Cockroaches are very persistent pests, with the ability to thrive all year round. All they need to survive is some moisture, shelter, warmth, and a little food.
These pesky insects spread disease-carrying bacteria and are repulsive to see around food or utensils. Sometimes it's hard to see roaches during the day, so most people ask, are cockroaches nocturnal?
Yes, cockroaches spend most of their time hiding and prefer feeding at night or in the dark. Although they like living near food sources, you’ll find them in other areas around the home besides the kitchen.
When cockroaches find their way into a home, it is often challenging to get rid of them entirely. They have good hiding skills, making it hard to find them. The flat body helps to easily squeeze through small, tight spaces, cracks, or crevices.
The longer they stay hidden, the easier it is to reproduce and spread to various hiding spots. However, it's easier to control and manage infestation if you know where to look.
Cockroaches do have wings, but they can barely fly. It's therefore unlikely that the cockroaches you see inside your house got in through open windows.
Some cockroach species can thrive in warehouses. They sneak into homes by hiding inside the boxes shipped from warehouses. Before accepting packages, remember to check the boxes before taking them inside.
Cockroaches also move through piping or plumbing and can quickly spread from one apartment to another through interconnecting pipes in apartment blocks. They can also gain access to your home through sewer drains near basements or garages.
Another weak point is small openings in general. For instance;
Once they find a way inside the house or the walls, the next step is establishing breeding grounds.
Without evidence of live or dead cockroaches, it can be difficult to tell whether you have some in your home. Some of the most apparent signs of roaches are;
Since it may be hard to see the cockroaches during daylight, looking for droppings on their trail is another way to check for them. The droppings look like coffee grounds, and you'll find them in areas that the roaches visit frequently. You can start by looking in drawer edges, near the refrigerator, and inside dark cabinets.
Roach eggs are often in cases referred to as oothecae. They have a tan or dark brown color, a cylindrical shape, and varying sizes between 5mm and 10mm. You can find egg cases in areas where you find the droppings.
Roach smear marks come from liquid fecal matter; the only difference from roach droppings is the liquid state. Sewer cockroaches are likely to leave smear marks since they ingest the waste in a liquid form.
You can find these marks in places such as beneath sinks, on the floors, inside cabinets, and walls.
Cockroach nests are often in the areas where they hide. They prefer tight spaces such as cracks, corners, and gaps with adequate food and moisture for survival.
Roaches make nests by piling up droppings, egg cases, small cockroaches, and pieces of broken wings.
Cockroaches give off a particular smell that comes from their gland secretions. This smell is due to the pheromones they discharge when attracting mates and communicating with others.
When combined with the moist, filthy living conditions, the pheromones have a musty, oily smell. As the roach population increases, the odor becomes more pungent.
Now that you know what signs to look for let’s explore different areas where roaches thrive.
Cockroaches can hide anywhere near food and water sources as long as it’s warm, dark, and hidden. Let’s look closer at the specific rooms and areas where cockroaches inhabit.
Kitchens are perfect hiding areas to nest, breed, and hide. They have adequate food, moisture, are often warm, and have many spaces to sneak into.
Roaches hide in any place they fit into, which could be as narrow as 1/16th of an inch (1.6 mm).
Some favorite hiding spots in the kitchen include:
Areas under kitchen sinks are damp and moist, which is very accommodating for cockroaches. Any leakages only favor the roaches by providing a constant water supply.
Gaps between the plumbing and cement are also a welcome addition to the food that remains in the sink.
Most kitchen cabinets that remain unused or undisturbed for long periods are often dark inside. The tiny gaps at the back are great hiding spots because they are out of reach.
Keeping open food containers such as cereal boxes in cabinets encourages cockroach infestation.
If you find any signs of roaches in the cabinets, ensure you thoroughly clean them more often. If the inside is damp, check the sources of any leakages.
Instead of having foods, spices, and cooking ingredients in cabinets, switch them to airtight containers and leave only toiletries.
If you store food in a pantry separate from the kitchen, cockroaches and other pests are likely hiding in the pantry.
There's a higher chance of finding food crumbs and open food storage containers.
Some kitchen appliances that cockroaches like are kitchen stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves, coffee makers, and toasters.
They especially like the space between the refrigerator and its stand. There is minimal disturbance and enough room to hide and multiply.
Roaches also like areas where there's heat coming from electrical appliances. So what can you do if you discover bugs in home appliances?
The first step is to clean infested areas, including under and behind the appliances. Move them from the original position to access all sides.
Next, look for hiding spots near these appliances. Sweep, vacuum or mop any food crumbs near the devices to prevent re-infestation.
Although it's not common to have food in a bathroom, there's a constant water supply, moist conditions, and many hiding spots.
