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Why Is It So Hard To Get Rid of Roaches?

Why Is It So Hard To Get Rid Of Roaches?

Pest infestation is a serious problem affecting many American homes. Recent data shows 2.9 million roach sightings in residential areas. One of the reasons for this high figure is that roaches are hard to eliminate.

Extermination methods that ordinarily work on other pests have proven ineffective from roaches. After deploying multiple strategies with no significant results, many would leave these stubborn insects, hoping they’ll leave someday.

But why are roaches this hard to eliminate? We covered that in detail here.


With flexible bodies and swift limbs, roaches can survive in almost any living condition. Any homeowner that has dealt with an infestation knows that these pests are harder to kill.

You can spray insecticide or stomp on them, and some of these bugs will still find an escape room.

So, why are these insects this hard to exterminate? Here are some shocking reasons:

  • Roaches can survive with their head cut off
  • Roaches do not have known predators
  • Roaches are resistant to many commercial chemical-based pesticides
  • Roaches reproduce fast and often. Female German roaches can even reproduce without the male species.

Here are some reasons to consider. Keep reading to make more discoveries about these stubborn insects.

In the following sections, we will identify seven reasons why it is usually difficult to keep roaches at bay. Also, we will answer some frequently asked questions about roach infestation in residential buildings.

7 Reasons Why It Is So Hard To Get Rid of Roaches

Reasons Why It Is So Hard To Get Rid Of Roaches

Roaches are often a greater risk than other household pests because they are more adapted to human living conditions. When drawn to food and shelter in human homes, roaches can easily slither through cracks in walls, doors, and building foundations.

They thrive in houses with structural issues and trigger asthma and other health issues in their residents. It may seem that people are not interested in eliminating these pests, but the truth is, eliminating roaches is difficult.

Below, we will consider some factors that make it too hard to get rid of roaches:

1. Roaches Have Strong Bodies

Roaches Have Strong Bodies

Unlike most bugs, roaches are harder to squish because their strong exoskeletons provide a formidable defense. As a result, roaches can survive your strongest boots and squeeze through the smallest cracks to dodge your broom.

The reason for this is not hard to figure out. The roach’s external anatomy comprises multiple overlapping layers held together by a single membrane.

This flexible membrane is also durable and can withstand almost any external force. Thus, a single roach can survive the strong impact of a heavy boot or broom.

2. Roaches Are Skilled Survivors

Roaches Are Skilled Survivors

Roaches belong to the category of animals that can survive long periods without sustenance. So, even without eating or drinking, roaches can easily wait in their hiding spot until the danger passes.

Thus, removing their potential food sources may not help eliminate roaches in your house. Instead, you must follow it up with a more aggressive strategy. Plus, roaches are adaptable and eat things humans do not consider food.

These include wood, books, grease, and even broken fingernail bits. Their strong sense of smell helps them identify these weird food combinations.

3. Roaches Can Survive With Their Heads Cut Off

Roaches Can Survive With Their Heads Cut Off

If you think surviving without food or water is the best roaches can do, you are in for a shocker. These pests can thrive for up to a week with their heads cut off.

Relax, it is not sorcery but biology. You probably already know that humans and most animals breathe through their noses.

The case is different for roaches, as they have a special open circulatory body system. This means that, unlike humans, roaches breathe through small holes around their bodies instead of just through their heads.

So, even if you crush their heads off, these tiny pests can keep breathing for some days.

However, they are not immortal and will eventually succumb to their injuries. Without their head, roaches cannot eat or drink water through their mouths.

Ordinarily, they can go for much longer without eating, but not without water. So, without their heads, roaches are likely to dry from dehydration.

4. Roaches Move at Alarming Speeds

Roaches Move At Alarming Speeds

Their incredible speed is also why it is hard to get rid of roaches. You may waste time if you try to chase after them on foot.

Roaches are also very sensitive and can spot the smallest vibrations. Thus, before you try sneaking up on them, they have probably felt you approaching and taken off.

This speed, combined with their lithe bodies, helps them to run into any crack at the first sign of danger.

5. Roaches Do Not Have Known Predators

Roaches Do Not Have Known Predators

One way to control the pest population in an area is to introduce their natural predators. But it is hard to adopt this strategy with roaches because they have no known natural predators.

The best ways to eliminate roaches are to go after them, set baits, use deterrents, or call pest control experts.

Alternatively, you can let nature take its course and hope these pests voluntarily find their way out of your house.

6. Roaches Are Resistant to Many Commercial Pesticides

Roaches Are Resistant To Many Commercial Pesticides

Commercial pesticides and bug repellants help eradicate pest infestations. But, research has shown that the German roach species are growing immune to most insecticides.

Thus, when you use store-bought insecticides or call exterminators who use these pesticides, it may not work. As these roaches reproduce, their offspring begin to resist traditional over-the-counter insecticides.

If you can, confirm what roach specie you are dealing with. This will help narrow down your insecticide options. It can also help pest control experts determine the best deterrent strategies to deploy.

7. Roaches Reproduce Fast and Often

Roaches Reproduce Fast And Often

Like most pests, roaches reproduce fast and often, with various unique species having different reproduction rates. But, regardless of their species, roaches can produce many offsprings quickly.

Let us consider German roaches, for instance. These roaches release egg capsules with 48 separate eggs in one capsule. When these eggs hatch, they release baby roaches that mature in about three months.

So, what started as a minor roach problem can soon become a full-blown infestation if not checked.

Roaches can perform reproduction via parthenogenesis. This is a reproductive procedure where eggs do not require sperm for fertilization. Thus, female roaches do not need a male roach to reproduce.

Although male roaches are often around the female species, this is not always the case. In some situations where male roaches are not accessible, the female species can conduct asexual reproduction.

Thus, a single female roach can start a full-blown roach infestation in your house.


With flexible bodies and swift limbs, roaches can survive in almost any living condition. Any homeowner that has dealt with an infestation knows that these pests are harder to kill.

You can spray insecticide or stomp on them, and some of these bugs will still find an escape room. If you are wondering why these insects are this hard to eliminate roaches, we give you seven reasons to consider above.

Roaches have strong bodies, and they are skilled survivors. These pests can survive with their heads cut off. They reproduce fast and move at alarming speeds.

We also discussed that these insects do not have any known predators and are resistant to many commercial pesticides.

Hopefully, this guide helps you make sense of your possibly stubborn roach infestation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do German Roaches Look Like?

German roaches have a unique light brown color and two dark, parallel lines running through their backs. However, the female species appear darker than the males, but they have the same flat, oval shape.

Where Do Roaches Live?

Roaches hide near food or warm and damp environments.

So, if you find them invading your bathrooms and kitchen, these areas supply their basic survival needs. During extermination, you may want to pay more attention to these areas.

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