What Attracts Roaches and Why, Cockroach Facts

What Attracts Roaches and Why

You already know that roaches are a nuisance, and you may be aware of the serious health risks they pose. But what attracts roaches to your home or business? And more importantly, how can knowing that help you stay free of them – or even get rid of them once they’ve settled in?

Let’s dig in and find the answers…

What Attracts Cockroaches the Most?

Let’s make one thing clear. There’s probably no one thing you’re doing wrong that’s inviting roaches in. There’s also no single food, liquid, sight, or smell that’s making them target your home.

Cockroaches are easy-to-please, equal opportunity invaders attracted to any space that serves their needs. Once they find it, they’ll set up shop for good if you let them.

And no, you never, ever want to let them.

So what specifically are they looking for? For the conditions that assure their survival –

  1. Food
  2. Water and Humidity
  3. Warmth
  4. Safety
  5. And sometimes… Light

You’ll notice that these just happen to be the same as our basic survival needs, too. When cockroaches are satisfied – hydrated, well fed, and comfortable – they spend most of their time hiding, reproducing, or (in a cockroach way) simply hanging out.

But when those needs aren’t met, they’ll begin a life or death hunt that may very well lead them to your home. Learning what they’re looking for will help you keep them out or kill them if they’ve already made their way inside.

Like termites, mice, and other household pests, cockroaches have a relentless, never-ending drive for food. Attracted to strong smells, they seek it out and easily track it to its source.

Though it’s possible they have a preference for the same starchy, sticky, sweet foods that junk food-loving humans also enjoy – and might even have a soft spot for the yeasty taste of beer, roaches are anything but picky.

If there’s organic material in something, roaches will feed on it. Period. Meaning that glue, paper, animal waste and dead insects are on the menu along with every single food you eat – or the food you feed your pets.

Not only that, but thanks to millions of years of evolution, cockroaches have developed an extremely high tolerance for “toxic” foods and materials. Ever had food poisoning? Cockroaches don’t get it. Bacteria like that found in feces, rotting flesh, and garbage cans has no effect on them – and yes, they’re attracted to it.

Floors and counter tops offer roaches more food sources, along with more opportunities to attract them. Carpets collect crumbs that are usually too small for you or I to notice, and furniture can hide lots of specks of food that are perfectly accessible for cockroaches.

Storing paper in your attic or closet? It can attract and feed hungry roaches. They’ll nibble on starches, including wallpaper and book bindings, without any complaints.

With these decidedly undiscriminating bugs, “cockroaches ate my homework” is almost a valid excuse, though since they need very little food to survive, it would take an awful lot of them to do it.

Water and Humidity

While cockroaches can go for long periods of time without food, they can’t live very long without water, and some need water more than others. When cockroaches are able to find a source of water in your home, it’s a signal that conditions there may support them.

Perhaps the best-known of the water-loving roaches is the American cockroach which is fond of infesting sewers and storm drains, sometimes by the tens of thousands, or sometimes even more. In the structures we live and work in, they’ll be drawn to areas that are similarly moist.

The Oriental cockroach will be drawn to those areas too, and like the American roach, will seek out your basement or bathroom. Leave them a leaky pipe, a faucet or a water bowl and they’ll thrive. Throw in more leaking plumbing and they’ll follow your pipes through the walls, moving easily from room to room, or apartment to apartment.

Warmth

Warmth can attract roaches too. Many species are sensitive to cold and seek out warmth when outdoor temperatures begin to dip. When winter comes or a cold snap hits, they’ll be glad to find the warmth in your home and won’t be in any hurry to leave.

Warmth and humidity? Bingo!

Most roaches are especially attracted to warm and humid areas. Attics and closets are typically the worst-ventilated rooms in a house, making them prime cockroach habitats. Kitchens and bathrooms are also common cockroaches habitats because of the presence of moisture and food.

Your home doesn’t have to be dirty to provide all the things cockroaches need. It just has to be warm and offer a few crumbs, a little standing water and some cracks and crevices for cockroach hiding places.

