June 11, 2018 Summer is well on its way and many homeowners in Morganton are…
If you have found this article, there is a good chance you are trying to figure out just how cockroaches are getting into the house. Perhaps you keep your home clean, and perhaps you believe your home is tight and secure. So when you flick on the kitchen light at midnight and you see a cockroach scoot across the counter and disappear inside a crack, you are baffled. So, how do cockroaches get in your house? The short answer is: "Many different ways, including your pipes and your electronics.". In this article, we will answer this question in depth, as well as give some advice on what you can do to make your home less inviting (and less accessible) to cockroaches.
Types of Roaches
Several common cockroach species can be found in homes in the eastern United States.
The German cockroach (Blattella germanica) is one of the most prevalent species. It is small, light brown in color, and has two dark parallel stripes on its pronotum. German cockroaches are notorious for their rapid breeding and adaptability, making them a persistent household pest.
The American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) is another common species in the eastern U.S. It is larger than the German cockroach, with a reddish-brown color and a distinctive yellowish figure-eight pattern behind its head. American cockroaches prefer warm and damp environments, such as basements and utility rooms.
The Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis) is also found in the eastern U.S., although it is less common than the previous two species. Oriental cockroaches are shiny black or dark brown and have a robust appearance. They prefer cooler and moister areas, such as crawl spaces, drains, and garbage areas.
Lastly, the brown-banded cockroach (Supella longipalpa) can also infest homes in the eastern U.S. This species is smaller in size and has a light brown coloration with distinctive bands across its wings and abdomen. Brown-banded cockroaches are known for their ability to infest various areas within a home, including bedrooms, closets, and furniture.
Identifying the specific type of cockroach infestation in your home is crucial for effective control and prevention. If you suspect a cockroach problem, it is advisable to consult with a professional pest control service for proper identification and appropriate treatment measures.
What Draws Cockroaches Close To Certain Homes?
Before cockroaches find ways to get into your home, they first must be drawn in close to your home. There are several conditions that act as a "Welcome To My Yard" sign for cockroaches.
Clutter in your yard
Clutter in the yard can be an attractive environment for cockroaches, providing them with hiding spots, food sources, and ideal breeding conditions. Piles of wood, cardboard boxes, decaying leaves, unused items, and debris create a perfect harbor for cockroaches. These pests thrive in dark and undisturbed areas, making cluttered yards an inviting habitat. Additionally, cockroaches are attracted to moisture, and clutter can prevent proper drainage, creating damp areas that appeal to them.
Clutter also provides potential food sources, such as organic matter and garbage, which cockroaches can feed on. To minimize the risk of attracting cockroaches, it is essential to regularly clean and declutter the yard, remove debris and unnecessary items, and maintain good drainage to reduce moisture accumulation. Proper storage of firewood and other materials off the ground further helps discourage cockroach infestations.
Water sources can be significant attractants for cockroaches. These pests are highly dependent on water for survival, making any available water a magnet for them. Cockroaches are drawn to damp areas, such as leaky faucets, pipes, and drainage systems, where they can easily access water. Standing water in pet bowls, potted plants, or bird baths can also provide a water source for cockroaches. Furthermore, condensation or moisture buildup in areas with poor ventilation, such as basements and crawl spaces, can create an ideal environment for these pests.
By eliminating or minimizing accessible water sources, homeowners can significantly reduce the chances of cockroach infestations. Fixing any leaks, ensuring proper drainage, regularly emptying and cleaning pet water dishes, and addressing moisture issues in and around the home are essential steps to deter cockroaches from congregating and breeding.
Weeds and overgrowth
Weeds and overgrowth in outdoor areas can provide an attractive habitat for cockroaches. Thick vegetation, tall grass, and overgrown bushes offer ample hiding places for these pests, allowing them to breed and thrive. Weeds and overgrowth create shaded and undisturbed areas that are ideal for cockroaches seeking shelter. Additionally, these areas can retain moisture, creating a damp environment that cockroaches are drawn to. Weeds and overgrown plants can also harbor insects and small organisms that serve as a food source for cockroaches.
