Do Cockroaches Make Noise? Let’s Find Out

Pests are always a big problem. They can penetrate any corner of the house and cause discomfort to residents. If you ever had bugs or other insects in your home, you might notice that they often produce different sounds. On the one hand, this can add trouble and annoyance.

On the other hand, you will be able to recognize the insect and avoid direct contact with it. But do cockroaches make noise, and can roaches hear at all? In this article, I will share a professional view on cockroach sounds that will help you easily identify pests.

Do Cockroaches Make Noise?
Cockroaches are relatively quiet insects. The vast majority of the time, they will only make noise if they are disturbed or if they are fighting with another cockroach.

a lot of cockroaches on the surface

The Roach Noise Guide

  1. Usually, household pests do not make any sounds;
  2. Certain species can hiss during mating or self-defense;
  3. Cockroaches often make noise at night when they are most active;
  4. In other cases, the roach tries to live quietly to not draw people’s attention.

Do roaches make noises?

Those that live at home make little noise, and they do it mostly at night when they are most active. Often, people might not even notice any noise from these insects until their infestation reaches a large scale. It also depends on the type of roach. Some of them produce certain sounds, and some do not make any noise.

Household roaches have almost lost any ability to generate sounds. However, there are more than 4,000 different species of these pests in the world. Among them are wild cockroaches that can use vocalization to communicate. While the house species use pheromones in communication.

These are chemicals that are similar to hormones. However, they do not affect who produces them but who receives them. If we talk about clicks, this type of sound is not typical for cockroaches. If you hear a clicking sound, it is probably a beetle.

People often confuse them because of their external similarities. For the beetle to flip, its spine must fit into the lower abdomen. Thus if you hear an insect making a similar noise, remember that you are dealing with a beetle, cicada, or katydid.

Cockroaches are known to be pests that eat everything in sight, including food, garbage, and even the carcasses of other insects. The logical question is: “Can you hear them eating?” Actually, they don’t make any sounds, unless the food itself is crunchy or the packaging makes a noise.

How do they make noises?

Although cockroaches lead a relatively quiet lifestyle, and their greatest activity occurs at night, they can still make certain sounds. But do cockroaches chirp?

cockroaches on the gray wall

Most of the time, you can hear a cockroach chirping sound. This noise is formed during stridulation. It is typical for insects such as crickets and beetles. This sound is generated by rubbing the parts of the body together;

Cockroaches use the pronotum and wing edges to create this noise. When the edges of the wings rub against the pronotum, they create a characteristic chirping sound. Of course, compared to crickets, cockroaches’ sounds are quieter and less powerful. However, it occurs quite a lot during mating season or when the insect is fighting with an opponent;

The stridulation sound is common only among males. Among the Dictyoptera insects, there are also species that can fly, including American roaches. When flying, their wings produce a particular, noticeable sound. Also, if the cockroach flips on its back, it uses its wings to get back to the normal position. This movement generates a flickering noise.

Why do cockroaches make noises?

Sometimes, all these noises produced by pests can cause great discomfort and make you feel like a guest in your own home. But why do roaches make noise? Cockroaches do not make any sounds or noises on purpose.

On the contrary, they have adapted and tried to live as unnoticeable as possible so as not to attract undue attention from predators or humans. However, there are natural sounds they produce during mating to attract females or as a reaction to danger. There are also those noises that are formed simply from interaction with the environment.

For example, you can often hear the sounds of them running on the floor or crawling on the walls at night. This requires good hearing because usually, the weight of a cockroach is not enough to make a loud noise when interacting with the surface. However, cats or dogs can hear even minor activity from these insects. Self-defense can also be one of the causes of noise.

cockroach near the stone wall and floor

There can be several nests or colonies in one house. If different cockroaches intersect, they can make noise, thus demonstrating their dominance. This can also happen if there are other pests in your home.

Can they hiss?

Cockroaches that are most common in homes are German and American species. This roach does not make hissing sounds. Of course, you can hear the noise when they become more active at night. However, there is a Madagascar hissing cockroach.

This type of pest really makes hissing sounds with the help of spiracles, special holes for breathing along the abdomen. They often hiss when they are in danger or when they fight with each other.

Both male and female insects can also hiss during courtship or mating. It is common for Australian cockroaches to create acoustic sounds by rubbing their wings or legs together to attract a mate. In other cases, it is rare to find any vocalization between these pests. Like other insects, they communicate with each other through the exchange of pheromones, not sounds.

FAQ About Cockroach Noise

The sounds that cockroaches produce very often cause discomfort. However, not all the sounds you hear can be a sign of these pests. Find out more about which of the noises are specific for cockroaches.

Do cockroaches make noise at night?

Cockroaches can indeed make a noise at night. They prefer dark times because that’s when predators are less active, and it is easier for them to get food while humans and other animals are asleep. If you hear the close activity of cockroaches, it means that your home has a large population.

Do cockroaches make squeaking noises?

Cockroaches do not make squeaky sounds. However, some people may describe the sounds of cockroaches as squeaky. This might be because they crawl on different surfaces and can produce different types of sounds when interacting.

cockroach on a net

What sounds do cockroaches hate?

Cockroaches have a different perception of sound than humans. They focus on vibration with their antennas. Roaches might be frightened by sounds such as knocking, slapping, or slamming doors. Cockroaches will understand that predators are nearby and will hide. These sounds will repel them and reduce the likelihood of your contact.

Do cockroaches scream?

When dealing with pests, you will definitely hear some screams, but most likely, they will be made by your scared family member. Although some insects can make different noises, including hissing, they cannot scream. The reason is cockroaches, like other insects, have no vocal cords.

Define the Pest by Its Sound

Cockroaches that live in our homes produce almost no sound. Some species can hiss or chirp when threatened or during mating. However, most often, noise is formed naturally when pests become most active. If the infestation increases, they make a noticeable noise when they run or crawl. If you suddenly hear other sounds, such as a click or a certain scream, it means that you are dealing with another insect.

What noise have you heard the most often recently? Have you noticed any other sounds that can scare the pests away?

Also read:

References

  • Pheromones (BYE LIZABETH PENNISI):
    https://www.science.org/content/article/cockroaches-communicate-bacteria-their-feces
  • Pronotum (Lewis Doty, Ecology Center):
    https://www.ecologycenter.us/cockroach-species/pronotum.html
  • Madagascar hissing cockroach (Debbie Clark and Donna Shanklin, Entomologists):
    https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef014
  • Focus on vibration (S Shaw):
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9317246/
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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