The origin of cockroaches in any household is very difficult to determine. Maybe these pests were already there before you moved into the house. They may have gained entry along with some old furniture or cardboard boxes.
And if these two are not the reason behind a sudden increase in the number of cockroaches you are lately seeing, then a possibility is the roaches decided to make your home their home as well. They entered through one of the numerous holes that you do not think twice about.
No matter what the reason is, the thought of roaches in a house is never pleasant. Apart from the fact that the bugs are kind of creepy, there is also the more important fact that cockroaches carry endless types of bacteria, pathogens, germs, and dirt on their bodies.
They are also responsible for many diseases in both animals and humans. Therefore, eliminating them is the only way, but you first have to know where they are coming from.
Where Do Roaches Come From?
Cockroaches come from areas that are warm, moist, and dark.
They are found in tropical climates. Yet roaches are seen to thrive in cold temperatures as well. This is because years of evolution have acclimatized these insects to almost any range of temperature.
In this study, it was found that cockroaches were most comfortable in a simulated hot climate but did not show any signs of fleeing or running when the temperature was gradually lowered. This is however true for the most common species of cockroach such as the American Cockroach, the German Cockroach, and the Oriental Cockroach.
Any source of water such as a wet paper stack, or wet wood can be a source of roach infestation in your house. Cockroaches can enter your house from the outside and any spot that meets their temperature and nutritional requirements will be made into a nest.
They can also come from the drains inside your kitchen and the washroom. Roaches do not discriminate between clean food and dirty garbage before eating and they will eat almost anything- be it food waste, human excretion, hairs, nails, paper, etc. So, if you keep your washroom and kitchen uncleaned for long periods, it may be causing a roach infestation in the rest of your home.
And the speed at which these insects breed is mind-blowing. It will only take a handful of cockroaches to begin a severe infestation inside a house. Unless serious human intervention is made in such a case, the place will soon be inhabitable, and mere home remedies for getting rid of cockroaches will be useless.
How Do Cockroaches Get In The House?
Several places could be entry points for cockroaches. These insects are sneaky creatures that can withstand extreme conditions and still survive.
They can also creep through extremely tiny crevices because of their tough exoskeleton that protects their organs. Keeping all this in mind, here are a few ways through which roaches get into your house.
Roaches get inside houses along with the things that you carry in. The official term for this may not be hitchhiking but it sure describes the process well. Perhaps you go out with a bag and keep it unattended for a while outside. A cockroach can enter the bag and get carried inside your home.
In the same way, roaches can come into your house through grocery bags, furniture, cardboard boxes, etc. They will hide inside these things and when you settle the stuff down inside your house they start breeding.
You should especially check all cardboard boxes for cockroach eggs, nymphs, or even adult cockroaches before bringing them inside your homes. Other than being a haven for cockroaches, cardboard is also food for roaches, especially wet cardboard because it is damp. And dampness is the perfect living condition for roaches.
This is also why you should not keep cardboard lying around in your home for a long time because it is highly likely that roaches will make it into their home.
Drain Line and Sewers
Both the drains and sewer lines are areas that one would be repulsed to go into but that is not the case with cockroaches. They can survive in the filthiest of conditions and thrive inside there. That is because roaches derive nutrition from the waste that passes through these lines.
The steady source of food and water attracts the cockroaches towards the mouth of the drains and that is how they get into your house. This is why bathrooms should always be kept spotlessly clean and dry. The mouths of the drains and sinks should also be kept closed.
If you live in an apartment unit or condo then a cockroach infestation in one unit can quickly lead to a similar infestation problem in the adjacent unit. This is because of the shared wall between the units and the fact that cockroaches use the plumbing lines to travel between apartments.
Any tiny cracks in the wall that is near the plumbing or other utility lines will be used as entry and exit points for the roaches.
Cracks in the Foundation or Exterior Walls
Some breeds of cockroaches are more capable of crawling through tiny gaps than others. For example, adult German Cockroaches can crawl through holes that are 1/6th of an inch.
So even the tiniest of cracks in the exterior wall of your home can serve as an entry to cockroaches from the outside. Roaches are not outdoor creatures and will try to enter a sheltered home where they can hide in a corner and breed.
In the same manner, in which cockroaches can gain entry to your household by getting into bags and luggage, a car can act as a transportation medium for these bugs too.
Your car can become roach-infested if you are used to eating inside the vehicle and leaving food crumbs there.
Cockroaches will come for the crumbs but stay for the dark and safe environment provided by the corners inside a car.
If you are storing this car in a garage that connects to the main house then the roaches can get inside your residential space easily from under the door or cracks in the window and such.
Eggs Bought in By a Shoe
Cockroaches come from eggs and that is why we should be worrying about roach eggs as well. Cockroach eggs are super resilient and sticky. They are clumped together inside a sack-like object which is hard to see with the naked eye.
If you step on an egg-carrying roach when you are outdoors, the cockroach might die and the eggs may stick to the bottom of the shoe. You will unconsciously carry the egg sack back into your home and this may start an infestation.
This is the very reason why it is important to wash the objects that we carry outside, like shoes and slippers regularly.
Where Do Roaches Hide?
Cockroaches hide during the day and come out at night to look for food, water or just to move their base. But the question is how do these cockroaches conceal themselves so well during the day that we hardly spot them in numbers?
Here are a few common hiding spots for roaches:
- Kitchen appliances like microwave ovens, toasters, and coffee machines.
- Electrical appliances such as stereo sets, the back of the CPU, pipes, furniture, and cracks in the wall.
- Sewer Lines
The one thing that is common in all these places is that they are dark and retain warmth. Except perhaps the cool sewer lines. It is quite difficult to get these bugs out of their hiding places and you might have to apply several methods to get rid of them.
Why do I have cockroaches in my home?
Usually, poor sanitary conditions around a house will end up attracting roaches in the house. There are several ways in which you may be degrading the cleanliness of your home. The most common form of that is not having a designated spot to eat. Eating at any random spot may leave crumbs there and cause cockroaches to infest the place.
If you are leaving garbage cans in the kitchen and the washroom open and uncovered, the smell will attract cockroaches. They will go inside, feed on the waste and leave their feces. Roach feces contain a sort of pheromone that serves as a signal to other cockroaches to approach the area.
If water sources are leaking inside your house or if you leave the washroom wet overnight, they may also attract cockroaches as apart from food, water is their top priority.
If you are looking for ways to get rid of cockroaches permanently from your house, then the first step to doing that will be to have as clean a house as possible. There are also some cockroach-repellent smells that you can introduce inside the house to drive the bugs away. ‘
However, these will only work on a mild roach infestation. For more severe cases you may have to spray your house with insecticides or call a pest control professional to cleanse your house of these annoying bugs.