Cockroaches are attracted to a wide variety of environmental factors, which is why they are such a common pest to find in homes, businesses, and many places in the environment. They can fit through the tiniest holes and will eat almost anything. Plus, they’re resilient enough that they can go for long periods of time without food or water, which means they can continue infesting a chosen location even if it no longer has a source of nourishment. Unfortunately, roaches can also be dangerous, and it’s important to exercise preventative measures and act quickly at the first signs of a cockroach infestation. Here’s what you need to know about what causes cockroaches.

causes of cockroaches graphic

close-up image of a cockroach

Things That Attract Cockroaches

Spotting a few roaches here and there isn’t always cause for major concerns, but if you’re encountering cockroach infestations, it may be time to consider making some changes. Unfortunately, roaches are incredibly hardy and are attracted to many different environments. Cockroaches will show up just about anywhere that has food or moisture, though when they aren’t feeding, they prefer to stay hidden in dark, moist, hard-to-reach places. Depending on if you have American cockroaches, German cockroaches, or oriental cockroaches, you may observe different behaviors. However, in general, cockroaches are attracted to:

  • Sewers
  • Drains
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchen sinks
  • Outdoor mulch, leaf, and firewood piles
  • Alleyways
  • Basements and crawl spaces with excess moisture
  • Attics
  • Standing water
  • Trash cans

Also, while some cockroaches are attracted to warm locations, others are attracted to cool locations. But because of their resistance to harsh conditions, most species of cockroaches can be found in many different places regardless of temperature. As long as they have access to organic matter and a water source, a roach infestation will survive and thrive, creating health risks along the way. That’s why cockroach prevention is so important.

How Cockroaches Invade

You can find cockroaches just about anywhere because they’re extremely adept at sneaking inside. Cockroaches enter many different ways, but common entry points include water pipes, air vents, wall gaps, window screens, and cracked doors. They may also be carried inside with containers like cardboard boxes or attached to dirty clothing and shoes. Once inside, they will often hide under sinks, in or on top of cabinets, in cracks and crevices in walls, and behind electronic devices. Certain species that prefer to live in leaky pipes can sometimes be seen climbing out of drains and faucets, which is why they’re often given the name “water bugs”.

leaky pipe attracting cockroaches to standing water

graphic depicting the various food sources cockroaches are attracted to

Cockroach Food Sources

One of a cockroach’s favorite places to infest is the kitchen and pantry, much to the dismay of many homeowners and cooks. Because they’re so small and can move to practically anywhere they want, it’s easy not to see them until they start investigating food sources, dirty dishes, and prep stations. They make dark, out-of-the-way corners and spaces behind work surfaces and equipment into hiding places and then come out at night or whenever they won’t be disturbed to find leftover food, causing food poisoning and other health concerns.   

Cockroaches will also eat almost anything they have access to, from the contents of your pantry to the contents of your trash can. They will consume:

  • Fermenting or rotting foods and other organic matter
  • Meats and fats
  • Starches
  • Sugars
  • Pet food and water bowls
  • Soap
  • Glue
  • Toothpaste
  • Fecal matter

If you want to prevent roaches, the best thing you can do is wipe up food residue and do your best to keep a clean home. They are opportunistic, omnivorous pests and if you don’t carefully regulate your environment, they will find a meal wherever they can. Because of their hardy nature, they are also difficult to get rid of. However, while cockroaches can live for extended periods of time without food, they cannot live more than a week or two without water.

Learn More about What Cockroaches Eat

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

If you have a cockroach problem, Dodson Pest Control has the skills and equipment to help you get rid of them. Cockroaches are difficult pests to eradicate, but it is possible to do so with the help of professional pest control experts. You can try DIY solutions like boric acid or diatomaceous earth to keep roaches out and manage an active cockroach infestation, but they might not work.

A professional pest control company will have access to more intense pesticides and baits, and Dodson exterminators are trained to know what areas in the home to target. Contact us today for a free inspection!

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