How To Keep Roaches Away While You Sleep
The worst nightmare of many homeowners is having a cockroach crawl across the bed while we are fast asleep. While roaches don’t bite, these pests often inspire feelings of fear and disgust. In addition, inhaling skin and waste products from these creatures in an infested home can cause an allergic reaction or trigger asthma symptoms. To make matters worse, as nocturnal insects, roaches are most active at night. For all of these reasons, you may want to better understand how to keep roaches away while you sleep.
The truth is that cockroaches are very common pests across the world, often invading our most intimate spaces. To keep roaches out of your bedroom, you would take the same steps that you would to keep them out of other parts of your home, including:
- Keep your sleeping quarters free of food and moisture
- Reduce clutter
- Regularly empty your trash
- Make sure all openings to the outside (windows and doors, primarily) are well sealed.
If all else fails, you can put your mind at ease by calling in a pest professional who can help determine if your property is more vulnerable to a roach problem and suggest a treatment plan.
If you are worried about roaches in your home, you probably also have other related questions, too, like how can I have cockroaches when I keep my home clean? Let’s answer some of these common questions so you know all you can about these pesky pests so you an avoid an infestation.
What Causes Roaches In A Clean House?
On top of contaminating our food with their feces, as we already mentioned, roaches can cause allergies, asthma and eczema in some people. And, of course, they are also capable of transmitting a number of nasty diseases. Unfortunately, cockroaches can move into even the cleanest of homes. Why? What attracts them?
The Presence Of Food
Available food is the single most powerful reason cockroaches enter our homes. These insects aren’t picky eaters—almost anything left out on your kitchen counters is fair game to them, and they’ll be drawn to it. Because of this, one of the most effective defenses for keeping roaches out of your home is locking away all food in places roaches can’t reach or smell.
Of course, even doing this won’t necessarily deter cockroaches, because their diet is quite a bit different than ours. Beyond regular food, it’s not unusual for roaches to feed on other items commonly found in our homes, including paper, books, cardboard and even some types of wood. This means that cleaning up clutter is also an integral part of making your house less hospitable to cockroaches.
Darkness And Dampness
After putting all food in the fridge or in sealed containers and cleaning all kitchen counters and floors, you might assume that your house is finally safe from cockroach infestations and that any roaches hiding out will quickly die out or leave.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Cockroaches can survive for days—and even weeks—without food. During this time, they hide out in dingy, dark, damp, well-protected parts of your house. So, even if food is out of their reach, you still might find roaches scurrying around in the basement, garage, garbage bin areas and generally any other hidden areas of the house.
You might be surprised to learn that roaches are more dependent on water than food. In fact, a cockroach can only survive a week without water, which is often why these creatures come into our home and commonly spotted in bathrooms.
Roach-Infested Items You Bring Into Your Home
Unlike bed bugs, cockroaches do not typically hitch rides in clothes or furniture. That being said, it is possible for a homeowner to unknowingly bring in cockroaches inside if they happen to be hanging out in cardboard boxes or appliances such as toasters, microwaves, computers and video game systems. This is particularly true if the items in question are used or were stored in a place like a garage or basement.
An Attractive Outdoor Environment
Many homeowners having a roach problem indoors don’t consider that roaches are coming in from outdoors. Warm, humid hidden spots in your yard can provide an ideal breeding ground for these creatures. Areas of heavy vegetation, a compost bin and near leaky outdoor faucets can attract roaches to your yard, making it easier for them to enter your home.
Ultimately, there are all kinds of reasons and ways that cockroaches can potentially end up in your home. While “Why” is an important question, it’s not the only one you have.
If I See One Cockroach, Are There More?
While we wish we could tell you something different, if you spot a roach in your home, it is highly likely that there are others. Not only are cockroaches really good at hiding, they mostly only come out at night, and they really don’t like being seen by people. So, if you spot one, there are very likely many more that are resting during the day out of sight.
For this reason, if a cockroach suddenly appears in your home, you should take action to avoid an ongoing cockroach infestation. If you don’t want to call in a professional, you can try looking for breeding and resting areas on your own. So where do cockroaches lay eggs?
You might want to check in the following popular nesting spots:
- Cardboard boxes and cabinets
- Kitchen appliances
- Home electronics
- Kitchen surfaces, cabinets, countertops and dish draining mats
- Cupboards, cabinets, closets (including the ones in the bedroom)
- Baseboard and trim
Signs You May Have A Roach Problem
What are some things that might indicate a bigger problem Check your home for some of the following indications of roach activity.
When cockroaches are present in large numbers, they give off a distinct oily, musky odor. If you can smell them, your house is very likely infested.
Cockroach Egg Casings
Roach casings are long and brown. Each casing holds many eggs inside—as many as 50—so any you can remove and discard will keep your roach population down.
These waste materials look like black pepper or ground coffee. You can place sticky traps in places where you are finding roach droppings to see if you can catch any.
Roaches During The Day
As mentioned above, roaches are more active at night. So, if you see these insects running around in broad daylight, their numbers have probably grown to the extent that some are being pushed out of their nests.
What Causes The Sudden Appearance Of Cockroaches?
Seeing a cockroach for the very first time in your bedroom can be alarming—especially if it’s the first encounter you’ve had in your home.
For some homeowners, what follows is a brief moment of disbelief often with many unanswered questions like: Was that a cockroach? Does that mean my house is dirty? How many more pests is my house harboring? What will my guests think when they see that I have roaches in my house?
Most of the time, when someone “suddenly” sees a cockroach, it’s not quite as sudden as it seems. In other words, they’ve probably been in the home for a while, and you seeing them is more related to luck than anything else. Maybe you moved whatever they’ve been hiding under for the last several weeks. Or you had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and they didn’t have time to scurry away.
Warm, dry weather can encourage roaches to seek refuge in our homes. Wet weather can also force them to dry ground indoors. When temperatures drop, a roach can take advantage of its body shape to squeeze through cracks as narrow as a sixteenth of an inch to invade your home. As with other pests, nearby construction can also be the culprit for a movement of roaches across an outdoor environment.
What To Do If You See A Cockroach
Seeing a cockroach in your home doesn’t always mean that you have a full-blown infestation. However, it does mean that you should investigate and take steps to prevent one.
Some of the ways in which you can prevent cockroaches from invading your household include the following:
- Make your house less inviting to cockroaches by reducing clutter, eliminating potential sources of food and water and keeping wet items and mops off floors.
- Look for possible hiding spots, flush out any cockroaches that you find hiding and then make those hiding spots less hospitable for the roaches. If possible, you should also seal these areas to prevent future use.
- Improve the sanitation around and in your home. Clean all floors and counters and fix any existing water leaks.
- Use sealants or caulk to close off any entry points that the roaches might use to get into your house, such as gaps around sinks and plumbing.
- Vacuum your house regularly to remove cockroaches as well as their food sources.
Chem-free Can Resolve Your Roach Problem
While there are some do-it-yourself methods that could prevent some roaches from invading your space, implementing them takes a lot of time and energy. In addition, most of these techniques won’t stop a full-blown infestation. When you can’t sleep at night because you have cockroaches, it’s best to call in a professional. The experts at Chem-Free Pest & Lawn can apply their Integrated Pest Management expertise to recommend an effective treatment plan for dealing with your cockroaches. Once your infestation is under control, we can put holistic pest control prevention measures in place to ensure these pests don’t come back to your home. With Chem-free’s help, you can rest easy, knowing that your home is free of roaches.