits are one of the best ways to control roaches. Roach baits come in the form of gels, powders, bait stations, and more. Baits generally take a day or two to kill the roach, giving it enough time to get back to the nest and spread the poison to other roaches. Using Harris roach tablets is one of the best and most effective ways to get rid of roaches. We also make a full line ofroach products that includes traps, aerosols, foggers, and liquids.


Might also want to read: How Long Do Roach Baits Take to Work