Can Cockroaches Fly? And Other Common Household Insect Questions

Our Alabama pest control company has been asked a lot of insect and rodent questions in the last 50+ years. Some of them are very specific, one-off questions and others are fairly common. Either way the answer is usually interesting.

We wrote down a list of 12 questions that we get asked frequently so you could get the answers all in one place. Check it out!

Can cockroaches fly?

Yes and no. Young cockroaches in the nymph stage don’t have fully developed wings so they can’t fly at all. However, adult cockroaches can fly for short distances. They can also glide for a longer distance if they start from a high point.

Do cockroaches spread disease?

Yes, they can spread disease. It’s largely due to the fact that they walk through rotting garbage, feces, etc. One disease cockroaches are known to carry is salmonella. They can also cause allergies.

Do mosquitoes transmit HIV?

Mosquito control is extremely important because these annoying pests can spread disease, but HIV isn’t one of them. However, they could transmit the West Nile virus, Zika, malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever. Mosquitoes can also give a cat or dog heartworms.

What attracts mosquitoes?

If you’ve noticed mosquitoes on your property look for standing water. Mosquitoes need at least an inch of standing water to lay up to 300 eggs at a time. After about 10 days those eggs will hatch and mature into mosquitoes. As far as what attracts mosquitoes to certain people the answer is octenol. It’s a chemical in sweat.

What’s the most dangerous insect?

That distinction goes to the mosquito. Each year mosquitoes cause a million deaths from malaria alone.

Can rats really get as large as cats?

Nope. While rats can get up to two pounds, their ability to swell to the size of cats is a myth.

Can rats and mice get through a hole the size of a quarter?

Miraculously, this is true. Their ability to squeeze through extremely tight spaces is one of the reasons it’s so difficult to get rid of rodents. The reason they can fit through a hole smaller than their bodies lies in the anatomy of their rib cage. The bones are hinged so that the ribs can collapse in and become more narrow.

Can rats swim?

This is 100% true. Rats are actually great swimmers. They can swim steadily for up to three days using their back feet as oars and their front feet to control the direction. Rats have even been known to swim up sewer pipes and into toilets.

Do rats eat mice?

When rats and mice are in the same area there’s a good chance muricide will occur. Muricide is the scientific name for rats killing mice. Studies have shown in virtually every instance of muricide the rats will eat at least part of the mice.

Are insects with eight legs considered spiders?

Leg count isn’t a reliable spider identifier. All spiders have eight legs, but not all insects with eight legs are spiders. There are a number of other insects in arachnida class that fall into the category, and having eight legs is one of the qualifiers. However, a daddy long legs isn’t considered a spider even thought it too has eight legs. Because daddy long legs only have one body segment (spiders have two) they aren’t an arachnid.

Is it illegal to kill or capture a praying mantis?

Many people mistakenly believe the praying mantis is on the endangered species list and therefore it’s illegal to kill one. This is a common myth that’s been around for years. The truth is there are no laws in the U.S. against killing a praying mantis.

Do bees die after stinging a person or animal?

That all depends on the type of bee that’s doing the stinging. Only worker honeybees die after stinging a person. They have a barbed stinger that gets ripped out, and shortly after the honeybee dies.

Have another question about household pests? Give Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. a call to get the answer!

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