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What are the Weaknesses of Roaches?

Ann LaPan
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When facing an infestation of roaches, also known as cockroaches, it seem like an impossible task to get rid of them. Roaches are tenacious creatures, and can survive a lot of abuse. However, like all living things, roaches have weaknesses.

Although hard to kill, roaches do have some natural weaknesses.

Knowing these weaknesses can help you take control and remove the roaches from your home.


Many people facing a cockroach infestation choose to use roach traps, insecticides, or even a professional exterminator. These methods are accepted because they tend to be quite effective. Roaches cannot defend against poisons. However, choose poisons carefully, as some pesticides can be harmful to humans and other animals. Products such as acids or diatomaceous earth, which cause a breakdown in the roach’s exoskeletons, are also helpful.

Starvation and Dehydration

Roaches can live for quite a while without food. However, if the food supply dwindles, roaches will move on to a more readily available food supply, or will eventually die. Keeping your house very clean, and sealing away any food or trash particles, can limit the number of roaches infesting your home. In order for this technique to work, though, you’ll have to be extremely vigilant, as roaches can survive on a bare minimum of food, such as the specks of food left on a dirty plate. Roaches are even more susceptible to lack of water. It will take a roach about a month to starve, but will only take half that time for it to die of dehydration.


Most cockroaches hail from tropical regions, and require warm temperatures in order to stay alive. Cold temperatures may cause roaches to look for a warmer area to live. Even colder temperatures, below 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the species of roach, may kill them. Also, in cooler temperatures, roaches slow their breeding cycle, or may even stop breeding all together.

Low Humidity

Because most roach species are tropical, they require a humid environment, along with warm temperatures. Dry living conditions will cause the cockroaches to become stressed and can cause health problems. Dry conditions will also disrupt their breeding cycle. Keep your house dry by plugging drains and mopping up any liquid spills.


Roaches are nocturnal insects, and try to avoid light at all costs. They do most of their eating, moving and breeding in the dark. Extended periods of light will cause the roaches to become stressed, and may affect their life cycles, disrupting their essential living habits. Long periods of light will also cause the roaches to stop breeding.