Why Cockroaches Commit Suicide

Why Cockroaches Commit Suicide

Suicide means cutting short one’s life. Many people say it is the perfect way to end the pain and suffering that has been eating them up all along. Suicide can be committed due to some reasons, depending on the struggle that the victim is being faced with.

There are various methods of committing suicide, such as wrist cutting, drowning, suffocation, electrocution, hanging, taking poison, starvation, dehydration, and jumping from heights. These methods apply to both animals and in human beings.

Do animals commit suicide too?

Did you know that animals, as small as insects, commit suicide? Well, as surprising as it is, it is the truth of the matter. Insects (such as pea aphids) can explode themselves to protect their colony/ family from attack by predators! In an 1845 case involving animals, illustrated London news reported a new-found land dog throwing himself in water in an attempt to drown. In another scenario, a dog refused to eat after the death of his master until he died too. Also, a deer is said to have jumped off a cliff to save his soul from very fierce hunting dogs who were vehemently pursuing it. These cases are just to prove that animal suicide is not a strange phenomenon.

Although it is very hard to determine the cause for the animals to cause destruction to their selves, scientists and well-established researchers have a reason to believe that some specific traits that can be attributed to human suicide can be successfully transferred to animals. Therefore, this means that some causes of suicide in humans can also be used to explain why cockroaches also commit suicide. Therefore, let us examine these causes in detail:

Causes of animal suicide

Reasons Why Animals Commit Suicide: Acute Starvation

Acute starvation is a situation where starvation reaches to the point where damage to body organs is experienced. Supposing we took a good look at a cockroach, it is probably one of the hardiest insects in existence. It can survive without taking any food for a whole month! As if that is not enough, it can stay for a whole week without a single drop of water before it starves to death.

Cockroaches are probably the least picky scavengers in the insect kingdom. They can eat almost anything: books, wood, actually anything that is organic. They will eat whatever you have in your house. Cockroaches are omnivores so they do eat both plants and animals. From this, I would say cockroaches are like humans as we share same tastes. This is why we always find them all over our kitchens, food stores, and homes.

But unlike us, cockroaches have other alternative sources of diet. One example is carbohydrates. In the absence of the normal starch left over from humans, these insects will go for things as book bindings, wallpaper paste, etc. For protein, they can go for things as human hair, animal skin, and even fingernails.

This means that, for the cockroach to commit suicide because of acute starvation, it must be avoiding a painful death caused by organ failures in the body. This relates to some cases of human suicide because of severe malnutrition. There was a very serious drought that killed villagers, where one village member decided to take their life so as to avoid the pain of dying of malnutrition.

Reasons Why Animals Commit Suicide: The Philosophical Desire to Die

In other instances, the desire to commit suicide is fueled by a reasoned decision. This decision is mostly motivated by a current condition or situation. That situation must exhibit no hopes of recovery at all. In those instances, the alleviation of pain or suffering can only be done by death. In a bid to avoid certain death, cockroaches also commit suicide to save themselves having to feel so much pain in the death process.

Pest control chemical, for example, disrupts the insect’s nervous system. This is basically because most of these chemicals contain nerve-destroying agents like ones used in weapons, but theirs are in smaller doses. This will possibly prevent locomotion in the insect, therefore, they won’t feed. Other chemicals contain growth regulators that contaminate their eggs and larvae, which prevent them from hatching and reaching adulthood. This may be unbearable. They may, therefore, find other faster modes of dying.

Reasons Why Animals Commit Suicide: Depression

In a bid to look for more information on cockroaches, I found out that they are a family species, meaning they live in families or groups. This means that cockroaches are used to living as a group, and whenever one is separated from its colony, it may experience feelings of depression. Normally, even in human beings, depression is the number one cause of suicide missions and attempts.

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects one’s feelings in a negative way. It causes one to think or act with a negative perspective. It causes a feeling of sadness and loss of morale and interest in activities that one once enjoyed. This may lead humans, and even cockroaches to start feeling like life is not important at all. The next thing we hear is that the person or animal is dead.

Insects are social animals. Cockroaches like to feel something around them. This exactly explains why they like staying in corners of our houses. Most of us think that they are hiding, but this is not the reason. Therefore, when things of immense importance such as walls and mates are taken from them, they feel lonely, exposed, and depressed. Such situations make cockroaches make blind decisions as killing themselves to avoid the loneliness.


In conclusion, suicide may seem like a perfect way to end troubles, as shown by the cockroach and other animals. The truth is that committing suicide is not the best way to solve a situation. We, as masterpieces of creation, should strive to preserve life at all costs. We should learn to seek help from able sources instead of ending our lives.

Cockroaches are scavengers who can survive by eating nearly anything organic. They will always find means and ways of survival. It has even been proved that these insects have developed resistance to most pesticides. From this, therefore, it is crystal clear that these insects rarely die unless it is an extremely unbearable condition.

Why Cockroaches Commit Suicide