4 min read


Can Dogs Sense Roaches?



4 min read


Can Dogs Sense Roaches?


While roaches don’t pose a huge danger to you or your doggo, their presence indicates a lack of cleanliness and hygiene that most people try to avoid. Your dog’s heightened sense of smell and hearing means they are able to detect the presence of roaches. 

Roaches are silent creatures and it is unlikely that you will hear one unless it crosses your field of vision. However, this is not the case with your dog. They can easily detect roaches. So, how does your dog manage to figure out that there are roaches nearby? Let’s find out.


Signs of Dogs Sensing Roaches

Roaches hardly make any sound when they move around. The sound they make is too low for humans to perceive or sense. The lightweight structure and lithe movement of the roaches mean that they can move from spot to spot at a quick pace. Even when they move quickly, they don’t produce a loud enough sound that you can hear. Your dog, however, will be able to sense the presence of the roaches. 

The foremost sign that your dog detects roaches is that they tilt their head to one side. Usually, this is in the direction of the roaches. Moreover, your doggo will raise their ears, paying close attention to the almost non-existent sound the roaches produce when they are moving about. In a way, they can hear the roaches’ movement, which is similar to the way they detect vibrations during an earthquake. Hence, it is not surprising that they are able to sense roaches. 

You need to pay close attention to your dog’s ears. Your dog’s sense of sound comes to the fore when they spot roaches in their surroundings. If your dog constantly moves their ears when they are raised, it can be a sign that they feel there is something nearby. Your dog might also adjust their position to get a clearer idea of the location of the roaches. Moreover, your pooch will appear more alert than usual and display other signs of being vigilant. 

Do note that the presence of roaches in your dog’s vicinity doesn’t mean that they will be completely distracted. Dogs can pay attention to multiple situations at once and even when listening out for roaches with one ear, they can listen to their owner’s voice with the other. So, do not expect your dog to wander off in search of the roaches, though it is possible that your dog likes to trouble them.

Body Language

Here are some signs your dog is sensing roaches:

  • Alert
  • Head Tilting
  • Listening
  • Raise Ears

Other Signs

Here are some more signs that your pooch can sense roaches:

  • Moving Ears In Different Directions
  • Sniffing
  • Staring At Walls
  • Excited Behavior

History of Dogs Sensing Roaches


Over the ages, dogs have been honing their senses that help them survive. Regardless of the setting you place a dog in, a canine’s senses enable him to get through different situations. The same is the case when it comes to dealing with different creatures. Dogs can sense roaches from the time these creatures first crossed paths. The interesting fact is that even domestic dogs can sense roaches, despite the fact that roaches are not too commonly seen in the average home. 

Dogs have been used for pest control for several decades. Their ability to detect pests is second to none, and that’s why they are able to detect roaches as well. Your doggo can feel when a roach is around. The way your dog reacts to sensing roaches depends on his personality, but there is no doubt that he will be able to detect them.

Science of Dogs Sensing Roaches


Did you know that your dog has hundreds of millions of scent receptors on their nose? Their sense of smell is considerably stronger than yours. Your dog can pick up the slightest scent, which contributes to their ability to detect roaches. 

Moreover, your dog’s hearing is more sensitive as well. Their hearing ability is thrice as stronger as yours. Even when they don’t see the little critters, they can hear them moving about.

Your dog, with these two strong senses, is thus able to detect roaches in your home. The fact that roaches are usually spotted in dark spaces does not hamper your dog’s ability to sense their presence. Don’t be surprised if your dog shows signs of being alert to roaches in the dark of the night. 

Roaches produce minimal sound when moving on walls or even on the floor. You will hear no audible signs of their presence. Your dog, however, can hear them and is likely to want to detect their exact location.

Training Your Dog to Sense Roaches


It’s important that you be aware of the signs that your dog shows when sensing roaches. This way, you are prepared to deal with the situation. After all, not all dogs react the same way to the presence of roaches. It’s possible that your dog might not show any interest in the roaches and would not go off in pursuit. However, if you want to use your dog for roach control, you can train your dog accordingly.

Do note that roaches are unlikely to inhabit areas of your home that you frequent. Therefore, you can let your pooch deal with them. You can also try training your dog using samples of roaches. Place them in a container and allow your dog to get a sense of their smell. Reward your pooch every time they find the roach. You can also train your dog to tell a container of roaches from a container of food, so they can sense their presence in a more effective way.

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Safety Tips Regarding Dogs Sensing Roaches:

  1. Too many roaches mean that you should call an exterminator and not just be using your dog as a means of pest control.
  2. Make sure your dog doesn’t eat any roaches.

Written by Fatima Mansoor

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 07/10/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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