Everyone has their own horror stories about trying to kill those dreadful cockroaches. Some people try their best to swat them without screaming too much or chase after them with bug spray in their hands. Either way, dealing with nasty cockroaches is a nightmare.
But while it’s scary to deal with flying roaches, it’s another kind of creepy and peculiar to see dead cockroaches frequently in your home. It makes you wonder if you have a cockroach infestation, but also—what is happening to these roaches? Why do they die instead of crawling around everywhere?
Today, we’re here to explain the common causes of finding dead cockroaches in your home. We’ll also tell you what it might mean, and what steps you should take to keep your home free of roaches—dead or alive. Read on to learn more!
Why Are There So Many Dead Cockroaches in My House?
It’s strange when you only see dead cockroaches in your house but never ones that are alive. It seems illogical and unexplainable. But if you think about it, there are a couple of scenarios where it makes total sense.
Here are some of the most common reasons why you’re suddenly finding dead cockroaches in your home:
1. A previous infestation is dying off
One reason why you see only dead roaches in your home is that a colony from a previous infestation is slowly dying. Many times, this means their food and water supply is running low.
2. Someone is poisoning the cockroaches
A more probable reason you find dead cockroaches everywhere is that someone behind the scenes is working to poison these insects. Perhaps word has gone around the neighborhood that there is a cockroach infestation, and your neighbor is killing them off with boric acid.
When a cockroach ingests boric acid, it takes a while for them to die. They may end up crawling their way over to the next house—in this case, yours—and end up dying there.
Perhaps someone in your home is also setting up baits and traps for cockroaches, so you only see the ones that have been caught and are now dead.
3. Predators abound in your home
Another reason for seeing dead cockroaches at home is because predators are attacking them. Lots of insects and small animals see roaches as food. The likes of lizards, geckos, fire ants, and rats love gobbling up cockroaches.
One way to check if this is the case is to examine the carcass of the dead roach. Is it missing some body parts? Does it look like it was dismantled and attached aggressively? If yes, this might mean a predator attacked it for food.
Unfortunately, this could mean you’re also dealing with an infestation of rodents and other insects. This is something you’ll also have to call pest control for.
Does This Mean I Have a Cockroach Infestation?
Having dead cockroaches pop up in your home could also mean that there is an ongoing roach infestation there.
Cockroaches are great at hiding in nooks and crannies and behind huge appliances where you won’t find them. So, it makes sense that you would only find them dead and unmoving. The rest of the time, they might be under your sinks or behind your refrigerator.
If you see dead cockroaches more than just a couple of times in your home, it’s time to start looking for living cockroaches to see if you have an infestation.
The best way to go about this, of course, is to call pest control professionals to hunt them down for you. The exterminator will assess your house, tell you whether you have an infestation, and then treat it for you.
Before you get the professional extermination done, you can also do your own quick assessment of your home. Cockroaches will likely stay near a food source, water source, or electrical source for heat. Shine a flashlight under refrigerators, sinks, and electrical wires to see if you find anything.
Here are some other clues to watch out for to see if you have a cockroach infestation:
- Live cockroaches crawling around in dark, secluded areas
- A cockroach nest with discarded skins
- Cockroach eggs that have egg casings (brown protective shells) around them
- Small droppings of feces on the floor or counters
- Damage to some of your food packaging if the roaches are nipping on it
- A distinctly foul, musty odor, which is emitted by a cockroach’s pheromones
Learn more about how to check for a roach infestation in your home and how to get rid of these nasty insects by watching this video:
Do Dead Roaches Attract More Cockroaches?
Unfortunately, dead cockroaches attract live ones. If you leave the dead carcasses lying around, you’re likely to see a new infestation take over your home.
Here’s how it works. Cockroaches release a distinct pheromone that other roaches can smell. This is something that signals to other roaches that another of their species has found a good nest or food source. So, they follow the smell and join them.
The same thing happens when the cockroaches die. The smell of oleic acid emanates from their dead bodies, attracting other roaches. As scavenger insects, live cockroaches will sometimes even eat the carcasses of the dead cockroaches after smelling and finding them.
However, another school of thought is that cockroaches will stay far away from dead cockroaches because they know it means a predator or imminent danger is around.
Nonetheless, it’s better to be safe than sorry. When you spot a dead cockroach, always act fast so you lessen the chances of attracting live ones to the area.
How to Clean Up After Dead Cockroaches
The number one rule is to never touch a dead cockroach with your bare hands. Dead roaches (and live ones too) carry pathogens that can be harmful to you and make you sick. Always wear gloves when you’re about to handle the dead carcass.
Using a paper towel, pick up the dead cockroach and put it in a plastic bag. Your instinct might be to crush or squish the cockroach to make sure it’s dead. That’s a big no-no, as that will only release potentially toxic fluids from their body. Throw the plastic out immediately.
Disinfect the place where you found the dead cockroach. Use alcohol, disinfectant spray, or even soap and water to wash the area thoroughly. Lastly, throw out the gloves you were wearing and wash your hands in the sink with soap and water.
Another option is to vacuum the dead cockroach. Just remember to empty the vacuum bag afterward.
After you’ve cleaned out the dead cockroach, it’s time to call pest control to get an assessment and possible extermination of a cockroach infestation.
How to Prevent Cockroach Infestations in the Future
1. Keep your home clean and tidy
Cockroaches love it when you leave food debris and trash out in the open. This gives them a reliable food source, so they’ll hang around the area for sure.
To make sure they don’t take over your kitchen, always store your food properly. Put them in proper containers and sweep up any crumbs after eating bread or chips. Make sure you dispose of trash properly as well, especially the biodegradable bins.
2. Reduce the clutter in your home
Having so much clutter at home makes it easy for cockroaches to hide in tight spaces and crevices. Don’t give them an opportunity to find a good hiding place in your house. Reduce the clutter in your home as soon as you can.
3. Regularly use insecticides and bug sprays
There are lots of commercial bug sprays available in the market. Once a week, spray down your home to make sure you repel cockroaches and other insects from building a nest in these areas.
Just make sure you don’t stay in the room right after you spray insecticide in it so you don’t ingest any of the toxic chemicals.
4. Fix water leaks in your house
Aside from looking for food, cockroaches also look for a water source. Many cockroaches die easily from dehydration, so they always have to drink water. If you have any leaky faucets and sinks, fix them right away to cut off those nasty roaches from their water supply.
Finding dead cockroaches in your home can feel like a bad omen. It’s also pretty confusing—is it a blessing because these pests are dying off, or do the dead bodies signal a full-on roach infestation in your home?
Sometimes, it’s a good thing. It might mean that there’s something taking care of the job for you, like a neighbor poisoning the roaches in your area or predators killing these insects. But other times, it means you have cockroaches in your house that are really good at hiding from you.
If you find dead cockroaches in your home, clean them up and throw them out right away to prevent attracting other roaches from coming. Make sure to call your trusted pest control professional so that they can recommend the best treatment options for your home.