Why Roaches Die on Their Backs…

Why Roaches Die on Their Backs…

Most Americans would agree with the mantra, ‘the only good cockroach is a dead cockroach.” But despite their inherent disgustingness, they are amazing insects. So in case you wondering why roaches die on their backs, Coby Schal, a professor of entomology at N.C. State, explains.

According to Schal, there are two basic reasons.

“ Cockroaches have a slightly rounded and greasy back, and a flat body that helps them squeeze and hide in narrow cracks and crevices. Their long legs give them a high center of gravity, meaning they carry most of their weight around their backs. When a cockroach is dying of old age, its high center of gravity pulls its back toward the floor, and its rounded back and weakened muscles prevent it from righting itself, particularly on smooth surfaces.

The insecticides we use to kill roaches can have the same effect. Most of these insecticides are neurotoxins – poisons that can trigger tremors and muscle spasms, eventually causing the cockroach to flip on its back. A healthy cockroach can easily right itself, but the tremors, lack of muscle coordination and, again, the rounded back and high center of gravity cause the intoxicated cockroach to get stuck that way.”


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Smithereen Pest Management provides IPM pest services to residential and commercial clients in Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri. http://www.smithereen.com/
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