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Are Roaches Attracted to light?

No one doubts that roaches are attracted to filth, warmth, and humidity. However, “are roaches attracted to light?” is a question with many answers. Some say that roaches hate the light, while others suggest that roaches are attracted to light. But you don’t have to worry because I have got the most authentic answer to your query.

No! not all roaches are attracted to light; most hate light. However, cockroaches that are good flyers are usually attracted to light. Thes roaches include all types of Wood cockroaches, the Asian cockroach, and the Smokey Brown cockroach. The Australian cockroach is a good flyer but is minimally attracted to light.

Cockroaches attracted to light threaten infestation because they are excellent flyers and usually get inside the houses through windows and ventilators. Therefore, extra precautions should be applied. All the details will be shared in the blog below.

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Why are some roaches attracted to light?

Cockroaches do not have emotions like anger, guilt, and happiness. Instead, the brain of a cockroach is designed to function very basic way. All it does is make the roach survive in the environment.

For this, cockroaches have built-in sensory organs that receive a number of stimuli from the environment including, vibration, pressure, temperature changes, and light.

Because they are nocturnal species, cockroaches can see in a dark environment and prefer to live there no matter the roach species.

Interestingly, some species of cockroaches are attracted to light. The reason is the survival instinct of roaches. They will fly towards change in sudden light intensity, thinking it to be a safe exit.

One hypothesis about this is called the light stress hypothesis. Some insects, including roaches, are attracted to light because the photoreceptors inside the eyes are overwhelmed by the bright light. This triggers phototaxis.

Roaches that are attracted to light include,

  1. Wood roaches including Florida and Pennsylvania wood cockroaches
  2. Asian Cockroach
  3. Smokey Brown Cockroach
Type of roachesFlight CapabilityYellow Light (2750K)White Light (5000K)Red Light
Wood RoachesYesMore Attractedless attractedNot Attracted
Asian CockroachYesLess AttractedMore AttractedNot Attracted
Smokey Brown YesModerately Attractedless Attracted
Australian YeslesslessModerate
Types of light and attraction to roaches

Why do majority of the roaches hate the light?

Have you ever thought about why you wake up precisely at the same time, even before your alarm goes off? This is because your body has a biological clock built inside your brain.

Similar is the case with almost every living creature, including roaches. Roaches are nocturnal species, and they are shy during the day and very active at night. It is the nighttime when these filthy creatures move around the house, breeding, mating, and infesting your belongings.

The majority of roaches hate the light and run away because of the two reasons,

  1. The built in biological clock prevents them from comming out in the day
  2. The flash of bright light activate photorecpetors to trigger a cascade of neuro-signalling to the brain. The Brain of cockroach interpret these bright flasehes as threat.

Is killing a cockroach inhumane? Read this article to know more: Should I kill a cockroach?

Will keeping lights on keep roaches away?

Lights and roaches have a peculiar relation with each other. Some roaches, such as tree roaches, like the light, while others hate it like the infamous German roach.

The roaches that like the light are also the less timidest of other roaches and are usually seen moving around the house during the day. These cockroaches that like the light will not go away by keeping the lights on.

On the other hand, the roaches that hate the light will usually shy from coming out until their needs are met. Once they run out of food and water, keeping the lights on will never keep roaches away.

Following cockroaches do not like the lights; instead, they run away from light,

  1. German Cockroach
  2. Oriental Cockroach
  3. American Cockroach
  4. Australian Cockroach
  5. Brown Banded Cockroach
  6. Palmetto bugs including florida wood cockroach (some of them are moderatelt attracted to ligts)

Additional Read!