How to prevent cockroaches from entering your home? (Easy Methods!)

 The disgust you have for cockroaches is not unsubstantiated. These filthy little pests are just plain nasty! A cockroach infestation could very well result in intestinal diseases such as dysentery, cholera, or typhoid fever. Additionally, these slimy-looking, hard-shelled critters have been found to increase the risk of eczema and asthma in children.

But it gets worse. Cockroaches don’t just pose real health threats; they are one of the most stubborn pests to get rid of! An old joke is heard often that cockroaches can survive a nuclear apocalypse. While that isn’t entirely correct, one thing is - cockroaches are ultimately difficult to kill!

They have an extremely hard and flexible exoskeleton that helps them withstand even the hardest stomp, making it almost impossible to squish. On top of that, these hardy pests are masters at hiding and can conceal themselves in the tiniest cracks by flattening their exoskeleton.

That’s why pest control experts strongly advise deterring cockroaches from accessing your home in the first place. This article provides the most effective tips on how to prevent cockroaches from entering your home.

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What Type of Cockroaches Can Invade My Home?

Unbeknownst to many, there are over 3,000 known species of cockroaches worldwide. Of these, just about 30 are considered pests, 3 of which have managed to make a total nuisance of themselves in our homes.

The three cockroach species that are happy to invade your home include Oriental cockroaches, German cockroaches, and American cockroaches. Here’s a quick overview:

German Cockroaches

German cockroaches are the most notorious roaches for their extensive distribution worldwide. They reproduce rapidly, with each egg case (ootheca) containing 35-40 eggs. The females carry the egg case until the eggs are ready to hatch, which takes only about a month. This means that a single egg case can drastically worsen the infestation.

The presence of a few German cockroaches is nothing to be taken lightly. Just two females are capable of reproducing more than 60 000 babies in a year. The infestation can spread at a staggering rate, making it difficult to contain them.

German cockroaches prefer moist, humid conditions and are commonly found in the kitchen, bathroom, and other wet places in your home or office. They can easily be identified by the two dark longitudinal stripes running down the body from the head to the wings. Their flat, broad bodies with long hind lengths and visible antennae can grow up to 12-15mm in length.

Oriental Cockroaches

Also referred to as the black beetles or water bugs, oriental cockroaches are considered the filthiest household pests. They are highly adapted for surviving in sewers, drains, basements, under debris or leaves, and other damp areas.

Oriental cockroaches prefer to feed on garbage, filth, and decaying matter. They are the filthiest and most dangerous species that can invade your home. That’s because the collect pathogens on their feet and body and transfer them to stored foods, utensils, and food preparation areas. Allergens on their shed skin and droppings can trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions in people, especially children.

The females deposit approximately 16 eggs in each egg case, which take about two months to hatch into nymphs that 6-18 months to develop into adults. Adults can grow up to 20-25mm in length.

Oriental cockroaches are easy to identify because they have a solid black or brown color. Their wings are usually undeveloped in females. However, nearly ¾ the length of the males’ abdomen is covered by wings. But both genders cannot fly. 

American Cockroaches

The American cockroach, also known as Periplaneta americana, is the largest and most common house invading species. This renowned pest can transmit diseases like diarrhea and dysentery to people.

American cockroaches prefer to live in dark, moist, and undisturbed places like basements, kitchens, bathrooms, and roof voids. Because they also live on trees, they are sometimes referred to as the ‘Palmetto bug.’

The females carry the ootheca or egg case, which contains approximately 16 eggs, for several days before being deposited. The eggs hatch in 1-2 months, and the nymph can take 6-12 or 15 months to develop into an adult.

You can identify American cockroaches by their appearance. They have a shiny red-brown body that grows up to 35-40 mm in length. The males’ wings are relatively longer than the body. Comparably, the wings only just overlap the female’s abdomen. Normally, American cockroaches run, but they can also fly when temperatures are very high.

What Attracts Cockroaches to My Home

It’s a general rule of thumb that in order to solve a problem effectively, you must know its root cause. Identifying and solving the cause of cockroach infestations in your home helps get rid of the pests and prevents infestations from reoccurring.

As such, you must know what could be attracting cockroaches to your home in the first place. Here are the most common factors:

Food Sources

Cockroaches are omnivores who can consume just about anything from plants, animals, and even the flesh of living and dead people. They have been recorded to bite eyelashes, fingernails, hands, and feet, causing irritation and swelling. However, these filthy pests gravitate towards starches, sweets, meat, and greasy foods.

They are not picky eaters and can feast on the leftovers in the dirty dishes in the sink, crumbs and pet food on the floor, and spills on the counter. Garbage is yet another food source for this creepy crawlies.

Location

Dealing with a cockroach infestation can be a frustrating task, especially when you’re proactive about common cockroach attractants. Cockroaches are commonly associated with dirty and unsanitary homes. And while filth makes your home more vulnerable to cockroach infestations, it is possible to have cockroaches in your immaculately clean home. That’s right. 

Unfortunately, the location of your home can make it more appealing to opportunistic roaches. For instance, if your home has humid conditions with minimal human activity, it is more likely to encounter an American cockroach infestation than a warm home.

American cockroaches do not need unsanitary conditions to breed and thrive. Rather, they like moist, undisturbed places. All they need is a crack in your foundation, an open door, or a gap in the window seal to enter and establish themselves in your clean home.

