When you have a cockroach infestation you may find these unhygienic critters running around your feet in the kitchen or other parts of the home. It may be tempting to stamp on them or squash them with a brush. It’s useful to know whether cockroaches bleed so you are prepared for the aftermath of a cockroach squatting spree!
The answer is yes, cockroaches have blood and bleed if cut or squashed. Their blood is not red like humans, it has a color that is closer to dark green.
Understanding Cockroach Anatomy
Cockroaches, just like all insects, have an open circulatory system. Their bodies are full of holes called Ostia, through which their greenish-hue hemolymph flows carrying nutrients and oxygen throughout the cockroaches’ body, similar to the way the human’s bloodstream carries nutrients and oxygen to our cells.
The cockroach heart is a long, tube-like organ that runs lengthwise through the cockroach’s abdomen. This cockroach heart pumps hemolymph out of the abdomen through one artery and back into the cockroach’s abdomen through another artery.
The cockroach heart is nourished by the cockroach blood cells that are found in the cockroach veins. Cockroach blood cells contain hemoglobin, which is why cockroaches turn red when you spray them with a little bit of bleach. This hemolymph nourishes cockroaches’ internal organs much like human blood nourishes human internal organs. But cockroach blood cells contain more than hemoglobin; they also contain some sort of anticoagulant to keep cockroaches’ insides creamy smooth.
The main purpose cockroach blood serves is to transport nutrients and oxygen throughout cockroaches’ little bodies. Cockroaches do not breathe through their mouths or noses. Oxygen is brought into cockroach bodies through a system of little holes called spiracles, which are located on cockroaches’ thoraxes.
What Colour is Cockroach Blood?
A cockroach’s blood is a fairly dark shade of green. It contains hemoglobin which turns red when exposed to air, giving the cockroach’s “blood” a reddish color. However, cockroach blood also contains some sort of anticoagulant-like compound that keeps cockroaches’ insides creamy smooth and their blood from clotting.
The cockroach loses fluid when cut. Due to this, they emit sticky substances when which helps with blood clotting.
This sticky adhesive substance helps the cockroach in blood clotting and sealing its wound, which prevents bacteria from entering the cockroach’s body.
This adhesive is also helpful in cockroaches to avoid drying up during the winter season when cockroaches become dry and less active.
Do Cockroaches Have Low Blood Pressure?
Cockroaches have an open circulation system, and they lack tiny capillaries, which means their blood pressure is lower.
Blood flow is necessary for optimum blood pressure, therefore if we are harmed, our blood rushes out.
A cockroach lacks this mechanism, and because of its low blood pressure, even decapitation does not cause the cockroach’s blood to come gushing out.
If a cockroach loses a limb or its wings, it will begin to bleed. Their blood won’t flow or drip from their body.
Can Cockroaches Live Without Their Head?
Cockroaches are one of the cockroach species that can live without their head. When cockroaches breathe, they use spiracles just below the body instead of using a mouth and nose.
It means cockroach can still breathe even if it doesn’t have a nose or mouth. However, since cockroaches don’t have blood vessels in the head, cockroaches can’t live without their head. Blood in the cockroach’s body will keep on moving through the cockroach’s body but only until the cockroach’s heart stops beating.
Without a cockroach’s head, cockroaches will die because cockroaches can’t eat and drink due to not having a mouth.
Can Dead Cockroaches Attract More Cockroaches?
Cockroaches may be the only thing besides humans that are attracted to dead cockroaches. They are also known as “cockroach scavengers” because they’re often following cockroaches around, looking for cockroaches that have died.
If cockroaches die inside your house, they will begin to smell. Their death can attract other cockroaches because cockroaches are basically following their nose, which is leading them to the cockroach’s decomposing body.
Cockroach eggs hatch in about two weeks after they have died so an even deadlier infestation can occur.
Ants or other insects may be attracted by the remains of dead cockroaches, so disposing of the body is critical.