What Attracts Cockroaches to Homes? (Revealed)

Cockroaches are attracted to the same things as we are: food, water and shelter. Keeping these items out of your home can keep them away and keep its occupants safe and healthy.

Moisture is an especially big attractant. They’re drawn to leaky pipes and faucets, condensation in air vents, pet water bowls left out overnight and other areas.

Food

Cockroaches are attracted to food – specifically, starch, sugar, grease, and meat. Keeping counters and kitchen surfaces clean, taking out the trash regularly, and storing food in airtight containers can reduce the scents that cockroaches smell, and stop them from coming to your home.

Paper is another common attraction for roaches. Cardboard boxes, book bindings, and other paper materials contain starch which cockroaches can use to survive. Plus, the glue in these items usually uses animal products which are a tasty treat for cockroaches.

Meat is also a great source of fat and protein for cockroaches. Small pieces of meat left on dishes after a meal, the residue from spilled soda or syrup, and even rotting fruit can draw these pests to your home.

These pests aren’t picky eaters, either. They’ll eat anything from crumbs to spilled milk, food scraps, spoiled or rotting vegetables and fruits, and the leftovers from unwashed dishes. Cockroaches have a strong sense of smell, so it only takes the smallest fragments to lure them in.

In addition to food, cockroaches are attracted to water. A cockroach can only live a week without water, so they are drawn to sources of moisture such as leaky pipes, dripping faucets, and mildew under sinks.

Cockroaches can also drink alcohol, so bars and pubs can be a breeding ground for these pests. Choosing an environmentally responsible pest control solution can eliminate these odors and keep cockroaches away from your home. Lastly, decluttering and regularly disposing of stacks of cardboard or paper can prevent cockroaches from having a safe place to hide.

Water

Cockroaches invade homes in search of three things: food, shelter, and water. In the kitchen, cockroaches will go after stored food items as well as leftover scraps and crumbs from unfinished meals. In bathrooms, the pests will seek out toilets and showers where there is a constant supply of moisture. And outside the home, roaches will head toward damp basements and other dank places where they can find food and water.

Even clean houses can harbor cockroaches. This is because cockroaches aren’t picky eaters, and they’ll happily feast on any sort of crumbs, spills, or garbage left behind. It’s not easy to maintain a 100% crumb-free household, but prompt cleanup will help limit the cockroach population. For instance, sweeping the floor at least once each day and wiping down pantry shelves on a regular basis will help keep the pests at bay. And disposing of the trash promptly and making sure the garbage cans have tight-fitting lids will prevent cockroaches from getting inside.

Moisture is a major attractant for cockroaches, and this desire for water will draw the pests into even the cleanest of homes. The pests will head for leaky pipes under sinks, dripping faucets, open containers of milk or other liquids in the kitchen, and even pet water bowls that are left out overnight.

The desire for water can also lure cockroaches into a home through cracks in walls, crevices under doors, and vents around the house. This is why it’s important to repair these issues and close any gaps using caulk or weatherstripping.

Because cockroaches are so adaptable, it is impossible to completely avoid them in your home. However, taking steps to minimize the things that they are attracted to can significantly reduce the risk of a roach invasion. To do this, it’s a good idea to take a look at your home and see how you can improve your cleaning and maintenance routines. For example, a quick fix for the kitchen is to wipe down the counters and sweep the floor at least once each day after cooking. And for the rest of your house, a little more frequent vacuuming will ensure stray crumbs don’t accumulate on the floors.

 

Shelter

Cockroaches are attracted to warm, humid environments and find shelter in dark spaces. They can survive in almost any type of habitat, including cluttered homes. They can hide in books with a cover of paper, piles of used goods or boxes, and inside cardboard cartons. Clutter can also provide cockroaches with a way to access food and water sources. A cockroach’s flat body allows it to fit in small spaces that are usually hard for humans to see, such as inside a book or in the crevice between a refrigerator and freezer.

If you keep your home clean and remove food and moisture, cockroaches are less likely to come in. Store food in airtight containers and wipe counters and sweep floors frequently to remove crumbs. Make sure pet food bowls are cleaned after each meal and that any spilled garbage is immediately taken out of the home.

Outside the house, cockroaches can also be drawn to a cluttered yard, unkempt flower beds, or overgrown shrubbery that provides shelter and a place to hide. Unsealed compost bins can attract roaches and other pests, and a pile of mulch can provide cockroaches with a warm, sheltered environment to live in.

In your house, cockroaches can gain access through cracks around doors and windows and through gaps in foundations. Sealing these areas with caulking and weather stripping will help stop cockroaches from entering your home.

Cockroaches are always on the lookout for food, water and shelter. These pests can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time, making it important to control them with proper sanitation and prevention.

Crevices

Cockroaches can crawl through sliver-thin cracks, so gaps under doors and in the edges of windows are like an open invitation. They also have the ability to flatten their bodies to squeeze through narrow spaces, such as those found in old furniture and appliances. This incredible flexibility helps cockroaches hide from pesticide sprays, too.

Crawling around outside in search of food, water and shelter, cockroaches are drawn to a variety of things in our yards. One of the most common attractants is outdoor trash cans. These receptacles are a constant source of in demand nourishment and cockroaches will happily scavenge the contents, especially the decomposing organic waste that includes animal feces and rotting food scraps.

Another major attracting factor is paper and other cellulose-rich materials. Cockroaches love to nestle in stacks of cardboard boxes, eat envelope glue and make their homes out of any other cellulose material they can find, such as book covers and the linings of old clothes or toys. Old boxes found in garages, attics and storage areas are a magnet for cockroaches, as well.

A good place to start in preventing cockroach infestations is eliminating food sources. This means washing dirty dishes promptly, wiping countertops and sweeping floors regularly to remove any spills or crumbs. It also means storing foods in airtight containers and keeping pet food bowls clean and sealed when not in use.

Roaches are attracted to moisture, which is why you may see them in even the cleanest of homes. They are apt to seek out leaking sinks and faucets, wet bathroom floors and kitchen spills, as well as humid basements. They are also quite fond of the condensation that accumulates under air conditioning units and refrigerators.

Other factors that can lead to a cockroach problem include living in a condo or other shared housing, where unsanitary neighbors can create a veritable paradise for these unwanted pests. This is particularly a problem in older, densely built apartment buildings and other multi-unit dwellings with walls that are not properly soundproofed. It is essential for anyone who shares a wall with an unsanitary neighbor to notify the property manager or homeowner so that these conditions can be addressed and the walls properly re-sealed.