Do New Zealand Cockroaches Fly?

Originally posted on June 14, 2023 @ 12:05 am

Cockroaches are one of the most hated insects in the world, and for good reason. Not only are they unsightly, but they can also carry diseases and cause allergies. However, one question that often comes up when it comes to cockroaches is whether they can fly. In this article, we will explore the answer to this question specifically in relation to New Zealand cockroaches.

Cockroaches are a common pest in many parts of the world, including New Zealand. While most people are familiar with their scurrying, some may wonder if they can also fly. In this article, we will explore the topic of whether or not New Zealand cockroaches have the ability to take flight.

Understanding the New Zealand Cockroach

Before we answer the question of whether New Zealand cockroaches fly, it is important to understand what they are. The New Zealand cockroach, also known as the native bush cockroach, is a species of cockroach that is found exclusively in New Zealand. They are a common sight in gardens, forests, and other outdoor areas, but can also be found in homes and buildings.

Physical Characteristics

New Zealand cockroaches are small in size, measuring between 15 to 25 millimeters in length. They are dark brown in color and have a distinctive flattened appearance. They also have long antennae and wings, which we will explore in more detail later on.


As mentioned earlier, New Zealand cockroaches are primarily found in outdoor areas, such as gardens and forests. They prefer damp and dark environments, and can often be found hiding under rocks, logs, and other debris. However, they can also be found in homes and buildings, especially those that are located near their natural habitats.

Can New Zealand Cockroaches Fly?

Now, onto the question at hand – can New Zealand cockroaches fly? The answer is yes, but with a bit of a catch. New Zealand cockroaches do have wings, but they are not strong enough to allow them to fly long distances. Instead, they use their wings to glide short distances, such as from a tree to the ground.

Key takeaway: New Zealand cockroaches have wings that allow them to glide short distances, but they cannot fly long distances like other insects. It is important to understand myths and misconceptions about cockroaches, as well as prevention tips and Natural pest control methods to avoid and control infestations.

Wing Structure

New Zealand cockroaches have two pairs of wings – the forewings and the hindwings. The forewings are thick and leathery, while the hindwings are thinner and more delicate. When the cockroach is at rest, the forewings cover the hindwings, which are folded neatly under them.

Flight Capabilities

While New Zealand cockroaches cannot fly in the traditional sense, they are capable of gliding short distances. This is achieved by opening their wings and using them to catch the wind. They then use their legs to steer themselves towards their desired landing spot. However, the distance they can glide is limited, and they cannot stay airborne for long periods of time.

Cockroach Myths and Misconceptions

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding cockroaches, and it is important to separate fact from fiction. Here are a few common myths about cockroaches:

Key Takeaway: New Zealand cockroaches can glide short distances using their wings, but they cannot fly long distances. Cockroaches can infest any home regardless of cleanliness, so prevention methods such as keeping homes clean and dry are important. Natural pest control methods, such as diatomaceous earth and essential oils, can be effective in controlling cockroaches and are less harmful to humans and the environment.

Myth #1: Cockroaches are indestructible

While it is true that cockroaches are resilient creatures, they are not indestructible. They can be killed with insecticides, traps, and other pest control methods.

Myth #2: Cockroaches only infest dirty homes

Cockroaches can infest any home, regardless of how clean or dirty it is. However, they are attracted to food and moisture, so keeping your home clean and dry can help prevent infestations.

Myth #3: Cockroaches only come out at night

While cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, they can also be active during the day. If you see a cockroach during the day, it does not necessarily mean you have a severe infestation.

Prevention Tips

  • Keep your home or business clean and dry. Cockroaches are attracted to food and moisture, so eliminating these sources can help prevent infestations.
  • Seal cracks and crevices in walls, floors, and ceilings. Cockroaches can enter buildings through even the smallest openings, so it is important to seal them off.
  • Store food in airtight containers. Cockroaches can easily access open food containers, so storing food in sealed containers can help prevent infestations.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly. Cockroaches are attracted to garbage, so it is important to dispose of it properly and on a regular basis.

Control Methods

If you already have a cockroach infestation, there are several methods you can use to control it:

  • Insecticides – Insecticides can be effective in killing cockroaches, but they should be used with caution. Always follow the instructions on the label and keep them out of reach of children and pets.
  • Traps – Traps can be used to catch and kill cockroaches. There are several types of traps available, including sticky traps and bait traps.
  • Professional Pest Control – If you have a severe infestation, it may be necessary to call in a professional pest control company. They have the equipment and expertise to effectively control cockroach infestations.

Cockroach Facts

Now that we have covered the basics of cockroach control, let’s take a look at some interesting facts about these insects:

  • Cockroaches can survive without food for up to a month.
  • Cockroaches can live for up to a week without their heads.
  • Cockroaches can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes.
  • There are over 4,000 species of cockroaches in the world.
  • Cockroaches have been around for over 300 million years, making them one of the oldest insects on Earth.

Key takeaway: New Zealand cockroaches can glide short distances with their wings, but they cannot fly in the traditional sense. To prevent infestations, it is important to keep homes clean and dry, seal cracks and crevices, store food properly, and dispose of garbage regularly. Natural pest control methods, such as diatomaceous earth, essential oils, and boric acid, should be considered to avoid the use of harmful chemical insecticides.

The Importance of Natural Pest Control

When it comes to pest control, many people opt for chemical insecticides. However, these products can be harmful to both humans and the environment. Therefore, it is important to consider Natural pest control methods. Here are some Natural pest control methods that can be used to control cockroaches:

  • Diatomaceous Earth – Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder made from the fossils of tiny aquatic organisms. It works by dehydrating insects, including cockroaches.
  • Essential Oils – Essential oils, such as peppermint oil and tea tree oil, can be effective in repelling cockroaches. Simply mix a few drops of the oil with water and spray in areas where cockroaches are present.
  • Boric Acid – Boric acid is a natural insecticide that can be used to control cockroaches. It works by disrupting their digestive system and causing dehydration.

FAQs for the topic: do nz cockroaches fly

Do cockroaches in New Zealand fly?

In New Zealand, most cockroach species are unable to fly. However, the New Zealand native cockroach species, Deinacrida heteracantha, also known as the wētāpunga, is capable of flying short distances. This species is a large, flightless insect that has small wings which it uses to glide for short distances.

What are the common types of cockroaches found in New Zealand?

The two most common types of cockroaches found in New Zealand are the German cockroach and the brown-banded cockroach. The German cockroach is light brown in colour and has two dark stripes running down its back, while the brown-banded cockroach is brown with lighter bands across its body. Both of these species are unable to fly.

Are flying cockroaches common in New Zealand households?

Flying cockroaches are not common in New Zealand households, as most species are unable to fly. However, the wētāpunga, which is the only cockroach species in New Zealand that can fly, is not commonly found in households.

How do I prevent cockroaches from entering my home?

To prevent cockroaches from entering your home, it is important to keep your house clean and free of food debris. This means wiping down counters, cleaning up spills, and keeping food in airtight containers. You can also seal cracks and crevices in your home to prevent cockroaches from entering. It’s also a good idea to remove any clutter or large objects, as these can provide hiding places for cockroaches.

What should I do if I see a cockroach in my home?

If you see a cockroach in your home, it’s important to act quickly. Cockroaches reproduce quickly and can quickly infest your home. The first step is to identify the type of cockroach you are dealing with, as this can help determine the best course of action. You can try using store-bought insecticides or natural methods such as diatomaceous earth or boric acid. If the infestation is severe, you may need to call a professional pest control company.