The roaches feed on trash in the bins, hair, and nail clippings. Surprisingly, they also eat the soap due to the fats and oils, toothpaste, and cellulose in toilet paper or tissue fibers.
They like hiding inside cabinets, the bathroom tower, under toilet sinks and inside the flush sink, and plumbing that goes to the toilet sink.
Sewer roaches prefer the drains in the bathroom. Clogged drains are excellent nesting areas due to the presence of organic wastes.
Roaches are also terrible swimmers against much water. Check the sinks or bubs you rarely use, as they could be moving through these drains to feed in the other outlets.
Most bathroom floors and ceilings have trim or molding lining. Over time, steam and humidity get absorbed into the trim or molding, causing swelling. Mature cockroaches can fit in tiny gaps as slim as 3 mm between the wall and lining.
Water damage can also cause the wood near the wall to rot and leave gaps along the walls. Roaches can eat the damp wood as they breed.
Cockroaches do hide in bedrooms if clothes or other items accumulate. Besides the warmth, there are numerous gaps and crevices in dark areas to hide in. They can occupy bookshelves, closets and wardrobes, nightstand drawers, and the bed itself.
Cotton fabric is edible, as it has proteins and fiber that roaches can live on when food is scarce. Although they rarely nest on clothes, they leave droppings and pathogens on them.
The roaches will hatch and breed in the new location if you give away clothes with eggs. You can use mothballs in clothes you intend to store for long to repulse them.
Unused boxes are food, breeding areas and can also transfer roach eggs from one place to another.
Unless there's a source of food and moisture in the bedroom, cockroaches don't hide there for long periods. If you notice them in the bedroom, chances are they are coming there from an already crowded hiding place.
As they multiply, they have to look for new places to live.
For instance, if the kitchen is near the bedroom, they will hide in the bedroom once they occupy all hiding spots. They will look for messy or disorganized areas, trash cans, and areas with oil stains such as the bed or carpet.
You may be wondering, where do cockroaches hide in furniture? Well, cockroaches love nesting and hiding in comfortable upholsteries such as your couch or sofa, accent chairs, and soft furnishings like carpets and rugs.
They enter the couch through spaces on the underside and lay eggs in the soft, warm inside. Roaches can live under the rags if food or drink stains are on the carpet.
You can also find them in spaces left by carpet joints and corner areas between the walls and the floor.
It's easy to control cockroach breeding inside furniture by regular, thorough clean-ups using a vacuum cleaner. You can turn the seats on their sides to reach the undersides and carpet corners.
Piling up or stacking papers, old books, and boxes can attract roaches. Since they are likely in unused areas most of the time, these stacks are significant breeding areas.
They feed on the waste paper and leave droppings and musky odors in the room. You can stop them by replacing cardboard storage boxes with large plastic containers.
Basements have the perfect atmosphere for cockroaches to multiply, as most areas are dark, moist, or out of reach. Besides food crumbs, the roaches can survive on anything, including dead cockroaches and other insects.
To avoid having these sneaky insects in your basements, eliminate cardboard storage boxes. They readily absorb moisture, become damp over time, encourage fungi, and are another food source for roaches.
If you have electric appliances that emit heat, it's essential to clean and dry them and the surrounding areas regularly. It's best to dry clothes in the open air to avoid water pools that encourage roaches.
Remember to seal off any wall cracks and place some baits in dark or hard-to-reach corners.
Like basements, attics with messy areas and cardboard boxes can also be breeding grounds. Roaches like hiding in attics, mostly during humid weather, and they breed around areas where the roof leaks or where water is getting inside the house.
If you see or hear them running around, look for entry points and seal them off. Check for water stains on the ceiling and seal any leakages. Killing the ones you can see without finding out where they are entering will keep them returning.
Wall decorations rarely get moved for cleaning besides a surface wipe. Roaches can hide in wreaths, clocks, picture frames, and wall art, especially if they hang close to a vent.
So, where do cockroaches live if items on the walls are easily visible? They gather and breed in poorly lit areas behind or inside wall décor, coming out at night only to look for food.
Understandably, spotting some cockroaches is frustrating as it may be a sign of infestation. They are unpleasant to see and can spread disease-carrying bacteria and pathogens on food and utensils in the house.
Cockroaches are quick breeders and have short life cycles to make matters worse. If ignored, they spread to all rooms in no time.
You can take steps to minimize the population, such as regular cleaning and hygiene. However, leaving even a few egg cases is enough to establish a new colony.
It's, therefore, best to get professional assistance to ensure there is no recurrence in the future. Additionally, professional pest control companies like Natran use Certified Green Pest Control methods.
Book an appointment today, and rest assured of a pest-free home without the risk of exposing your loved one to harmful chemicals present in synthetic pesticides.