Why do cockroaches flip over when they die? If they die from old age or from coming in contact with insecticides, a cockroach will die flipped over. Why?

When a cockroach dies because you've sprayed insecticide or from old age, the reason it flips over is the same. Insecticides affect the nervous system of a cockroach causing muscle spasms. An aging cockroach's muscles are weakened with age resulting in loss of muscle control, similar to when it's been exposed to insecticides.

There are two basic reasons. Cockroaches have a slightly rounded and greasy back and a flat body that helps them squeeze and hide in narrow cracks and crevices. Their long legs give them a high center of gravity, meaning they carry most of their weight around their backs. When a cockroach is dying of old age, its high center of gravity pulls its back toward the floor, and its rounded back and weakened muscles prevent it from righting itself, particularly on smooth surfaces.

In the wild, a healthy cockroach can accidentally flip over, but because it has full use of its legs, it will usually grab on to leaves, twigs or grass to right itself.

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