General Question

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Do cockroaches fly?

Asked by Jonesn4burgers (7201points) July 4th, 2014

This is no gag. I never studied any but I didn’t think cockroaches could fly.
Yesterday I was crossing a parking lot at the grocery store. A bug flew right in front of me, and landed on a car. It looked like a cockroach. It seemed a little lighter brown, and the wings were a bit longer than the body. It walked a few inches across the hood of the car, then flew away. When it did, I noticed that I could see through its papery brown wings. Seeing it gave me the hee bee gee bees.
If it wasn’t a cockroach, does anybody know what it would be?

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33 Answers

Berserker's avatar

Cockroaches do indeed fly. They’re not regular flyers, and can’t fly for as long as other flying insects, but they can. Of course there are many different kinds of cockroaches, all belonging to the order of blattaria, and maybe some can fly better than others, but as far as I know, most types of cockroaches have wings (in their adult stage only) and have the ability to fly. (and glide, rather, when hopping off a high source)

If that’s not what your insect was, then I don’t know, maybe one of these? (although I’m guessing if it was that thing you would have mentioned the huge front legs)

2davidc8's avatar

Yep, they do. I’ve seen it myself.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

It definately wasn’t that pinchy looking thing. It was smaller, and more frail looking. While in flight, its wings looked similar to a dragonfliy’s, but when it landed, its wings folded back, right over its body. I thought about googling for pictures, but I just know that would give me the willies.
It is stuck in my head. It almost landed on me instead of the car. Ick

Berserker's avatar

Well that’s how cockroaches would fly, and settle their wings in place after. A lot like a beetle. And as you described, their wings usually go passed the end of their abdomen a bit, like in this here pic.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Yes, they fly…usually right at you!!!

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

OH, EWWWWWW! I think that last picture was it. Now I have the shivers.
Thanks for the help, jellies. I was hoping someone could tell me it was something harmless, but it looks as if it really was what I hoped it wasn’t. BLEH!

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Actually, they are harmless. It’s just that usually
their timing leaves something to be desired.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Symbeline Wow, that last pic looks like the cockroaches which lurk inside my house. Guess @Jonesn4burgers has met an Asian cockroach :)

@Jonesn4burgers Do cockroaches fly? Yes they do, since they have wings. It’s just you don’t find them flying so often. A cockroach used to flied off and stood on my face, leading to my fear of cockroaches now :(

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Ew @Mimishu1995 . I’m sorry that happened to you.

livelaughlove21's avatar

There are plenty of flying cockroaches here in the South. We call them “waterbugs” or “Pamletto bugs,” but they’re just huge roaches. I believe they’re American cockroaches, as opposed to German cockroaches that invade your house. Pamletto bugs may get into your house, sure, but they don’t multiply and fill your cupboards like German cockroaches. They do, however, fly.

longgone's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Brr. Thanks for teaching me about German cockroaches. Lovely ~ Cockroaches and sea leopards are the only animals I have a problem with. At least ours are small.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@longgone The small ones are the worst ones. The big ones may be gross, but it doesn’t cost a bunch of money trying to get rid of them before they completely cover your house.

Sea leopards? As in…leopard seals? What’s wrong with them?

elbanditoroso's avatar

Possibly a cricket or a locust?

snowberry's avatar

I grew up in a desert area. I never saw a cockroach until I got my first job at a restaurant. It was in a very old building, and I was assigned to deep clean the place. I pulled out every movable piece of equipment and furniture I could and began to clean behind them. I got to a place where there was a pipe coming out of a hole in the wall. I thought that might be where some cockroaches were hiding, so I got some bug spray and sprayed it right in there….

After screaming and hopping around and totally freaking out, I finally realized I’d just been met with a flying cloud of cockroaches. That’s when I first discovered they could fly. SHUDDER!

LostInParadise's avatar

This question inspired me to do a Google search on cockroaches. I thought this article was kind of interesting.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Some do and when they fly at me it’s enough to send me into cardiac arrest!

filmfann's avatar

Some do, indeed. Scary shit.

GloPro's avatar

I’m with @livelaughlove21. You saw a Palmetto bug. Flying American cockroaches. The stuff nightmares are made of. I think they fly right at your face on purpose. These bugs will keep me from joining the elderly masses retiring in Florida. Ew.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, many of them fly and there are many different species as well.
Here, we have root borer beetles that swarm during the 1st rains of the season in the fall, they are like flying walnuts. Bomber beetles, huge and have fuzzy yellow underparts. The 1st year I lived in the hills here a long time ago they swarmed during a rain storm in Oct. It was like a horror movie, banging into the house, sliding door, you couldn’t even open the door without about a dozen zinging in. haha

marinelife's avatar

Yes, they do, during mating season. I once lost a book for two weeks after a palmetto bug flew at me in Florida and I threw the book in reaction (The book went behind something). It is appalling.

ibstubro's avatar

Do we have the OP’s permission to push this to Social. Just sayin. It’s bound to come up.

I saw a cockroach in the woods the other day and it surprised me. Odd. We usually think of them solely as house pests it was funny to see cockroaches as just another critter in nature.

Yes, they do indeed fly.
You might want to consider keeping your trap shut.~

snowberry's avatar

We used to live in Southern Indiana, with old growth forest all around. I learned they put screens on the windows to keep the cockroaches out, not so much flies and smaller pests. Yes, they certainly do fly! I think they call them wood roaches there.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Jeepers creepers! I put this in General because I knew serious discussion would be difficult enough to take, without people TRYING to go bizarre. I have learned quite a bit about the subject, and I don’t feel encouraged knowing cockroaches can fly. I am going to quit following my own question now, because I believe tis s my creep limit.
Thankyou all for your help, your open sharing, and your willingness to even click onto this question.

Berserker's avatar

Cmon, cockroaches aren’t that bad. And they’re the epitome of survival! They’re interesting little bastards. :)
Personally, flies and maggots gross me out way more than any ol roach. (I do understand that flies and maggots are good for the environment though; but that doesn’t change how gross I think they are lol)

snowberry's avatar

@Symbeline True. A cockroach that’s lived its entire life out in nature isn’t going to carry nearly the nasty diseases that roaches do living in sewers, etc.

Berserker's avatar

Do some cockroaches typically live in sewers?

snowberry's avatar

@Symbeline I’ve had ones that live in drains. And here’s a you tube clip. Yikes!

Berserker's avatar

Right that does remind me, I lived in a motel room with my dad for like tow months as a kid, and I remember there being cockroaches sometimes crawling out of the drain and running around in the tub. Spiders, too.

snowberry's avatar

It’s possible they are mutating also. This one looks like a grizzly bear version of a cockroach. There are protrusions on its back that may be undeveloped wings. Turn off the “music”. It’s creepy.

Berserker's avatar

Waah! Damn, what is it? Lol. It does look to be in the process of molting…but damn, it’s huge.

Also, wtf is up with that music. Bwaaawaa…waawaa…waabwabwaaa…lol.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I remember as a kid seeing the flying ones slowly displace the normal roaches. It even made the local news. Where we lived in N.C. they were everywhere outside for some reason.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

They fly here. Horrible, disgusting creatures that they are.

longgone's avatar

@livelaughlove21 You have a point – the big ones just make me queasy.

When I was about 11, I watched Eight Below. I’ve distrusted leopard seals ever since.

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