Can cockroaches fly? The answer is yes. Pests are unwelcome into our homes and cockroaches more so. When they take to the air the grossness factor is just unbearable.
Cockroaches are one of the most ubiquitous insects globally and are considered to be among the elite in their ability to survive. They are extremely adaptable and resilient.
While we may have seen a species of two or roaches in or homes, it mind boggling to realize that there are over three thousand documented species of cockroaches. Majority of these are found in tropical regions. More than seventy cockroach species inhabit North America.
Cockroach Species that fly
The male Pennsylvania wood cockroach is known for taking to the air. They are approximately an inch long. They have light wings and like being out in the daytime.
The Brown banded cockroach is capable of making short flights. The American cockroach is an adept flier. They have red-brown color and are prevalent in the United States. They have long narrow bodies and wings which explains why they are better suited for more sustainable flight.
The Cuban cockroach flies for short distances. They are green in color and have a very thin body.
Asian cockroaches are impressive fliers. They like being out in the light and thankfully are often found inside homes unlike most of their other counterparts.
The Megaloblatta is endowed with the largest body amongst flying cockroaches with an impressive 7 inch wingspan and a long body topping up at 4 inches. It inhabits South and Central America mostly.
Australian Cockroaches are native to Australia and enjoy humid and hot parts of the country. They are about an inch long in length and fairly strong flyers.
Cockroaches do not fly much because their musculature is not strong enough to allow long distance flight. In comparison to their wing size most cockroaches have a big body mass meaning flight does not come easy to them. They find it hard to maneuver once they take to the air. That explains why even the best roach flyer can only manage a short distance. In fact, most roaches glide as opposed to try flight. Roaches are more efficient on the ground using their legs. They are faster that way and can outrun most insects. It is also safer in the ground. A flying cockroach is fair game for birds.
Why cockroaches fly
Cockroaches will fly if they feel they are under threat to make a quick getaway. They will also find it easier to fly if they in higher elevation moving to a lower point. In most cases, this is often not true flight but more of a glide. Cockroaches also fly when attracted to food, in search of water or areas with a cooler temperature.
Cockroaches are cold blooded like all insects and which means they more apt to take flight when the temperatures are higher. The optimal temperature for cockroaches is 75 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Beyond 85 degrees Fahrenheit cockroaches start flying around out of necessity and higher energy levels looking for cooler places to inhabit.
Roaches are hideous enough even without flying capabilities. So if you have an infestation, get in touch with your local pests controller to exterminate them.