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Can Cockroaches Hear?

Cockroaches are known to interact with the environment via sensing light, temperature, and vibrations. This helps them stay away from threats and seek food, water, and shelter. Unfortunately, all these characteristics make roaches a fearless human enemy.

No! Cockroaches can’t hear sound because they do not have a specialized hearing organ, the ear. However, they can sense sound vibrations using their antennas.

Cockroaches communicate with their peers via smell and detect vibrations through the antenna. Interestingly several studies were conducted to know the effect of ultrasound on controlling roaches using their hearing mechanism? These studies help us get the answer to can cockroaches hear?

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Why cockroaches can’t hear?

Hearing is a complex mechanism that involves receiving sound vibrations from air and neural transmissions to the part of the brain that interprets it.

Unlike humans, most insects, including roaches, are equipped with basic hearing mechanisms and lack the more advanced brain functions such as memory storage because of a primitive brain.

The basic hearing mechanism of roaches involves receiving sound vibrations from the air via two organs.

  1. Pair of Antennas
  2. Pair of Cerci

Roaches can’t hear or understand words and do not form memory out of them. However, these basic hearing capabilities equip roaches to locate food and water and sense danger (Reference).

Can Sound Kill Cockroaches?

Cockroaches are known to sense vibrations via pair of antennas and cerci. This made the basis of the development of several ultrasound emitting devices to kill or repel insects, including roaches and mosquitoes.

However, one study conducted at the Department of Grain Science and Industry, Kansas State University, proved that the intensity and frequency of ultrasonic devices did not kill or repel cockroaches (Reference).

Therefore, anyone claiming to kill roaches with sound is just lying.

Additional Read!

Does killing a cockroach attract More?