Do Cockroaches Fly?

Picture of Surinam Cockroach

Types of Cockroaches Found in New England

Three common cockroaches in New England are: American cockroaches, Periplaneta americana, German cockroaches, Blattella germanica, and Pennsylvania woods cockroaches, Parcoblatta pennsylvanica . German and American cockroaches represent the two most prevalent species of cockroach throughout New England and the United States.

Where Can You Find Them?
The American cockroach is generally much larger in size and the more plainly visible of these two species. German cockroaches more frequently infest homes as opposed to American cockroaches, which almost strictly inhabit abandoned spaces and places where food is regularly prepared or stored in:

  • Breweries
  • Grocery stores
  • Restaurants
  • Warehouses

German cockroaches also inhabit many of the same commercial structures as American cockroaches. Woods cockroaches are commonly found outdoors in:

  • Dead tree bark/limbs
  • Leaf litter/organic mulch beds
  • Stumps

Woods cockroaches usually do not breed indoors.

Behavior and Flight

Cockroaches of all species generally prefer moist and warm living conditions and nest near adequate food/water sources in order to thrive. All of these cockroach species behave nocturnally and remain primarily active at night.

Using six, spiny appendages and two long antennae as means of sensory perception, the insects scurry and scuttle to move about through the dark, often very rapidly in the presence of or to avoid predators. Each species mates several times a year, which represents one of the main causes of continued, persistent infestations and rapid population explosions.

Although winged, German and American cockroaches rarely take flight, even in the face of perceived dangers. Research has shown that these cockroach species routinely climb up substrates and float or glide to the ground as opposed to actual ground to air flight.

The average interior living conditions German and American cockroaches occupy provides little to no need for flight. These living conditions are normally tight, difficult places to access, such as cracks in floor runners or rotted-away areas of drywall near indoor plumbing. These cockroaches also possess the ability to walk up walls and upside-down, lessening the need to fly to reach food sources or shelter.

Contrary to German and American cockroaches, woods cockroaches are good fliers (only males) often seen flying in groups during mating seasons. Woods cockroaches are attracted to light and accidentally invade structures.

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