Do Dead Cockroaches Attract More Cockroaches?

Cockroaches are among the most resilient and persistent pests that can invade our homes. These creatures not only survive in various conditions but can also quickly adapt to changes in their environment. Whether it’s a clean and well-maintained space or a cluttered and neglected area, cockroaches can thrive and multiply rapidly. One common question that many people ask is whether dead cockroaches attract more cockroaches. The idea behind this question stems from the belief that when a cockroach dies, it emits certain chemicals or signals that can attract live ones. Let’s explore whether there is any truth to this notion.

Do Dead Cockroach Attract More Roaches?

Unfortunately for homeowners, there is some logic to the idea that dead cockroaches can attract more roaches. When a cockroach dies, it releases a pheromone known as necromone and oleic acid. These substances serve as a signal to other cockroaches that there is a potential food source nearby, as roaches are known to eat each other when there is a shortage of available food.

Therefore, simply crushing a roach by stepping on it or swatting it can release this necromone, effectively attracting other roaches to the area. This can be problematic, especially if the dead roach is left there.

Cockroach climbing metal object

How to Avoid Attracting More Cockroaches with Dead Ones

Here’s what you can do to minimize the chances of attracting more roaches with a dead one:

Dispose of Dead Roaches Quickly

Don’t leave dead roaches lying around. The sooner you remove them, the less time they have to emit attractants. Use a tissue or paper towel to pick them up and dispose of them in a sealed trash bag. Take the bag outside immediately and place it in the outdoor trash bin. 

Clean Up the Area Thoroughly

After removing the dead roach, clean the area with a disinfectant wipe or soapy water. This will eliminate any remaining pheromones or oleic acid that could attract other roaches.

Focus on Long-Term Solutions

While removing dead roaches is important, it’s crucial to address the root cause of the infestation. Here are some long-term solutions: 

  • Seal Entry Points: Cockroaches can squeeze through tiny cracks. Seal any gaps around pipes, windows, doors, and other potential entry points with caulk. We recommend Gorilla Waterproof Caulk as it takes just 30 minutes to fully cure.
  • Eliminate Food and Water Sources: Cockroaches are attracted to food and water sources. Regularly clean up spills, crumbs, and leftover pet food. Fix leaky faucets and eliminate standing water in drains. 
  • Invest in Traps or Baits: Consider using commercially available traps or baits specifically designed for roaches. These can effectively target and eliminate roaches without attracting more with dead roach remains.
  • Consider Professional Pest Control: If the infestation is severe, contacting a professional pest control service might be the best solution. They have access to specialized treatments and strategies to eliminate roaches effectively.

Do Different Cockroach Species React to Necromones Differently?

While the release of necromones from dead cockroaches can attract other roaches, it is important to note that different cockroach species may react differently to these chemical signals. Some species may be more strongly attracted to the scent than others.

For example, the German cockroach (Blattella germanica), which is one of the most common household pests, has been shown to be particularly drawn to the scent of dead individuals. This means that if you have a German cockroach infestation in your home and you leave dead roaches lying around, you are more likely to attract additional German cockroaches to the area.

On the other hand, other species like the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) may not be as strongly affected by the smell of dead cockroaches. These differences in behavior may be due to variations in their chemical detection systems or other factors that influence their foraging and aggregation habits.

However, it’s important to remember that regardless of the species, keeping your living space clean and free of dead roaches is still crucial in preventing infestations. Even if certain species are not as attracted to necromones, the presence of dead cockroaches can still serve as a potential food source for scavengers, including other pests, such as ants or flies.

Cockroach on man's shirt

Do Cockroach Eggs Attract More Cockroaches?

Besides dead cockroaches, many people wonder if having cockroach eggs in their homes can attract more cockroaches. The answer to this question is not as straightforward as it may seem.

In fact, the presence of cockroach eggs in your home does not necessarily attract more cockroaches. Cockroach eggs are typically laid in hidden areas, such as cracks and crevices, where they are protected and have access to food sources. The eggs themselves do not emit any odors or chemicals that attract other cockroaches.

However, this does not mean that you should ignore any cockroach egg sightings, as they indicate that there will soon be an increased cockroach population in your home. Cockroach eggs hatch into nymphs, which will eventually grow into adult cockroaches. Ignoring the presence of cockroach eggs can allow the infestation to grow and become more difficult to control.

Where Do Cockroaches Usually Hide in a House?

There are certain parts of a house where roaches are more likely to hide. Understanding their hiding spots can help you take preventive measures to keep them at bay. Therefore, when inspecting your home for common pests, be sure to check these spots for cockroaches:


Cockroaches are attracted to food sources, so it’s no surprise that the kitchen is a prime area for them to hide. Check behind and under appliances like the refrigerator, stove, and microwave as well as under the kitchen sink. Be sure to inspect places that store food items such as the pantry and cabinets too, as cockroaches can hide in cracks and crevices of food packaging. Similarly, anywhere that may have food crumbs is worth paying special attention to.


