Did you just spot some cockroaches? Seeing roaches in house can usually be narrowed down to two reasons. One, they came there by themselves. Two, you brought them in yourself.
Why roaches entered your home
Roaches are always in search of a suitable home that provides all three necessities for their survival (food, water, and warm shelter). A human home will almost always have all of them. You may be thinking of only a dirty and garbage filled house, but the truth is even a clean home will provide all they need. A home in itself already covers the shelter.
Water can be found from:
- Sink drains
- Water in the sinks and bathtubs. A few drops is all they need.
- Leaky faucets and pipes
- Toilet bowls
- Open water bottles
- A unfinished cup/glass of water
These are just a few sources of water that a cockroach can drink from. I’m sure you can think of more.
Food is often not an issue as well. They do prefer to eat greasy food or sweets (kind of like us). But they don’t mind dining out of an uncovered trash can, or rotting crumbs. If worse comes to worse they will even eat other dead roaches and the glue used to hold labels to canned goods.
Many times they can be lured into a home by the scent of food. It doesn’t take a room full of rotting trash to achieve this. Something as simple as garbage not being taken out a day earlier would be more than enough. Even food left uncovered for a night will do it. Read my other post about what attracts cockroaches for more information.
Sometimes they just enter because they were searching for some place suitable to settle in. By chance they just chose your house to scout out, found what they needed and decided to stay.
The chances of a cockroach coming into your home are a lot higher if you live in an apartment with roaches. You can do everything you can to keep them away, but if your neighbors aren’t doing anything then the only way to be roach free is to move.
Even if you live in a house, if your neighbor’s house is infested with them, they will likely find their way into your home sooner or later. Or if the neighborhood is infested with them, it’s only a matter of time until they find out about your house.
How you can accidentally bring roaches just to your home
If they didn’t get there by themselves then you brought them in. You wouldn’t intentionally introduce roaches into your home, but you can accidentally bring them in. Things they can hitchhike in include:
- Cardboard boxes. Cockroaches love cardboard boxes to begin with, so if it came from a place with roaches, you’re getting some too.
- Clothes (clean or dirty)
- Water grocery bags
- Appliances. This is almost guaranteed if it’s a used appliance that came from a house infested with roaches.
- Electronics. Such as TVs, gaming consoles, computers, etc. I accidentally brought roaches into my house from a computer. There were at least 10 of them that scattered all over the place when I opened it up.
- Pretty much anything else a cockroach can hide in.
To avoid bringing roaches into your home you need to consider where things are coming from. If an item is from another house, does that house have a roach problem? If your answer is yes, it’s best to avoid that item entirely. If you don’t have a choice or you are determined to bring the item into your home, inspect it very thoroughly. Inspecting it helps greatly, but it is not guaranteed. This is mainly due to the small sizes of roaches and their ability to squeeze and hide in very tight smalls.
One thing you can do is is quarantine the item first before bringing it into your home.A garage will work great for this. Surround the item with one of the best roach killer ever, boric acid, and create a barrier. Put out some bait behind the barrier to lure them out and force them to walk through it. Instead of using plain bits and pieces of food for bait, you can even encircle the quarantine area with roach bait (I like this one from Advion). These things have a powerful bait mixed in with a powerful poison. Just quarantine the item for as long as you can at least a month is ideal and you will greatly reduce the chances introducing roaches to your home. Before doing this, learn avoid the mistakes to make when applying this boric acid roaches treatment.
If you’ve spotted a few, or even just one then there’s a good chance there are much more of them hidden from your eyes. You can set cockroach traps to get an idea of how bad it is and then treat it yourself once you learn how to get rid of cockroaches. Or just call an exterminator and fix the problem quickly. Don’t wait and let them multiply or else you will end up losing up to thousands of dollars for exterminator fees and costly repairs from damages caused by the roaches. Don’t panic if you’ve found roaches in house because you can kick them out.
Photo credit: Curtis Perry