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I have killed cockroaches and beetles several times in my house. Sometimes I miss the insects and they run fast, but they don't fly most of the time. Even when I touch a beetle it just continues its walking and don't flies. It just produces a bad smell.

Why don't these insects fly when they are threatened?

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  • $\begingroup$ Bad smell sounds (smells) like a "stink bug"/shield beetle- they have defenses that don't necessitate flying. As for other beetles, it all depends on the type; some will, some won't. $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Sep 3, 2023 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ But flying is fleeing. It's also a defense. $\endgroup$ Sep 3, 2023 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but if the beetle can get away with not flying (because they aren't great at it) and use a repellent, in the case of stink bugs, instead, they might use that. Cockroaches are very good at hiding and very good runners, but poor flyers. Them having their wings out means it is harder for them to hide. $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Sep 3, 2023 at 22:49
  • $\begingroup$ Just a guess. how do they know what's a predator and what's another beetle? they specialize in hiding. natural predators are the same sizes or a bit bigger, so they are very fast, and flying away is slower than running, i.e. for beetles, perhaps. also consider that these animals almost always live in leaves or grass or natural scenarios where running a short distance usually means invisibility under a leaf or in a chaotic wildlife substrate. Also consider that they may get disturbed fairly often by other beetles, spiders, cockroaches and flying takes a lot of energy. $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2023 at 6:20

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