Finding dead cockroaches around your home happens when you have a severe infestation. You may even think it’s a good thing. Surely, a dead cockroach is better than a live cockroach, which could mean an infestation is dying off. In truth, only finding dead cockroaches in your home, especially if you aren’t using bait traps, is a very bad sign.
Finding dead cockroaches means that the population is large and may be running low on food. This will often cause larger cockroaches to eat smaller cockroaches. The cockroaches may also be getting killed by house geckos, lizards, fire ants, or mice. Also, cockroaches can play dead and could be mistaken for a carcass.
It’s only good to find dead cockroaches if your neighbors are poisoning them. This will mean the bait is working. Otherwise, it means that something else is killing the cockroaches, including other pests or other cockroach colony members. A large population of cockroaches is needed before this can happen.
If you’ve stumbled upon lots of dead cockroaches in your home, the chances are that you’re dealing with a substantial infestation. This doesn’t mean that your home isn’t clean enough.
There’s little food and water for cockroaches in your home. This is causing them to die of dehydration or starvation. While cockroaches can live for about 4 weeks without food, they can’t survive more than 1 week without water.
Cockroaches from outside may come into your home to die after consuming poison. Boric acid cockroach bait, for instance, takes effect slowly over time. This means that they will continue to hide for several hours. They’ll only come out to die in the open when looking for water to stave off the dehydration caused by poison.
Finding dead cockroaches in your home is a definite sign that an infestation is well underway.
For every dead cockroach that you find in your home, there may be hundreds more hiding away. With that said, here are the reasons you may find an unnaturally high number of dead cockroaches in your home:
An inexplicable rise in dead cockroaches can indicate that you also have rats or mice in your home. Although not their primary source of food, both types of rodents can resort to eating bugs. This includes cockroaches if they cannot secure a better alternative food source.
Take a close look at the insect bodies. Are their bodies intact, or have they been dismembered? Cockroaches lack any significant predators inside your home. If you notice pieces of cockroach body parts strewn all over your property, they were likely killed by a rat or mouse.
This might seem like good news since you don’t have to deal with cockroaches. However, rodents living in your home are just as bad. Unless you get rid of them, they’ll start eating anything they can find.
House Lizards and Geckos
Cockroaches are a favorite meal for house lizards and geckos. They not only provide a protein-rich diet, but they’re also a tasty food source.
If you have many of these small reptiles living on your property, they’ll start to prey on cockroaches, especially if they’re starving. You may start noticing cockroach wings and other leftover body parts.
Fire ants are notorious for attacking any other insects that they encounter. If they gain entry to your home, they’ll eat live cockroaches, leaving only wings and scarce body parts behind.
Cockroaches require water to survive. While they can survive for 4 weeks without food, they cannot survive without water for more than 1 week.
When dehydrated, they’ll come out of hiding even in the daytime to look for water. If your home doesn’t have any potential sources (such as leaking pipes and plumbing), you’re likely to find dead cockroaches that perished while searching for water.
Feeding on Something Toxic
Finding dead cockroaches all over your property may indicate that they ate something poisonous. This is especially true if their bodies do not manifest any dents or signs of mauling by predators.
Some poisons, such as boric acid, kill roaches by dehydrating them slowly over time. A cockroach may have consumed this poison elsewhere and died in your house. It was likely searching for water to offset the effects of poisoning.
Cockroaches have the uncanny ability to play dead. When exposed to life-threatening circumstances, they can go into shock and remain immobile until they can move again. When in this state of comatose, the cockroaches may appear dead. They will start moving a couple of moments later once the danger has passed.
This can make it appear that you have a house full of dead cockroaches. In truth, you have live cockroaches that have been startled into feigning death.
Dead cockroaches are rarely a good sign. While you might feel a sense of relief, it’s a warning. Finding dead cockroaches almost always means there are countless more hiding in your home.
Unless you take the necessary steps to get rid of them, you may end up with a bigger problem on your hands. According to the North Carolina State University, cockroaches reproduce very quickly.
Once they nest in your home, cockroaches will not only eat just about anything but spread disease. In fact, according to the University of Ghana, cockroaches can transmit foodborne pathogens such as staphylococcus aureus. Cockroaches spend most of their time hanging out in filthy areas, such as trash cans, drains, and sewers.
The presence of dead cockroaches is likely to attract more. That’s because cockroaches emit oleic acid when they die.
This compound has a moldy smell that other cockroaches are repelled by. Other bugs usually steer clear of the scent. Once time passes and the body starts to decompose, it will emit an acidic odor that lingers.
This will attract decomposer insects, such as cockroaches themselves, to clean up the body. Live cockroaches can easily pick up on this scent even from long distances and will come looking for their dead counterpart.
What To Do If You Find Dead Roaches In Your House
As mentioned, finding dead cockroaches in your home means that there’s more hiding out of sight. Check any dark corners where you suspect cockroaches may be congregating.
Once you’ve determined the extent of the infestation, remove any dead cockroaches to prevent them from attracting more pests to your home. Cockroaches (even dead ones) carry pathogens on the surface of their bodies.
Wearing gloves is the best way to protect your hands from germs and pathogens when disposing of dead cockroaches. Disposable plastic gloves are suitable for handling them.
Finding dead cockroaches all over your house is an indication of an ongoing infestation. Even if you keep your house squeaky clean, cockroaches from neighboring houses can enter in search of food and water.