Why Do I Only Find Dead Cockroaches in My House?

Dead roach on a table near flour

Dead or alive, finding cockroaches in any shape spoils our entire day. Whenever you see more than one roach in your home, know there is a severe cockroach infestation in your precious abode. But why do you find dead cockroaches?

You may think that seeing dead roaches rather than alive ones is a good sign, especially when you’re using bait to stop them. However, that’s only one side of the story.

The other side could mean that these bugs’ population has gotten so large that they’re running low on water and food. In such conditions, larger roaches eat smaller ones to survive.

So what must be your action plan in this situation? Keep reading to find answers to all your questions related to dead roaches.

Why Do You See So Many Dead Cockroaches?

Seeing so many cockroaches in your home means that you’re handling a substantial roach infestation. At this point, you may be wondering why these pests enter your house anyway.

Roaches enter your home while searching for food, water, and shelter.

But what kills them? The two main factors are:

  • Starvation. If you keep your home clean without food crumbs lying on the floor, roaches would have no food source and may starve to death. It’s said that these pests can survive up to 3 months without food.
  • Dehydration. Many roach-killing ingredients such as boric acid cause dehydration in roaches. These bugs can’t live without water for more than a week, so they tend to come out of their hiding places to find water and die.

Finding Dead Cockroaches: What Does It Mean?

Finding dead bodies is only good when you or your neighbors have used bug exterminator techniques to get rid of cockroaches. Otherwise, there is something in your home killing the roaches, including predators or other cockroaches.

Sometimes it could also mean that roaches are reproducing very quickly, and a colossal infestation is underway.

For each dead roach body you spot in your house, there can be more than a hundred hiding somewhere. In case you don’t know, a female roach can lay up to 30 eggs at a time!

Let’s get into more detail about why you see a massive number of dead roaches in your sweet abode:

Rat Infestation

Rats and mice both love eating bugs and roaches. Even though these insects are not the rodents’ primary food sources, they still feed on them if there is no alternative. So an undeniably high number of dead roaches indicates that you have rats or mice in your home.

But before you start to panic, confirm whether it’s the truth or not. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. First, pick two or three dead bodies of roaches.
  2. Then, examine whether their bodies are intact or look like any predator ate them.
  3. If their bodies seem untouched, there is no rat or mice infestation in your home.
  4. If the bodies seem strewn all over the place, they’re killed by a mouse or rat.

You may think it’s a good sign since roaches are eliminating on their own, but having rodents in your home is just as bad. So, you now have to deal with two types of infestation: roaches and rats.

Lizards and Geckos

Apart from rats, other insects or reptiles living in your homes, like lizards and geckos, also love to eat cockroaches. You may not know it, but roaches are rich in protein, making an ideal nutritious meal for these reptiles.

If your home has many lizards and geckos, they may start to hunt for cockroaches and eat them. This is especially the case when they’re starving.

Look for the roach’s leftover body parts and wings in your home. If you see them, know that you’ve got to deal with lizards too.

Fire Ants

Fire ants can get quite aggressive when they encounter other insects and bugs. For example, if they have already built nests in your home, they will attack every cockroach they come across and may eat them.

Like lizards, you may see roaches’ wings and leftover body parts in case of a fire ant infestation.

Consuming Poison

Another reason you find so many dead roaches in your house could be the presence of poison or a toxic substance near your property. These tiny pests may have engulfed or inhaled poison when crawling outside and then died in your home.

You can identify whether it’s true by observing the dead bodies. They might have consumed poison if you don’t see any dents on their bodies.

Some effective poisons for roaches are:

Some of these show quick results, while others work slowly.

Playing Dead

Cockroaches are one of the most dramatic pests alive. Believe it or not, they can flawlessly play dead, and that too, for a considerable time. Sometimes roaches do it on their own, but mostly it’s an innate behavior.

When they encounter life-threatening situations, their bodies automatically go into a shock and become immobile. They remain in this situation for some time and then restore their normal movement.

While playing dead, they do appear dead, making you believe there has been a roach apocalypse in your home. But in truth, they are alive cockroaches stuck in a frightening state.

Do Dead Roach Bodies Attract Other Pests?

Dead cockroaches are likely to attract other pests, especially their fellow species. That’s mainly due to the oleic acid that roaches release after death.

When a roach just dies, oleic acid gives off a moldy smell that repels many bugs and cockroaches. However, as soon as the roach’s body decomposes, oleic acid’s odor turns acidic. Cockroaches and multiple other bugs love this scent.

This is why you see numerous insects and roaches around dead cockroaches. They are indeed not there to pay respect to the deceased but to clean up the body.

Finding Dead Cockroaches: What To Do?

After finding dead roaches, develop an action plan as soon as possible. Here are some things to include:

  • Check dark corners in your home to evaluate the extent of the roach infestation
  • Determine whether there is another type of infestation
  • Remove dead roaches to stop more pests from entering your home
  • Use insecticide or place roach baits
  • Seal all the nooks and crevices of your home

Remember that cockroaches, even if dead, carry several pathogens. So make sure to wear gloves when touching and disposing of dead bodies.


Why Do I See Dead Roaches in My House?

You see dead roaches in your home because of uncontrollable roach colonies, rat or mice infestation, and the presence of lizards, geckos, and fire ants. Cockroaches may also consume poison from the outside and die in your home. They also play dead in some instances.

Do Dead Roaches Attract More Roaches?

Yes, dead roaches attract more roaches because of the oleic acid odor. In the beginning, the smell repels cockroaches and bugs but lures them once the roaches’ bodies start to decompose.

Does a Dead Roach Mean Infestation?

A dead roach could mean an infestation in your home, either of cockroaches, rats, or lizards.


Finding dead roaches in every room means a massive cockroach colony has attacked your house. Dead bodies of these bugs release oleic acid that attracts other cockroaches and bugs.

When their populations become uncontrollable, the large roaches start to eat the smaller ones. Other reasons include:

  • The presence of lizards, rats, fire ants, or geckos in your home. All of them eat roaches.
  • Roaches came in contact with poison and entered your home for shelter but died.
  • Cockroaches are playing dead.