Does Killing a Cockroach Attract More?

Does-Killing-A-Cockroach-Attract-MoreDead cockroaches attract more roaches by secreting a chemical called oleic acid. This acid releases a “Death Stench,” which alerts other cockroaches that one of them is down.

That substance released from the roach’s corpse is a fatty acid, a good source of food for them. So whenever you kill one, don’t think you have gotten rid of cockroaches. Instead, murdering a cockroach means inviting others to dinner.

So does that mean you shouldn’t kill cockroaches? No. If you kill them and properly dump their dead bodies, they will never attract more cockroaches to your house.

This post will share in detail why dead roaches attract more of them and how to get rid of their corpses the right way.

What Happens When You Kill a Cockroach?

A cockroach will die if you kill it using any method. Its corpse releases oleic acid, which first alerts other cockroaches about the danger. After the things settle down, those cockroaches and other pests come to the dead body and devour it. But that’s not always the case.

You might not know that cockroaches eat their dead ones only if they are going through intense hunger. So although they can live a month without food, you never know how long they’ve been living as your guests.

Killing a cockroach has several myths associated with it. For example, cockroaches release eggs when you kill them. That’s a myth because the eggs are crushed with the mother when you stomp or squish a cockroach.

However, this little pest is an incredible survivor because of its strong exoskeleton. Cockroaches can endure mighty blows and run with their maximum energy when attacked.

According to an entomology research in the University of California, Berkeley, cockroaches can withstand a force almost 900 times their body weight without injury. The credit for such an amazing survival instinct goes to their exoskeleton.

The exoskeleton saves cockroaches when you try to kill them using a:

  • Newspaper
  • Magazine
  • Book
  • Slipper

That’s why you see a cockroach fleeing away without injury even after hitting it with all your might.

The Experts Say: Don’t Kill a Roach As Soon As You See It

Some experts suggest not to kill a cockroach when you see it because you might never kill it in a single blow. So a failed attempt to kill a cockroach adds nothing but guilt.

Your inner instinct will compel you to kill the roach once you spot it. You have two options in this situation:

  • Kill it with full force, crushing its exoskeleton and destroying its inner organs.
  • Track it down and find its ultimate hideout, the roach colony.

You are good to go with both options. However, if you want to kill the roach, make sure you do it the right way and properly dispose of its corpse.

That will be a smarter move if you plan to leave the roach alive and locate its nest. Since now you know where all the cockroaches are living, you can set a poisonous trap to eliminate all of them without much effort.

How to Properly Squish a Cockroach?

There is no standard way of squishing a cockroach. But always try to hit the roach at its head or abdominal center. You might deal heavy damage to these zones and make the roach unable to flee.

You can pick any suitable object and hit it. But since you already know a roach is too stubborn to die, it will live despite you trying your best. No matter how hard you hit a cockroach, its exoskeleton will somehow send your effort to vain.

The exoskeleton gives the following layers to cockroaches:

  • Protective
  • Waterproof
  • Germproof

The protective layer saves the roach when you hit it. However, you might give serious injury to that annoying pest if your attempt penetrates the shell and damages its organs. After that, a wounded cockroach is easier to deal with.

Besides, don’t go into shock when you take out a roach by destroying its head and then see it moving. Cockroaches can live without a head for almost a week and eventually die due to dehydration.

Do Cockroaches Multiply When Killed?

The answer is no if you are talking about eggs and baby cockroaches. It’s because when you squish a cockroach, you squish the eggs too. There’s no chance the eggs can survive because they are more vulnerable than the cockroach.

On the other side, cockroaches multiply when killed because of the corpse. The dead body attracts cockroaches and other pests, including:

  • Geckos
  • Lizards
  • Rats
  • Mice

These insects feed on dead cockroaches to kill their hunger. However, roaches differ from these insects as their cannibalistic instinct only turns on when starving. So, if you see a cockroach eating its dead comrade, know that hunger has made it desperate, and more of them might spread in your house in search of food.

Furthermore, finding a dead cockroach might indicate an infestation. Cockroaches spread rapidly. When talking about the German or household cockroach, this species can reproduce 300,000 baby roaches in one year.

So yes, cockroaches will multiply if you kill them and don’t dump their body in a suitable place.

Is Killing Cockroaches a Good Idea?

Killing cockroaches is a good idea only if you follow the right guideline. That includes:

It’s normal if you prepare to kill a cockroach by stomping or squishing it whenever you see one. However, you must know that killing a cockroach in a non-recommended way will only worsen the situation.

No one wants to leave a roach when it’s out of its hideout since these pests have a bad reputation. In addition, a cockroach is a source of food contamination and spreads bacteria wherever it goes.

Therefore, always follow the right way to kill cockroaches and wipe them out once and for all. When you follow the right way, you can defeat the whole roach army.

Pro Tip: Poison All Cockroaches At a Time

Yes. You can poison all cockroaches at a time if you play smart. But, of course, you must first know your enemy and then strategize your action plan.