Safety

Ever been munched on by a rodent or a gecko? Or been drowned to death in a seasonal flood? It’s sometimes not a good thing to be a cockroach out of doors and your home can be the perfect refuge.

Even in a home with rodents or other critters (like your cat) that might kill them, houses offer unparalleled protection for cockroaches, with lots of tiny hiding spaces and comfortable areas to wait dangers out.

In fact, if you’re a German cockroach, which feels safest in snug spaces, human homes – along with their warmth and ample food supplies -provide a better habitat than any they could possibly find in nature.

Light

Like moths and certain other insects, some cockroaches -especially the flying ones -are attracted to nighttime artificial lights. The male Pennsylvania wood cockroach is easily the best-known of them and bothers rural homeowners throughout mating season in the early summer. The Cuban cockroach, an even better flyer, annoys residents of southern states year-round.

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How They Get In

Cockroaches are determined survivalists. And sometimes your home presents the ideal opportunity. Even roaches that prefer to live outdoors will seek out homes and businesses when necessary. And when they decide to, they’ll look everywhere for a way in.

Cockroaches can squeeze through tiny cracks and crevices in exterior walls to crawl into a building and take up residence inside the walls. Flying cockroaches have the additional advantage of flying or gliding onto your roof from tree branches. There, they’ll look for an attic vent or gaps between old shingles to come inside.

If you live in an apartment building, roaches can climb along pipes from unit to unit, spreading quickly through a building and bothering even the most careful tenants.

You might even bring a cockroach into your home accidentally. That pile of firewood under a tarp outside is the perfect hiding place for wood cockroaches. And it’s easy to carry a few surprise guests in with the wood.

Once they’re in, they’ll quickly find another hiding place (one that’s not on fire). The same goes for cardboard boxes you’d stored in the garage or shed: cockroaches love hiding in boxes and might take a short ride into your house.

Grocery stores and supermarkets are always at risk of cockroach infestations that could in turn affect your home. A roach could easily hide in the bag you’ve brought home then quickly scurry away to hide its egg case.

How to Avoid Attracting Cockroaches

What’s the most effective way to prevent cockroaches from entering your home?

Do the opposite of all of the things that attract them!

Clean on a regular basis, remembering to vacuum around furniture and sweep the kitchen floor. Seal or cover open food containers, including snack and pet food bowls, and check food items for infestation. Regularly clean and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink. Repair any leaky pipes and make sure rooms are ventilated to reduce humidity and dry up standing water.

If you already have a cockroach problem, learn all about how to get rid of them and start taking action today. For large numbers of roaches, you should call a professional pest control service that can use specialized equipment and pesticides to eliminate the roach infestation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cockroaches hide their egg cases well. Sometimes, they’ll attach them to walls or furniture. However, they’ll usually leave their egg cases in tiny crevices, in cabinets or inside boxes. They’ll probably hide their eggs close to food and water so the nymphs can survive once they hatch.

There is a chance that killing a cockroach can attract more roaches. When food is scarce, cockroaches will eat other insects–including other dead roaches. It’s highly unlikely that that’s the only cockroach in your home, so others might come to investigate a potential meal.3

The same things that attract roaches in your kitchen can also attract them in your bedroom. If you like to snack in bed or keep your laundry pile in a basket on the floor, cockroaches might come looking for the warmth and crumbs, or smell of food. Cockroach prevention includes washing those glasses and dishes that tend to pile up next to your bed.

All cockroaches need water to some degree, but some need water more than others. Those roaches that need water most will be attracted to water sources in your home, including leaky pipes, water spills, drips, and open containers of liquid.

Big roaches are typically the large species (American, Oriental, and Smoky brown cockroach) that actually prefer to live outside. They’ll be attracted to your home when conditions change in their natural environment – when it gets too dry or cold outside, or when heavy rains bring flooding and the possibility of drowning.

Some cockroaches, such as the German or Brown-banded cockroach thrive in human businesses and homes. Humans provide ample access to food, water, and warmth, and their homes provide both safety, and sometimes – optimal conditions to breed.

