How Long Can Cockroaches Live Without Food, Water? – Information and Facts

Cockroaches like all other living organisms depend on food to survive otherwise lack of it will mean they starve and die. But did you know roaches have a period where they can go without food and water but still survive? This post will give the facts and the information on how long the roaches can live without food and water.

Roaches like other insects are classified as cold-blooded pest thus they tend to take on the temperature from their surroundings. During warm weather conditions their body’s processes chemical reactions much faster to keep them very active.

When it is cold, roaches become less active thus slow. This is similar case whenever there is no food. Their activities tend to reduce during starvation meaning energy is just for basic bodily functions to help them survive.

So, how long can cockroaches survive without food? Roaches have the ability to survive for month without food. Throughout this period they can be annoying to deal with it. Let’s discuss in details on the period where the roaches can live without food. How do they search for food during this period?

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How Long, Days Can Roaches Live Without Food?

Roaches are known to be one of the resourceful pests meaning that they can survive in nearly all situations. They can live without food and even water for quite a number of days. In fact according to studies, these insects tend to stay without water and still be alive for approximately seven days. Without the availability of food, they can live for up to 30 days.

How Long Can Oriental Cockroaches Live Without Food?

How long can oriental cockroaches survive without food? Among the roach species, oriental cockroach is one of the larger species. Sometimes, they are referred to as waterbugs since they are commonly dependent on water. They are in most cases found in dark, humid and cooler areas such as the basements.

Read Also: Are Oriental Cockroaches Harmful, Dangerous, How to Get Rid

It is so easy to identify an oriental cockroach from its dark black and shiny body. Like mentioned, these type of cockroach species are dependent on water meaning that their chances of survival without water is low. They can survive without water for approximately 7 days.

When it comes to food, just like other species of cockroaches, they can live on the minimum. This means they can use only a limited amount of energy to help them survive for 30 days or a month.

Read Also: How to Get Rid of Oriental Rid Cockroaches in Your House

How Long, Days Can a German Cockroach Live Without Food?

A German cockroach is one of the most common cockroach you encounter at home. It is easy to identify from its light brown coloring with two parallel dark stripes found on the back. German roaches tend to live without food and water for a quite a long time.

As for the females, they can live without food and water for 13 days. The male counterpart have slighter shorter time compared to their female. They can only live without food and water for about 8 days.

As for the food, the case is slightly different. German cockroaches can survive without food up to 30 days. German cockroaches can survive on the smallest foods lets crumbs to last them for quite a longer period of time.

During this period of living without food little or no active is done by the roaches. But this doesn’t mean a female German cockroach cannot reproduce. They can lay viable eggs.

Read Also: German Roaches, Pictures, How to Get Rid Fast, Naturally, Home Remedies

How Long Can American Cockroach Live Without Food?

American cockroach is known to be the largest species of roaches. It is known to have come from Africa despite its name. The most common places you are likely to see these kind of roaches are in humid areas, shady areas and around flowerbeds. They will invade your home when climate changes and when there is food shortage.

Read Also: American Cockroaches, Facts, Information, How to Get Rid Instantly, Naturally & Home Remedies

How long can American cockroaches survive without water? Without water, the American roaches can only survive a number of days.

How long can American cockroaches live without food? When it comes to food, these roaches are likely to survive for much longer up to a month.

Do Roaches Move out if There is No Food?

Obviously yes, roaches only invade your home to look for food, water and sometimes shelter. If there is no food, they will leave but it may take quite some time as discussed above in the post. Remember, most cockroach species can live without food up to 30 days. This means that it is not possible to eliminate cockroach infestation with this method.

Shortage of food will force roaches to find alternative source of food inside your apartment. They may even begin to hunt for food during the day which is unlike of them. If you are dealing with a large infestation of cockroaches, cleaning up food and getting rid of all the food sources can help to reduce their population as most will leave in search of food.

Read Also: How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Your Apartment, Permanently, Naturally

Starving the roaches completely may be difficult since they feed on almost anything including sludge which is commonly found in kitchen sink or drain. To completely eliminate cockroach infestation, other than starving the roaches you may apply other remedies. Some of the solution may include the use of bait.

Can Cockroach Eggs Live, Survive Without Food?

Cockroaches don’t lay single eggs. A female roach lay eggs in capsule known as ootheca. This is small casing that looks like a brown or black enclosed enveloped filled with eggs. The egg casing differ in length. German cockroach egg cases are about 8 mm long while Oriental female roaches tend to be slightly longer, about 12 mm long.

Read Also: Cockroach Eggs: What They Look Like, How to Kill & Get Rid

The egg cases or oothecae are meant to protect and keep the eggs safe during development of nymphs. The eggs in the cases do not require food at this point, just a warm environment for development until a nymph is fully matured. Only a nymph requires food.

A nymph can live without food for ten days but thereafter if food is not provided, they nymph dies. Female cockroaches in most cases always lay eggs in safe place near food and water.

How Do Cockroaches Find Food?

Cockroaches are known to invade homes in search of food. How do they find food? Roaches like many insects such as ants, they create paths between food sources leaving pheromone or chemical trail for other roaches to follow in search of food.

Can Cockroaches Smell Food?

If you are keen, you must have noticed cockroaches using their antennae for finding food sources. They can follow a particular food smell such as sugar, grease, meat and cheese. Using their antennae cockroaches can smell food from a large distance.

There are certain smell or scent that irritates roaches which can be described as repellant. They include essential oils such as lavender oil, eucalyptus among others. These repellants or fragrance tend to clog the breathing holes on the surface of the cockroaches bodies.

Do Cockroaches Take Food Back to Their Colony?

Unlike other insects such as ants, cockroaches eat their food on the spot. They don’t carry or bring food back to their colony. In fact, roaches do not live in centralized colonies. They are however seen in the same spot if the conditions are favorable.

Cockroaches are active during the night when the lights are off. If you intend to eliminate them, choose a method or bait that the cockroach will eat and die within a couple of days.

How Long Can Cockroaches Survive Without Water?

How long can cockroaches live without water? As mentioned earlier in the post, roaches can last for quite a number of days without food. But the situation is different when it comes to water.

Water is essential to all living organisms and roaches are not exception. In absence of water, cockroaches are likely to die within a week or less. As in the case of nymphs or baby cockroaches, they are not lucky. They won’t last for long, let’s say within two or three days without water they will be dead.

To eliminate cockroaches, you may be forced to fix broken and leaking pipes. Unclog your drains or sink and get rid of extra humid from your kitchen cabinet or bathroom areas. Maintaining regular hygiene and cleaning all the stains inside the kitchen is key to deny the cockroaches water.

Tips on How to Keep Cockroaches Away from Food

To eliminate cockroaches from your home, start by starving them such that they are forced to leave and find food sources elsewhere. You can keep cockroaches away from food using the tips below:

  • Regular cleaning the area where the infestation. You can vacuum clean, mop and keep food storage surfaces clean all the time.
  • Keep all your food sealed boxes and packages
  • Remove trash out daily
  • Cover trashcan full of garbage especially during the night
  • Never leave dirty dishes in the sink instead wash and dry them.

How to Keep Cockroaches Away From Pet (Cat, Dog) Food

Remember when we said cockroaches feed on almost anything. Pet food can also be food to the roaches. To keep cockroaches away from pet food, make sure that the food can is never left open. Seal all the cans and keep them in a clean and safe storage.

The serving dish for your pet food should not be filled with food during the night. Clean the bowl and trash the leftovers.


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