Cockroaches can survive without food for a month. However, as their colonies exponentially grow, they quickly run out of food. That’s when you see cockroaches taking the following risks:

  • Coming out of their dirty dark corners in daylight
  • Peeking a place where they never dared to step
  • Trying to enter the refrigerator and other food sources

Once you observe these activities, that means these insects are starving. Therefore, it’s the right time to eliminate all of them in one shot. How?

Cockroaches turn to cannibals when they don’t have anything to eat. So they start eating their own dead ones to survive and keep their colony alive. Sometimes when their colonies get overpopulated, they start knocking out the weak ones to keep their residence spacious.

If you poison one of them instead of squishing it, you can transfer the poisonous effect to all colony members.

Other cockroaches will only know that their comrade is down, and they will come out to eat it. They will never know that the dead one is poisoned. So when other roaches eat the poisoned one, they all will die.

Do Cockroaches Smell When You Kill Them?

Yes. When you kill cockroaches, they release a death stench, the scent of oleic acid. You can smell that odor by making a pile of dead cockroaches.

The scent of oleic acid alarms other roaches that danger lurks around. That’s why you see all these pests fleeing in dark shelters when you take down one of them. No one will come out until the same death stench becomes a dinner invitation.

Cockroaches leave their hideouts and gather around their martyred partner. But that’s not for paying homage to the dead but eating it. That’s one of the ways cockroaches keep their bellies full in times of hunger.

Besides, cockroaches give off other scents for the following purposes:

Normal Secretion

Cockroaches leave pheromones when they get together. For example, the German species secretes a pheromone which includes 150 chemicals. Scientists take the sample from the roach’s droppings to examine how the secretion works.

The normal secretion is a sign of finding a safe shelter. Unfortunately, the scent attracts other cockroaches to join the colony and settle there.

Besides, a cockroach leaves secretions as a routine. That’s a way these pests contaminate your food even without touching it.

Attracting Mates

Female cockroaches use a scent to attract male roaches for mating. With just a simple secretion, a female roach can attract a whole army of male roaches towards it. You can smell that scent as well.

How To Dispose of Dead Cockroaches?

You must take proper steps to dispose of dead cockroaches. It’s because if you have killed a roach, that means there are more of them hiding in your house. They will come out to feed on the dead cockroach if you leave its dead body on the floor.

So killing a cockroach is just completing half part of the mission. The other half tells you to properly dispose of the dead body. No dead roach in your house means no food for the living ones.

Disposing of a dead cockroach is necessary to prevent it from attracting others to its corpse. Therefore, follow these steps to dispose of dead cockroaches:

  1. Put on safety gloves to avoid contamination.
  2. Take a broom and dustpan.
  3. Pick up the corpse of the cockroach.
  4. Put it in a plastic bag.
  5. Throw the plastic bag in the trash can outside your house.

Leaving a dead cockroach on the floor is not right because these pests never reside in a pair. Instead, they come in armies and look for food in your house if you don’t take the right steps of disposing of their corpses.

Does Finding Dead Cockroaches Mean Infestation?

There might be an infestation if you find dead cockroaches in your house. It’s an alarming situation because spotting dead cockroaches mean:

  • Cockroaches have become overpopulated and running out of food.
  • They are starving to death in your house.
  • Other insectivores like lizards and rats are hunting them.

You might not see cockroaches scurrying around even in an infestation. It’s because cockroaches don’t get along with light. They are mostly nocturnal, which means they are active at night.

Being nocturnal is why cockroaches love the dark corners of your house. They believe that the darker their abode is, the safer it is. Moreover, you can find them wandering around in your kitchen at night when everyone is sleeping.

They scavenge food in late hours without disturbing a soul. This proves that cockroaches don’t hunt other pests and insects. Instead, they silently search for food and go back to their places once they are full.


Will Killing a Cockroach Attract More?

Yes. Killing a cockroach will attract more of them because of the oleic acid’s scent. It first alerts the cockroaches about the possible danger. But after some time, the scent attracts other cockroaches to the corpse.

However, those cockroaches will only eat their dead ones if they are starving. Otherwise, the corpse will stay there, and decay or some other insect will devour it.

Does Squishing a Cockroach Kill it?

Unfortunately, squishing a cockroach doesn’t kill it most of the time, thanks to its strong exoskeleton. Instead, you need to hit its head or abdomen by penetrating the outer layer of the protective shell.

What’s the Best Way to Kill Cockroaches?

Following are the best ways to kill cockroaches:

  • Buying a quality insecticide spray
  • Setting a poisonous trap using chemicals
  • Hiring a professional fumigation service

You might have to spend money to get rid of these pests. You can also DIY by using the right anti-roach products. However, beware of keeping other house members out of this because insecticides harm humans, especially kids.


A dead cockroach attracts others towards its carcass by releasing a chemical. Those other roaches eat their dead member only if there’s no other food source available like:

  • Sweets
  • Meats
  • Leaves

Cockroaches eat almost anything. But since they live in a closed environment, they activate their cannibalistic trait and devour the dead cockroach to survive the hunger.

Therefore, always properly dispose of the corpse whenever you kill a cockroach. That will not attract other cockroaches, and you might eliminate the infestation.