Cockroaches are gross and very hard to eliminate. Sometimes, we keep using natural home remedies to control the roach population, but a few remains there.
We learn to live with them and not bother a few roaming around. Overall, this approach is not appreciated, but if you are good with your remedies and just wanted to make sure that if you keep your food tightly packed in plastic bags, can a roach eat through them?
No, roaches can not eat through the plastic bags as there is nothing to guide them to bite it. Roaches need a valid smell to make them so.
Although roaches have strong jaws with sharp mandibles and giant roaches like American cockroaches can bite through thin plastic, they don’t pose enough IQ to make a path into it by systematically biting to cut out a hole. On the other hand, mice and rats are intelligent enough to carve out a path.
A sense of smell guides roaches. For example, if you keep some food in a thin plastic bag, the smell can seep through it after a few months, but cockroaches cannot get to them if the food is not directly touching the plastic surface.
Additional Read: How to Roaches Bite?
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Can Roaches Eat Through Plastic?
Small cockroaches have a Wik biting force, and it’s hard for them to eat through plastic. So it’s almost impossible for them to penetrate through a slightly thicker plastic bag. Also, if you properly seal the plastic bag, it will become hard for cockroaches to smell the food.
So technically, if you keep your food inside a plastic bag, roaches can’t eat through them.
However, large cockroaches like the American cockroach possess enough biting strength to bite through thin plastic but do not have enough IQ to pork a hole to get through it.
If the food inside the plastic bag is touching the plastic boundary like sugar stored in a plastic bag, large cockroaches can continuously bite to get a small amount of food.
Generally speaking, cockroaches won’t bite through plastic if there is enough food available other than the food inside plastic bags. A good quantity of food is usually available in our homes, like tiny food droppings, which are even hard for us to spot and enough to support roaches to survive.
If the infestation is high and there is competition for food, roaches may keep biting whatever they find in search of food and get to the food stored in plastic bags.
So you should not be worried about storing your food or grocery items in a regular plastic bag. Also, ziplock bags have ticker plastic, and it’s safe to secure food inside them away from roaches.
Can roaches eat through ziplock bags?
Ziplock bags are typically made of thicker plastic, and it’s tough for roaches to eat through them. Large roaches may possess enough biting force to cut through ziplock bags, but who will guide a roach to bite a tasteless and smell less plastic bag?
It is insane to say roaches are clever enough to eat through ziplock bags. However, if you have stored some food in a ziplock bag for a very long period (like more than a year), then the smell and taste of that food can seep through the plastic bag and may attract roaches if there isn’t enough food readily available.
Therefore, it is totally safe to secure leftover food from cockroaches in a ziplock bag. Just make sure that it’s tightly packed and securely locked.
Also, make sure to buy these original branded Ziploc Bags.
Do Roaches Eat Plastic?
Roaches consume a lot of different types of food. Here is a complete article on what do roaches eat.
Even though many organisms are evolving to consume plastic, there is no research or evidence of cockroaches consuming plastic as a food source.
A tiny amount of plastic will not harm a cockroach, and it will poop out undigested.
What Are Cockroach-Proof Containers?
Cockroach-proof containers are nothing more than a marketing term. Therefore, all airtight containers are ‘roach-proof containers,’ and roaches can’t invade them.
Cockroaches are not intelligent enough to find a way through a container or open them. The most common cockroach which infests homes is German roaches, which are pretty small in size and don’t possess enough biting force to bite through containers of any nature.
So every airtight container already existing in your kitchen is a cockroach-proof container. Here are a few examples from Amazon, and all of these are roach-proof even though the manufacturers do not mention them.
Airtight Food Storage Containers Set with Lids (24 Pack)
Airtight Plastic Containers for organizing with Easy Snap Lids (16 Pack)
Airtight Food Storage Container Set CINEYO-7 Piece Set Clear Plastic
Can You Suffocate Roaches in a Plastic Bag?
Just like every living being, cockroaches also need oxygen to survive. So all roaches, like other insects, breathe through their skin via special openings called spiracles.
Roaches commonly store oxygen in these openings and under their wings, making a cockroach survive underwater or without oxygen for up to 3 to 5 hours.
Similarly, if there is more oxygen trapped in the plastic bag with the roach inside, it can help a cockroach survive a few days before.
If the oxygen inside the plastic bag can help a cockroach survive for more than a week, it will die due to dehydration before it suffocates to death.
So, yes, we can suffocate cockroaches in a plastic bag if we take maximum air out of it. Nevertheless, it will die out of dehydration and lack of food if not suffocation. Freezing out a cockroach in a freezer will also instantly kill them.
How long can roaches live in a plastic bag?
A cockroach can not survive more than a week inside a plastic bag, as roaches need water to survive. If there is limited oxygen inside the plastic bag, it will die sooner. A cockroach typically dies in 3-5 hours without oxygen or underwater.