Is It True That Cockroaches Run Towards You?

Why do cockroaches run towards you? Maybe you’ve had this experience. It’s eleven at night and you turn on your kitchen light. Bam! There are two cockroaches in the middle of the floor. You grab something to kill them, but…instead of running away, these cockroaches run towards you. This can be extremely disconcerting, even scary. But what causes this and why do cockroaches display this bizarre behaviour?

small cockroach

Why cockroaches run in the “wrong” direction

There’s a simple reason why cockroaches run towards humans who are trying to kill them. What you have to understand is that cockroaches cannot “see.” At least not in the way that humans use their eyes to see.

What this means is that they cannot actually see the person that is in front of them.. No, instead, they use a variety of other tools to navigate the world. For example, one of these is air currents. If cockroaches feel the wind on their back, they move in the opposite direction. This helps them avoid danger. In some cases this direction is towards you.

Cockroaches are also attracted to dark and move towards it. If this darkness is behind you, then they will move in your direction. The darkness is where cockroaches live and breed. Along with this, they seek places of shelter, which may be behind you.

keep out cockroaches

Another reason cockroaches seem to charge at you

The point is that it’s not that the cockroach is running toward you. It’s that they have found an escape route which is in your direction. The creature is too simple to understand that you want to kill it. All that it understands is that something has changed and it needs to escape. This escape route may lie in your direction, and make you jump out of the way of the cockroach threat.

But there’s also another reason why cockroaches run toward you. This is because it’s a valid protection strategy. Cockroaches do not have defence mechanisms. These pests don’t have poison venom, or fangs, or spikes, or anything like that, although cockroaches cause allergies.

What this means is that their only real means of defence is fear. These pests also know on some level that people are afraid of them. This is why they sometimes charge towards us. These pests are taking a chance that we’ll leap out of our skin. If this happens, they may be able to escape.

cockroach stone

In many cases this does actually work. Most people are startled, even shocked when a cockroach scrambles toward them. After all, it’s really the last thing that you expect. If this happens, stand your ground, stomp on the floor and wave your arms. Remember, cockroaches themselves are relatively harmless (it’s the contamination they cause that is dangerous) and nothing to be afraid of.


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