The South comes with many benefits; warmish winters, beautiful springs, cockroaches getting into homes- What? You don't think that cockroaches are a benefit of living in the South? Then, you're probably like most folks--interested in learning how to keep cockroaches out of your home and how to get them out once they have established themselves. In this article, we will take a look at the conditions that attract roaches to homes and businesses, how they are getting inside, and what you as a homeowner can do about them.

a cockroach crawling in a basement
cockroach on floor tile

Why Are Cockroaches Targeting My Home?

There are several factors that can make your home attractive to cockroaches. Smells, food, and water are the main things. If you have unsealed trash receptacles that allow the smell of food, whether fresh or rotting, this will attract roaches and a host of other insects as well. Other smells, such as leftover barbecue on the deck, or decaying berries, fruits, or vegetables in garden areas will also attract insects. Water sources, such as leaky hoses or spigots and birdbaths, will draw those roaches in close as well.

Inside your home, if cockroaches manage to get in, there are many things that will make those roaches feel right at home. Open trash cans, food left out on counters or in pantries, and dirty dishes piled by the sink are just a few. If a few roaches get in and find an abundance of food and water sources, they will have no problem setting up shop inside your walls and begin to multiply. A small number of roaches can turn into a major cockroach infestation in a relatively short period of time if food and water are provided and they are left to their own devices.

How Roaches Get Into Homes

When cockroaches are drawn in close by smells, food, or water sources, they will begin crawling around on foundations and walls and some will, undoubtedly, make their way inside. They may go inside because it is too hot out, too dry, too wet, or too cold. Whatever the reason, being inside your wall voids (with access to a supply of food and water sources in your home) they will have no reason to go back outside again.

How roaches get inside depends on the home. Some find gaps in the foundation. Others crawl up outside walls to squeeze in through gaps or holes around pipes, wires, air conditioners, and items that pass through outer walls. Since roaches are good climbers, they can even get in through openings in roof areas.

Cockroach Hot Spots

To figure out what roaches are attracted to in your kitchen, and where they are getting in and out, try surprising them at night. Since cockroaches are nocturnal, you are unlikely to see too many of them in the daytime (unless the populations inside your walls are substantial). Try leaving your kitchen lights off for a few hours, then tiptoe in and flick all the lights on. Pay attention to where they are when the lights come on, and where they disappear when they scatter. These are high traffic areas. Another way you can know where the high-traffic areas for roaches are is by noting where you see the most droppings.

Cockroach Prevention Tips

  • Eliminate food sources in your yard. Seal up all garbage receptacles with tight-fitting lids, clean up gardens and areas around fruit trees or berry bushes, and don't leave leftover barbecue food outside. Also, consider moving compost piles well away from your home, and don't leave pet food dishes out with food in them.

  • Remove water sources. Fix leaky hoses or spigots, make sure your gutters aren't clogged and holding water, and move any birdbaths away from your home. It is also good to check for areas of compacted soil that holds water after it rains and break it up so that the water sinks in.

  • Seal up gaps, cracks, and holes in your home. Carefully check your foundation, walls, and roof area and fill in any entry points you find. This will not only help keep roaches out but many other household pests as well.

What To Do If Roaches Have Already Gotten Inside

If you are already seeing roaches in your home, know that it can be nearly impossible to totally eliminate them using DIY roach-control methods. These are extremely hardy pests that will retreat deep into walls, only to come out time after time to plague you. To totally take care of a cockroach issue, professional pest control is key. Here at Aiken Pest Control, we have been eliminating cockroaches from homes since 1967. Give us a call for answers to your questions or to set up service. Life is always better without roaches.


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