Cardboard is a food source to roaches and they’ll eat it wherever they find it.

While cockroaches will happily seek out and eat cardboard by itself, cardboard boxes are even more attractive to them. They’ll eat the cardboard and the glue that binds them, and live and breed inside.

The most powerful roach attractant would be cockroach sex pheromones, released by females to attract a mate. If you really want to attract a cockroach, you can buy a cockroach bait that uses pheromones to draw the insects in.

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Habitats where the bugs live in an apartment: signs of their presence, how to find and destroy nests

The first sign indicating that bugs have appeared in the house are blisters on the skin — traces of their bites. Moreover, in the human head the thought of these insects comes at the very least.

The fact is that one insect bites several times a night, so in the morning a person wakes up with a mass of bites on his body and may assume that he has developed an allergic reaction (urticaria). But bites in children can really cause severe allergies.

Today we will talk about where the bed bugs live and how to get them out, can bugs live in pillows, blankets, on a person, for example, in their hair? How to detect bedbugs in bed or couch?

Important: If you notice reddening of the skin in the morning, after waking up, you should carefully examine the housing for the presence of parasites.

Where do bugs live in an apartment and how to get rid of them?

Domestic bugs are nocturnal, and during the day they hide in secluded dark places, closer to the food source, namely, to the human body. That is, it makes no sense to look for their nests in the kitchen or in the corridor, they live in the same place where they eat, respectively, first of all you need to examine the bed and the room itself.

How to find out if there are bugs in the apartment? Estimated Habitats:

  • in mattress and pillow joints, in furniture grooves, in sofa upholstery, under a mattress;
  • in the cupboard, under it and in the gap between the cupboard and the wall;
  • under the baseboards, near the outlets;
  • in the computer keyboard, in the system unit, vacuum cleaner, monitor;
  • on the backs of wall paintings, clocks, frames with photos.

Although they are parasitic on humans, on his body or in his hair they do not live, because of their developed instinct of self-preservation. These insects lead a typical predatory way of life, they determine when the victim is asleep, and only then attack it. And the rest of the time they are hiding from people in dark and hard to reach places.

See also:  How to Prevent Bed Bug Bites - 3 Strategies that Work

Thus, it is possible to detect nests and larvae of insects in the most inaccessible corners of the bedroom.

Bed bugs: how to detect?

Where do they live? First of all, regarding the location of bedbugs should inspect the bed or sofa, thoroughly inspect the bedding. The sheets may have brown spots of small diameter — these are traces of crushed insects.

Then, inspect the mattress, cushions, in their seams you can see traces of excrement — these are small black dots, resembling mold. On them it is possible to recognize bloodsuckers.

Bedbugs never live alone. Even if you brought one female into the house, they will soon multiply. Nests can be found under the mattress, or on the back of the sofa or bed. In the nest you can see live individuals resembling apple seed and their larvae: white-transparent grains.

What do bedbugs look like? Photo below:

Insects in the mattress — photo:

What excrement looks like:

When detecting traces of parasites in the bed be sure to explore all the nooks of the room, in order to identify as many nests of these insects as possible, for further treatment with insecticides. Nooks are most often the habitat of individuals at the initial stage of development.

If the bugs settled only in a bed or a couch, then it would be better to change the furniture. However, if you have found several nests in different places, then it will be more effective to resort to the services of an exterminator than to try to fight them yourself.

So, we figured out how to find bedbugs in the apartment (bed, couch), outlined the main places where the bugs are hiding in the apartment, how do you determine their presence in the house?

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Where To Find Cockroaches In Your Home (and How To Get Rid Of Them)

There are few things more irritating than a cockroach infestation inside your home. Cockroaches are disgusting creatures that can find there way into practically anything indoors and can cover the surfaces of your home with harmful bacteria and disease causing pathogens.

What people get wrong about cockroaches is that cockroaches (in particular, German Cockroaches) are not just attracted to homes that are filthy. If you keep your home neat and clean, you can still encounter a cockroach infestation that can get out of control in a short span of time because of their tendency to multiply very quickly.

