What Attracts Cockroaches to Your Home?

Ben Kissam
Written by Ben Kissam
Updated July 12, 2022
Two dogs eating food out of their bowls in the kitchen
Photo: NickyLloyd/E+/Getty Images

Knowing what attracts cockroaches can help to keep them out of your home (and yard)

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Cockroaches have survived as a species for millions of years—but most of us wish they'd survive someplace other than our home.

Unfortunately, many things can attract cockroaches to your home. It's in your best interest to get rid of them as soon as possible, as roaches can pose a potential health threat to you and your family. Here's what you can do to prevent roach infestations.

What Attracts Cockroaches to Your Home?

Cockroaches are attracted to the same things humans need to survive: water, food, and shelter.

Dirty Dishes

Food particles left on dirty dishes, whether they're left in the sink or on the counter, give off odors that attract roaches to your kitchen.

Garbage

Garbage on the floor or left in trash cans, especially when it has food in it, can also send attractive odors to roaches.

Spilled Pet Food

Roaches, unlike humans, are more than willing to chow down on dog or cat food. Pet crunchies or even dried wet food tell nearby roaches that there's a feast in your home.

Mismanaged Landscaping

Believe it or not, unkempt lawns can attract cockroaches to your yard (and eventually, your home). Tall grass and piles of leaves or sticks are perfect shelters for cockroaches, while puddles of water are a great spot for them to get a drink.

Moisture

Cockroaches are particularly fruitful in southeastern states like Florida and Georgia, where heat and humidity are common. 

Other moist areas in your home that may attract roaches include:

  • Areas under leaking appliances

  • Areas beneath leaking pipes

  • Puddles or spills

Places where condensation tends to collect, such as under an AC unit, are also havens for these little bugs.

Common Places to See Cockroaches in Your Home

Along with a source of food and water, cockroaches also seek out a place to shelter in your home. Keep an eye out for a cockroach infestation in the following common hiding spots.

Cabinets and Pantries

Unfortunately, kitchen cabinets and pantries are hot spots for cockroaches, which is why it’s essential to keep your dry-food items tightly sealed and stored properly. If not, cockroaches may find their way into your food containers and other areas of the cabinet. Don’t panic; there are plenty of ways to get rid of cockroaches in your kitchen cabinets, including sealing off access points.

Air Vents

If you see a roach skittering into your air vent, you’ve got a problem. Cockroaches tend to take refuge in air vents because they thrive in moist, dark environments. However, an air vent infestation can cause serious respiratory problems, including allergies and asthma attacks. Deal with roaches in your air vents by fixing air conditioner leaks, keeping your house cool, and more.

Appliances

Kitchen appliances frequently attract cockroaches because they provide food, warmth, and sometimes moisture. Keep an eye out for pests around your refrigerator, oven, and microwave, and be sure to keep the areas around them free of food debris. 

Pipes

Cockroaches love to make themselves at home in pipes because they’re dark and potentially leaky. It can be tricky to spot an infestation of cockroaches in pipes, but you can prevent it altogether by regularly checking your faucets, drains, and pipes for leaks. Plus, you can seal any cracks in your plumbing that could provide roaches with a way into your home.

Furniture

Everyone loves to eat snacks on the couch, but no one likes to discover a cockroach vying for some of your chips. Unfortunately, soft furniture items are ideal places for cockroaches to lay eggs, so it’s important to keep your couch free of leftover food particles. Keep them away by regularly vacuuming in and around your upholstered furniture.

How Cockroaches Enter Your Home

There's a reason some say cockroaches would be the last surviving species in the event of a disaster. They are resourceful critters with many tricks up their sleeves for getting into your home—which is why they've survived for millions of years (literally).

 Cockroaches usually enter your home through small cracks and holes. Sealing these areas off is important for prevention but won't guarantee you keep them out. Open doors and windows are also easy ways for them to get in.

Unfortunately, roaches are also good at reproducing in new areas. So if someone outside your home enters a roach-infested area, there's a possibility they could bring them over.

Hire a Professional

If your roach problem is out of control, hiring an exterminator might be your best option. Dealing with the issue now and then practicing better hygiene in the future can help get the roaches out of your home and keep them out.

 Ask a local exterminator for advice about your cockroach problem or book an appointment today. The cost of a pest control service is worth your peace of mind.

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