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Can Cockroaches Die of Hunger, Thirst, or Heart Attack?

Updated on January 12, 2015
Can roaches die of hunger, thirst, or heart attack?
Can roaches die of hunger, thirst, or heart attack?

Roaches: Fascinating Insects

Cockroaches may be highly disgusting for some, but there are fascinating things about them that you don't know. Well, aside from these, there are things that they do that really stimulate curiosity such as why do they suddenly die? Do they encounter some heart attack? Do they die of hunger? How about thirst?

A Dead Cockroach from Nowhere

One fine day, I was feeling enthusiastic about undergoing a kitchen experiment. Without anything in mind what to actually work on, I decided to just check what we have in the kitchen. To my surprise, when I opened one of the cabinets, I saw a dead cockroach lying inside, which unfortunately took all my vigor and appetite to craft something to eat immediately upon sight.

This incident made me wonder why in there world would there be a dead roach inside the cabinet, considering that we didn't even spray pesticides for a long while. After moments of pondering, I ultimately ended up with three possible conclusions. First, the cockroach may have died because of heart attack. Second, the cockroach may have eaten something bad for him or haven't eaten for a while. Third, the cockroach may have died of thirst. In this article, join me as we provide answer to these questions that really stimulate curiosity.

Now before we proceed, let me give you the opportunity to have a guess. Answer this poll, and know what others think as well.

What do you think is the reason behind the death of the roach?

See results

Can cockroaches die of heart attack?

I did a quick search on this to find out if it is indeed possible for cockroaches to die of heart attack, and though there are not much of available reading materials on this, the answer basically points to NO. According to a veritable source, Discovery for Kids, the heart of a cockroach is just a simple tube with valves that may just recycle the blood by pumping them back and forth. Furthermore, the heart may even stop functioning without doing any harm for the cockroach. Needless to say, a heart attack is definitely out of the picture!

An actual photo of a cockroach that seemed to have died with no reason!
An actual photo of a cockroach that seemed to have died with no reason! | Source

Can roaches die of hunger?

Naturally, most creatures will die without any food or anything that provides energy. Cockroaches are not an exception with regard to this. However, they can preserve well the energy they have stored up to a month; hence, they won't easily die of hunger. Plus, roaches can basically eat anything they see (even papers, plastics and etc.) Considering that there are a lot to munch on inside a kitchen cabinet full of dry goods, it is least likely that the cockroach that gave me a surprise died of this reason.

Interesting Cockroach Facts!
Interesting Cockroach Facts!

Can roaches die of thirst?

Now that we know that the cockroach was not highly likely to have died of heart attack or hunger, we are down to the last possible reason I thought of why the cockroach was found dead lying on its back. Thirst. Upon a quick search, I found out that, just like humans, cockroaches tend to survive shorter when they are out of water as opposed to food. To be a little more specific, roaches only have an average of 1 week to live without water. Ever wonder why you commonly find them in the bathroom? Well, this is the answer!

Trivia: Similarity between Cockroach and a Man

Roaches are like humans in terms of having a higher survival duration with having no food but has water, as opposed to the other way around.

What is it really?
Now, could this really be the reason behind the dead cockroach I found in the kitchen cabinet? Well, I couldn't think of anything else. Besides, there were nothing liquid (be it enclosed in a container or not) that can be found inside the cabinet where the dead roach was. Hence, in view of this, I am 90% sure that this particular roach died of thirst. Well, the remaining 10% still goes to the another possible reason that perhaps the roach just couldn't bear the cruelty of the world that he decided to stop breathing or something like that. Kidding aside, I hope you found this article helpful at the least.

More Interesting Cockroach Facts

For more interesting Cockroach Fun Facts, such as etymology of the word, significance of the creature, and answer to the most bewildering question of "Why do cockroaches die on their backs?", read this extensive article on roaches!

Roach Fun Facts - Why Does a Roach Die on its Backs and More! - Here in this article you will learn more about these insects called cockroaches. Be enriched with facts and findings about them here in this extensive yet fun article!

If you found this very interesting, feel free to share this article to your friends by clicking on the like or tweet button on your right!

© 2014 Renz Kristofer Cheng

Share your cockroach stories below!

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    • burhanuddin1999 profile image


      16 months ago from pakistan

      A fascinating article sir

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      My hissing cockroach is really bummed..

    • yougotme profile imageAUTHOR

      Renz Kristofer Cheng 

      4 years ago from Manila

      Thanks again Ken! I really enjoyed writing this hub, and I got curious when I came across the roach. It feels good that someone is appreciating your work. Thanks again, it just made my day!

    • KenDeanAgudo profile image

      Kenneth C Agudo 

      4 years ago from Tiwi, Philippines

      This hub is hilarious and at the same time very informative. i enjoyed reading this and I thought the roach died because of suffocation lol. Anyway, cockroaches are one of the earliest living things and when mother mass extinction happened they are the only one who have survived. Even in a radioactive explosion they can still survive, they are tough.

    • yougotme profile imageAUTHOR

      Renz Kristofer Cheng 

      4 years ago from Manila

      @NateB11 Resilient creatures indeed! The heart thing was surprisingly amazing. When I googled that one up, I really had a "Oooh-Aaah!" moment. Thanks again Nate for visiting!

    • yougotme profile imageAUTHOR

      Renz Kristofer Cheng 

      4 years ago from Manila

      @grand old lady Now that's what I call really interesting! It's too sad that we regard them as filthy and unlikable creatures, but it is hard to reverse the conventional dislike we have towards them.

      Oh maybe they really have a sense of family. Actually, when we see dead cockroaches, we immediately remove them because they may attract others as well, and we don't want that to happen. Thanks again for dropping by!

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 

      4 years ago from California, United States of America

      That is very fascinating, and I didn't know they could go that long without food nor did I know how their hearts worked. One thing is certain, they seem to be one resilient little creature.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      Have you noticed that cockroaches cry in pain? I douse them in alcohol and can hear a screech. Also, cockroaches seem to have a sense of family. If I kill a cockroach, then go back later, another cockroach is there as if trying to help. That's another one downed by the slipper. This was a good, practical and fun article.


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