To minimize the risk of attracting cockroaches, perform regular lawn maintenance. Trim and prune vegetation, mow the lawn regularly, and remove any weeds or overgrowth around the house. By keeping outdoor areas well-maintained and reducing potential hiding spots, homeowners can significantly reduce the chances of cockroach infestations.
Compost and Trash
Trash attracts cockroaches, as it provides them with a readily available food source. Cockroaches are scavengers and can feed on a wide range of organic matter, including food scraps, decaying materials, and even paper products. When trash is left uncovered or improperly stored, it becomes an open invitation for these pests. The odors emanating from rotting food or organic waste act as a beacon, guiding cockroaches to the area. Garbage bins that are overflowing, not tightly sealed, or not regularly emptied create an environment that helps cockroaches thrive.
To minimize the risk of attracting cockroaches, it is crucial to practice proper waste management. This includes using sturdy and sealed garbage containers, ensuring bins are regularly emptied, and keeping outdoor trash areas clean and free of debris. Additionally, cleaning up spills promptly and maintaining a clean kitchen can help eliminate potential food sources that may entice cockroaches.
What Lets Them Into My Home?
Gaps, holes, or cracks
Gaps, holes, or cracks in your foundation or walls can provide easy entry points for cockroaches. These small openings allow cockroaches to squeeze through and access the interior of your home. It's important to inspect the foundation and walls regularly for any signs of damage and promptly seal any gaps or cracks using caulk or appropriate sealants to prevent cockroach infiltration.
Gaps around items that enter your home, such as pipes, wires, and air conditioning units, can also serve as pathways for cockroaches. These small openings provide cockroaches with convenient access points. To prevent their entry, seal these small cracks and gaps using weather-resistant materials like expanding foam or wire mesh.
Electronics can unintentionally provide entry points for cockroaches. Devices with openings or exposed wiring can serve as harborage areas. Cockroaches may find their way inside electronic equipment and establish nests. Regularly clean and inspect electronic devices, sealing any openings or gaps to prevent cockroach access. Cockroaches love the warm areas of electronics and are commonly found in them for months after treatment.
Absent or damaged weather stripping
Absent or damaged weather stripping around doors and windows can create opportunities for cockroaches to enter your home. Weatherstripping acts as a barrier, sealing gaps and preventing insects from infiltrating. Ensure that weather stripping is intact and in good condition, replacing or repairing it as needed to maintain a tight seal and deny cockroaches entry.
Chimneys or vents
Chimneys or vents, if not adequately protected, can be potential entry points for cockroaches. These openings can allow cockroaches to crawl down chimneys or enter through vents and air ducts. Install appropriate covers or screens on chimneys, vents, and openings to prevent cockroach intrusion while maintaining proper ventilation.
Doors or windows
Doors and windows that are not properly sealed or have gaps can provide easy access for cockroaches. Check for any damaged or worn-out seals or gaps around doors and windows, and repair or replace them as necessary. Installing door sweeps and using caulk or weatherstripping around windows can help prevent cockroaches from entering through these entry points. Pet doors that stick open also attract cockroaches and allow them to enter.
Steps To Keep Cockroaches Out In Summer (And All Year Long)
While the only sure way to completely eliminate a cockroach infestation is to partner with a professional, licensed pest control company, there are several things home and business owners can do to try to keep cockroaches from entering in the first place.
- Closely examine the outside of your home and seal up any gaps, cracks, and holes.
- Repair or replace any damaged or absent door or window screens.
- Make sure all weather stripping is present and in good working order.
- Install screens over chimneys and vents where possible.
- Make sure all outside trash containers have tight-fitting lids.
- Remove water sources around your home.
- Remove as much clutter as possible from your property.
- Remove weeds and yard waste and keep your grass neatly trimmed.
If you do nothing in the summer months, when the weather outside is comfortable for roaches, how much more will roaches enter your home once the weather turns cooler and pests start looking for warmth and food sources? Cockroaches are filthy insects that contaminate food sources, spread disease, and ruin reputations. Whether you have an infestation or simply need assistance in getting rid of roaches in your home or business, reach out to A-1 Termite and Pest Control today.