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Does Hairspray Kill Roaches & Bugs? [Yes, but…]

Insects, including spider or palmetto bugs, 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. Hair spray acts by blocking these openings.

Will Hairspray Kill a spider and other bugs? Yes! a hairspray kills spiders and other roaches by suffocating them. Hairspray will make roach wings and legs stick to the body.

The wings and legs block the respiratory openings, killing them within the next few hours (although the bug will become immobile in seconds). Similarly, it will block the air vents of a spider as well.

Traditional insecticide spray contains neurotoxins, and spraying them into the room will kill roaches. Still, unlike them, hair spray must be directly applied to the surface of roaches, including spiders.

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How does Hairspray kill spiders and other Insects?

We all have hairsprays placed on our dressing tables. They are an easy alternative to gel for keeping our hairstyle in place for long. An active ingredient, methylcellulose, achieves stickiness.

As discussed already, unlike mammals, insects have an open circulatory system that is not dependent on the lungs for respiration. Instead, like other insects, spiders and roaches breathe through openings on their thorax and abdomen.

If somehow these openings get blocked, the insect will suffocate to death.

Hairspray will make their bodies sticky when spraying directly onto the spiders and cockroaches. These structures will cling to the body of cockroaches, including spiders, and will block the respiratory openings.

The spray may also directly block the openings used to intake air. Once most openings are blocked, the cockroaches and spiders will slowly suffocate to death in about 12 hours.

After applying hair spray onto them, you can also kill spiders and cockroaches by squashing them. This will prevent a painful death.

Although hairspray can kill insects and cockroaches, it should not be used on an infestation as that will make all your place sticky and hard to clean afterward. You can check this article to conclude a palmetto bug infestation.

How long does it take to kill a spider with hairspray?

It is fascinating that insects, including roaches and spiders, can live without oxygen for many hours (Source). This is achieved by slowing down their metabolism and oxygen demands.

If the hairspray successfully blocks respiratory openings (Spiracles), the cockroach, including the spiders, will take 6 to 12 hours to die.

Likewise, if some openings are patent, the bug will take more time before it passes out. It is important to note that when hairspray is used, it will make the bug immobile right away, but this doesn’t mean that it has died.

Insects with smaller bodies take longer to die than those with large bodies. This is because large bodies need more oxygen. That’s why hairspray will kill a spider in 2 to 3 hours.

Types of hairsprays that will kill a spider and other roaches

Hairspray can be pretty effective in killing cockroaches, including spiders and other insects, but the killing power of hair spray depends on two major factors.

  1. Type of hairspray
  2. Quantity of hair spray being used

The hairsprays are graded on the level of hold they can provide to hairs. This may be low, medium, or high grade. The hairspray with more holding capacity will act best at killing palmetto bugs and insects. This is because the greater the holding capacity greater will be clinging and respiratory hole blocking capacity.

The second factor that influences the killing power of hairspray is the quantity being used. The holding capacity of the hairspray can be increased by spraying more. This will help to kill palmetto bugs and other cockroaches quickly.

I personally recommend L’Oreal Paris hairspray that is cheap and pretty effective. You can also buy it on amazon.

Hairspray to kill a palmetto buy and cockroaches

Does hairspray kill other cockroaches as well?

The United States hosts around 85 species of cockroaches out of 4900 found worldwide. The roaches differ in size, appearance, color, texture, and ability to fly. Most of the roaches rarely infest home and like to stay outside.

All the roaches are classified like insects and have the same type of respiratory systems as others. Although hairspray kills all types of cockroaches, the difference lies in the speed of action. As said earlier, the larger the size of the cockroach better the hairspray killing ability.

Is hairspray better than insecticides to kill insects?

Insecticides kill insects by acting on their nervous system. A small dose of Permethrin or D-Fensa is enough to kill many bugs. This is because the action of the neurotoxin is very effective and quick. Thanks to quick diffusion capability, an insecticide sprayed on one side of the room will kill a bug in another corner.

On the other hand, hairspray kills insects by physically interfering with respiration, including palmetto bugs and other roaches. This means that hair spray must directly be sprayed on the bug to achieve its effect.

In short, Insecticides are better at killing insects than hairspray. Gel baits are even more effective than sprays. Cockroach chalk is also a type of bait used to kill roaches.

You can also use natural baits and repellents to keep roaches and other crawling insects out of the bay. Check out a complete guide here: Palmetto Bug Natural Repellents

Is it painful to kill cockroaches and spiders with hairspray?

Insects, including spiders and other roaches, do not have emotions and are devoid of specialized pain receptors. As a result, they do not feel pain but sense 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 cockroach, including a palmetto bug, with hairspray, but they do not suffer any pain.

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