What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

night of the roaches part 2 — heeeelllppp — now with photo
Hello, brave bug researchers!
I found your site looking for answers to a truly horrific experience!!! I live in South India, and am used to the odd roach, but last night my husband and I were awoken by roaches running ALL OVER our bed and us. When we put on the light, there were at least nine, all over the bedroom, and when we opened the door to shoo them out, we saw they were even flying in from other areas of the house, and came back as fast as we swept them out. They stopped coming when I showered and stripped the bed of (fresh) sheets for good measure. I only knew what to do because the same thing had happened to me once as a teenager — I woke up at night with something crawling on me, and when I turned on the light I saw cockroaches were flying at me from all corners of my (the same) bedroom. It was unbelievable, more were coming in all the time, and even though I ran around panicking they wouldn’t leave me alone until I showered AND washed my hair. My question is, what on earth do you think could be attracting them so incredibly? Did I smash one in my sleep maybe? We joked whoever figures out the secret behind the roach magnet could get rich quick LOL!! Seriously, has anyone ever had this happen to them before? I was sort of pleased it happened again when there was a witness…Roach Attack 1 was so horror movieish that I’ve always felt people thought I exaggerated it!! If it’s any help, it rained the night before, after a month of dry weather. I also saw a brown spot on the sheets, that looked a lot like the stains the stinkbugs leave that won’t wash out. We also have a bedside lamp that might be emitting some sort of frequency. I can’t identify which species these are (and I don’t want to find one to take a picture!!) but according to your site, I’d say they most resemble the American roach, but larger and they can fly. Thanks,
Terrified of a Repeat Episode
PS Got a photo!

Dear Terrified,
Try as we might, though we found numerous references to Flying Cockroaches in India, we could not locate a species name online. We suspect the rain probably is a critical factor in the roach invasion. Perhaps one of our readers will have an answer for you.

Update (02/10/2008) reply to Flying cockroach in India
Hey there Bugman,
Your cockroach there IS the American roach, Periplaneta Americana . They’ve travelled all over the world with us humans. And if the humidity is right, these guys will fly. So India is probably just right for it. As for what’s attracting them maybe it’s mating time. The males are incredibly sensitive to pheromones. There must be some female hanging out underneath the bed.
Caitlin, Ohio

Hi Caitlin,
We located a posting by the Urban Pantheist, and it states that: “The so-called American cockroach, like most other urban cockroaches, is thought to have originally come from Africa. When trade between that continent and North America was at its most notorious–when humans were a product to buy and sell–cockroaches stowed away in ships.”

Confirmation: (02/11/2008) From Eric Eaton
The “flying cockroaches in India,” or at least the specimen in the image, are American cockroaches, Periplaneta americana. Despite the common name, these domestic pests are native to tropical Africa, but have now spread globally. They do fly, very well! I remember the first time I saw them do that, when I was in Florida. Quite a shock!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

4 Responses to Flying Cockroaches in India: American Cockroach

  1. Simon UK says:

    hi, I was visiting Goa about 20 years ago. I had left a tube of some high glucose sweets in the top draw in my hotel room. Hi heard some rustling in this draw. I tentatively opened the draw and there was an insect about 7cm in length with a width on about 4cm. When I saw it I was shocked and I screamed and I swear to God the creature turned its head towards me and it had what appeared to be a face with human features and screamed back at me. It was like being in a cartoon with a cartoon character. The creature then jumped out of the drawer onto the marble floor and opened some wings and flew under the three inch gap under the door. I could hear him screaming down the hall banging into the walls. I have seen big roaches in the philippines and this was nothing like then due to the humanoid face. Can anyone suggest what this was!
    Simon UK

  2. Mitali Bahl says:

    Are there any cockroach related disease which could harm human badly?

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