Cockroaches are some of the most unsightly and dangerous pests to inhabit your home. However, I’ve found that many people who have cockroaches in their homes have no idea what attracted the roaches in the first place. And when you don’t know what is attracting pests to your home, you’ll have a harder time ever getting rid of them.
So, what attracts cockroaches to your home? Crumbs, dirty dishes, and food left out are some of the biggest things that attract roaches into your home. Open gaps, holes, and crevices in your house may provide routes for roaches to get inside. Neighbors who have recently had roach extermination services, unfortunately, may find that the pests seek refuge in nearby houses.
If you’re worried about what is attracting roaches to your house, you shouldn’t worry any longer! We are going to identify some things that attract roaches to your home, and how to get rid of them. After all, absolutely nobody wants roaches in their homes.
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What Attracts Cockroaches to Your Home?
There are a variety of factors that might be responsible for bringing roaches to your home. There may even be multiple things in one house at one time that are inviting to cockroaches. When you discover what things are attracting cockroaches to your home, then you will be one step closer to figuring out how to get rid of them.
You Have Dirty Dishes, Crumbs, or Food Sitting Out
Food is the number one thing in your home that attracts roaches. Like many pests, roaches will actively seek out a place where they can find a good source of food. This is why cleaning up and tidying your home is one of the easiest ways to prevent roach infestations. In fact, cleaning up food sources is the first step you should take if you think that you have cockroaches in your home.
Here are some things you can do in order to prevent roaches from coming into your home looking for a free meal:
- Focus on keeping your kitchen and dining room as clean as possible. If there is another room in your house where you eat or store food, you should clean that area as well.
- Avoid eating in various rooms throughout the house! If you are eating in your living room, in your bedroom, and other spaces, you may be leaving crumbs all across your home. This will only worsen your cockroach infestation.
- Don’t leave dirty dishes sitting in your sink. If you do not have a dishwasher, consider hand-washing your dishes so that they aren’t sitting for long periods of time inside your sink.
- Don’t leave food sitting out in open containers. Seal your food up to prevent roaches from smelling it and coming into your kitchen.
- If you have pets, try to keep their food from sitting out as much as possible. Try to keep the area around their food dishes as crumb-free as you can manage.
Keeping your home clean and tidy and free of food debris is the first thing you should always do if you suspect roaches are infesting your house.
One major reason that you don’t want to leave your food sitting out is that roaches carry bacteria and viruses such as Polio, Dysentery, Typhoid, and more. Cockroaches can even cause cross-contamination of food products, which could result in food poisoning.
This means that if your food is uncovered and sitting out in the open, roaches crawling in your food can make you very sick. If you have seen roaches in your home, throw away any food that could have been contaminated by cockroaches. You should take the same precautions when it comes to protecting your pets’ food.
Keep uncontaminated food items sealed in airtight containers and zip lock bags. If you are using any at-home bait stations, try to place them in various areas around the kitchen. Clean your kitchen as often as possible with antibacterial cleaner, or even bleach if possible. This is both to get rid of illnesses that roaches carry and to eliminate the pheromones that attract new cockroaches.
Dirty Conditions Attract Cockroaches
A dirty home will be more likely to have cockroaches than a clean home. I know that sometimes life can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to find time to clean the house. But roaches are most often found in dirty houses. Smelly, wet, cluttered homes are the perfect environment for cockroaches to be attracted to.
If you are having a hard time keeping your home clean, you may have to reach out to a loved one or a cleaning company. And if possible, you might have to take a day off of a very busy work schedule to clean your house. Otherwise, you may never be able to reduce your roach problem. Most exterminators will also request you clean the home before extermination.
And if you have a large amount of clutter in your home, consider getting rid of any items you might not need. Clutter provides comfortable places for roaches to hide.
Leaky Pipes and Other Sources of Water Draw Roaches in
Cockroaches are just as likely to be attracted to sources of water as they are to sources of food. If you have leaky pipes, open containers of water sitting around, or even wet bathmats, then cockroaches may be attracted to your home.
Other sources of water may include:
- leaky basements
- leaky roofs
- not cleaning up after a water spill adequately enough.
If you suspect you have leaky pipes that are attracting roaches to your home, you may have to call on the services of a professional plumber. And if you have a leaky roof or basement, you may want to have a professional come in to look at your house.
But if your wetness problem is related to water sources left in the open or neglecting to clean up after leaks, you can take care of that on your own.
Warmth Attracts Cockroaches
Like many pests, cockroaches do not like the cold, and they are driven to your house to stay where they will feel the warmth. These cold-blooded creatures are not a fan of cold climates, and they will go out of their way to find a warm place to live.
