Can Roaches See in the Dark?

We all know that cockroaches are one of the common household pests in America.

There are about 69 roach species found in America with a very high rate of reproductivity (a female can lay up to 10 – 90 eggs per time which hatch in days).

can cockroaches see in the dark

We all loathe the thought of having them as co-occupants because they don’t leave that easily once inside the house.

Roaches are rarely seen running around in the daytime but are most active at night.

Their love for the pitch-black makes one ask – How do roaches see? And can they see in the dark?

If you’ve ever wondered this, keep reading to know the answer.

Do Cockroaches See in the Dark

How Do Roaches See?

Their Eye Structure

Roaches are amazing creatures; as pesky as they are, they have some optical features. Scientists are probably researching how to adapt to human visual aids.

Unlike humans and most mammals, they have their eyes on their heads, enabling them to have a 360-degree vision of what goes on in their environment.

They do not see objects clearly by focusing on them; their compound eyes are used to detect movements within their optical fields.

This sensory ability enables them to run away from predators without necessarily having to see them; they see every movement as a threat, and they are very good at hiding.

Their compound eyes are dorsolaterally situated on the head; they are black and bean-shaped, made up of about 2000 hexagonal units called the ommatidium; each unit functions as a visual receptor.

Can Roaches See in the Dark?

Research has proven that cockroaches see in the dark by being able to pool light signals over time.

Through the ommatidium, the roach’s nervous system accumulates electrical neural signals summing them up to see in the dark.

Uses of the Antenna

With its pair of antennae, a roach has a sixth sense with which it interacts with the environment.

Each antenna is as long as the body, containing tiny hairs called bristles; these bristles are mechanoreceptors that convey tactile and active sensory signals.

They allow the roach to detect vibrations caused by the movements of other creatures in the environment; through this, the roach can sense the presence of a predator.

Another function of the antenna is to allow the roach to smell the atmosphere’s chemical components. It works like an olfactory nerve; the roach locates food by sensing the antenna’s environment.

A male cockroach uses the antenna to detect a female cockroach in the heat, leading to courting and eventually mating.

can roaches see in dark

Nocturnal Creatures

They are afraid of the light, so when they are not hunting for food, they hide in the dark in the daytime; they see the light as a threat.

A roach will serve as a good meal to several animals; their nocturnal nature is thus a good way of hiding from predators.

Also, their nocturnal nature is why they can feed on what we eat when we sleep.

This is why proper storage of food items is strongly advised; roaches are one of the fastest insects globally, able to move in the dark with an average speed of 3mps.

Exterminate Cockroaches with Pest Control

Now that we know that roaches can see in the dark and are very well why active during the night, you need to take adequate precautions to keep them away and prevent them from entering your house.

In case you do spot a couple of roaches in your house, you can adopt various methods to eliminate them; however, if you happen to face a serious cockroach infestation, then it’s better to hire a licensed exterminator to deal with this problem more efficiently and thoroughly.

Final Words

Roaches are nocturnal insects and prefer to move around in the dark.

This is one of the major reasons you don’t see them scurrying around during the daytime but are easily spotted when you enter your kitchen or bathroom late at night.

However, whether it’s day or night, if you spot even one roach in your house, it’s time to immediately take preventive measures and ensure that these pesky hell-raisers do not make a permanent dwelling inside your home.

Because once inside, they can be challenging to eliminate, and even though various solutions are now available to deal with them, it would be best if you hire a professional exterminator to nib the problem in the bud efficiently.

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