Hissing Cockroach Behavior

Giant Hissing Cockroaches

Written by Anthony

I am a content creator by profession but exotic animals are one of my great passions in life. Over the course of my adulthood, I have had the pleasure of looking after stick insects, terrapins, an Egyptian tortoise, giant African land snails, a crested gecko, a Chilean rose tarantula, a couple of curly-haired tarantulas, and a selection of millipedes, centipedes and worms!

Last Updated on October 28, 2020

Before thinking about obtaining hissing cockroaches as a pet, it is advisable to find out as much as you can about these fascinating creatures. For example, you will need to know what type of housing to provide them with and what foods to feed them. But you should also make yourself aware of the behavior of hissing cockroaches so that you know what to expect.

As with all insects, hissing cockroaches have specific characteristics and behaviors, so it pays to know why your insect is doing certain things.

Can Hissing Cockroaches Bite?

An important question that you may want answered is whether or not hissing cockroaches can and, if so, do bite. After all, the last thing you want is a nip from your insect when you are handling it for whatever reason. Fortunately, even if hissing cockroaches do try to nip, you are not likely to notice.

Hissing cockroaches do not have jaws strong enough to break through human skin. They rarely even try to bite, but if they were to then it is likely that you would feel nothing more than a rubbing sensation as their jaws are just too weak.

Hissing cockroaches are timid creatures that tend to run away when threatened. They will also hiss to ward off predators, which is where the name comes from.

Can Hissing Cockroaches Fly?

While there are some species of cockroach that have wings and are capable of flight, the Madagascar hissing cockroach is not one of them.

And of the many species of cockroaches that do have wings, most do not use them, instead preferring to crawl along the ground. When these particular cockroaches do choose to fly, it is usually to escape a predator.

Can Hissing Cockroaches Live Alone?

Male hissing cockroaches are not social creatures and so do prefer to live alone. They are extremely aggressive towards other males and can often be seen fighting with others to defend their territory. In fact, male hissing cockroaches will only get together with others of their species to mate.

On the flip side, female hissing cockroaches are more social than their male counterparts and tolerate each other. They do not seem to mind other female adults or young cockroaches from entering their territory.

Hissing Cockroach
Hissing Cockroach

Why Do Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches Hiss?

Madagascar hissing cockroaches got their name from the noise they make. What most people do not realize is that they actually have four different types of hissing. The sound they make comes from exhaled air through their breathing holes (spiracles), which are found on their abdomen.

They have one hissing sound that is used when fighting with other male cockroaches, one for warding off predators, and two used for courting and mating.


Knowing why hissing cockroaches behave the way they do will give you a greater understanding of these gentle creatures and therefore make it easier to care for them.

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