Can You Kill a Cockroach by Stepping on It & Is It Safe?

Cockroaches are very nasty creatures that easily enter the house. They can appear even in the cleanest accommodation, for example, by moving from your neighbor’s house. Naturally, when you see a cockroach, you want to get rid of it as soon as possible.

Can You Kill a Cockroach by Stepping on It?
Cockroaches are one of the most resilient creatures on the planet and can withstand a lot of abuse. However, they are not indestructible, and if you step on one with enough force, it will die.

black sneaker stepping on a cockroach

Crushing it might seem a fast method, but can you kill a cockroach by stepping on it? Cockroaches have a fairly strong exoskeleton. In this article, I share the information about what happens when you step on a cockroach and whether it will kill the pest.

Can You Squish a Cockroach: Brief Guide

  • You can kill a cockroach by crushing it;
  • Preferably, you should do it with additional tools;
  • Make an effort and completely crush the insect to break its exoskeleton;
  • If you squish it with your bare hands, be sure to wash and treat your hands with antiseptic.

What happens when you squish a cockroach?

Many people are interested in what happens after you crush a cockroach. Does killing a cockroach attract more of them? This situation might have several outcomes. If you don’t completely kill the cockroach, it can pretend to be dead.

Sometimes, roaches play dead; they can even roll over on their backs. Many people have seen cockroaches being motionless for a long time and coming back to life when the danger passes.

However, if you stepped hard enough or pressed on the insect and completely crushed its exoskeleton, there is nothing to worry about. The pest will not survive that and will instantly die. You should remember that cockroaches are social insects and multiply rapidly.

So if you notice one species at home, it means that there can be many more. They can hide in the gaps between the furniture, and they prefer to live in the kitchen.

Do cockroaches die when you step on them?

It depends on how you did it and whether it was your intention. For example, if you accidentally step on the insect barefoot, the cockroach might survive. The reason is they have a strong exoskeleton that protects them even from severe damage.

white sneakers step on cockroaches

When pressed on the abdomen, mucus can be released, which can cause skin problems or other diseases. Therefore, you should not try to crush a cockroach with your bare feet.

Dictyoptera insects are quite hardy, so they can withstand even serious injuries. However, if you step on a cockroach with enough strength in shoes, it will surely die. You still need to make sure that its exoskeleton is completely damaged, and you hear a crunch. After that, a cockroach just can not survive.

Even after such a successful roach crush, you have to remember that it does not solve the problem itself. If you notice one pest in the house, it is likely that they have already settled there, and you will have to deal with the infestation.

If you step on a cockroach, does it release its eggs?

Fortunately, the idea that cockroaches release eggs after death is another myth. There are several reasons for this:

  • First of all, cockroaches mostly do not carry their eggs with them. Cockroach females have an ootheca that contains from 30 to 40 eggs. Ootheca has a solid structure consisting of protein, like an exoskeleton. It is quite strong and protected, usually black or brown. Most of the time, they do not carry the ootheca behind them but leave it in cracks or other hiding places;
  • Some species also carry eggs inside their bodies or at the end of their abdomens. Stepping on a cockroach is unlikely to release its eggs. Even if you step on a pest that has hatched eggs, do not worry. They will die with the roach. The eggs will be crushed together with a cockroach, without withstanding the weight of your foot.

Those cases are aimed at protecting unborn cockroaches, but they can’t withstand a person’s weight. They can only protect the eggs from harmful bacteria or bad weather. Your task is to step on the insect hard enough to crush both the mother and the eggs if they are there as well.

dead cockroach upside down

FAQ on Squishing a Cockroach

Sometimes you cannot completely crush the pest but only half of it. If you are worried about whether the dead roach attracts other pests, learn more about the consequences of these problems in this section.

Can you squish cockroaches?

Yes, you can do it if you are not afraid of these pests and the white matter that comes out of their stomachs after death. However, do not do it with your bare hands or feet as this is not hygienic.

Can you kill a cockroach with your hand?

When you see a cockroach, you might be afraid to lose sight of it. Sometimes, you might want to kill it quickly with your hand, and you can do it. As I have noted earlier, a squashed cockroach secretes harmful mucus. That is why you should not do it with bare hands.

What happens if I only squash half a cockroach?

The cockroach will still be able to survive for some time. However, without the second half of its body, it will become weak and unable to navigate in space. Without the brain, the roach’s memory deteriorates. The pest will die in a while, or other predators will eat it.

Does killing a cockroach attract more?

There is a very popular myth that a crushed roach can attract more. Though it releases a certain pheromone after death, it serves rather as a warning. And other pests will beware of this place and avoid it unless they are hungry.

Easy and Quick Method to Kill Roaches

If you see a cockroach at home, the fastest way to get rid of it is to just step on it. Since the cockroach has a strong enough protective shell, you need to make some effort to crush it. Even if it is a female insect that lays eggs, don’t be afraid to kill it. Remember to protect the skin and treat it if it comes into direct contact with the insect.

Do you have an effective method to crush a cockroach? Share your experience! Where do you most often see insects in your apartment?

Also read:


  • Other diseases (Sagar L. Kale, Komal Agrawal, Shailendra Nath Gaur & Naveen Arora)
  • Ootheca (P. C.J. BRUNET Department of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy, University Museum, Oxford)
  • Other predators (By Edmund Mills)


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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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