Recommended Read: How to Get Rid of German Roaches

In this article, we will cover answer the questions that homeowners have in regards to cockroaches: where do they come from, how do they get inside the home, where do they like to hide most, and how you can most effectively eliminate an infestation.

Breaking out of Cockroach Denial

You may be someone who believes you do not have a cockroach problem, or if you have seen cockroaches, there are only a few and you killed them and disposed of them right away. You may scan around your home during the day and find no active roaches and stay in denial that you have any severe infestation.

The truth is that for any cockroach you do see, there may be anywhere from 5 to 20 cockroaches that you do not see. This is because cockroaches are nocturnal creatures and spend most of the daylight hours in hiding and at rest. When night falls, cockroaches activate and begin a relentless hunt for food and water to nourish themselves, and this is often when you are fast asleep. If you are someone that stays up late to binge-watch your favorite TV show, you may see an influx of them, especially if you decide to go to the kitchen for a snack or a drink.

The biggest wake up call for a homeowner in denial about a cockroach problem is when they flick the lights on in their kitchen late at night. If you have a heavy cockroach infestation, this is when you will see the largest amount of cockroaches out and about, scavenging for a meal. The surprise of the light turning on surprises the cockroaches and they begin to scatter back to their hiding places, but it is enough to make you drop your jaw in horror.

Where Did The Cockroaches Come From?

Once it is crystal clear to you that you have a cockroach problem, you may be wondering where the cockroaches came from, especially if you keep a neat home. German cockroaches are often a common problem in big cities and apartment complexes where many people share walls and live in close proximity to one another. When one apartment unit has a cockroach problem, chances are highly likely that the neighbors that live adjacent to the unit, above the unit, or below the unit will also encounter a cockroach invasion.

When you live in a standalone home and suffer from a cockroach infestation there can be a number of different factors involved that can explain how the cockroaches invaded. For one, if you have recently moved into your home, chances are that the cockroaches were already present before you moved in and were hiding.

Another explanation may be that you may have accidentally brought cockroaches into your home during the moving process. You’ll be surprised how many people unknowingly transport boxes of their belongings that cockroaches may have crawled their way into. Cockroaches are lovers of cardboard boxes and may have found a way in during packing or from where you obtained the box. It only takes a couple of cockroaches in a box to be moved to a new home to multiply into an infestation of dozens to hundreds because cockroaches are constantly breeding.

If you are a long-time resident of your home and previously were certain that you didn’t have cockroaches and it is a recent problem that sprung up out of nowhere, then it could be likely that some item you brought into the home may have had cockroaches or cockroach eggs and hatched and became the start of an infestation. This usually occurs when buying secondhand items from someone either via a store or some transaction carried out where you meet up someone to purchase their used item. You could have also brought cockroaches in via groceries, luggage from recent travel or used furniture. This is a prime reason why you should buy new or thoroughly inspect outside items before bringing them into your home.

Top Cockroach Hiding Places

Once you have accepted that there is a cockroach infestation, you need to figure out where the cockroaches are hiding so you know where you should be focusing your clean up and cockroach control efforts.

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In or Under Appliances

Appliances like your toaster, microwave and fridge are essential to your kitchen, but they also happen to be places cockroaches love to reside in or under, which can be a gross thought. This is because these appliances have all of the things cockroaches need: moisture, warmth and opportunities for food. Cockroaches are often found behind the fridge because of the warmth, seclusion and darkness. It is paramount that you clean your kitchen appliances to eliminate the accumulation of food debris and make sure that they stay as dry as possible to limit or stop cockroach activity around them.

Pantry

Continuing the theme of cockroaches liking areas where there is darkness, seclusion and possibility for food crumbs, your pantry and cabinetry is another great hiding spot for cockroaches. They will feast on anything that happens to spill, from a crumb to a grain of salt on your spice rack. If your cabinets and pantry are significantly packed with food items, it’s even better for them because cockroaches love clutter for the ample hiding spaces they get out of it. Declutter unnecessary items in your pantry, cupboards and cabinets to free space and vacuum them out periodically. Any dried food like cereals and grains should be packed away in tight containers so they don’t find their way into them.