Cockroaches are often found in damp and humid areas, making the bathroom another favorite hiding spot. Look for them under the sink, behind the toilet, and around drains. Cockroaches can also hide behind bathroom fixtures such as shower curtains and medicine cabinets, so be sure to check these locations periodically for roach infestations.

Basements and Crawl Spaces

These dark and secluded areas provide an ideal environment for cockroaches to hide. Inspect the corners, cracks, and crevices of basement walls, as well as any stored items or clutter. Similarly, crawl spaces should be carefully examined for any signs of roach activity.

Garbage and Recycling Areas

Cockroaches are opportunistic feeders and are attracted to garbage and recycling bins. Make sure that these areas are kept clean and tightly covered to prevent cockroaches from finding a meal. Even better, consider taking house trash outside and placing it in a trash can far from your home, to avoid attracting insects of any kind.

Electrical Outlets and Appliances

Cockroaches are known to squeeze into small spaces, including electrical outlets. Check behind electrical appliances like televisions, computers, and stereos to see if there are any signs of roach activity such as dead insects or fecal matter. Additionally, inspect electrical outlets and switch plates for any cracks or gaps that could serve as entry points for cockroaches.

Cockroach on leaf

How to Eliminate Cockroaches From Your Home

When it comes to removing roaches from your house, there are many pest control solutions available. These include:

  • Invest in Traps or Bait: Traps and bait can be effective in controlling cockroach populations. There are various types of traps available, such as sticky traps or pheromone traps that release attractant chemicals. These traps are designed to lure cockroaches in and trap them, preventing them from reproducing or spreading. We have personally tested and recommend using the Hot Shot MaxAttrax Roach Bait Stations available on Amazon.
Bait Station
Hot Shot MaxAttrax Child-Resistant Roach Bait Stations

This bait station combines the use of a pheromone lure with a slow-acting insecticide bait. Roaches are attracted by the pheromones and consume the bait, eventually succumbing to the insecticide. The bait station design protects children and pets from direct contact with the insecticide. Hot Shot Max offers a good option for those seeking a combined attract-and-kill solution.

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  • Use Pest Control Products: If you prefer not to wait for the insects to find your household traps and baits, there are also pest control products available on the market that can help eliminate cockroaches from your home. These products come in various forms such as sprays, powders, and gels which can be purchased online or at your local pest control supply store. For a fast solution that kills on contact, we recommend Grandpa Gus’s Natural Roach Killer Spray, which you can purchase on Amazon.
Our Pick
Grandpa Gus's Natural Roach Killer Spray
  • Can be used on various insects, killing them on initial contact.
  • Safe for use with kids & pets, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Pleasant lemongrass scent ensures your home smells fresh after using.
  • Does not stain carpets or fabric.
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  • Professional Pest Control Services: If the infestation is severe or persistent, it may be necessary to call in professional pest control services. These experts have the knowledge, experience, and specialized equipment to effectively eliminate cockroaches from your home. They can inspect your property, identify the source of the infestation, and provide customized treatment plans to eradicate the problem.

Final Thoughts

Overall, leaving dead roaches in your home can potentially attract more cockroaches which is why taking swift action at the sighting of even a single roach is crucial to preventing a severe infestation in your home. And if DIY pest control methods aren’t doing the trick, find a pest control professional in your area today for expert help.

Frequently Asked Questions

What attracts cockroaches?

Cockroaches are resourceful scavengers, seeking out food, water, and shelter. Crumbs, spills, and dirty dishes are a big draw, but cockroaches aren’t picky eaters and will happily munch on decaying matter, pet hair, or even dead cockroaches!  Moisture is another key attractant, so leaky pipes, dripping faucets, and even condensation under refrigerators can lure them in.  Finally, clutter and dark spaces provide ideal hiding spots for these nocturnal insects.

Do cockroaches like light?

Nope, most cockroaches dislike light! That’s why they scatter when you turn on a light. They prefer dark, moist areas to hide and scavenge for food. You might only see them during the day if there’s a large infestation or they’re forced out of hiding.

Why do I keep finding dead roaches?

Finding dead roaches could indicate a couple of things. It might be the natural life cycle of a small roach population – they die of old age or other causes just like any creature. However, it’s more likely a sign of a current infestation. Cockroaches are nocturnal and good at hiding, so you might only spot the deceased ones. Additionally, dead roaches emit an odor that attracts other roaches, so finding them could mean there are more lurking around unseen.

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