Do Vacuum Cleaners Kill Cockroaches? Myth Busted

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Dealing with cockroaches inside your home is not fun. Not only do they have filthy habits and bad smell, but they may also carry certain bacteria that can cause intestinal diseases as well. Because of this, many are exploring different ways to exterminate them, including using a vacuum cleaner.

Do vacuum cleaners kill cockroaches? While most insects die after being sucked into a vacuum cleaner, cockroaches are very hard to kill. Therefore, vacuum cleaners do not kill cockroaches. However, cockroaches cannot escape once inside the vacuum, making it easier to dispose or kill them afterwards.

While it is true that cockroaches are hard to kill, dealing with them is simpler than you think. All it takes is enough preparation paired with the right know-how. In this post, we will answer everything you need to know about vacuum cleaners and cockroaches, including how to fight them with a vacuum cleaner.

About Cockroaches

Cockroaches are highly adaptable insects with six long legs, two long antennae, and two pairs of wings. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, there are over a thousand species of cockroaches in the world, however, only about thirty of them are considered pests.

Roaches are typically considered pests because of three main reasons: 

  1. They can carry harmful bacteria.
  2. They can be an allergen source. 
  3. They can be an asthma trigger.

It is true that cockroaches do not bite, but they can scratch you with their long and heavy leg spines. And because they carry bacteria, a cockroach scratch could potentially become infected. According to the WHO, cockroaches have been known to play a role as carriers of intestinal diseases.

Do Vacuum Cleaners Kill Cockroaches?

It is a well-known fact that cockroaches are very hard to kill. Indeed, cockroaches can live for nearly a week without their heads. Since cockroaches do not have a highly-pressurized network of blood vessels like humans, they do not bleed out. Instead, their necks seal off the opening, and continue to live.

Additionally, cockroaches have a super strong immune system that effectively kills dangerous microbes and fungi, making the most unsanitary environment look like a five-star resort to them. Not only do cockroaches survive unsanitary conditions and rotting human food, but they actually enjoy it.

Because of the reasons above, many have explored the options of using a vacuum cleaner to kill cockroaches.

So, do roaches die when vacuumed? Roaches will not die when vacuumed. Not only can cockroaches continue to live in a vacuum, but the eggs may also survive as well. If the bag is sealed tightly, however, they cannot escape. This means you can kill them or dispose of them afterwards.

How to Fight Cockroaches with a Vacuum Cleaner

Cockroaches may be hard to kill, but there is an easy way to keep them clear of your house -- cleanliness. At the end of the day, by making sure that your house is clean, not only will it be free from pests, but it will become more comfortable as well. Here is how to fight cockroaches with a vacuum cleaner:

1. Use the Right Vacuum Cleaner

If you own a vacuum cleaner, congratulations, you already have the necessary tool to get rid of cockroaches and their eggs. A vacuum cleaner is surprisingly one of the most effective non-toxic methods for removing pests from your home. The key, however, is using the right vacuum cleaner for the job.

The best vacuum cleaners for sucking up cockroaches are the ones with a hose, designed for high areas and irregular surfaces. Additionally, use one equipped with a HEPA filter to reduce harmful airborne particles, particularly the cockroaches’ eggs. In short, use a vacuum with a long hose and powerful suction.

2. Use Maximum Suction

Now that you have made sure your vacuum cleaner has adequate suction, it is time to set it appropriately. To capture the cockroaches, make sure to set the vacuum cleaner to its maximum suction power. Most vacuum cleaners have settings, usually a knob, for alternating between different suction powers. 

3. Vacuum Regularly and Thoroughly

Remember, an unsanitary environment is where cockroaches thrive and multiply. If your house is clean, the chances are slim they will come in and multiply. Therefore, it is good practice to vacuum regularly and thoroughly. Be sure to vacuum dust from carpets, corners and shelves, and vacuum or mop hard floors.

Additionally, do not forget to clean areas where dirt may settle, like sinks, refrigerators, and stoves. You also need to look for the ootheca (the egg case of cockroaches) in drawers, on shelves, under cabinets or anywhere cockroaches may be living. Vacuum cockroaches, ootheca, and their eggs thoroughly.

PRO TIP: Often, cockroach’s ootheca, fecal matter, exoskeleton, and other body parts are left behind. These can not only be a direct cause of respiratory problems, but may carry harmful bacteria as well. We recommend using a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter to reduce the risk of recirculation of harmful particles.

4. Dispose the Bag Properly

Last but not least, make sure to dispose of the vacuum bag immediately. When dealing with pests, especially cockroaches, it is best to dispose of them outside the house. Doing so reduces the risk of them escaping and recirculating back into your home. After vacuuming, you may wash the area with strong soap.

What Kills Cockroaches Instantly?

Surprisingly, using the right bug spray can kill cockroaches instantly. In fact, the Raid Max Ant and Roach Spray is very effective at killing cockroaches. It is designed to kill bugs, including cockroaches, on contact and should kill the bug almost instantly. Additionally, it keeps killing with residual action for up to six months.

If you have tried all of the above cleaning tips, but you are still experiencing cockroach problems, we recommend hiring a professional pest exterminator to get the job done. They are experts at what they do because they can assess your house and apply the right course of action most of the time.

Final Verdict

And there you have it, a simple post to answer the question: do vacuum cleaners kill cockroaches? Do not be intimidated by the toughness of these little pests. While roaches do not die when vacuumed, it is easier to kill or dispose of them once they are trapped inside the vacuum cleaner.

See also: Vacuum Cleaners