Shelter

As mentioned earlier, American cockroaches are not typically associated with dirt and unsanitary conditions. They can enter your home via gaps and open doors in search of a suitable place to nest, breed, and raise their young ones. This type of infestation is especially common when temperatures begin to drop outdoors.

These rapid reproducers prefer to live in damp places like behind the toilet and under the kitchen sink. Some species can also live in your electronics, hollowed-out wood, and behind wall hangings. ‘

Water Sources

Cockroaches are remarkable survivors. They are cold-blooded pests and can live for up to one month without feeding. However, they can only survive one week without water.

Because they need water to survive, cockroaches will readily invade your home in search of water or moisture. They have developed a unique ability to squeeze even through the smallest cracks and crevices into your home to access the bathroom, kitchen, and other moist places.

Faulty faucets, leaky pipes, and laundry rooms are common attractors of cockroaches into your home.

Entry Points

Cockroaches mainly invade homes in search of food, water, and shelter. As mentioned above, these irritating pests have developed an ability to use unimaginably small openings as an entryway to your home.

They can enter your home via the following access points:

  • Cracks in your home’s foundation and exterior walls
  • Cracks on window and door seals
  • Small holes in pipes and vents
  • Worn-out window screens
  • Hitchhiking on items like furniture

7 Easy Methods to Prevent Cockroaches from Entering Your Home

Cockroaches are every home owners’ nightmare! Once they infest your home, cockroaches can breed fast and furiously, often requiring the help of a pest control expert to exterminate them. Therefore, the best way to deal with these 6-legged creatures is by preventing them from entering your home in the first place.

Here are easy methods how to prevent cockroaches from entering your home:

Eliminate all Food Sources

Now that you know what foods could attract roaches into your home, it’s easy to deny the little monsters any access to food and make your home unattractive. Ensure you do not leave any foods uncovered. Keep all foods in a sealed container on the counter, fridge, or pantry. By doing so, you deny roaches any access.

Wipe spills and clean messes as soon as they occur. Also, it’s important that you cover pet food, as roaches are notorious for eating pet food. When you open a food package, make sure it is tightly covered or transferred to a sealable container before storage. Finally, take out the garbage daily and replace waste bags with new ones.

Remove all Water Sources

Cockroaches cannot survive without water. They will infest your home in search of water sources like leaky pipes and faucets. Unfortunately, these pests carry a range of bacteria and disease-causing organisms on their integuments and digestive tracts, which they deposit on food and food preparation areas.

Their droppings and saliva also spread numerous diseases from place to place, some of which can be life-threatening. As such, you cannot afford a reactive pest control approach (implementing solutions after an infestation has occurred).

Proactive pest control involves preventing roaches from entering your home, for instance, fixing leaky pipes and faulty faucets. You should also ensure that sinks, pet bowls, and buckets are always dry.

Eliminate Clutter

Like other household pests, cockroaches are also attracted to clutter as it provides them with an excellent hideout. This means that the more your house is cluttered with unused items, the more likely cockroaches are to invade and conceal in the unnecessary clutter.    

Hence, you need to get rid of excess clutter like piles of newspapers, books, and magazines. Remove any piles of clothes left on the floor and organize the disorderly pantry. Ensuring there aren’t any messy areas throughout your home significantly reduces possible cockroach hiding spots.

Seal Off Entry Points

Cockroaches are very resourceful when it comes to invading your property. They are known for being incredibly strong and flexible. Roaches can flatten their exoskeleton and splay their legs out to the side, allowing them to fit through cracks, gaps, and crevices as small as a quarter of their body height. They can also sneak in through a door or window left open for long.

To cockroach-proof your home, you need to close off all possible entry points, for instance, by caulking cracks in the window or door seals, sealing up gaps on the wall with cement, and closing any holes around wall fixtures, plumbing pipes, and drains.

Clean Regularly and Thoroughly

Roaches are opportunistic feeders who will enjoy eating anything available, especially leftovers, food crumbs, and spills of sweetened drinks on the floor. They only need a tiny amount of food to survive for days. Therefore, you must clean your house meticulously to ensure there is no clutter, crumbs, or spills.

Wipe down food preparation and dining areas immediately after use. Appliances such as ovens, stovetops, fridges, and dishwashers should be keenly cleaned. Additionally, pet foods and drinks should never be left open as they can become an irresistible temptation for roaches. Also, vacuum your home on a regular basis to get rid of stubborn dirt and grime.

Inspect Items Entering Your Home

Cockroaches are cunning pests and seasoned hitchhikers! They are expositional at sneaking into homes by attaching themselves to luggage, appliances, second-hand furniture, grocery bags, and moving boxes.

Thoroughly inspect boxes and other items before introducing them into your home. Grocery bags, cardboard, and other materials that can harbor roaches must be inspected and disposed of immediately after bringing them indoors.

In Conclusion: Call A Pest Control Expert

Roaches are stubborn and hardy pests. Often, DIY cockroach management can be a frustrating task, yielding unreliable results. If you have followed the above tips and still have a pest problem, it’s time to engage a professional pest control company.

In addition to the above cockroach prevention methods, the pest control expert will create an effective treatment barrier between your home and roaches. Professional cockroach prevention is arguably the fastest and most effective way to keep cockroaches away from your home.

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