The majority of cockroaches do have wings. Because they have wings, does that mean they can fly? Most cockroaches with wings can fly, but some don’t. Consider some facts that will help you identify these unwelcome pests.

What Types of Cockroaches Have Wings? 

Cockroach wings vary in size and strength depending on the age and type of cockroach. Cockroach Facts explains that only a few species can fly at a distance of a hundred feet at a time, while others use their wings to “jump” out of dangerous situations. It also states that some cockroach species have wings that are too small to fly, and only the male’s wings are large enough to make air. 

Consider the most common cockroaches in Indiana.

  • German Roach: A german roach is small in size but large in number. They are the most common roach found in homes where food is stored. They have wings that can fly a short distance but prefer to use their legs for speed. 
  • American Roach: Also known as water bugs, they have large reddish-brown wings. The wings are larger on males, but both sexes can fly and do so when looking for food.  
  • Oriental Roach: Wings are dark brown and shorter than the body. It’s one of the few winged roaches that can’t fly.
  • Brown-Banded Roach: Small in size, and both sexes have wings, but only the male can fly for short distances. 
  • Woods Roach: Wings are dark brown. Females and males have wings, but only a male can fly and does so for short distances like the brown-banded roach.
  • Cuban Cockroach: Not commonly found in Indiana but more known in Texas and Florida. This roach is still worth mentioning due to its flying skills. They are attracted to light and can fly far and high distances to reach their desired destination. Both males and females are skilled fliers. They are easy to identify because of their unique green color. 
  • Smoky Brown Cockroach: Most commonly found in Texas and Florida, as the Cuban cockroach, but has been seen in northern Indiana. Their name comes from their color in the body and wings. You can identify them by the transparent tips on their wings that can fly. Both sexes of this species can fly. 

For more information on identifying these pests, visit our “Got pests?” page and select  Cockroaches.

How Many Wings Do Cockroaches Have? 

It may come as a surprise, but roaches with wings have two pairs of wings, equalling four total. According to Cockroach Facts, the first pair of wings are stiff and protect the membranous wings underneath.

Are Flying Cockroaches More Dangerous? 

On our Cockroaches page, you will see that cockroaches do pose a threat to our health due to the diseases it carries such as: 

  • Salmonella 
  • Poliomyelitis 
  • Dysentery

Flying cockroaches are not more dangerous to our health because all roaches with or without wings dwell in the garbage and fecal matter that contains these diseases. Whether a cockroach flies into your house or crawls, it will carry these diseases with it.