Have you ever tried to avoid a cockroach and it suddenly starts running towards you at full speed? Or worse, flying towards you against all odds?
What moment could be more terrifying?
This is usually not a good ordeal, but do you ever stop to think why?
Fortunately, you might just have the answer you need in this article.
What makes you think it wants to escape… from you? Normal, healthy roaches will scurry and flee in the opposite direction from you to escape. However, a sick or dying roach will appear to calmly walk towards you from afar, instead of high-tailing it to the nearest safe shelter.
On two separate occasions, this happened to me, and I couldn’t figure out why. I normally trap ones I find running around, and the healthy ones can survive in captivity for days and even eat anything organic in their prison.
These two sick ones that were trapped died in less than 24 hours. And they are very easy to trap because they don’t run. They were basically on their last legs when approaching me, with the first boldly seeming to slowly walk out in the open in broad daylight. I call these suicide roaches, only for my theory that they are close to death and want a predator to eat them, or a shoe attached to my foot, to finish them off. They appear calm, even strangely domesticated like Madagascar hissing cockroaches, but it’s because they are already weak and lethargic.
Another theory I have is that they are diseased or carrying some kind of virus or parasite and is being “forced” by the parasite to be eaten so as to spread the contagion to a new host. Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that only reproduces inside cats and is excreted in cat feces. If a rat becomes infected with T. gondii, the parasite takes control of the rat brain. The rat will run right up to cats to be eaten, thereby reaching a host cat to allow T. gondii to reproduce again and the cycle continues. I can only assume roaches would also eat cat feces and become infected, and find the nearest predator to eat them.
Sounds almost like a zombie roach… without the biting!