Can Roaches Survive In The Cold? [Explained]

While roaches can endure a wide range of temperatures, they’re even more vulnerable to the temperature of their homes.

Since they’re so mobile, they’re easily exposed to different temperatures throughout their lives. For the most part, they’ll stay invisible and harmless unless youcaffold over them.

You should protect your home and your family from cockroaches year-round by using preventative measures. So, can roaches survive in the cold?

Roaches can survive in cold temperatures and emerge alive when it’s warm again. However, that doesn’t mean that cold weather should be taken lightly.

When temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, roaches may die or enter a state of dormancy called diapause. Dipause is when a roach stops all its bodily functions to survive the frigid temperatures.

When temperatures rise again in spring, the roach will wake from its sleep and resume normal behavior. Roaches can survive in colder temperatures than they usually do in your backyard or attic, but those climates can be hazardous to them below freezing or when they’re buried underground.

Can Roaches Survive In The Cold?

Cockroaches have lived on our Earth for millions of years.

They are remarkably good at surviving in extreme environments – from volcanoes to the Arctic – and have moved around the globe with the human population since prehistoric times.

These bugs, however, have limits to the places that they can go: They can only live where temperatures are higher than freezing or below 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

Roaches can live in the extreme cold for several reasons: First, their main source for food is human trash and waste – and that’s not going anywhere.

These insects like temperatures above freezing because their bodies store water so they can survive without food and water longer than most animals.

They are tropical insects; their cold tolerance is for short duration, not long-term.

They reproduce swiftly and can produce a new roach every 30 days.

As winter approaches, roaches begin to prepare for cold weather by finding shelter in the corners of attics.

Because of their cold-blooded nature, they hibernate in winter and stay only a few millimeters above freezing.

However, they must find a way to stay warm and survive through winter until spring arrives.

Roaches seek for warm spots in your home during the winter.

This is the only time of year that roaches seek human shelter.

Roaches are still present throughout winter, although their numbers decrease significantly over the colder months.

They can live in the cold only for a short time and will resume activity once temperatures rise.

What Do Cockroaches Do in the Winter?

Cockroaches despise winter, and as the temperatures drop, they go searching for warmth.

In chilly weather, they burrow into cracks and crevices and seek out warm hiding places.

They may come to your residence as a hitchhiker when cold weather drives other bugs indoors.

At What Temperature Will Cockroaches Die?

While cockroaches can tolerate temperatures considerably below and above freezing for several months at a time, they tend to die off rapidly when the temperature falls below 45 degrees.

Regardless, most cockroaches cannot live long periods below 32 degrees.

They will perish if left without food for 24 hours or more, and many succumb to chilling in temperatures as low as 19 degrees.

They may also perish at greater temperatures that exceed 72 degrees.

Cockroaches that are placed in a sealed container and then cooled to below 32 degrees Fahrenheit will perish within five to seven days.

What Temperatures Do Cockroaches Prefer?

Temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees are the main temperature roaches prefer.

They may survive at temperatures much higher or much lower, but at those extremes they die quickly.

They also reproduce more quickly at these temperatures.

The spring and summer months, when the temperature remains between or near to their preferred range, are peak times for reproduction.

How Long Can Cockroaches Survive in Cold Temperatures?

The length of time a roach can survive in cold conditions depends on factors such as their age, size, and location.

It’s all about finding a balance: roaches that are exposed to cold for too long will eventually freeze to death.

As winter approaches, these pests retreat to their homes or hide in warm places until the weather improves.

They move into survival mode and hunt just about anywhere they can find food – including places where a human wouldn’t readily visit.

When they reach a suitable temperature, they emerge from their hibernation sites and resume the normal life of a roach.

Many entomologists compare diapause to hibernation because it involves similar processes.

The bug’s metabolic rate and body temperature drop significantly and these roaches become dormant until conditions improve.

Those life-sustaining functions continue, albeit at a much slower pace.

The roach tries all possible to stay warm and avoid freezing to death.

How long they endure is highly variable but based on the measures above, it’s possible that it may survive in months or even years under proper conditions.

At 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the odds against survival are considerably longer but roaches have been known to survive in temperatures as low as -17 degrees Fahrenheit.

Anything less than that and it’s almost certain that the bug will succumb to the harsh conditions.

Can You Kill Cockroaches by Freezing Them?

Freezing cockroaches may be an effective alternative to chemical extermination but it’s generally not recommended unless you don’t have access to other options.

Because the whole house cannot be cleaned all at once, it’s necessary to treat isolated infestations with suitable products.

If cockroaches are infesting a small appliance or cabinet internally, freeze them for a few hours to free it from their grip.

It should be frozen for at least three hours to be effective but the longer it’s frozen, the better.

Then it may be taken outdoors and the contents removed and disposed of properly.

If an infestation is found early and isolated, it should not be too difficult to deal with.

Is It Possible to Have a Cockroach Infestation in the Winter?

Cockroach infestations may take place at any time of the year but it’s much more common to see them in warmer months such as summer and spring.

Cockroaches will seek out any warm locations within your home and may enter in large numbers.

When they aren’t heating the house, it will be sleeping.

As the weather warms, the cockroaches become more active and will feed on food and contaminate surfaces with their waste.


Roaches can live in the Cold but Humidity is key When they are warm.

Use this information to help eliminate these pests from your home completely and for good.

Please let us know if you have any further questions or need more information.

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