What Causes Roaches? (And How to Prevent Them!)
There’s nothing creepier than a roach infestation running amok in your home! Here’s what causes roaches and how you can prevent future infestations.
There are few things that are creepier than having a roach infestation in your home.
They carry a stigma of uncleanliness and cause embarrassment for homeowners.
Roaches can cause allergic reactions and spread diseases. There is even a true horror story about one burrowing into a woman’s nose while she was sleeping!
There is no doubt that homeowners want to do everything in their power to avoid this problem. Roaches are extremely resilient and difficult to get rid of once they have taken up residence. They have been said to be the most likely species to survive a nuclear war, and can actually survive for weeks after being decapitated.
Understanding what causes roaches to invade your home will help you to avoid infestations. It is actually much easier to prevent a roach infestation than to get rid of one. If you are unfortunate enough to get an infestation, knowing what attracts them can help you to get rid of them faster.
What Causes Roaches? #1 – Available Food
Roaches come into homes primarily looking for food.
It’s not just human food that causes the problem. Roaches will eat bird food, pet food, and even cardboard, so be sure to seal all food items tightly. If you have found roaches in any kind of food, it should be thrown away immediately to avoid the spread of disease.
To keep food sources at a minimum:
- Thoroughly clean countertops several times a day and use disinfectant spray every night
- Sweep and mop floors regularly
- Make sure trash cans are sealed tightly and emptied frequently
- Rinse out cans and jars before putting them in the recycle bin
- Regularly clean under appliances, behind the stove, and under the refrigerator
- Look for any grease spots, this is like a gourmet meal for cockroaches
- Clean out the inside of your dishwasher to remove any food waste
- Empty out your cabinets and get rid of food that was left open
- Only eat food in one area of the house, keep it out of bedrooms, the living room etc.
- Vacuum all carpets and upholstery every 2-3 days
- Keep outdoor trash receptacles away from the structure of the house.
Once you have given your house a full deep cleaning, you must maintain it. Always wash dirty dishes immediately, clean up the kitchen and floor every time you cook, and never leave food out on the countertops.
What Causes Roaches? #2 – Easy Hiding Spots
Cleaning up food sources is not enough to get rid of the problem.
Roaches can actually live for a month or longer without food. While they wait to find something to eat, they hide in dark, damp places that are less likely to be actively occupied by humans. You are likely to find them in the garage, basement, under the sink, in boxes, and behind shelves.
Get rid of cardboard storage boxes, newspapers, and paper bags whenever possible. These items are most attractive because they easily absorb pheromones that roaches release to attract other roaches. Removing general clutter and other unnecessary items will also help to eliminate favorite hiding spaces.
What Causes Roaches? #3 – Access to Water
Pests are attracted to easy water sources, and roaches can only live for about two weeks without a water source. Pick up pet water bowls, don’t over-water houseplants, and dry out the condensation drip pan under your refrigerator. Fix leaky pipes and make sure tubs and sinks are well-caulked so that water doesn’t seep into walls.
Wet towels should be hung up after use. Dry toothbrushes as thoroughly as possible and store them in a sealed plastic bag. Wipe down the shower and tub after each use.
Kitchen sponges must be kept off the counter and rung out as much as possible so they can quickly air dry. Check to make sure that your faucet screens are intact and cover drains when not in use. Even a few drops of water can invigorate a roach, so try to keep your house as dry as possible.
What Causes Roaches? #4 – Cracks and Crevices
At least once a year, take the time to pest-proof your home.
Check around the outside of your house and seal up any gaps or cracks that might allow pests to get into your home. Make sure that the weather stripping is tight around all doors and windows.
Check the areas around wall fixtures and lights, seal them with copper mesh if needed. Any holes in appliances like computers and clocks should be covered with tape.
Roaches prefer to live in areas where they are surrounded on all sides by a solid surface. If your home has cracks or gaps between the counters, in the baseboards, or in other areas, they will see this as a primary place to take up residence. Seal up as many of these spaces as possible to remove the roaches’ favorite living space.
What Causes Roaches? #5 – Weeds and Grass
If your garden or grass is overgrown, particularly in areas near entry paths and doorways, roaches are more likely to find their way into your home. Keep your vegetation trimmed and neat. Make sure to clean up grass clippings right away and place them in a sealed location.
What Causes Roaches? #6 – Presence of Other Roaches
Although you usually see roaches one at a time, they actually live in groups.
Their feces contain a chemical that tells other roaches that they have been there. When they find a good source of food, they send signals to other roaches and gather together to eat.
Female cockroaches store sperm so they can reproduce for several seasons without having to mate again. They usually have dozens of offspring at a time and can go from egg to full-grown adult in about 120 days. This fast reproduction rate makes it even more difficult to exterminate the population.
Once you get roaches in your home, you may need a variety of professional treatments to eliminate them. Contact us today to discuss your options. We can help you to choose the perfect pest plan for your needs.