What Attracts Cockroaches? 10 Things That Attract roaches
Trying to prevent roaches from coming into your home but aren't sure what attracts them or what they eat? The answer may surprise you. Roaches can actually survive on a wide variety of different food items, so it's very important to make sure that you keep these items secure, in order to keep your home roach free. Keep reading for more information on what roaches eat, and why it attracts them to your home.
Can the cleanest house still get a cockroach infestation? Of course. Even the tidiest house can have these pests running around in its deepest darkest corners. That’s because infestations have a lot to do with what roaches are attracted to. They don’t need a logical reason to invade your house.
Once you’ve found roaches in your house, it can be very difficult to get them to leave for good. You are far better off trying to prevent the infestation from happening in the first place, than you are trying to eradicate them once they’ve infested your home. So what does attract roaches and what do they eat?
This article will outline very specific roach attractants that many people take for granted. This way, you can devise the best course of action to prevent these dangerous insects from invading your home in the first place. Let’s take a look at common items around your house that roaches may love, and what attracts them to your home.
What You'll Learn
Leaky Pipes and Faucets
Roaches don’t just love water. They absolutely need it to survive. That’s why leaky pipes and faucets in your house, especially the ones placed in your yard, tend to attract these bugs to your house. You can also see these insects frequent stagnant collections of water like puddles and half-full buckets.
Sometimes, leaky water will create additional bacteria or fungal growth in your home. This can also attract food sources for roaches that they may feed on. If you have leaky pipes or faucets, it’s best to tighten them up right away.
A Humid House
Not only are roaches interested in water sources, their ideal living environment must have an ample amount of moisture. And houses with high humidity means they have a lot of moisture inside.
Roaches like to live in damp and cool places. So if you have roaches around, you might want to check your house’s humidity level. Since not everyone has a hygrometer, one simple trick that you can do is look for moisture stains on your ceilings, walls and wallpaper. They’re discolored and dark splotches that sometimes have subtle bumps on them. You can also check for mold and rot in wooden parts of the house.
Once you’re sure that your house has a lot more water than it’s supposed to have, make the necessary steps to clear out all the humidity.
Wood doesn’t just attract termites. Roaches eat virtually anything, and decaying wood is actually part of their diet. So it makes sense that old houses made mostly out of lumber can invite a large number of these bugs.
In fact, there are actually specific species of cockroaches that are named Wood roaches because of their biological need for wood. You can see them in woodpiles, hollow trees and wood stumps outside, but they can also invade houses looking for more things to eat. If you have wood near your home, especially rotting wood, it’s best to clear it out or have it taken care of immediately.
Since a lot of mulches are technically wood, it’s no surprise that roaches are attracted to them. Specific kinds of mulches, in particular, are terrible for yards because they’re perfect nesting places for roaches and other insects like termites and harmful beetles. These mulches are made from insect-favored wood; they trap a lot of moisture underneath, and they provide shelter.
Mulches can be made of many different types of material though, and some of it can be more conducive to roach infestation than others. Roaches are far more likely to be attracted to organic matter than they are synthetic fibers, so keep that in mind when using mulch around your yard.
Haystacks and Barns
Barns are also notorious for having roaches. These insects can feed on farm animal food like corn, cereals and crops, but they can also dine on animal droppings. The American cockroach, for example, is a species that’s often seen inside barns and in haystacks.
It’s a best practice to keep haystacks away from your house, if you can. Understandably, this isn’t an option for some people that own a farm. But haystacks are a breeding ground for all types of insects, so keeping them away from your residence will help limit the ability for them to infest your home.
One of the greatest driving forces of a cockroach is food. But the ones exposed to human houses didn’t just developed a taste for what we eat. They’ve started nibbling on non-edible objects as well. You’ll typically notice signs of roaches around exposed older food, like their fecal matter.
These cockroaches come to our houses to forage for food. Their favorites are starchy, greasy and sugary food items that we often leave exposed on tables, countertops and cupboards. These roaches will also search the floor for crumbs and other food debris in ‘un-vacuumed’ corners.
Another bad habit for roaches is taking on non-food items that have some residue of what they usually eat. They can chew on cardboard, paper and books because these come from wood, and they also like eating craft clue and book bindings because of their starch content. So if you don’t keep these things inside secure cases, they’ll definitely get nibbled on.
Not taking out the trash is one of the biggest factors in having pesky roaches in the house. These insects are particularly fond of the leftovers inside the bin. The pungent smells of decaying food inside attract them by the dozen.
This is why keeping a regular schedule in throwing out your trash is a good step towards driving these insects away. You should also clean the bins every now and then and cover them with tight lids. It’s also a good idea to keep your trash bins further away from your home. The closer you keep them to your home, the more likely you’ll see insects migrating into your house.
Dog and cat food is just another one of a cockroach’s way to get food and water. So not cleaning your pet’s eating corner can invite a lot of them in. Regularly vacuum your pet’s feeding area, and always keep his/her bowls cleaned and dried after every meal. You should also keep your pet’s bowls elevated during feeding time, and place them in an open area, far away from walls and potential roach hiding spots.
If you store your pet food in the garage (many people do) then it’s a good idea to invest in an air tight container. Pouring your pet’s food into their bowls in the garage, is likely to leave food droppings all over the ground where it becomes prime roach food.
Most cockroach species naturally like to spend time in dark corners. They’re also nocturnal insects that are habitually active at night. They can even prompt that start of their active hours right after you switch off your lights.
There’s really no way to solve for this, other than to keep entry points into your home well lit. Roaches can still get into unsealed places, so it’s good to make sure your home is properly sealed off if you haven’t. Keeping exterior doors well lit will help ensure that roaches don’t hang out. But they still may squeak through if they sense a food source nearby.
Finally, even if this tip dwells in the realm of common sense and even if a clean house is not a guarantee on having a roach-free life, we can’t leave out the fact that cleaning your house will decrease the roaches’ valuable hiding spots.
Houses with hygiene problems provide more dwelling places and more opportunities for these pests to forge for food. So the best thing you can do is to clean your house thoroughly.
So those are the most specific things that fully explain what roaches are attracted to. We hope you can use this list as a guide to generally just improve your home and to keep it away from disease spreading roaches.
As mentioned already, cockroach prevention is definitely easier than roach elimination. It’s always easier to prevent an infestation than it is to get rid of roaches once they’ve infested the darker corners of your home. If you’ve identified an infestation, you can always call a professional to ensure that you eradicate them from your home if DIY roach killers do not work.
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