Why you shouldn’t squash a cockroach
Cockroaches are highly durable insects that can support 900 times their weight, withstand serious injuries and survive without food for months.
It’s instinctive: you see a cockroach and you crush it. Or you run away.
However, entomologists advise against doing the former, because cockroaches can support 900 times their weight. Lightly stepping on the insect or swatting it with a newspaper is not the best plan. You have to hit it very hard - and even then it will not always die.
Fumigation the best way to kill cockroaches
“They are insects with extreme adaptability,” entomologist and pest control expert Ryan Smith told a recent interview with the Spanish newspaper ABC.
“Thanks to their strong exoskeleton, they can withstand great force. Their exoskeleton is also flexible, allowing them to easily switch their power to the legs for running. This is also why a simple swipe with a newspaper will not successfully kill them.”
Cockroaches can withstand very serious injuries and survive without food for months, qualities that also serve to make them such a durable animal. That’s why fumigation is one of the most effective methods of cockroach control.
Experts additionally note that if you don’t destroy their exoskeleton, cockroaches can play dead and run away later.
Squashing a cockroach can spread disease
The World Health Organization also advises against crushing them, for reasons of hygiene. According to the body, which classes cockroaches as “unhygienic scavengers in human settlements”, squashing them can spread bacteria into the environment that can lead to asthma, allergies and illnesses.
Indeed, salmonella, staphylococcus and streptococcus are some of the illnesses that cockroaches can cause, in addition to dysentery, diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid fever.