Do Cockroaches Have Wings? | Can Giant Roaches Fly?

Kate, a friend of mine, called me on a beautiful night, she said: “what do I do, there are roaches in my house, flying roaches, do cockroaches even have wings?”

It’s a surprising fact that most cockroaches, over 3000 species have wings, and there are nearly 4500 species. It’s even more shocking if one actually flew on you. However, this does not make all cockroaches flying insects.

Studies have shown that the ability of a roaches flying differs from one species to the other. Also, their capability to fly may also depend on their sexual category.

Do Roaches have Wings?

Although it appears that most roaches have wings but not all. Among the majority with wings, only a few species can actually fly.

Why Don’t Cockroaches Fly?

Do Roaches have wings

Cockroaches are dirty, filthy insects that have the ability to fly (winged roaches) but prefer to crawl.

They prefer crawling to flying because they kind of believe they are bad at flying.

These little cryptic insects crawl immediately they feel threatened rather than flying away. They have their first instinct in response to a threat is crawling away.

Another reason why flying cockroaches might prefer crawling to flying is that it’s safer for them.

Flying cockroaches appear big and easily noticed by aerial predators like birds. They easily prey on the big, slow, bad fliers with poor maneuver skills.

However, there exist certain species of cockroaches that are pretty good at flying. They do not fly outdoors in broad daylight, but at night when it’s safer. The Asian cockroach and the Cuban cockroach are two common species of giant flying roaches.

Even at night, these giant flying roaches with wings are still under threat from bats who feed on them easily.

How many Wings Does a Giant Cockroach Have?

Wings of Cockroaches

Giant flying cockroaches like American, Canadian, Smoky-brown and much more, possess four set of wings, but not all the wings partake in the flight.

Only two sets of wings are used by giant cockroach to fly. The other two set of wings are basically used for protection.

The four set of wings are divided into 2 — thick and thin wings.

  • Thick wings have the same coloration as the body, it lies on the back of the roaches when the roaches are not flying. Thick wings do not partake in the air travels, it only protects the thin set of wings.
  • Thin wings are very thin, clear and, membranous. They are often hidden beneath the thick wings. Only this pair of wings is used in air travels by the giant cockroaches.

How Does a Giant Winged Cockroach Fly?

On rare occasions when a huge cockroach decides to fly, the thick pair of wings are lifted up, these give the hidden thin pair of wings to create flight. During the short period in which the back pair of wings is in use, the front set of wings must remain lifted.

Why are all Flying Roaches Bad Fliers?

Although most cockroaches do not fly like other insects or birds, they glide perfectly from one point to the other.

The reason is they have a huge body with a thin membranous wing to carry them. The body weight is large compared to the uplift such a thin set of wings can do.

The reason above explains why big roaches with wings don’t fly for a long duration, they have to come to rest.

Do Baby Cockroach have Wings?

Small Winged cockroaches

Baby cockroaches have a high resemblance to a matured giant cockroach. Despite the high resemblance, baby cockroaches can easily be differentiated by its size. They are usually smaller compared to giant roaches.

Baby cockroaches are like a nymph, they are not fully grown. For all nymphs, not one species of cockroach can fly. It is impossible for baby cockroaches as they have their wings still developing and not ready for flight. You can see the images of baby roaches to take a look at them. 

How to Get Rid of Huge Cockroaches with Wings?

The most effective way to deal with these creepy, filth insects is by using ideal prevention methods. These preventive methods make either your home or office irritating to them.

  • Empty your bin — it’s important to do these frequently. A constant supply of food is what makes roaches interested in your home or office. So remove all standing foods and liquids or place them in a container (airtight).
  • Tidy up — a dirty or an unkempt place is like a home to roaches. If you want them off you, tidy up your house and office.
  • Unclutter — it’s imperative that you remove clutters, they serve as a hideout to roaches.

Check pipes and drains — you need to constantly maintain your home. Cockroaches love a dark and damp location, it excites them. Check your pipe and drains and repair if any leakage is found or will soon be.

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