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Can cockroaches Climb Walls?

Like many other insects, roaches also can climb steep surfaces like walls, trees, rocks, etc.

Most insects have sharp tiny claws on their legs to climb vertical surfaces. Similarly, roaches can also climb on walls with a pair of claws on each of their six legs. Wall surfaces may seem flat, but there are enough irregularities to support the weight of a cockroach.

However, it is very hard (but not impossible) for roaches to climb glass surfaces or smooth tiles. Not entirely impossible because, in reality, there can be invisible irregularities in the low-quality cheap glass surfaces.

An image showing the claws on a cockroach which help roaches to climb vertical surfaces.

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Cockroach Crawling on Wall!

If you find a cockroach crawling on a wall, it can be an early sign of a cockroach infestation.

But, it can also be a cockroach mistakenly inside your home from outdoors and scared enough to climb up on a wall.

These outdoor cockroaches are also called palmetto bugs, and they rarely infest homes.

Learn more about signs of cockroach infestation here.

Why are Roaches High on the Walls

The way insects and cockroaches have evolved, they don’t find it unpleasant resting in a vertical position hanging on walls. Cockroaches usually don’t hang up on the walls except;

  1. It’s warmer above the room, which can push roaches up in the walls.
  2. You can find roaches climbing above walls after treatment which makes them crazy, and they scatter everywhere, including climbing on walls.
  3. The infestation is so high that there is not enough place to hide, which can push roaches above.
  4. It’s dark and safe on top of the walls near sealings where they can move around freely and hide out quickly by flying away.

There can also be multiple reasons why a cockroach is high on the walls depending on your actual scenario.

How do roaches walk on Ceilings?

Cockroaches walk on ceilings with the help of a pair of claws on each leg. These tiny sharp claws help cockroaches support their weight and stay intact on ceilings or walls. Cockroaches climb on walls with the same pair of claws on each leg.

A cockroach on a wall. The special claws on tip of its legs are visible.
A cockroach on a wall. The special claws on the tip of its legs are visible.

Can Roaches Climb Glass Surfaces?

The way roaches climb on steep vertical surfaces does not support roaches climbing flat glass surfaces. However, there can be scenarios where you can find a cockroach climbing on a glass surface.

Below is a video showing a Madagascar Hissing cockroach climbing a glass surface.

A cockroach can climb a glass surface if:

  1. There are invisible irregularities on the glass surface.
  2. The glass surface is dirty enough for the claws to ingress to support the roach weight.
  3. The glass surface is at an angle and not vertical to provide enough friction for the roach to stay in position.

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