The harsh winter months can drive roaches inside your house in order to find a warm place to live. No matter what the season is, you should always be on the lookout for cockroaches if you or any of your neighbors have had a recent infestation.
One or More of Your Neighbors Recently Treated for Roaches
Unfortunately, treating your home for roaches may mean driving them to nearby homes. This means if your neighbors have recently used an exterminator to repel cockroaches away from their house, these pests might be flocking to yours. Likewise, you should always give your neighbors a heads-up if you are about to treat for cockroaches.
Cockroaches are very likely to travel to neighboring houses, whether or not extermination has been a factor to drive them from one place to another. I have had many people with clean homes express disgust that they have gotten cockroaches coming over from their neighbor’s dirty houses.
If you have a neighbor with a severe roach infestation who won’t do anything about it, try to talk to a landlord or city official, since this neighbor could be violating a local health code.
Pheromones Frequently Attract Roaches
While a lot of extermination methods use pheromones to attract roaches to their deaths, unfortunately, the pheromones a roach release will also attract more roaches.
Besides attracting more cockroaches with pheromones, and reproducing at an incredible rate, roaches often multiply faster than what homeowners can keep up with. At first sight of cockroaches, you should work hard at killing or repelling them, so you do not get even more.
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches?
Let’s talk about some ways that you can get rid of cockroaches that are in your home. The first thing you need to remember is not to tread lightly when it comes to cockroaches. These pests multiply very quickly, and they can be difficult to eradicate.
If you have a roach infestation, you should strongly consider hiring a professional exterminator. You don’t want to mess around with roaches since you could wind up with an infestation that grows completely out of control. If you see one roach, chances are you may already have a hundred. Don’t wait around for the cockroaches to leave on their own, because chances are this will not ever happen.
Here are some ways you can get rid of cockroaches:
Contact a good exterminator
First of all, you need to contact a good exterminator or pest control professional! This is especially true if you have a very large roach infestation.
Clean your home
I’ve talked about this before, but getting rid of cockroaches should always start with cleaning your home. Work as hard as you to get your home as tidy as humanly possible. If you have to, you should consider having others come in to help you with the cleaning.
Identify areas of your home where roaches may enter
Identify areas of your home where roaches may enter, and fix any flaws in your home. This may mean caulking up gaps and holes, fixing broken screens, and more.
Set up traps
Set glue traps and bait stations all-around your home in order to catch any roaches that may not have been killed by a professional exterminator. Make sure that your exterminator has approved this so that it doesn’t interfere with professional pest control methods.
Use Boric acid or other natural deterrents
Boric acid and other natural deterrents can be used alongside other methods to help keep roaches away. Boric acid is actually very helpful for removing a variety of pests.
At-home pesticides can be very useful
If you are getting professional pest extermination services done, make sure that you consult with your exterminator to make sure any pesticides you use are safe to use around their treatment methods.
Use Coffee traps, lemon peels, and bay leaves
And in addition to other methods, you can also use some natural ways to get rid of roaches. These natural methods include coffee traps, lemon peels, and bay leaves.
Use roach control gel bait to get rid of cockroaches
Do cockroach gel baits actually work? We made an article that answers that very question here. The short answer is yes they work, but go ahead and check it out to see how effective cockroach gel baits actually are. After you apply gel bait, you will be able to effectively control most species of roaches that infest homes. This bait can be used either indoors or outdoors to control roach populations. This bait is highly attractive to roaches, and it will exterminate them quickly.
You can use this bait for either commercial or residential properties. Make sure to keep this gel out of reach of children and pets.
Use Glue traps against cockroaches
These glue traps are very useful for catching cockroaches, and they are manufactured by UCatch. These traps are easy to place in a variety of locations so that you can catch any roaches that wander into them.
Glue traps are ideal for smaller infestations, or for use after you have already had a visit from a professional exterminator. With these disposable and baited traps, you can avoid ever touching any pests that wander onto them. These traps are both non-toxic and odorless.
Use bait stations
Bait stations are a very popular way to control a number of pests, including cockroaches. This child-resistant bait station is a popular option.
These small bait stations will attract cockroaches with highly attractive bait. That will then digest and die from. The great part is when and if they die in the nest other roaches will eat their body and be poisoned as well.
Use these baits in places like under your fridge, under the bed, under the bathroom sink, and behind the toilet.
Why are cockroaches bad?
Now that we have covered some ways that you can get rid of cockroaches, let’s talk about why cockroaches are bad, why they are difficult to get rid of, and why you don’t want them in your home. Clearly, there are a lot of reasons that you don’t want cockroaches populating your home! However, we’re going to go into some of these reasons in more detail.
