It’s a night like any other. You saunter into your kitchen for a late-night snack, flip on the lights, and suddenly, you are affronted by the sight of cockroaches scurrying across your countertops! Before you can grab a shoe or think about calling a local exterminator, American cockroaches scuttle under your appliances and out of harm’s way. How did this happen and what is attracting cockroaches to your home of all places?
First, it’s important to note that cockroaches share the same basic needs as most creatures do. Their basic requirements are food, water, and shelter. Given that humans also have these needs, it is common to find cockroaches existing nearby.
Cockroach Attraction One: Food
German cockroaches and American cockroaches can survive on just about anything, which makes eliminating their sources of food particularly difficult. However, there are a few preventative measures that you can take to decrease the likelihood of a cockroach infestation.
- Don’t leave food out on your countertops. Uncovered food is a temptation that cockroaches can seldom resist. This tip is especially important to remember during the holiday season, when baked goods and other treats are in anything but short supply.
- Wipe up crumbs. That tiny piece of bread may be too small for you or a mouse, but it’ll be enough for a cockroach.
- Try not to leave dirty dishes in the sink or sitting in the dishwasher. If you aren’t planning to run the dishwasher for awhile, be sure to rinse off the plates before letting them sit overnight.
- Rinse out containers in the recycling bin. This is more important if you have a bin that stays in your house, but this is useful to keep in mind even for ones that are outside.
Cockroach Attraction Two: Water
Although cockroaches can live up to a month without food, they need water at least once every week or two. Sadly for their human companions, just a single drop of water per day will do the trick.
- Fix leaky pipes. Remember, just a drop of water per day will keep them going.
- Seal cracks. Cracks around sinks, showers, and toilets can harbor life-sustaining moisture.
- Hang up towels and invest in quick-drying bath mats. Try not to leave wet towels bunched up. Quick-drying bath mats can also be useful in keeping cockroaches out of your bathrooms.
- Wring out dish towels and kitchen sponges. In general, be careful about what you leave out on your kitchen counters and around the sink area.
Cockroach Attraction Three: Shelter
They do not require much, but cockroaches do need some sort of shelter. Don’t let them make your home theirs!
- Add weather stripping around windows and doors. Not only can this help with your electricity bill, but it will also deter cockroaches from making an entry. This goes along with the water section as well. If you have leaky windows, cockroaches may be enticed by the moisture.
- Get rid of empty cardboard boxes and move wood piles away from the house. Cockroaches communicate through pheromones and they prefer materials that hold these scents longer. Wood/paper products are notorious for holding onto scents.
If you have tried all of the above and are still finding American cockroaches or German cockroaches in your home, it may be time to contact a professional. Even when your home is clean and sealed, cockroaches can still find ways in! Contact Palmetto Exterminators today for a free estimate or to learn more about our pest extermination services.