Can Hissing Cockroaches Live Alone? Social or Solitary

Different creatures have unique social behaviors depending on their modifications as a species. When it comes to insects, some thrive in isolation, only mingling when necessary, while others prefer to live as a group. We aim to determine the behavior of the Madagascan Hissing Cockroach.

So, can hissing cockroaches live alone? As much as the hissing cockroach is generally social and docile, it can live independently. They would not get lonely as long as they have a suitable environment and have the food and water they need. Some owners prefer to have a solitary insect as a pet since they tend to thrive better, and there is no risk of aggression from other insects. You will also notice that they can better undergo biological processes such as molting when they live in isolation.

If you are worried about your beloved insect pet’s social life, we give you all the information you need. We separate myths from facts to establish the truth about the real social behavior of various species of hissing cockroaches. Read on as we go deeper into the world of these fantastic creatures.

Social Behavior of the Hissing Cockroach

One of the reasons why these hissing cockroaches make such great pets is due to their similarity to humans. They are naturally docile, and an added advantage is that they are low maintenance, so you get so much fulfillment from keeping and looking after them. As much as they can thrive in colonies, a typical insect can still survive like an introverted human, only requiring mingling for reproduction.

However, like most insects, the hissing cockroach is fond of territory marking, whether female or male. Surprisingly, females may even mark their territory from their offspring once they are grown. Seemingly, they get a strong desire for their space and general peace.

Like us, they also have conflicts that they solve amicably, the major causes of disputes being competition over females and territory. Be sure that they will fight off other insects that threaten to steal their mates or space. They do so by hissing vehemently to establish dominance. Notably, females are more docile than males. Hence, they won’t fight with others; the same goes for the nymphs.

As a colony owner, your worry may be the rate of fighting where your insects are generally aggressive to each other. One remedy is to look out for the females or the territories that the males are likely to fight over. You will notice the familiar hissing and what ensues is a clash between the warring males.

At the end of the brawl, there would always be a winner who will step up as the more dominant male. However, these fights are not fatal, as they do not end up with any injuries in the process. On the contrary, if you wish for peace and stress-free life, you can opt for a solitary pet or a small colony. However, it is common to find an increased number of cockroaches, especially if your friends are fast breeders.

Another factor to consider in matters of the pets’ social life is their habitat. If there is enough space for them to live and breed, you will significantly reduce the territorial competition. You can opt for a 10-gallon container to house up to 30 roaches.

Similarly, you can keep your solitary insect and keep it secure enough to contain it in a large area. Entomology experts advise that 12 insects can comfortably live in a 2.5-gallon container, so you can calculate according to the colony size you want.

Another concern among most insect owners is whether their precious creatures may result in violence or cannibalism, especially when they live in an enclosed space. The good news is that the hissing cockroaches are purely vegetarian; hence, you need not worry about them turning on each other. As long as you provide vegetables and fruits, they will be fine.

Do Hissing Cockroaches Get Lonely?

When forced to separate, the hissing cockroaches are prone to “isolation syndrome,” which significantly interferes with their biology. You may notice that they molt for a long time, and when re-introduced to other insects, they may have trouble courting and mating. They learn so many skills through experience living with other insects and frequently interacting with them.

Hissing cockroaches have superior genetic modifications that enable them to make brilliant pets. With these chemicals in their bodies, you can spot them being drawn together, especially during the day. Like humans, they rely on these chemicals during their social lives, and each species and cockroach has a specific modification.

They are so unique that they quickly recognize relatives; thus avoiding them during mating to improve the colony’s diversity. Interestingly, your pet may be very similar to you when it comes to being isolated.

Much research has also confirmed that they thrive better when they live in groups than when in isolation. They tend to climb all over each other, thus, more physical contact. Moreover, living as a colony is beneficial to their overall health and well being. If your pet gets used to this life, it may feel lonely when you isolate it.

In contrast, some owners state that their pets do well in solitude; they are very content as long as they have food, water, and proper shelter. Besides, when your pet lives alone, you will not need to worry about any conflicts or disturbances from others, especially during critical stages such as molting.

Molting is very sensitive, so you would want your pet to have ample time to go through the entire process. Otherwise, they will be under so much stress, and they can get hurt as well.

Generally, your pet will thrive depending on their typical environment. If you first had a colony and withdraw one insect to force it into isolation, it may suffer at first. However, it can adapt and still thrive. On the other hand, if you get a roach at the early stages of development, where it has not known a lot of interaction with other insects, it will likely survive as a solitary creature.

Can You Keep Male Hissing Cockroaches Together?

One worry among most pet owners is whether you can keep male hissing cockroaches together. You can keep male hissing cockroaches together but will need to provide enough space for them not to fight each other over territory. You will notice more aggressive hissing and frequently crashing into each other.

However, you need not worry about any fatalities since most of these fights are merely for establishments of dominance. To reduce the fighting, you can introduce more objects in the enclosure; this way, the insects can easily claim them.

Similarly, if you place them in a well-sized container, there will have ample space and not compete. Also, you can be keen on their personalities; some roaches are more aggressive than others. Therefore, you can separate them from the rest or keep them separately.

Most owners prefer keeping the hissing roaches communally to avoid these frequent fighting since the females will not frequently fight. There seems to be more harmony when you integrate both males and females in the same enclosure.


The hissing cockroach thrives well in most environments as long as they are warm and have all they need for survival. They can be social or solitary depending on the habitat you first introduce them to, so it all depends on your preference as a pet owner. While some prefer looking after a large colony, some love keeping solo pets; both have their advantages and disadvantages.

A group will grow faster, and you will have more pets even when there are any eventualities such as predatory attacks or diseases. On the other hand, when you keep a solo pet, there won’t be any conflicts, and your beloved insect will still live and thrive.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is an owner of several pets including reptiles, cats and dogs. An avid writer, who loves to share her insights into caring for pets.

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