How Long Can Cockroaches Live Without Food?

Cockroaches are hardy but they’re certainly not immortal. If you remove their food source how long will they live? Here’s what you need to know.

Are you wondering how long cockroaches can live without food?

Unfortunately, cockroaches live quite a bit longer without sustainability than you might be expecting.

If you’re concerned about a cockroach infestation or if you’re already dealing with one, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a guide on common cockroach species, what cockroaches eat, and how long they live without food. You’ll also learn more about preventing and exterminating cockroaches.

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about cockroach control.

Common Cockroaches Found in Homes

There are several species of cockroaches that are commonly found in homes throughout the United States. Though cockroaches generally look alike, with 6 legs, big eyes, and long antennae, there are some distinctions between these common species.

German Cockroach

With a penchant for sweet or starchy foods, the German cockroach is flat-bodied, a light brown or dark brown color, with 2 dark bands below the head.

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This cockroach is the most common one to find in your home, usually in moist and warm areas. These include bathrooms and kitchens, in crevices in cabinets or underneath the sink. German cockroaches are small, ranging from 1/2″ to 5/8″.

Brown-Banded Cockroach

The brown-banded cockroach is not dependent on moisture and doesn’t remain in one area of the house–instead, you can find these cockroaches anywhere in the house. They prefer to eat substances like wallpaper paste and the bindings of books.

Brown-banded cockroaches are commonly found hidden behind pictures, clocks, and TVs. Their traits include a flat, oval body and brown colors with light stripes. They are usually 1/2″ tall.

Oriental Cockroach

Known for their strong odor, Oriental cockroaches are oval-shaped, dark brown or black, with small wings. They’re commonly found in trash, sewage, and organic materials.

Oriental cockroaches survive in cooler temperatures and can be seen in basements, laundry rooms, and drains.

What Do Cockroaches Eat?

When it comes to their diet, cockroaches aren’t picky. Common cockroaches tend to eat these foods or items.

  • Bread and breadcrumbs
  • Greasy foods
  • Cheese
  • Fermented or moldy foods
  • Potatoes
  • Sugary foods
  • Book bindings
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Stamp glue
  • Human hair and fingernail clippings

Though cockroaches eat many variations of foods and materials, they don’t eat everything. In fact, cockroaches are omnivores like humans, meaning that they only eat things that are organic.

If a cockroach can’t find their preferred food anymore, it won’t eat anything at all.

How Long Can Cockroaches Live Without Food?

What happens when a cockroach doesn’t find a food source and stops eating? It only lives for about a month without food, a week without water.

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Roaches are cold-blooded, allowing them to live for so long without sustainability. They adapt to the temperatures around them and live best in warm conditions. Warm environments give cockroaches energy and activity, but cold temperatures slow them down.

A cockroach can preserve its body energy by lowering its internal temperature. Because of this, it can survive for an extended period time without food intake.

The Damage Cockroaches Cause

Along with the general fear and nuisance that cockroaches cause humans, they pose a risk for damaged property, allergies, disease, and asthma.

Because cockroaches live in unsanitary locations like sewers, drains, and garbage, they can contaminate food and kitchen supplies like utensils and moldy sponges. They also leave stains on fabrics and walls.

Cockroaches can target books, paper items, and glue as well as other starchy materials throughout the house. Once a roach makes its way into items like these, they leave a strong, foul odor behind that is very difficult to remove.

Along with their smell, cockroaches carry the possibility of disease. They hold human pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli and can cause intestinal diseases like typhoid and cholera.

Along with these severe issues, cockroaches are a source of allergies and can contribute to asthma.

Cockroaches are dangerous and unpleasant, but there are several things to do to avoid cockroach infestations.

How To Avoid Cockroach Infestations

It’s smart to implement prevention methods when it comes to the possibility of roaches in your home. It also helps to know about other pests, such as termites and their infestation signs.

These include cleaning regularly, sealing food in containers, and decluttering your home. Here are some things to do to avoid cockroaches.

  • Clean by sweeping and vacuuming often
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator or in an airtight container
  • Don’t leave your dirty dishes in the sink overnight
  • Store your pet’s food and water bowls in a sealed place overnight
  • Eat your food in the dining room or kitchen to avoid crumbs elsewhere
  • Wipe down counters
  • Take the trash out frequently and keep it covered with a lid
  • Clean the bathroom thoroughly and regularly
  • Declutter your home by throwing out excess paper and organic materials
  • Routinely inspect moisture levels in basements and underneath sinks
  • Seal your home from the outside

Most of these tips are easy to practice in order to keep roaches out of your home. Soon you’ll get into the habit of cockroach prevention without extra thought.

However, it will also benefit you to know how to get rid of cockroaches.

Getting Rid Of Cockroaches

If you’re faced with unwanted cockroaches in your home, there are several things you can do to manually remove them yourself.

Try vacuuming areas that cockroaches like to hide, such as pantries, cabinets, closets, garages, and basements. If you don’t want to get up close and personal, consider placing sticky traps in areas that cockroaches frequent in your home.

There are also several insecticides and dust available to use to remove cockroaches. If you want to use chemicals, it’s strongly suggested that you hire a cockroach exterminator to safely handle the right equipment and ensure that the cockroaches are gone.

Hire a Cockroach Exterminator Today

Whether you’re preventing your home from a cockroach infestation or trying to fix a cockroach issue, it’s beneficial to learn about the different cockroaches and environments they’re found in.

Having the knowledge of roaches and knowing how to begin and maintain your own pest control will help you keep your home safe from cockroaches.

Avoiding the damage and complications cockroaches can cause by doing what you can to eliminate cockroach activity will benefit you now and later.

If you’re struggling with a cockroach problem, contact us today for an estimate on roach extermination.

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