Cockroach Myths Debunked: Separating Fact from Fiction

Cockroaches might be your worst nightmare, but are they really that bad? With 30.4 % of homeowners in Southern Florida reporting at least one infestation yearly, it’s high time to debunk some cockroach myths. Unfortunately, the warm and humid climate of Florida is exceptionally appealing to the roaches.

So, they might end up being unwelcome guests at your house. These creepy crawling creatures might scare you a lot, but they are misunderstood in various ways. So, in this article, we will distinguish the most common cockroach facts and myths from each other.

Myth 1: Cockroaches Infiltrate Dirty Homes Only

While most people believe cockroaches infest dirty homes only, that’s not true. Roaches are resilient in nature, which makes them adaptable to various environments.

They are opportunistic scavengers that can enter any space through cracks or crevices, irrespective of cleanliness. Roaches just need a source of food which can be anything from human hair and fingernails to dead insects. So, even if your house is as clean as a crystal, cockroaches can find their way into it.

Myth 2: Cockroaches are Harmless

Another one of the cockroach myths that must be debunked is that roaches don’t cause any harm to humans. Many people get scared to death upon seeing a cockroach, but still, most of them believe that they are non-threatening. You’ll be enthralled to know that American roaches are 2-3 inches long, which makes them one of the most significant pests in Florida.

These significant pests can pose serious health risks as they are carriers of various bacteria, allergens, and viruses. Additionally, they can contaminate food by shedding their exoskeleton and upchucking. Ultimately, it leads to the spread of diseases and infections like gastroenteritis and salmonellosis.

Myth 3: Roaches Can Live Without a Head?

It’s not a myth but a ghoulish fact. Cockroaches can survive without a head for almost a week. One of the interesting cockroach facts that most people are unaware of is that they don’t need their heads to breathe.

Roaches have an open circulatory system. They breathe through tiny holes present in their body segments. So, they are able to survive for a week without a head. Eventually, roaches end up dying due to dehydration as they don’t have a way of drinking water.

Myth 4: Cockroaches Can Withstand a Nuclear Explosion

It’s one of the most common cockroach myths. Cockroaches are resilient in nature, but that doesn’t mean they can withstand a nuclear explosion. They can tolerate extreme temperatures and six to fifteen times stronger radiation than humans.

However, they are not robust enough to tolerate a nuclear explosion. It would be appropriate to say that this notion is a mere exaggeration because high levels of radiation are deathly for the roaches.

Myth 5: Cockroaches are Nocturnal

Cockroaches are nocturnal, another one of the cockroach myths that must be discredited. Roaches prefer being active at night, but it doesn’t imply that they can’t be active during the day.

If water and food resources are readily available, they won’t resist venturing out in the daylight for sustenance.

Myth 6: Cockroaches Can Fly?

Roaches may or may not be able to fly as it is determined by their species. American cockroaches have wings. So they can fly to cover short distances. When it comes to the majority, most of them are unable to fly.

They are solely dependent on their six legs to navigate around. So, wings are an added benefit to some roaches, enabling them to dodge predators and search for otherwise inaccessible areas.

Myth 7: Cockroaches Worsen Allergies?

Unfortunately, we can’t say it’s another one of cockroach myths, but rather, a serious problem. Roaches produce proteins that might trigger allergies, especially in people with asthma.

Additionally, the fecal matter and decaying exoskeletons of cockroaches contribute to allergic reactions in humans. The allergens in the shed skin, saliva, and droppings of cockroaches become airborne. Ultimately, they produce allergic responses when inhaled or interacted with human skin.

Myth 8: Cockroaches are Immortal

The notion that cockroaches are immortal is another one of the persistent cockroach myths. There’s no scientific evidence to support this statement. Cockroaches are tough in nature, but it doesn’t make them immortal. They have a limited lifespan, and they die eventually.

There are various ways to do cockroach pest control. From chemical sprays, insecticides, pesticides, and boric acid to cockroach baits and sticky traps, all of them are used for the effective elimination of roaches. Additionally, roach pest control can be achieved by seeking the services of a professional roach exterminator company. So, no matter how persistent or severe cockroach infestation is, it’s not impossible to get rid of it.


To conclude, we can say that it’s vital to have accurate knowledge regarding cockroaches if one wants to prevent infestation and minimize potential health hazards. All the cockroach myths that we dispelled will aid you in avoiding unnecessary fears and ineffective pest management strategies.

You can always rely on a professional cockroach exterminator company like Gregory’s Pest Control if an infestation occurs. We start with a thorough inspection of your place to take proactive measures to eradicate the hideouts. If roaches are found, we immediately apply the treatments to ensure their complete wipeout. Just contact us, and we’ll be happy to hear from you!

Paul Gregory employee photo

Paul Gregory

Owner/President of Gregory’s Pest Control

I’m a 2nd generation pest control owner who started working for my father in 1999. I was raised in South Florida and feel blessed to call it home for my entire adult life. As a long-term Florida resident, I recognize the challenges of controlling the many different pests that thrive in our subtropical climate. In particular, I understand how difficult it can be to prevent pests from invading our homes and businesses. By helping families solve their pest problems so they can live safer, more comfortable lives, I feel I am also meeting my family’s commitment to help our community. When I’m not out fighting pests, you can find me on the golf course or out on a soccer field where I have been fortunate enough to coach soccer to kids of all ages for the past 20 years.