If you think you can kill a cockroach by flushing it down the drain, you are probably wrong. The cockroach is not an easy insect to kill. They have adapted very well to the environment, and unlike humans, they have an open circulatory system. The respiratory spiracles carry oxygen to the individual cell without requiring a transport medium like blood.
Like other insects, Cockroaches can live underwater for many hours. Cockroaches close their spiracles, hold their breath, and slow down metabolism to reduce the oxygen demand to the minimum. The longest cockroach can survive without oxygen is between 4 to 6 hours.
If you are curious about finding how long can a cockroach live underwater? Then you are in the right place. I have written this article to help you understand the respiration of cockroaches and their fascinating ability to hold their breath and survivalism without oxygen.
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Cockroaches can live Underwater for much longer than you think
Nature has designed insects, including cockroaches, with an open circulatory system. This means that they do not breathe through the mouth. Instead, they have a respiratory system that contains valvular openings called Spiracles. These are located in each segment of the body surface.
Insects, including cockroaches, can hold their breath by closing the respiratory openings and stopping airflow. Meanwhile there metabolism is slowed down to a minimum survival limit. So they stop every nonessential system till the entire flow of oxygen is restored.
These survivalist capabilities have gifted cockroaches and other insects to live without oxygen for many hours (Source).
Similarly, a cockroach can survive underwater for 2 to 3 hours, depending on temperature and other variables. For example, submerging into Hot water will kill cockroaches in just under 30 minutes, but cold water will take much longer approximately 3 hours. Again, this is because the environment’s temperature profoundly affects metabolism (Source).
Do you know that some people have an extreme fear of roaches called katsaridophobia? Read this interesting article to learn more.
Can Cockroach die if you Drown it?
Have you ever wondered why cockroaches keep reappearing inside your home? This is because cockroaches have adapted very well to the environment. They are very resilient creatures, and eradicating them from the face of the earth is almost impossible.
Similarly, You are happily sitting on your couch thinking that I have successfully killed a cockroach by flushing it down the drain. Have you ever given a second thought to Can Cockroach die if you Drown it?
A cockroach can die if you drown it for more than 1 hour, or most likely, it will not die. As explained earlier, cockroaches have an open circulatory system where they have the autonomy to stop their breath and slow their metabolism. This keeps them alive for many hours without oxygen.
Roaches rest and sleep when we are active, and they do their job when it’s dark. So hunting them during the day to kill them by drowning is not a good idea at all.
Interestingly, Some people even think that cockroaches can survive a nuke. Read this article to know if it really can?
Do Roaches feel Pain?
Insects, including roaches, do not have emotions and feelings. They are devoid of specialized pain receptors; instead, roaches only feel a sense of irritation. This is built to protect them from environmental insults and dangers.
You may see a cockroach flapping wings and legs after spraying with insecticide, but this is not due to pain but is the result of uncontrolled spasms elicited by the neurotoxin.
To make it brief, it may seem painful to kill a roach, but they do not actually suffer any pain.
Read Should I kill a cockroach? to know more.