Can Cockroaches Fly? How These Pesky Insects Sneak Indoors

By Allison Clayton

Cockroaches: One of America’s least favorite pests. These creepy insects are often associated with motels and restaurant kitchens, but any home is susceptible to a cockroach infestation! 

You may not notice a problem until they get out of hand. If you see one cockroach crawling along your floor, there’s a good chance handfuls of others are hiding elsewhere. 

If that’s not enough to run a shiver down your spine, think about how these pests get inside! Do cockroaches crawl in through cracks and crevices? Wait, can cockroaches fly?

Thankfully, proof. is here to alleviate your fears and sate your thirst for knowledge! In our article, we’ll explain how cockroaches come inside and provide tips to keep them away.

Cockroaches in the United States

There are around 4,500 cockroach species throughout the world. Yep, you read that right! Cockroaches populate every continent besides Antarctica. Not many insects can survive the frigid arctic temperatures, despite a cockroach’s indestructible reputation. 

Wild cockroaches typically stick to forest floors, logs, hollow trees, dark caves, or sewers instead of climbing into your home. Some species flourish in tropical or subtropical climates, like Megaloblatta longipennis, the world’s largest cockroach. Its wingspan can reach up to 8 inches long!

Of course, you probably won’t see one of those pests meandering through your kitchen. Only a few cockroach species invade American homes, and none are quite that large. The biggest species in the United States is the American cockroach which measures up to three inches in length. 

Some roaches you may find inside are:

  • German cockroaches
  • American cockroaches 
  • Brown-banded cockroaches
  • Oriental cockroaches 
  • Australian cockroaches
  • Asian cockroaches
  • Smokey Brown Cockroaches

Of all of the common cockroach species in the United States, German cockroaches are the most prolific type that homeowners see. Because of their frequent breeding, these pests can quickly overtake your home!

Unfortunately, in the United States, cockroaches are a concern because many of these pests have to live near humans. Without the sufficient food provided by residential and commercial areas, cockroaches couldn’t survive! 

But, how do cockroaches find their way indoors to infest our homes? Cockroaches won’t move in large hoards, so a cockroach population can’t suddenly come in overnight. So, how exactly do these pests move indoors? Can cockroaches fly, or will they crawl in unannounced?

Can Cockroaches Fly?

If you’re wondering, “Can cockroaches fly?” you’ve come to the right place! Unforuntually, some cockroaches can fly. Most cockroaches have wings, but not every species is capable of flight.

Many of the cockroaches you’ll see in the United States have wings. As they mature from a nymph into an adult, young cockroaches develop wings even if they don’t end up using them later in life. 

German cockroaches are one species that have wings, but they aren’t likely to take flight at the first sign of danger. These little pests prefer to spend their time on the ground, only flying if they can glide off a high surface.

German cockroach with wings outstretched

Picture of a German Cockroach with its wings flared out. Image by Erik Karits from Pixabay.

The Asian cockroach looks very similar to the German cockroach. Both are light brown with two dark lines extending behind their antenna, but Asian cockroaches are highly skilled at flying. Don’t be surprised if you see one catch some air!

Smokey brown, Australian, and wood cockroaches are also common flying cockroaches. The American cockroach can glide short distances but isn’t considered a flying roach. These pests can still move short distances with their wings spread, so steer clear of these insects if you see them crawling around!

Look and see how common roaches take flight in this video!

Can Cockroaches Fly Indoors and Invade my Home?

If you have an open door or window, cockroaches could potentially fly inside to infest your home. This could cause concern for residents living in areas with high populations of flying cockroaches. 

Cockroaches could also fly inside through any large holes or gaps. If you have water or roof damage, cockroaches could utilize these areas to hide indoors near the food in your home. 

However, some flying species aren’t likely to invade your residence. Asian cockroaches prefer to stay outdoors, only occasionally infesting homes when searching for food or heading toward lights and bright-colored structures

While not traditionally known as flying roaches, American cockroaches occasionally overrun homes despite generally favoring sewer systems. These pests can fly or glide through openings to infest damp areas like your basement or bathroom. 

How Else Can a Cockroach Infestation Begin?

For other cockroach species, most will crawl in through small openings. Do you have a gap under your doors or windows? These tiny pests can utilize these thin crevices to squeeze indoors in search of food. 

Cockroaches can even infest your home through other non-conventional means. If you’ve recently traveled to an area with roaches or received a package, these pests can hitch a ride in a moving box or inside a delivery. 

While uncommon, cockroaches may hide in furniture. If you’re noticing a new insect problem after purchasing used furniture, you may have accidentally moved in a new house guest. Yuck!

For apartment dwellers, cockroaches can potentially move from unit to unit. One neighbor may already have the pests, and the roaches can travel throughout the complex through small cracks or vents to forage for more food. 

Why Does a Cockroach Infestation Matter?

So, what’s different about a cockroach infestation from a run-of-the-mill insect invasion? 

Unlike other insects, cockroaches are more than a casual nuisance. Of course, they won’t eat away at your possessions or foundation like rodents or termites, but cockroaches are still significant health hazards. 

Many cockroach species are vectors for diseases like salmonella. These little pests are notorious for spreading food poisoning around your kitchen! Because these pests like to rifle in your pantry, they will spread bacteria onto the items you plan to eat. 

A cockroach infestation is also a significant problem because they multiply quickly. German cockroaches are known for their swift reproduction rates, with many other common household species only falling slightly behind. 

Without management, an infestation can quickly become serious. Even if you eliminate the stray pests you see, more could be hiding away in your cabinets or under your appliances as the population continually grows. 

To learn more about cockroach infestations, check out our blogs on German and American cockroaches.

The Best Way to Eliminate Roaches

You’ll want cockroaches gone quickly– especially when they can fly. Nothing is worse than battling pests that can also take flight!

Some at-home methods like store-bought aerosols, powders, baits, or traps can eliminate roaches. While these options may work to cull portions of the population, they won’t completely wipe out everything in your home. 

When you want a more long-term solution to keep your home pest-free, contact proof. pest control. Our technicians will survey your home for signs of roaches and eliminate the nest before it grows any further. 

After our initial treatment, we will return to check on any new eggs that may have hatched. Contact us today to schedule our residential cockroach pest control services!

Call proof. pest control at , or send us a message online.

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