Cockroach about to get squished by a man wearing a sandal.

When you’re dealing with a cockroach infestation, you just want it to be over. You want your house back and those sneaky invaders dead or gone. The question is: where does it end? How long do cockroaches live?

At Action Pest, we know how frustrating it is to have your home taken over by cockroaches who contaminate your food, eat everything in sight (even paper), and leave filth and disorder everywhere. In this blog, we go over the most common types of cockroaches found in Ontario, how long they live, and how you can get rid of them for good.

What Kind of Cockroaches Are in Your Home?

There are several species of cockroaches that can be found in Ontario. The most common ones include:

  • German Cockroaches (Blattella germanica): These small, light brown cockroaches are commonly found in homes, restaurants, and other indoor environments. They are known for their ability to reproduce quickly, so an infestation can grow if not properly controlled.
  • American Cockroaches (Periplaneta americana): These larger cockroaches, which can reach up to 2” in length, are often found in sewers, basements, and other damp, dark areas.
  • Oriental Cockroaches: (Blatta orientalis): These cockroaches are dark brown or black in colour and are usually found in damp areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and sewers.
  • Brown-Banded Cockroaches (Supella longipalpa): These light brown cockroaches have distinctive bands across their wings and are small in size. It is common to find them indoors, especially in homes.

Regardless of what species is keeping you up at night, cockroaches can cause a number of problems. In addition to their unpleasant appearance, they can produce allergens that cause respiratory problems and contaminate food and surfaces they come into contact with. Cockroaches are also notoriously difficult to eliminate once they have established a presence, which means that they can be a persistent and frustrating problem for homeowners and business owners alike.

So How Long Do Cockroaches Live?

The lifespan of a cockroach depends on the species as well as environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and availability of food and water. 

On average, adult cockroaches can live for several months to over a year. For example, the German cockroach has a lifespan of about 100-200 days. Meanwhile, the American cockroach can live up to 2 years under ideal conditions!

The lifespan of a cockroach is divided into three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Depending on the species, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months for an egg to hatch into a nymph. The nymph then goes through several moulting stages before reaching adulthood. The adult cockroach can continue to moult and grow throughout its life.

What Is the Longest-Living Cockroach?

The longest-living cockroach species is the Australian giant burrowing cockroach (Macropanesthia rhinoceros), which can live up to 10 years or more in the wild. This species is also one of the largest cockroaches in the world, with adults reaching over three in length. Despite their large size, these cockroaches are not considered pests and do not infest human homes. They are mostly found in the wild, living in burrows underground, and feed on decaying plant matter.

Why Are Cockroaches Hard to Kill?

If you’ve dealt with cockroaches before, you know how hard they are to kill. The main reason is that they are incredibly resilient and adaptable, so they can survive in a wide range of environments, from sewers to homes and businesses. Cockroaches can also withstand extreme temperatures, dehydration, and even radiation, which makes them difficult to eliminate using traditional pest control methods.

Other reasons include:

  • Cockroaches can squeeze through tiny cracks and crevices that make them difficult to locate and reach. They are also nocturnal and tend to avoid light, which means they are often active when humans are sleeping.
  • They have developed resistance to many pesticides and insecticides over time. This is due in part to their ability to quickly adapt to changing environments and develop immunity to certain chemicals.
  • They reproduce quickly and can lay multiple egg cases throughout their lifespan, which means that even if you eliminate a portion of the population, there may be more cockroaches hatching soon after.

To effectively control a cockroach infestation, it’s important to use a multifaceted approach that involves eliminating food and water sources, sealing up cracks and crevices, and using targeted pest control products that are designed specifically for cockroaches. Consulting with a pest control professional can help ensure that you are using the most effective methods for your specific situation.

Can You Starve a Cockroach?

Like all living creatures, cockroaches need food and water to survive. If they are unable to find a source of food or water, they will eventually die from starvation or dehydration.

However, it’s worth noting that cockroaches can survive for long periods of time without food or water, especially in ideal conditions. For example, German cockroaches can survive for up to a month without food and only a week without water. Meanwhile, American cockroaches can survive for up to four weeks without food and up to a week without water.

Therefore, simply removing all sources of food and water is unlikely to completely eliminate a cockroach infestation. It’s important to also use other pest control methods, such as sealing up cracks and crevices and using targeted pest control products that are designed to kill cockroaches. 


It’s important to note that while cockroaches can be a nuisance, they can also pose a health risk as they can carry bacteria and other pathogens. If you suspect a cockroach infestation in your home or business, it’s important to contact a pest control professional to address the issue.

With over 40 years of experience, Action Pest has helped thousands of Ontario home and business owners deal with their cockroach problems. Our pest control professionals will inspect your property, apply appropriate treatments, and discuss ways to prevent future infestations.  For more information or to receive a no-obligation quote for cockroach extermination services in and around Hamilton, Burlington, and Oakville, please contact us anytime.