Should You Kill a Roach if You See One? Things to Know

If you see a roach scuttling about your home, your first instinct may be to squash it with whatever object you have available.

However, some people believe this is a bad idea, due to several erroneous reasons. Trust us, you should kill a roach when you see it.

As for why people might believe killing a roach is a bad idea, we’ll cover that below. There are many valid reasons to get rid of a roach, and very few, if any, to spare them.

Roaches are some of the worst pests out there and being merciful to them doesn’t do your home any favors.

In this article, we’ll discuss the following:

  • Why Would You Not Kill a Roach?
  • Do Roaches Release Pheromones When They Die?
  • Do Roaches Release Eggs When They Die?
  • Why Should You Kill Roaches?
  • Killing Roaches to Prevent the Spread of Germs
  • Killing Roaches to Prevent Damage to Your Home 
  • How Should You Kill a Roach?

Why Would You Not Kill a Roach?

As mentioned previously, some people believe that stepping on a roach when you see one is a bad idea. They generally believe this idea due to baseless myths that have been told by others, regardless of any evidence or lack thereof.

Two such myths are the most common misconceptions. The first is that a cockroach will release a pheromone that attracts other roaches when it dies.

The second is that a roach will release its eggs if stepped upon, scattering an entire infestation around your house. Both of these are untrue.

Do Roaches Release Pheromones When They Die?

A roach indeed releases certain pheromones when they meet its end. But the idea that these pheromones attract other roaches is wrong.

The released pheromone does the exact opposite: it warns other roaches to stay away from where the killed roach died. After all, if it died there, it must be dangerous.

Roaches may be insects, but think about it: if you stumbled across the body of a fellow human, would you be enticed to come closer and stay in the area, or would you leave because you don’t know what killed them and that location is probably dangerous?

Now before anyone gets the bright idea to leave roach corpses lying around their house to ward off living ones, keep in mind that it’s not a perfect system.

First of all, a roach body will eventually stop giving off the death pheromone, so it won’t warn away roaches forever.

Secondly, it’s just a warning, not a literal barrier. A starving roach may still approach the deceased.

Either way, the myth that killing a roach will attract more roaches is untrue, and that notion shouldn’t stop you from taking one out if you see it.

Do Roaches Release Eggs When They Die?

Have you ever seen one of those videos where someone steps on a spider, then a horde of baby spiders scatter in all directions?

It’s a terrifying sight, and we can understand why some people might fear the same outcome when stepping on a roach, but you don’t have to. Roaches do not generally carry their eggs with them.

In fact, very few insects and arachnids actively carry their eggs around on their backs, so you don’t have to worry about this when stepping on them very often.

Of course, some creatures still do, so what about them?

Well, if you’re stepping on the roach hard enough to kill it, then there’s no way its eggs would survive anyway.

Just think about it: if you stomp a roach with a hardened exoskeleton hard enough to crush it, how would soft, vulnerable eggs survive that attack?

Roaches don’t normally carry their eggs with them, but if they did, it wouldn’t be a problem anyway.

Even in the unlikely event that you stepped on a roach that carries eggs and some of those eggs survived, they would hatch in a very vulnerable environment and likely die anyway.

It’s really not something worth worrying about.

Why Should You Kill Roaches?

So, we’ve determined that there are no valid reasons to avoid killing a roach. But what about reasons to specifically kill them?

Other than grossing people out, is there a reason you should try to eradicate them from your home? There are a couple of good reasons, such as preventing the spread of germs and damage to home goods.

Either one of these reasons is more than enough justification to get rid of a roach if you see one, but we’ll cover why these are things you should be worried about when you see a roach.

Killing Roaches to Prevent the Spread of Germs

Most everyone considers roaches to be gross. But what makes them filthy? Well, it’s mostly about what they eat and where they live.

You probably notice that roaches like to hang out in dark, damp, warm places, which are prime conditions for the propagation of bacteria. It’s not a clean living space.

But even worse than that is what roaches eat, which is… well, pretty much anything. Cockroaches will eat just about anything they can get their mandibles on.

Unfortunately for humans, that includes both garbage and other dead animals.

Needless to say, when you spend all day eating trash or corpses, you probably end up getting a lot of germs and bacteria all over you.

And when you decide to waltz around on the kitchen counter or inside of kitchen cabinets, you end up spreading those germs and bacteria on surfaces that humans often come in contact with.

Roaches are walking Petri dishes of bacteria and the last thing you want is for them to spread that bacteria around your home.

Kill a roach and prevent it from gallivanting around your house doing just that.

Killing Roaches to Prevent Damage to Your Home

Remember when we said that roaches will eat almost anything? Unfortunately, that notion is what makes roaches such a menace, even outside of germs.

Roaches will eat things that don’t even strike humans as food, including but not limited to glue, leather, plastic, paper, hair, plants, and much more.

As you probably know, there are many objects in your home comprised of those types of materials.

You don’t want roaches running around chewing on your leather sofa, chomping through plastic bags, or whittling away at the glue holding some of your furniture together.

The damage may be minor, but over time it could seriously add up.

On top of that, the huge number of materials that roaches can chew through means it is remarkably difficult to safely store food.

Even in seemingly secure containers, roaches could potentially chew through them and proceed to contaminate your food, costing you a lot of money.

For reasons such as this, roaches are very valid targets when you see them, and you should eradicate them with extreme prejudice.

How Should You Kill a Roach?

Alright, so now we know that you should kill roaches when you see them and that you shouldn’t spare them for any reason.

But how should you go about killing them? There are a few ways you can do this.

First off is the tried and true shoe stomp. This is a great method of execution because you can usually carry it out immediately upon spotting the roach.

You don’t have to run off to a cabinet for insecticide, only to find that the roach disappeared while you were doing that. 

A shoe stomp is effective, instantaneous, and free. We would even say that it is humane, but roaches are not capable of feeling pain, so there is no particularly more humane way to kill them.

That said, make sure you stomp on them with great force because roaches have very tough exoskeletons and can survive much more force than you’d think.

More importantly, if you step on a roach and don’t kill it, it may play dead very convincingly, or simply be stunned, meaning it can come back and haunt your home later.

Of course, there are also other methods, like insecticide, which will kill a roach very quickly and without making a mess, but depending on where the roach is, you may not want to do this.

You could also attempt to suffocate them with something like dish soap.


When you see a roach, you should kill it. They offer very little to your home and can spread germs and damage things of value.

Killing one will not attract other roaches and they will not spread their eggs when they die, so there’s no reason to hold back.

You can go to town in whatever manner you want, but the most effective way to deal with a roach is simply to smack it hard enough to crush it with a blunt force object.

Alright, that’s it for this article, here are a few hand-selected articles that you might also find interesting reads:

How to Identify a Cockroach (Easy Checklist)

What to Do If Your Apartment Is Infested with Roaches?

I Keep Seeing Small Roaches in My Apartment – What To Do Next

Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page

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