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What Happens When You Step on a Cockroach?

If you have a cockroach infestation in your home, you probably want to know if you can just step on the damned things. 

So, is it safe?

Will anything bad happen if you stomp on one?

Typically, when you step on a cockroach, all that will happen is that it will die. Some people claim that a stepped-on roach will release pheromones that attract more cockroaches or that their eggs will release, but these are myths. 

Will Anything Bad Happen if I Step on a Cockroach?

In short, nothing bad will happen if you step on a cockroach. 

There is a popular myth that if you step on a cockroach, it will send out a pheromone that will attract more roaches. 

However, in reality, the opposite is true. 

A dead cockroach will release certain fatty acids that other roaches can smell, but these signals do not tell more cockroaches to come to that spot. 

Instead, it warns them to stay far away because it is dangerous there. 

Therefore, killing cockroaches will actually keep them out of the area where you smashed them. 

And as for the idea that roaches drop their eggs when you squash them, this is not true either. 

Most roach species do not carry their eggs around with them. 

Rather, they leave their eggs in their nest. 

Yet, if a roach is carrying its eggs, stepping on the insect will kill the eggs as well. 

Should I Step on Roaches?

Really, whether or not you should step on roaches is up to you. 

As I stated above, there is nothing wrong with stepping on them. 

Yet, you should, of course, keep in mind that smashing a roach means dealing with the mess. 

And if the roach was large, there may be quite a bit of it. 

Thus, if you are going to smash a roach, you should be prepared to clean up the carcass and bodily fluids. 

Additionally, you should remember never to touch a roach with your bare skin because cockroaches can carry bacteria since they walk over pretty much everything, including poop. 

So, when cleaning up roach guts, always be sure not to touch the actual roach or its body parts. 

If you do, wash your hands with soap and water immediately. 

Why Did the Roach I Step on Not Die?

It can take a lot of force to smash a roach. 

In fact, cockroaches can handle pressure 900 times their body weight. 

Roaches can handle this much pressure because they have very flexible exoskeletons that can bend without breaking, even when under extreme force. 

Therefore, just stepping on a roach may not be enough to kill it. 

What Is the Most Effective Way to Step on a Roach?

If just stepping straight down a roach won’t kill them, then what is the trick to smashing one?

Well, if you have a roach under your shoe, the best thing to do is press down hard and pivot your foot back and forth. 

What I mean is that you need to lean forward while stepping on the roach so that you put all your weight on the insect. 

Then, while still applying all of your weight, swivel your foot in one direction and then the other. 

Doing so should produce enough force to kill the roach. 

How Do I Make Sure the Roach I Stepped on Is Dead?

Generally speaking, if you step on a roach and hear a popping noise, it is probably dead. 

You need to make sure the roach pops because just smashing its legs or putting pressure on it is not enough to kill it. 

So, after you have stepped on a roach and pivoted your foot the way I explained above, you should check to make sure its torso has popped before throwing it in the trash. 

Otherwise, the cockroach will just get up and leave the garbage can since it is not dead. 

Therefore, you have to take a moment to look at the roach to see if the torso is intact. 

If there are no holes in the torso, the roach is probably still alive. 

Even if the roach’s head is missing, it is most likely still alive if the torso hasn’t popped and can survive for up to a week in this condition. 

One good way to tell if you have popped the roach’s torso is to look for roach blood. 

And keep in mind that roach blood is not like human blood. 

Cockroach blood is typically white and has a chunky consistency. 

If you see blood, the roach is most likely dead, and you can pick it up and throw it away without worry. 

Can I Step on a Roach With My Bare Foot?

While you may be able to kill a roach with your bare foot, you shouldn’t. 

As I mentioned, cockroaches contain bacteria that can make you sick. 

Coming into direct contact with their blood may also affect your skin. 

Do Cockroaches Smell Bad When You Smash Them?

Cockroaches do release a scent when they die. 

However, humans typically can not smell this odor. 

Yet, if there are enough dead roaches in one place, you will start to smell the oleic acid they release when they die. 

Do Roaches Play Dead? 

Roaches can play dead if they sense a threat. 

They will stop moving and may even flip on their backs. 

In some cases, the cockroach can not stop this reflex when it is scared and can not even move if it wants to do so. 

Therefore, even if you touch a roach and it doesn’t move, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is dead. 

If you want to be sure a roach is truly dead, you should either pop its torso or spray it with insecticide. 

Otherwise, it may just get up and walk away when you aren’t looking. 

Can a Cockroach Out Run Me?

If you’ve ever gone to smash a roach, there is a good chance it ran away from you. 

Roaches are very good at detecting predators because they can see in almost every direction and can easily feel changes in air movement. 

But, the real question isn’t, will a roach run away from me?

Instead, you need to ask, can I catch it?

And the answer is yes. 

Roaches can run up to 3 mph (5 kph), which, I have to admit, is impressive for such a small creature. 

However, the average human walking speed is 3-4 mph (5-6 kph). 

And most humans can run at least 6.5 mph (10 kph). 

So, you will be able to run as fast as the roach. 

You just need to be sure the cockroach doesn’t scurry into a good hiding place before you can catch it. 

Can I Kill a Roach Egg by Stepping on It?

Yes, you can kill a roach egg by stomping on it. 

However, if you do, it is best to put the eggs in a sealable plastic bag before you throw them away. 

Because if the egg is still viable, it will hatch and crawl back out into your home. 


Nothing bad will happen when you step on a cockroach. 

But, you should not let the dead cockroach touch your bare skin. 

If you do, you could get sick or develop skin problems.