Cockroaches are the sturdiest insects known. Their body is designed to withstand a number of physical stresses like squeezing, squashing, and pinching. This is why cockroaches are seen invading through very tiny spaces like cracks and crevices. Therefore, it is customary to ask can you kill a cockroach by stepping on it?
Yes! You can kill a cockroach by stepping on it with force. However, if the sole of your shoe is soft, the cockroach might escape killing. Moreover, killing a cockroach by crushing it releases pheromones that attract other roaches and danger transmitting disease from fluids. Therefore it’s not an ideal method to kill cockroaches this way.
You might be wrong if you think you can easily kill a cockroach by physical insults. For example, even flushing a cockroach down the drain will not kill them because they can live underwater for a long time. Similarly, stepping on a cockroach might not kill it.
However, if you successfully kill a cockroach by crushing it, it might attract other roaches because of the release of oleic acid. Therefore, in the blog below, I will explain whether you should kill a cockroach by stepping on it or trying another method.
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killing a cockroach by stepping on it: Explained
Do you know cockroaches can withstand a force 900 times their body weight (Reference)? Therefore, it might seem easy to kill a cockroach by squashing it, but it’s not always the case.
However, you do not always have a roach-killing product available at your hand, and sometimes the only method available to kill a cockroach is stepping on it or forcefully killing it with a blow.
When the force on the cockroach body exceeds its limits, the exoskeleton crushes, systems disrupts, and body fluids are blown out, killing the cockroach within seconds.
This method seems very promising and easy but has got its cons mentioned below,
- Stepping on a cockroach does not always kill them because sometimes the sole of shoe is soft.
- It might spread bacteria released along with the gut juices of crushed cockroach
- The crushed body parts might trigger allergies in atopic individual
- Very rarely the crushed roach might relase eggs and spread infestation
- The pheremones including oleic acid released might attract roaches.
However, if you do not have any other solution available at hand, go for it and make sure to dispose of cockroaches effectively.
Cockroaches release pheromones when killed
Pheromones are chemicals secreted by bacteria living inside the cockroach guts (Reference). Insects, including roaches, communicate with each other via pheromones.
Once cockroaches are killed, they give off a smell called the stench of death by releasing pheromones. These pheromones released upon death serve two functions,
- Informs other members of the colony to stay away from imminent danger.
- Attract starving cockroaches in order to consume the dead roach.
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Can you squish a cockroach?
Cockroaches have very resilient bodies that are designed to withstand physical insults. However, everything has got its endurance limits. After that, it starts to disintegrate into fragments.
You can easily squish a cockroach by applying physical force with your foot or blowing force with a broom. It will instantaneously kill cockroaches by disrupting the structures and critical body systems.
However, you should keep in mind that cockroaches have brains that intercept danger very effectively, and they also run pretty fast, so if you want to squish a cockroach, you must do it all at once.
Interesting Read: Why do bugs die on their back?
Should I step on cockroach? Concluded
Crushing a cockroach seems a pretty easy solution to get rid of an invader. However, you should only step on a cockroach if you do not have any other instant solution.
Crushing or squishing a cockroach might kill one, but this is not a solution to the infestation. Instead, you should work to exterminate roaches all at once by using a professional method.