Do Roaches Jump Like Crickets? | Scientific Answer

Cockroaches are almost everywhere, millions of homes infested with it. With these frightening creeping insects everywhere we want to know more about what inhabits our homes. Several questions are usually asked how to kill roaches?

Do Roaches Jump or Fly? What do they eat? Why are they in my home? Why cockroaches jump towards me? And lots more.

Here is a simple answer to one basic question often asked about how cockroach gets around – can cockroaches jump? And if yes, how exactly is that possible?

Can Cockroaches Jump

Do Cockroaches Jump like Crickets?

If you have ever seen a roach get around, you probably think the creeping insect jumps. But they don’t – except a popular species of cockroach known as ‟leaproach” (Saltoblattella montistabularis).

So what happens when roaches appear to be jumping? They take out their wings beneath the big hard wings lying on their back; flip it to get them out of danger only when necessary.

This action always looks like a jump, but it isn’t. Only a handful of roaches can perform this jump-like function. Almost all species of roaches have wings, not many of them can use it for flight.

For humans and insects, the procedure to make a jump is quite the same. For a jump to take place, it requires the use of legs for propelling the body in the desired direction.

That is not the case in cockroaches; their legs are not configured for this type of action (except a popular specie of cockroach known as ‟leaproach” Saltoblattella montistabularis).

Rather, when a roaches notice danger and need to escape, it flings its body into the air, navigating and propelling with its wings. A cockroach cannot achieve a flight of high accuracy, success or distance.

The Jumping Cockroach

In 2009, a unique species was discovered with an incredible feature – ability to jump. There is no cockroach among the 4000 species of roach that has been discovered that can jump like these roach except leaproach.

During the late Jurassic period, the jumping roaches were thought to have existed only during that period. The jumping roach has its configuration quite different from all other cockroaches.

Leaproaches have their legs specifically modified for jumping. Because of their unique leg configuration, it is possible for them to propel themselves up and forward, in a jumping manner similar to a grasshopper.

Leaproaches do not only have a well –configured hind legs for jumping but also powerful enough to be able to achieve a leap equal to 50 lengths of its entire body. Its hind limb makes up about 20% of the entire leaproach’s body weight.

The leaproach has other special features that aid the jumping roach to achieve stability when in the air as it moves through the air – thanks to its special antennae. When it’s landing time, its hemispherical eyes helps out.


Among all the species of roaches that exist till date, only a roach from Silvermine Nature Reserve, part of Table Mountain National Park in South Africa is capable of making actual jumps. All other roaches only make little flight from one place to another.

So, in general, only leaproaches can jump, while a few species of roaches can flight.

Dinesh Kumar
Dinesh has a few years of experience in Pest control. Apart from his interest in sports, he has helped many people to get rid of cockroaches and other pests.

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