Electronics

Cockroaches don’t just confine themselves to the kitchen when they are infesting a home. If the population has grown large enough, they will move on to other rooms, and one of the places they love to hide are in your precious electronics due to the heat that radiates from the item when it is on and running. Cockroaches will crawl their way into the computers, TVs, laptops, game consoles and internet routers. They also like surge protector with large power supplies plugged in and will gather around and enjoy the warmth.

Plumbing

Pipes and drains help to keep water flowing in and out of your home and they also keep cockroaches satisfied when it comes to their moisture needs. If your pipes experience a leak and begin dripping, you will have cockroaches coming in drove to have a drink. Cockroaches in particular love the area under sinks because of the combination of darkness, seclusion and moisture. To discourage cockroach activity around your plumbing, sinks, drains and the link you need to keep these areas as dry as possible. If there are any plumbing leaks and moisture issues, you would need to address them quickly so cockroaches do not benefit.

Furniture

As we mentioned earlier, while kitchens and bathrooms are hot spots for cockroaches, they will migrate away from these areas when the infestation is heavy and they want to spread out. Your living room furniture can be another prime place to find cockroaches. There is no shortage of comfy hiding spaces on furniture: under your couch cushions, under the couch itself, in the folds and creases. When inspecting for cockroaches, regularly vacuum your furniture and under your furniture to suck up roaches as well as any eggs they may be laying.

Cracks and Crevices

There’s a reason why cockroaches prefer our homes to the great outdoors. Outdoors they are out in the open and exposed. Indoors, they have hundreds of places to call home because of all the little nooks and crannies they can find all over your home. Cockroaches have the benefit of having flat bodies which allows them to squeeze and wriggle into the tightest of spaces to hide and rest, waiting for the opportune time at night where they can forage for food. You have baseboards, corners of rooms, picture frames, and all sorts of other areas of the home where cockroaches could be. By using caulk and eliminating these cracks and crevices, you will limit the hiding places that cockroaches have and will leave them more vulnerable.

Eliminating the Cockroaches You Find

Once you are aware of where cockroaches have been hiding, you can then move forward with a treatment plan to drive them away. The best method of cockroach control consists of eliminating food, water and shelter sources to make living in your home difficult for cockroaches and then finally applying some cockroach killing products that will get rid of the population and stop their reproductive processes.

While you may keep your home tidy, you may still leave food and water sources around that cockroaches use for survival. A detailed cleanup routine is a must to take away all sources of food and water. This means taking out the trash daily, wiping and vacuuming surfaces, cabinets, pantries and shelves, cleaning and putting away dirty dishes (as opposed to letting them stack up in the sink overnight), wiping dishes dry and wiping dry sinks and surfaces after cleanup and addressing any moisture issues you have around the home.

Eliminating shelters means taking away the ease of access to hiding places like we mentioned above. Using caulk will be your main task to seal up entry points, cracks and crevices all around your home.

Once you have done the caulking and cleanup, the stage is set for cockroach control products. For the best possible rate of success, you will need multiple types of cockroach killing products rather than relying on just one.

Cockroach bait is the top choice for killing adult cockroaches as they will eat the bait and it will slowly kill the cockroaches one by one as the bait transfers to the entire population.

A powder insecticide like Boric Acid Roach Powder is also useful in eliminating cockroaches because this product can be puffed with a duster in tight spaces where cockroaches hide like behind electrical outlets, wall voids and other hard to reach areas.

Finally, use an residual roach killer spray. This will allow you to keep killing the roaches in those areas listed above.

Conclusion

Cockroaches can enter into a home for any number of reasons but they don’t have to permanently be there if you take action and address the infestation by identifying where they are hiding and then carry out a detailed cleanup and strategic cockroach killing plan. Follow the advice outlined in this guide and you will no longer find cockroaches in your home.

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