Tired of chasing roaches around your house? Where do roaches come from? Here are 8 ways cockroaches access your home. Plus tips to avoiding infestation and answer some frequently asked questions.
Roaches can enter your home from water drains, under entry doors, from inside of cardboard boxes, on firewood and luggage, and even from your car. Identifying how cockroaches can enter your home allows you to close those entry points. And keep roaches from getting inside your house.
This article is part of our huge set of information about cockroaches.
Did you know that the residents of about 14 million housing units in the US reported seeing roaches in 2020? Discovering cockroaches in your home can be frustrating and confusing.
If you maintain a clean house and keep the door and windows closed, you may wonder about the cause of the infestation.
Where Do Cockroaches Come From? 8 Sources
Roaches can get into your house through kitchen or bathroom drains. This issue is prevalent in apartment complexes that share plumbing systems.
Stop roaches from accessing your home by covering drains with stoppers when not in use. Alternatively, place metal baskets with small holes over the areas.
You should also clean drains regularly to eliminate debris and food particles that may attract pests.
2. Under the Doors
Roaches can easily access your home if your doors leave spaces between them and the floor.
Install door sweeps to block gaps that allow pests to crawl into the house.
You can also place a thick mat at the entryway to seal the space.
3. Cardboard Boxes
Roaches love cardboard boxes for various reasons.
- First, they are a food source since the pests can digest the material fiber and the glue used in production.
- Additionally, wet cardboard provides hydration and a suitable living environment.
Avoid cockroach infestations by checking all cardboard boxes for eggs before placing them in your home. Replace the materials with plastic or metallic storage. You should also recycle cardboard boxes to prevent them from sitting in one area for an extended period.
4. Cracks on Walls and Foundation
Another way roaches enter homes is through the cracks on walls and foundations.
While larger species like the American roaches may not fit into these spaces, smaller ones can quickly infest your property.
Inspect your house for any crevices and cracks that roaches may fit. After that, seal them with a caulking gun. You can also use weather stripping to cover large spaces between windows.
Roaches can get into luggage and infest your home after moving. Your loved ones may also unknowingly bring these pests when visiting or returning borrowed items.
While preventing roaches from getting into luggage may be tricky, you can curb the infestations.
Always keep bags closed after traveling until you can empty them. Besides, watch out for pests as you unpack and kill them using an insecticide.
It’s also advisable to wash your bags after use to destroy roach eggs.
Roaches love hiding in wood due to the decaying matter and the moisture they attract. Thus, you may experience an infestation if you have a wood fireplace.
Prevent roaches from entering your home by placing firewood in a cool and dry place.
Further, you can avoid storing large amounts of firewood in the house. If you’re having trouble with roaches, consider only picking the pieces you need at a time.
Another way to prevent roaches from entering your home is to limit the amount of wood in your compound. This way, the pest won’t find a permanent breeding ground or enter your home during rainy seasons.
7. From Your Car
If you have roaches living in your car, they can easily catch a ride with some shopping bags and end up in your house.
Here’s how to identify roaches in your car.
8. Used Goods
You might unknowingly import cockroaches into your home after shopping at goodwill. Or your recent garage sale find could have roaches living inside.
Here’s how to get roaches out of electronics.
And because baby roaches aren’t raised by their mothers, you could bring an ootheca (roach egg sac) home in another product. Then it could hatch days later, leaving you unsure of where the infestation came from.
Cockroach egg cases house between 16 and 48 eggs each. You could be dealing with a major infestation with just one hidden ootheca.
Where Do Roaches Hide in Homes? Prevention
Roaches love warm environments. You’ll likely find them in various kitchen spaces.
For example, they may live up inside of appliances like microwaves and fridges.
Cockroaches love toasters and stoves since they can pick up food particles.
Other kitchen spaces roaches hide are:
- The sink
- Under the countertops
Roaches love hiding and living in dustbins and other containers holding garbage. You should avoid placing these items in your kitchen or near the doors. Empty the garbage bags regularly and clean bins to eliminate debris.
If you spill food particles on couches and desks, you may attract roaches. The pests may also hide in the crevices in other furniture like chairs and shelves.
Eliminate roaches from these areas by vacuuming regularly. This way, you can pick food particles and remove cockroach eggs.
4 Common Types of Roaches You Can Find in a Home
Here’s more about the four most common types of cockroaches.
American roaches are a common species in infested homes. These pests have a mahogany-colored coat and yellowish heads. Additionally, they are the largest type, primarily found in basements and sewer drains.
Although American roaches have wings, they rarely fly and mainly crawl in the hiding spaces.
German roaches are another type with a light brown coat and two dark stripes on the back. The pests have small oval-shaped bodies of about 10 -15 mm long.
Since German roaches love moisture, you will likely find them in kitchens and bathrooms.
Oriental cockroaches or water bugs are dark-colored pests with a shiny appearance. These outdoor insects mainly love living under debris, firewood, and leaves.
You can also find them in sewers and warm spaces in your home, such as the basement or crawlspace.
Brown-banded roaches are a common type with bandings on the wings and body. Like the German species, these pests also have a small oval-shaped body.
However, they love living in dry spaces like kitchen cabinets and picture frames.
Here’s how to get rid of palmetto bugs in your house.
FAQs About Roaches
After learning where roaches come from, you may need more information on the topic. Here are some common questions about roaches.
Why do I have roaches in my clean home?
While roaches love dirt, it’s not the only reason they can infest your home.
These insects also like living in damp and dark areas or spaces with cluttered boxes.
How long can roaches live in my home?
Roaches have different lifespans and can live in your home for varying periods.
For example, the American species can live up to 3 years, while the German cockroaches live for about 210 days.
Where can I find roach nests?
You will likely find roach nests in the kitchen cabinetry and appliances. Still, the pests may also breed in the bathroom and bedroom.
Learn more about getting rid of roaches.
Can I catch a cockroach?
Maybe, but it won’t be easy. Roaches run fast – they are the second fastest insect on the planet.
Protect Your Home From a Roach Infestation
Understanding how roaches enter your home is the first step to eliminating them. Still, you may need professional help to deal with an existing infestation.
Are you dealing with a roach problem now? Please share your experience below.
- About the Author
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Bryan Haines is a co-founder and writer at The Buginator. And is working to make it the best resource for taking back the outdoors from biting, stinging pests.
He also blogs about travel at Storyteller.Travel and photography at Click Like This. Bryan is a partner at Storyteller Media, a publishing company he runs with his wife, Dena.