It’s safe to say that of all the pests that can invade your home, cockroaches are the most frustrating to deal with. They are filthy, disgusting and creepy. No matter how neat and tidy you keep your home, they may still find their way inside because unfortunately, they have gotten to the point where they prefer to live among and in close proximity to us humans.
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Cockroaches have been irritants since their inception over 300 million years ago. That’s long before dinosaurs even came into existence. While dinosaurs and other species of creation have come and gone extinct, cockroaches have found a way to survive. It is built into their DNA to adapt to whatever condition they find themselves in and thus, they continue to thrive.
Why Cockroaches Are A Major Health Concern
It used to be that cockroaches fared just fine out in the wild. In jungles, fields and other natural habitats, cockroaches would be there and thrive off of dirt, plants and water. Since the development of civilization, however, some species of cockroaches have looked to human dwellings for their needs. After exploring and foraging, cockroaches discovered that our homes were a better place to live than out in the wilderness.
While cockroaches in the home is very beneficial to them, it can be a health hazard for us. This is because cockroaches are carriers of harmful bacteria, viruses, pathogens and allergens. They crawl over unsanitary places and then crawl into our homes, spreading all the filth and germs on their feet. If you or someone in your home has an allergic reaction, comes down with a sickness or has a bout of asthma, cockroaches may very well be the culprit.
Uncovering What Attracts Cockroaches
You likely do your due diligence to keep a clean home. You vacuum, wash your dishes and try to keep things relatively clean, but are still plagued by cockroaches. You may be wondering, “Why do I have cockroaches? I am not a filthy person! What is it about my home that is attracting roaches to come here?”
The fact of the matter is that cockroaches can be attracted to your home whether you keep clean or not. A clean house doesn’t automatically mean you won’t have cockroaches. There are many things that can attract roaches to your home that isn’t necessarily due to filth. Also, you should bear in mind that not all cockroaches are the same.
There are many different species of cockroaches (over 3,000 worldwide, while only about 70 like to live among humans and invade homes) and depending on the species of cockroach, they will be attracted to different things. This is why it is important to properly identify what cockroach species is invading your home so you can learn more about their preferences, tendencies and what attracts them.
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When it comes down to it, no matter what cockroach you have, you have to remember that this species of insect is only worried about survival and doing whatever it can to live another day. What attracts cockroaches is very simple because they only need three things to survive: food, water and shelter. Unfortunately for us, our homes provide plenty of the three which is why they are so attracted to where we live.
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Read on as we break down each of these essential attractants of cockroaches and what you can do to take away these needs from cockroaches to let them know they are not welcome.
Cockroach Attractant 1: Food
As mentioned earlier, before civilization, cockroaches had to work harder to find food. They lived outdoors and had to rummage around to find stuff palatable to them to eat. When humans came on the scene and cockroaches began checking us out, they were delighted to discover that we keep food everywhere!
We have entire rooms dedicated to food called kitchens and thus, cockroaches began to set up camp in secluded areas of our kitchen and when it became dark and we went to sleep, that’s when they would come out in search of food to eat. This easy access to food is one of the main things that attract cockroaches. So what are we to do?
The key is to limit or eliminate access to food. Cockroaches will take whatever they can find so by cutting off sources of food, cockroaches will have a harder time surviving. Leaving food out in the open is a big no-no. You need to either keep food sealed away in the fridge, in a container or in a tightly sealed trash can.
Cleaning after you eat is also important. You can’t let dishes stack up in your sink with food caked on them and leave them overnight. Crumbs need to be wiped away and vacuumed up. Spills of oils, grease, milk or juice need to also be thoroughly cleaned up. You also can’t forget to clean under and behind appliances like your microwave, toaster and fridge which are notorious for being infested by cockroaches because of all the food debris left behind.
Taking out the trash daily is also a must. Even if your trash can is not totally full, you should toss your garbage out daily because cockroaches will be desperately trying to get into your trash to eat up whatever they can find. If you are a pet owner, you will need to store away pet food and not leave them out in the open in dishes overnight.
By limiting access to food, cockroaches will be irritated and desperate to eat whatever morsel of food they can find. If they aren’t able to do that, they will start eating their own feces and each other. These nasty bits of information are very useful because this is when it is ideal to begin baiting for cockroaches as they will readily eat bait over nothing.
Cockroach Attractant 2: Water
While cockroaches can survive an entire month without food, they can only survive a week without water. This is why you will see cockroaches around your bathroom and sinks. If you have a water dispenser, they’ll frequent around their too to try and get any drops of water they can get.
Cockroaches (especially the most common household roach, the German Cockroach) are attracted to any kind of moisture so keeping your home as dry as possible can make life harder for them. When washing dishes, dry them off totally before putting them away and also make sure to dry off the sink itself so there is no water at all that they can lap up overnight.
Address any plumbing leaks such as under the sink or anywhere else that is dripping water as cockroaches will take full advantage of leaks to get their water fix. Removing any standing water such as pet bowls should also be dumped out and dried off before going to bed at night.
If water is totally cut off from them, you should see a significant number of them start to die or they will leave your home to seek water elsewhere.
Cockroach Attractant 3: Shelter
Our home structures provide countless areas where cockroaches can gather and nest. It can be shocking the places they will congregate to sleep in. For instance, cockroaches will gather next to a warm power supply behind the TV, inside your internet router, a game console or any other electronic that radiates heat. Their nest may be located behind cabinets, a wall void or other hard to reach area.
The biggest thing you can do to take away areas of shelter for cockroaches is declutter. If you have an excess of boxes and belonging that you don’t really need, toss them out. The more open an area, the less conducive to cockroaches nesting or the less hiding places cockroaches have.
Cockroaches use their pheromones and droppings to mark their territory and communicate to other cockroaches that an area is safe or good to gather in. They soak that musky scent in areas to alert other cockroaches so if you do happen to see any of these areas, make sure clean them thoroughly to eliminate the pheromones.
Lastly you should try and seal off cracks and crevices which cockroaches use to enter the home or hide until night when they come out to forage. Use caulk or a pest control foam to seal these areas off, eliminating their shelters.
Dealing a Fatal Blow to the Cockroach Infestation
Once you have taken the measures above to take away the food, water and shelter that cockroaches need to survive, that doesn’t mean that cockroaches will just totally up and leave. They will stick around and wait for an opportunity for a morsel of food, a drop of water or a satisfying shelter.
This is when it is crucial to take the next step of addressing the cockroach invasion with the help of high quality cockroach control products. Among the best control methods to use is a cockroach gel bait, a dry dust product such as Boric Acid and a pesticide liquid concentrate.
Cockroach gel baits are extremely effective after taking away food sources because once you start apply little beads of poisonous bait, cockroaches will readily eat the bait because it’s better than nothing. Slowly, the bait will poison the cockroach and they will fall dead. Their cockroach comrades will eat that roaches feces or the dead roach itself, transferring the poison to them. Ideally this will result in a domino effect with a lot of dead roaches.
Applying liquid concentrates can repel cockroaches from your home because once they get close and come into contact with the pesticide, they will die shortly after. Dust products can be applied where liquid sprays cannot and will poison or suffocate cockroaches that come into contact with the dust particles.
Cockroaches are attracted to our homes because they provide an ample supply of food, water and shelter. By knowing this information, we can use it against them by cutting off their easy access to these three things and then go on the attack with pesticide products.
While it takes some work and persistence, it is possible to make your home less attractive to cockroaches and rid them of their nasty presence.