Do Cockroaches Fart? | Unsettling Insights!

Written by George Climer

Insects are truly interesting creatures, like humans they also have microbes in their gut that help them to digest food and as a result, produce gas. According to a study conducted on methane production in terrestrial arthropods, more than 110 representatives of terrestrial arthropods were screened for the production of methane gas.

It was found that many insects including cockroaches, termites, and scarab beetles release methane gas due to the presence of methanogenic bacteria in their gut. Now we are going to talk about cockroaches and see if they can release gases (fart).

Do cockroaches fart? Like several other insects, cockroaches fart quite a lot. Cockroaches eat rotting wood, decaying matter, fungus, and reside microbes in their gut which are responsible for producing gas. How often or how much cockroaches fart depends on many different factors such as their diet and the type of microbes in the cockroach gut.

Why Do Cockroaches Fart? | Information and Facts

Cockroaches are interesting creatures, they are notorious for their unique behavior and impressive survival abilities. They prefer to live near damp and dirty surroundings especially in the garbage or near decaying or rotting products as they also can feed on them.

Cockroaches have a high number of bacteria (or gut microbes) inside their gut that help them digest food. Most insects (like cockroaches) release hydrogen and methane gases in their farts whereas others produce carbon dioxide or other gases. Methane and hydrogen gas do not produce any smell. However, farts of some insects can stink but the smell cannot be noticed due to its tiny volume.

Termites are considered to be the most frequent farters due to their diet (rotting wood, fungus, or soil) and the presence of a large number of methanogenic bacteria in their gut.

Cockroaches and termites

Cockroaches and termites are closely related to each other and for a similar reason, they produce gas frequently.

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How Often Does a Cockroach Fart?

How much does a cockroach fart a day? There isn’t an exact answer to how often cockroaches fart. Some articles state that cockroaches produce gas once every 15 minutes. However, according to some studies, this is only a myth, as cockroaches fart much less than the given number.

There is a study published in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, which states that how often cockroaches fart depends upon their diet, behavior, and the type of microbe present inside their gut. It was discovered that when cockroaches feed on a fiber-rich diet, they fart more than the others.

The difference in the diet causes the variation in the microbial community inside the cockroach gut which affects their microbial activities such as the production of methane, fatty acids, and hydrogen gas.

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How Much Does a Cockroach Fart?

How Much Does a Cockroach Fart

A cockroach can produce up to 35g of methane gas each year on average which is 43 times more than its average body weight. The amount can be increased or decreased by their lifestyle or the number of methanogenic bacteria in their gut.

Naturally, more methane-producing bacteria increase the production of methane gas.

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Cockroaches fart a lot just like other insects such as termites and beetles. They have methanogenic bacteria in their gut that produce methane and hydrogen gas as a result of metabolic activities. However, the amount of gas produced depends upon the lifestyle, eating behavior, and microbial community inside the gut of cockroaches.

Cockroaches feed on rotting wood, carcasses, debris, and other organic matter, all of this can produce gas but they fart a lot more when they feed on a fiber-rich diet. On average cockroaches release about 35g of methane gas which is 43 times more than their body weight.

If your house smells awful and you are suspecting that cockroaches are the ones to blame, you should then definitely try to get rid of them as soon as possible. Act fast because the situation (including the smell) will only start to get worse.

List of Sources

Hackstein, J.H. and Stumm, C.K. (1994). Methane production in terrestrial arthropods. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 91(12), pp.5441-5445.

Shipman, M. (2018). Do Insects Fart? (They Sure Do!). NC State University.

Kane, M.D. and Breznak, J.A., 1991. Effect of host diet on production of organic acids and methane by cockroach gut bacteria. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 57(9), pp.2628-2634.

Schauer, C., Thompson, C. and Brune, A., 2014. Pyrotag sequencing of the gut microbiota of the cockroach Shelfordella lateralis reveals a highly dynamic core but only limited effects of diet on community structure. PLoS One, 9(1), p.e85861.

Gijzen, H.J., Broers, C.A., Barughare, M. and Stumm, C.K., 1991. Methanogenic bacteria as endosymbionts of the ciliate Nyctotherus ovalis in the cockroach hindgut. Applied and environmental microbiology, 57(6), pp.1630-1634.