Why Do Cockroaches Become White?- Fact & Information

Have you ever encountered a white cockroach? What do white cockroaches mean? Is there a superstitions surrounding white cockroaches? There are myths about white or albino cockroaches. White cockroaches aren’t mysterious as people tend to believe. In fact it is nothing unusual. Read more to understand why cockroaches become white.

Cockroaches at one point in their life turn white. It happens when they molt or shed of their skin. This creates new soft exoskeleton which becomes softer and lacks skin pigmentation. This is the period when cockroaches turn white. The cockroach appear entirely white as the old exoskeleton is shed and new one is formed which hardens and turns brown with time.

Unlike humans, cockroaches lack hemoglobin meaning that they have white blood. This makes their inner body inside the exoskeleton take a white coloring. During the process of shedding the skin, their body remains turns white until their shell can completely harden and become brown. The myth that white cockroaches are albino is fake.

What Does It Mean to See A White Cockroach?

As rare as it may be seeing a white cockroach is fascinating to some people. This is a myth that seeing a white cockroach is equivalent to luck. But in reality, a white cockroach in your house is sign of large infestation. Cockroaches are attracted in warm, damp, and places where there is source of food.

Cockroaches will build a nest where they will sleep, lay eggs and molt. The size of colony will grow in size and some roaches will be pushed to move and build another colony. The white which happens to be a recently molted cockroach will try to hide since it risk being killed easily or get eaten by other insects such as spider.

Do Cockroaches Become White?

Cockroaches become white when they are shedding their external skin. This happens during molting stage. In fact, roaches begin life when they are white. Why? As mentioned, roaches lack hemoglobin or red blood cells. This means that their inner body is naturally white. Their outer shell that covers the exoskeleton is one that is tanned creating their red-brown appearance.

A cockroach that is not properly tanned will appear white. Remember roaches are arthropods meaning that they have no spine; segmented and have an exoskeleton.

Cockroaches molt between 4- 14 times in their lifecycle. This process helps to create exoskeleton. Molting helps to expand and harden the exoskeleton. This process takes several minutes to hours for the exoskeleton to harden.

So, if you see a white cockroach, it means that the cockroach is in between the stage of molting and hardening its exoskeleton. A carefully look for a long time, you will notice the cockroaches turning from white to brown in color.

Are White Cockroaches Albino?

A white cockroach is so rare. This has created a myth that white cockroaches are a separate species on their own referring them to albino cockroaches. This is not true. As discussed in the post, white roaches are just the regular roaches you encounter every day at home.

There is no such thing as albino cockroaches. White cockroaches are not a different species. What people refer to albino cockroach is just a transition phase that all cockroaches go through. They are just going through molting as described in the post earlier.  Albino cockroaches do not exist.

Are White Roaches Hurt By Light?

Beside the fact that roaches lack pigmentation, white roaches are not hurt by light. Remember, white roaches are not albino, if so they would be affected by lack since albinism is characterized by sensitivity to light.

White roaches are the regular roaches undergoing molting. Their reaction to light is similar to other roaches. White cockroaches tend to run shun away from light just like the normal kinds.

Are White Cockroaches Dangerous?

 White cockroaches are just the regular cockroaches. They are no more dangerous than normal ones. But just like the normal roaches, a newly molted cockroach continues to pose a health risk to the public.

Why they could be dangerous. Here are some of the dangers the white cockroaches pose: transmit diseases such as typhoid, amoebiasis, salmonella, cholera, etc. They can also cause damage to the house.

White cockroaches shed a number of times during their growth stage. Their shedding skin and poop can be allergens to sensitive people especially kids causing asthma. The allergic reaction from their droppings, shed skin and fluids can be a cause of concern on respiratory health of people allergic to the white roaches.

Why Are Baby Cockroaches White?

It is normal to see white baby roaches. They are hatched white since cockroaches have an incomplete metamorphosis. This means that the baby roaches or nymphs look almost like the adult only that the nymphs have underdeveloped wings.

They grow going through a series of molting phases until they are fully mature. Baby roaches are white naturally when they are hatched, this is the beginning off their first molt. It takes a couple of hours before their exoskeleton turns brown just like the adult cockroaches.

Are White Cockroaches Aggressive?

A lot of people think that the white roaches are vicious or more aggressive than the normal ones. This myth is not true. There is a misconception that the white roaches biting or hissing. It is a fallacy. Remember, the white roaches are not different from the regular cockroaches. The only cockroach species know to hiss is the Madagascar hissing cockroach.

The white roaches appear vulnerable in their state but they aren’t more aggressive. Just like the normal ones, they flee and can only bite when the source of food is limited and are starving. This happens when their population grows beyond their food source. They rarely bite humans.

Is A White Cockroach Easier to Kill?

A white cockroach is in it vulnerable stage of life. It is a lot easier to kill a white cockroach than a brown cockroach. A normal cockroach has a hard exoskeleton that protects it form danger including being sprayed by insecticides or squished.

White cockroaches are vulnerable and less fortunate. Their exoskeleton is soft and not thick enough to keep out poison when they are sprayed with insecticide. A newly molted white cockroach is more likely to die when stepped on. This is because of how soft their skin is and any attack onto their body is a threat.

Why Are White Cockroaches So Rare to See?

It is so rare to see white roaches since most of them tend to hide. Although they are normal cockroaches in their molting phase, you may not see them quite often as the brown roaches. White roaches in their molting phase are in their vulnerable state. They do not have the hardened exoskeleton to protect them from external threats and potential dangers.

When the white cockroach begins its molting phase, it will pick a secure location. They prefer those hard-to-reach spot where they will hide from predators. It is rare to see them since they tend to hide and won’t come out unless the molting phase is over.

Do White Cockroaches Bleed More?

A new molted white cockroach has more blood volume than the regular brown cockroach. This is according to the Department of Biology at Tulane University. A white cockroach when stomped on, it will bleed more than a brown cockroach.


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