How Many Legs Do Cockroaches Have In Total? 

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Cockroaches can come into your home on purpose—for food or shelter—or they can accidentally get in through cracks and crevices. Some bugs can invade your home, so it is important to know their identifying features.

So, how many legs do cockroaches have in total? There are many types of cockroaches, and they all have six legs. However, some other bugs look similar to cockroaches and might be mistaken. 

Continue reading to find out more about cockroaches and their legs. 

Characteristics of cockroach species

A few key characteristics are used to identify a cockroach. These include their color, the shape of their antennae, cerci’s presence (or lack thereof) on their abdomen, and wings’ presence (or lack thereof).

Additionally, female cockroaches carry an egg case around, which can help with identification. However, size is less reliable because cockroaches come in many sizes.

How Many Legs Do Cockroaches Have in total? 

The two most common types of roaches in the United States are German and American cockroaches. German cockroaches are typically smaller, growing to be only 0.5 inches long. American cockroaches are larger, growing to be up to 2 inches long.

How Many Legs Do Cockroaches Have in total?

Cockroach have condensation on the body isolate on white background.

Cockroaches have six legs in total, three pairs. Each pair of legs has a different name and serves a different purpose:

  1. The front two pairs are called prothoracic legs and are used for walking.
  2. The back two pairs are metathoracic legs used for jumping and running. 
  3. The middle pair of legs is called mesothoracic legs and is used for gripping onto surfaces.

Cockroaches have strong legs to propel themselves forward quickly- reaching speeds of up to fifty body lengths a second! In addition, their front and back legs on one side are opposite their middle legs. Lastly, cockroaches can walk upside down on ceilings.

Interestingly, cockroaches have a limited speed because of the way they walk. Their large amount of legs forces them to walk slowly to conserve energy. In addition, their front legs are not designed for walking backward quickly, so they cannot escape as easily if needed.

What Type of Legs Do Cockroaches Have?

What Type of Legs Do Cockroaches Have?

Cockroaches have six legs and use their leg spines to help them run quickly and walk on ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. The cockroach’s front legs are shorter than the back legs, giving them greater balance when running.

The legs of cockroaches and beetles are called cursors. These cursors offer the insects a great degree of mobility and help them move quickly. In addition to these two types of legs, there are three other types of legs that insects can have: raptorial, swimming, and jumping.

Interestingly, the cursorial leg type is common in insects and allows them to move quickly. The cockroaches have this leg, which helps them get around quickly and evade predators.

Insects can also have different legs for different purposes- such as front legs used for grasping or back legs used for jumping.

Can Cockroaches Survive Without a Pair of Legs?

Can Cockroaches Survive Without a Pair of Legs?

Cockroaches can live quite happily even if they lose a limb or two. They can even survive if their head is cut off. While they may take a bit longer to recover from an injury, cockroaches will continue to live as long as they can without amputation.

Cockroaches cannot survive without a loss of more pairs of legs. They would not be able to live very long if they lost a limb because their blood is not contained by pressure. If the roach’s leg is cut off, the blood will ooze out, and the cockroach will die.

Cockroaches can survive without a pair of legs as they can bleed to death. The blood circulates throughout their body; if they lose a limb, the blood will clot and seal the wound.

How many eyes does a cockroach have?

Cockroaches have three simple eyes known as ocelli on their forehead. The group of ommatidia together constitutes compound eyes. Simple eyes are located on the dorsolateral sides of the head capsule.

Can Cockroaches Regrow Legs?

Cockroaches are some of the most adapted insects on earth. They can survive in the most inhospitable places and have biological features that make them almost invincible. 

One such feature is their ability to regenerate lost legs. After losing a leg or two, they usually return to six legs after some time of regeneration. It is possible because their simple nervous systems allow for leeway in losing limbs.

Insects are generally capable of this regenerative process; it just so happens that cockroaches are one of the best-known examples.

Additionally, their exoskeleton acts as a skeleton and protects them from predators. Regenerating legs is just one part of the molting process for cockroaches; they also shed their skin and grow new wings.

Furthermore, the legs on one side of their bodies differ from the legs on the other. Cockroaches have a protein in their legs called resilin. This protein helps them bend their legs and run with ease. It also stores energy like a spring, giving the extra roach power to escape predators.

The protein makes them such fast runners and great jumpers that they can outrun most predators.

What are the Steps/Ways for Getting Rid Of Cockroach Infestation?

lots of cockroaches have been caught by the sticker or catcher

Seal Up Your Home

One of the best steps to get rid of cockroaches is to seal up all the cracks of your home where they like to hide. You can use caulking or other sealing material to close up these spaces.

Keep Kitchen and Dining Areas Clean After Each Event Of Eating

The next best way to prevent cockroaches is to clean your kitchen and dining areas. It means picking up food and crumbs immediately, cleaning grease spots completely, and using eco-friendly chemicals like vinegar.

Store the main Source of Food Properly

Store your food in air-tight containers to keep roaches from getting in. It will help keep them out of your food and stop them from multiplying. Ensure the food container’s lid is tight to keep the pests out.

Remove Clutter Inside and Outside with Baits

Roaches and their droppings cause allergies that lead to asthma. Many home remedies for trapping and eliminating roaches have been around for years. Baits can be an effective way to get rid of roaches, but aerosol sprays, baits, and specks of dust are also available.

Insecticides are a homeowner’s best friend when it comes to getting rid of cockroaches. Baits should be placed where insects frequently visit, such as near the garbage can or under the sink.

Insecticide spray should only be used as a last resort and by someone who knows how to use it properly.

To remove clutter inside and outside your house, you should take the following precautions:

  1. Always use a domestic-labeled spray and follow application instructions on the label; traps are best used as indicators of infestation.
  2. Avoid using foggers, bombs, and commercially registered insecticides.
  3. Kill the active cockroach population with a thorough application of cracks, crevices, and areas behind appliances and under sinks.

Cockroaches are becoming increasingly resistant to products and changes in their behavior. While home remedies may provide short-term relief, they are not effective in the long term. The best way to get rid of cockroaches is through professional pest control services.

Trim Plants

Another method is to trim plants and bushes around your house so they don’t provide a hiding place for roaches, and another is to remove as many potential entrances as possible. 

Call the Professionals

Who has time to wage an ongoing war against roaches? Not many people, which is why professional cockroach control is becoming more and more popular.

A technician will come to your home and do an inspection to target the entry and exit points for the roaches. They will also establish a protective boundary outside your home that discourages pests from entering.

Is a cockroach an arachnid?

Cockroaches are a type of insect or bug that belongs to the Arthropoda phylum. It means they have an exoskeleton, a hard outer shell that helps protect their internal organs. They also have wings and specialized mouth parts for eating.

Cockroaches are in the class Insecta, the largest and most diverse class of animals on Earth.

Can cockroaches walk backward?

Cockroaches can walk backward, but it’s not as fast as forwarding motion. Their small front legs are not designed to propel them, so they use their large hind legs instead. They’re not agile and tend to move more slowly when moving backward.


Cockroaches are insects that have four legs. Their four legs distinguish them from beetles, crickets, and other insects.

In conclusion, this roach guide provides a detailed overview of the different types of roach legs. Also offers a step-by-step guide on eliminating them, whether inside or outside the home.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.