You might be familiar with the saying that someone scattered or ran “like a cockroach when the light turned on.” But why is this true? Are cockroaches really afraid of the light?
I would say that they are not so much “afraid” of the light as they are simply “averse” to it, although it could be argued that that’s just a difference of semantics.
Through evolution, cockroaches have developed an innate aversion to light as a survival mechanism because it has proven over thousands or millions of years that this trait leads to a higher likelihood that a cockroach will live long enough to complete its full life cycle.
Staying in the dark helps a roach go about its business without being detected, which is an enormous advantage for survival .
They not only use the dark for cover, but also the hair or antennas on their body are used to sense tiny vibrations and air movements so that they can detect any other animals nearby which may be a threat to its existence.
Roaches are dormant for most of the day and are only active for about four hours of every night. This is usually long enough for them to find enough food and water to last them for a full day. They will not venture out into light unless they are desperate for food or water and don’t have any other choice.