Why Do Cockroaches Fly Towards You?

Cockroaches sneak into your household through cracks and crevices.

They’re incredibly tough to get rid of, and if they’re left unchecked, they’ll multiply and wreak havoc. There are many ways you can eliminate them from your homestead, but if you find they’re lurking in your home, it’s time for you to take action.

So, why do cockroaches fly towards you? Cockroaches often fly towards people’s faces at night.

However, there’s no scientific explanation to why this happens. The most common explanation is that cockroaches have a fear of artificial lighting.

Most insects can sense light, but cockroaches are particularly sensitive to it. As a result, they avoid light as much as possible.

However, humans emit light when they move, so cockroaches get startled and fly away out of fear.

Other people believe cockroaches fly towards people because it gets them away from light and gives them a vantage point to see better in the dark and escape predators.

Finally, some people believe cockroaches fly towards people because they’re attracted to their scent.

However, there’s no scientific proof to back any of these theories up.

Why Do Cockroaches Fly Towards You?

When fleeing, a cockroach may head in a random direction unless something in the environment guides it in a particular direction.

Cockroaches do not view you as a whole or singular being—they see you as parts of a whole: a head, an arm, a leg etc.

Cockroaches will rush or fly towards a perceived threat in the hopes that the threat will disappear if they run fast enough away from it.

Only mature cockroaches, who have fully developed wings are able to lift off into the air from a stationary position.

For them to be active enough to fly they must eat protein rich food at least every 12 hours, and their metabolism must burn more than 80 calories per minute to be able to maintain flight.

Why Don’t All Cockroaches Fly?

Cockroaches do not all fly—only mature cockroaches are able to fly.

However, not all mature cockroaches can fly—they need to maintain their wings by gently flapping them in order to remain agile enough to take flight (mature males can fly faster than females).

As a general rule however, it is rare for cockroaches to fly more than 15 feet into the air, and won’t fly higher than six feet on average.

In reality, only the males are capable of flying at higher levels because they are larger and have stronger wings than their female counterparts.

The primary cause that stops roaches from flying is that they do not possess strong enough muscles to sustain flight for long periods of time or take off from large heights.

Roaches are very huge insects and cannot sustain flight for long period of times because their bodies are too heavy and they have very short wing spans.

Therefore, they typically only glide to the ground when trying to escape danger.

Their body size and the light weight of their wings also prevent them from taking off from the ground to greater heights than a few feet off the ground.

Even the ones that can barely stay airborne for extended periods of time only have a maximum range of about 20-30 feet in the air before they fall to the ground and die.

When flying from high surfaces, the American and German roaches usually take the longest time to settle down on the ground. Because they are the largest roaches and can land the most safely out of all the species.

Other species, such as the Madagascar hissing roach and the Oriental roaches have shorter wing spans and take the shortest time to land on the ground after jumping from a height.

All of these situations point towards the fact that American and German roaches are the largest species of all.

Where Do The Flying Cockroaches Come From?

Cockroaches are found in almost all parts of the world, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Alaska, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, the Pacific Islands, North America and South America.

The Oriental roaches and the German roaches however are most commonly found in Asia and North America.

The American roaches, the smoky brown roaches, the brown banded roaches and the Australian roaches are most commonly found in Australia.

It is quite impossible to count the exact number of these pests present in the world as they are so hard to spot in homes and offices due to their small size and their nocturnal habits.

Flying cockroaches, such as the Oriental cockroach and the American cockroach have wings that cover 1⁄2 their back. This is where their name comes from—they contain tail wings.

Flying roaches can fly about 15 feet in the air before they are able to control their direction. This is its average height, however some species have been observed to stay airborne for much longer.

The majority of them are good at gliding because they use their long bodies to glide over long distances instead of flapping their wings constantly like the smaller flying insects do.

Do Roaches Fear Humans?

Cockroaches do not fear humans but they can be startled by loud noises and bright lights.

Cockroaches, on the other hand, are terrified by bright lights and loud noises.

But the biggest shock to a cockroach is when it suddenly finds itself being chased by a human, which often results in them flying away.

The sight of a human is another source of fear for cockroaches because it shows that you pose a threat to them.

If someone is walking around your house at night or while you’re sleeping, they will most likely bump into a roach and scare it so badly that it will fly away in fear.

Furthermore, changes in light, scent, humidity, temperature or sound can often trigger a fleeing reaction in a running insect such as a flying roach.

Also Read: Can Cockroaches Jump?


In conclusion, cockroaches are attracted to light, which is why they fly towards you at night.

They also fly towards people because they are attracted by body heat.

Finally, cockroaches are attracted by food, so you might have attracted them by leaving food out on your kitchen surface.

Now that you know why cockroaches fly towards you, hopefully you won’t see one flying towards you anytime soon.