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khyathi's avatar

What happens when a cockroach is flipped over?

Asked by khyathi (7points) January 28th, 2010

Why can’t it easily flip back over? Is its breathing impacted by this? Will a flipped cockroach die because of this?

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10 Answers

life_after_2012's avatar

A epic battle for survival begins.

Harp's avatar

Our slick floors are a relatively recent development, so natural selection hasn’t equiped cockroaches to deal with a surface that provides little friction and nothing to reach with its legs. A healthy roach will eventually right itself, usually by using its wings to push off from the floor.

The fact that you always see dead roaches lying on their backs doesn’t mean that they died because they were on their backs. Rather, they ended up on their backs either because they were already dying and so had lost the ability to control their movements, or had died and were pushed over by the rigor mortis of their legs.

belakyre's avatar

If its flipped and I have a shoe, then God bless.

bennett's avatar

I gag. I hate those things.

HTDC's avatar

It’s funny because I just killed a cockroach before. a couple hours ago. I smacked it with a shoe and now it’s on its back, it will probably spend the next 2 days twitching its legs, but I guess it’s the same with turtles, their shell prevents them from flipping over. I don’t think they can roll from side to side to flip up either. Its breathing would be okay, but I suppose eventually it would die from lack of food and water. I have no idea what cockroaches eat, but I bet it doesn’t crawl into their mouths, they need legs to find it.

marinelife's avatar

@Harp has the right of it. They are poisoned from insecticide and end up on their backs, where you may see them moving and unable to get up.

mowens's avatar

It’s on its back.


HTDC's avatar

Edit: killed a cockroach a couple hours ago.

@Harp The question wasn’t asked about why cockroaches are flipped on their back, it was a question of what happens when they are already on their backs and if they could die from being this way.

Harp's avatar

@HTDC I realize that, and I think I answered it in the first part of my answer. The second part was an effort to explain away a possible erroneous conclusion: “All dead cockroaches are lying on their backs, therefore lying on their backs must be what killed them”.

hawaii50's avatar

I recently had the exterior of my house sprayed for roaches. In the morning I saw about
six of them lying on there backs. One hour later they were gone. Where did they go, I thought they were dead.

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