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Why Do Roaches Like the Dark?

Cockroach Hiding In The Dark

Roaches hide in dark corners and scramble about light beams on them. Perhaps, you are wondering why they behave this way and if the rumors are true that they hate light.

In this article, we will take a comprehensive look at the reasons why roaches love the dark so much. Without any ado, let’s get into it!


Roaches are more active in the dark than in bright environments. It is not light itself that scares them but what comes after it. If you wonder why they love the dark so much, here are some reasons:

  • They are nocturnal by nature.
  • Unlike bright environments, the dark is cooler and quiet.
  • There are fewer predators in the dark.

These are some of the reasons. The article contains much more!

In the next sessions of the guide, we will consider major reasons why roaches enjoy staying in the dark and how to take advantage of their hatred for light against them. Also, we will answer a few questions about roach infestation and them hiding in dark spots.

6 Reasons Why Roaches Like the Dark

Roaches are nocturnal insects. As such, they get a pump of energy during night hours and sleep during the day. Plus, they have sensitive night vision, and their eyes’ cells help them navigate in the dark. However, this is not to say that roaches are terrified of daylight, as some species function during the day.

Generally, their internal mechanism leans heavily towards nighttime hours for many reasons. One of these is that humans are less active at night. That being the case, there will be no disturbance while they source food and procreate.

Below, we will examine six major reasons roaches like the dark.

1. Roaches Are Nocturnal by Nature

Close-Up Of Animal Red Cockroach At Night

As we said earlier, roaches are nocturnal insects, and these creatures are nocturnal because of their circadian rhythm.

All creatures, including humans, are more active during the daytime and follow circadian rhythms. A circadian rhythm refers to the natural cycle of an organism that controls its sleeping and waking hours.

For example, humans are generally more active during daylight hours than at night. Sunlight provides an energy boost that makes it easy to carry out daily tasks. But at night, the human body secretes some hormones that slow the body down and induces sleep.

The reverse is the case for roaches, as most species have natural adaptations to the dark.

Experts highlight that roach movement typically reduces during the 12-hour daylight period. Then, it picks up during the 12-hour night period, especially in the dead of night.

So, if you wonder why these insects are more active in the dark, their nocturnal nature is the first major reason to note.

2. The Dark Is Quiet

Cockroaches In A Dirty Kitchen

Besides their nocturnal behavior, roaches enjoy staying in the dark because of its stillness. By nature, these insects prefer quiet places. This is the second reason they always look for secluded spots to hide.

Darkness gives them the peace and quietness they need to go about their activities.

This explains why it is often difficult to locate them in a house. They can slip into any tight dark space, whether cabinets, inside appliances, or cracks in the floor or wall.

3. The Dark Provides a Cool Environment

Many Cockroaches Coming Through The Door, Inside The Apartment

Everyone knows that the air in the evening is cooler, especially when the sun is no longer beaming its rays. While roaches are not typical fans of cold temperatures, they cannot stand the heat.

Their preferred temperatures range from 25 to 30 degrees. If your house temperature falls below that, they will move out to a warmer location. But if they find the temperature comfy, they will come in to enjoy the coolness.

Roaches are cold-blooded insects, meaning they prefer the same temperatures we do – not too hot or cold. Darkness offers them a cool temperature to move around, hunt, and procreate.

4. There Are Fewer Predators in the Dark

Close Up View And Low Light Of A Cockroach Crawling On Pile Of Clothes From Basket.

Most roach predators are large. As tiny insects, roaches barely stand a chance of escape when hunted. They are easy prey for predators looking for a quick snack to enjoy.

Some common roach predators are reptiles like lizards and geckos, rats, spiders, frogs, and birds. Most of these animals operate during the day, allowing roaches to roam free at night.

So, staying away from bright lights is a self-protection strategy for roaches. Darkness aids their stealth activities and helps them to hide from danger.

Predators can easily identify roaches during the day or when the environment is bright. If roaches come out to feed during the day, their predators can easily kill them.

5. The Dark Offers Roaches Shade To Mate

Cockroach Infestation Walking And Crawling On Dirty Kitchen Floor,

Roaches reproduce swiftly, and the process is not complicated for them. Like humans, these insects prefer to do this activity without disturbance.

Daylight hours with humans and other predators moving around offer no shade and pose too many risks. On the other hand, darkness offers roaches a safer environment and access to secure locations where they can mate and lay eggs.

Since the environment is relatively quiet and predator-free at night, roaches can easily search for mates, fertilize their eggs, and look for safe places to plant them. And unlike humans, these insects do not focus so much on staying alive. Roaches also do not mind staying in dark and tight spaces as long as their mating needs are met.

6. Food Is Easier To Locate in the Dark

American Cockroach Walking Around The House At Night, Eating Scraps Of Food On The Floor.

Roaches typically hunt for food at night. This can be anything from leftover food in your sink to the books in your drawer.

At night, the human occupants of any house they inhabit would have gone to bed, giving roaches a chance to fearlessly roam about looking for food undisturbed.

Apart from the fact that they see better at night, there is less competition to face over food sources. Roaches can focus on feeding instead of warding off predators.


Roaches operate better at night than during the day. Of course, it is not the light that scares them. What frightens them away from light is the danger that comes after it. These insects associate bright lights or daylight with danger. If there is a sudden light, roaches will assume that a predator is nearby and have to flee.

But at night, they can go about their daily activities undisturbed. As discussed in the guide, some activities include locating their food and procreating.

So, if you want your house free of these insects, you can use light to your advantage. Locate their hiding spots and introduce sufficient lighting there.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Roaches Come Out During Daylight Hours?

The fact that roaches are nocturnal does not mean you won’t catch a glimpse of them during the day. These insects are adaptable. Thus, if the circumstances call for it, they will come out of hiding and move around during daylight hours.

One of the reasons why you may see roaches out during the day is hunger. While they can go long without feeding, they can still go hungry.

For example, if your extermination clears out their food source, they will soon become desperate. If they can’t find sufficient food at night, they will risk it all to come out during the day.

How To Know You Are Facing a Roach Infestation?

Spotting a roach moving around during the day is a clear sign of a roach infestation. However, other signs can indicate that you have a roach problem on your hands.

These include unusual smells, finding roach droppings, shed skin, and egg casings around your home.

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