Cockroaches carry disease
Cockroaches are famous for carrying diseases and since they will be crawling all over your house, that means they could be spreading disease.
One of the worst diseases cockroaches can transmit is the poliovirus. They can also transmit a range of bacteria, including salmonella. You could even get serious diseases such as Typhoid or dysentery from a cockroach infestation.
Cockroaches can bite you
Another reason that you don’t want to share your home with cockroaches is that they can actually bite you, or even enter your body through your ears or nose while you sleep. When there are other food sources, cockroaches are less likely to bite you. But when they have nothing else to eat, they may bite humans or pets in order to look for more food.
Cockroaches can aggravate allergies
If you have asthma or allergies, cockroaches can aggravate those allergies or trigger an asthma attack. But a scary fact is that cockroaches can even cause people to develop asthma who don’t even have symptoms prior to the roach infestation. Their bodies are covered with allergens that the human body reacts badly to.
If you have severe asthma or cockroach related allergies, you should be much more vigilant about keeping these pests out of your home. And if the infestation is severe enough, you should consider staying somewhere other than your home until the pests are all gone.
Remember to look out for your health first and foremost!
A severe infestation may prompt authorities to intervene
Allowing a roach infestation to go unchecked can have more consequences than disease and other health problems. A severe infestation may prompt authorities to condemn your house, forcing you and your family to leave until an exterminator takes care of every last bug.
If you are a parent, you could also have your children taken away for having them live in an environment where a dangerous roach infestation is present. If you rent your place of residence, your landlord may be within their legal right to kick you out for the roach infestation. This is especially true if the infestation has been caused or worsened by not keeping your home clean.
Cockroaches Can Be Difficult to Kill
Another reason that people struggle with cockroaches is that they can be very difficult to kill. In fact, it is a very popular myth that cockroaches can even survive through extreme levels of radiation. People even commonly believe that roaches could survive a nuclear war. This myth is not exactly true, but it came about because of how hard they are to get rid of!
Due to their spinal structure, cockroaches can withstand pressure that is several hundred times their body weight. They have strong exoskeletons, they are nocturnal, an open circulatory system, they have an immunity to many pesticides, they are fast, and they can survive for very long periods of time. All of these things make it harder to kill a roach.
Can you smash a cockroach?
No, it is not a good idea to smash a cockroach. It may be tempting to step on that unsightly roach that just scurried by, but you should never do this if you have an infestation!
If a cockroach is carrying eggs and you step on it, you may very well release all of the babies inside of the eggs. Instead, spray a mixture of water and soap on a cockroach when you see it run by. This will cover up the holes that they use to breathe and suffocate them.
Also, it is worth noting that roaches are harder to stomp on because of their tough exoskeleton. This means that you may think you have exterminated it with a boot, but it is actually still alive.
But if you do end up successfully smashing a cockroach against your floor or wall, make sure to clean the surface thoroughly with antibacterial soap. This is because of the dangerous bacteria that roaches carry, which can make people sick.
Final thoughts: What Attracts Cockroaches in Your Home?
Today, we have discussed multiple reasons why cockroaches may be attracted to your home. Things such as food, water, warmth, and dirty conditions are most likely to attract roaches to your home. You could also, unfortunately, get roaches if one of your neighbors has recently treated their home for pests, and drive the roaches unknowingly into your house.
At Pest Control FAQ, I understand that pests present a problem for you, your home, and your family. That is why I have compiled all of this information to help you with any type of pest that you might be facing. Whether it is cockroaches, bed bugs, ladybugs, or even birds, I have compiled this website to help everyone who may be battling unruly pest invasions.
Will cleaning help keep pests away from my house? Yes, keeping your home clean will generally reduce the number of pests in your home. Many pests are attracted to food garbage, crumbs, standing water, and clutter. Sometimes, pests that are attracted by messy conditions also attract other pests. For example, insects that come to your home to feed on crumbs may also attract lizards that feed on the insects.
Should I hire a professional exterminator to get rid of cockroaches? Cockroaches are dangerous pests that transmit disease, and they often increase in numbers faster than what homeowners can keep up with them. This means that the best recourse is usually to hire a professional exterminator. It may also take several rounds of extermination before you can completely get rid of a full cockroach infestation. Cockroaches can be very difficult to kill, which presents a challenge for many homeowners and exterminators alike.
Can people be allergic to cockroaches? Yes, people can be very badly allergic to cockroaches. A trigger for cockroach allergies could lead asthmatic people to have an asthma attack. And if you have a cockroach allergy, living in a home with an active infestation could lead to a life-threatening reaction. If you have a cockroach allergy, you should keep the number of a good exterminator on hand. Roaches can even lead people without asthma to develop asthmatic symptoms.