Why Are My Hissing Cockroaches Dying? Lifespan Vs. Diseases

Like any other pet insect, hissing cockroaches need a lot of care to improve their lives’ quality and lifespan. They make brilliant pets, so any owner would love to keep them longer. Therefore, it is essential to know what they are susceptible to and take the necessary precautions to save their lives.

So, why are my hissing cockroaches dying? As much as the hissing cockroaches are hardy, they are still susceptible to prematurely dying from infections, disease, food poisoning, and dehydration. Hissing cockroaches have a lifespan of about five years and reach adulthood in seven months during which they will have shed their exoskeletons six times.

Keeping pets requires a lot of attention to ensure better health. This article will discuss the hissing cockroach’s lifespan, diseases that can affect them, and what happens when they don’t eat well. Read on for more exciting details about these unique pets.

How Long Do Hissing Cockroaches Live For?

If you keep them in a favorable environment, they can live for up to 2 to 5 years before they die of old age. However, if they are in the forest, they are unlikely to mature or die of old age due to many wild predators. They are always under the threat of attacks by more giant insects or other animals.

Hissers are typically tough insects and are easy to maintain, making them a brilliant option for anyone who wishes to keep them as pets, and if you take care of them, they can live longer. It is easy for them to avoid contracting infections if you provide the best environment for them.

The nymph molts six times before reaching maturity, which happens in about seven months. While both the nymph and the adult hissers have no wings, they compensate for it by being good climbers on trees and smooth glass surfaces.

Hissing Cockroaches Not Eating?

Why is my hissing cockroach not eating? A hissing cockroach does not eat when in molting, due to old age, or when they are sick. The hissing cockroaches are good feeders and scavenge for most of their meals to gain the fat they need. Therefore, if you notice that their feeding habits are changing, it may cause alarm, and it’s high time you take the necessary precautions.

First, old roaches tend to be less active, so they don’t feed as much as their female counterparts; perhaps they need a diet change. For instance, they may want to eat a different type of vegetable or fruit apart from the one you provide.

In such a situation, unless you introduce them to something different, they can starve to death. Thus, the wisest thing to do is change their menu to see whether they may like the new food.

Secondly, during molting, the roaches prefer to hide from the rest, so they don’t eat. The hissers refrain from eating the day before molting to prepare for the instars. In most cases, it is the nymph that sheds exoskeleton to become an adult.

However, you may still find a molting adult hisser, although it is rare since molting in adulthood can go wrong, and the insect may eventually die. It is also common to see your hissing cockroaches not eating or drinking when you direct too much light at them.

They are generally nocturnal so the perfect environment should be a bit dark. Therefore, it would help to ensure that their enclosure is of the right lighting. Otherwise, they may die within a week due to dehydration or starvation.

Similarly, their feeding habits may change if they are sick; they tend to eat less or not eat at all. They may be suffering from an infectious fungal disease or food poisoning. They are sensitive creatures; therefore, you need to ensure that your hands are clean when feeding them and that the food they eat is fresh.

Also, you can clean and bring new supplies every two days for improved hygiene. The best water should be fresh for hydration, so it’s best to refrain from giving them chlorinated water. Unless you help them find treatment, they won’t eat; thus, they may lie in devastation and eventually die.

Improving the Life of Hissing Cockroaches

First, they need to live in proper housing with the best conditions for their survival. It should be of the right humidity and lighting, bearing in mind that they are nocturnal insects. To keep them safe from escaping and falling prey to predators, you can make a glass enclosure with a secure lid. As much as they are wingless, they can still crawl up their shelters.

Since they don’t need much space, a sizeable glass aquarium can host at least ten hissers. However, they multiply quickly, and within a short time, you could have hundreds of roaches, hence the need for extra space.

Remember that ventilation is also vital to reduce the foul smell from the enclosure making the environment favorable for the roaches. If the shelter is too tight, or they are too many, they may suffocate and die. The insects also prefer thickly layered substrates; therefore, you can ensure that you put enough wood chips, soil, or any other substrate type.

Otherwise, you can put wood particles in the enclosure or wood barks; this will come in handy for extra shelter for the nymphs as they molt or to shelter the female hissers during reproduction.

The wood branches you use to furnish the habitat also help hide the roaches from light since they are photophobic. If there is too much light, it may interfere with their natural feeding making them starve.

Hissing cockroaches, which are tropical insects, survive favorably at temperatures of approximately 28°C. At these temperatures, they will breed better, and their immunity and metabolism will improve. If you live in a generally cold place, you can artificially heat their habitat using light bulbs or heat pads to make their environment more conducive. On the other hand, you need to ascertain that their humidity is right to dampen the substrate and keep the enclosure moist.

Another way to care for your precious hissing cockroach pet is to clean their habitat regularly; this is necessary to eliminate any food remains or substances dangerous to their health. Secondly, you need to frequently wash and clean water bowls and replace the substrate at least twice a year.

When the substrates are old, they can attract bacteria and molds, causing health-related issues to your hissing cockroaches. It is also crucial to be cautious when spraying insecticides near the insects, given that they are lethal chemicals.

Lastly, ensure that you provide enough food and water, and ascertain that it is clean and free from chemicals. The best type of food is veggies and fruits since they are herbivorous animals. You can add carrots, peas, oranges, potatoes, bananas, and apples. As long as you keep them safe and take proper care of them, your pets are likely to survive and thrive.

Why Do Hissing Cockroaches Die?

Hissing cockroaches die when subjected to filthy environments since they are highly susceptible to bacteria and fungi. An inadequate enclosure will deprive them of appropriate temperatures and humidity; thus, failing their normal body function leading to death.

Unlike house roaches, hissers are more prominent and live longer when kept as pets. They are docile and tough, making them easy maintenance. It is due to these and more qualities that they tend to live longer.

Starvation and dehydration are also the significant causes of death among them, so you need to ensure that they have enough. Finally, old age and wrong molting are the top natural causes of death. If a hisser molds after maturity, it is a risky process that may cause an abrupt end.


Hissers make good pets because they are not dirty, so you need not worry that they will infect you, unlike the house cockroaches. They also breed in large numbers, so even when you lose older colonies, you will remain with the younger generation. To ensure that you maintain the length and quality of their lives, you need to maintain high hygienic standards of their environment and provide enough food and water.

Similarly, you can ensure a longer life by keeping them safe from predators. As long as the habitat is conducive for breeding and survival, you are sure to keep your pets safe, only losing them to old age.

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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