What to Do When You Have Cockroaches at Home

Posted by Remedy on

Cockroaches have been around since dinosaurs for a reason! Did you know that they can live almost a month without food? They can even live up to one week without their head.

While there are numerous types of cockroach species around the globe, you might wonder what to do when you find them in your home. Do you need to contact pest control, or can you do it yourself to save time and money?

While you might think it's nearly impossible to take care of cockroaches at home, there's hope! Read this guide on what to do when you have cockroaches today.

Identifying the Type of Cockroaches at Home

Another name for the cockroach is the water bug. Even though its name is the American cockroach, it comes from Africa originally.

Today, there are more than 4,000 cockroach species worldwide. While some won't go into your home, others will infest.

Brown-Banded Cockroaches

You might find brown-banded cockroaches in your home. They love warm and dry areas. These cockroaches are commonly found in electronics or inside walls.

The brown-banded cockroach can fly and hates the water. It'll avoid damp or moist locations. You can identify them by their dark brown body that's about 0.5" in length. Both females and males have light yellow bands on their abdomens and wings.

German Cockroaches

German cockroaches are one of the most common species in the U.S. They reproduce quickly, so you'll want to identify them fast.

German cockroaches carry their egg pouches with them until they're ready to hatch. Their wings lie folded flat on their backs, and they have long hind legs and antennae.

Most cockroaches are either brown or black in color. German cockroaches tend to be a lighter brown with two dark parallel stripes that run down their body from the head to their wings.

American Cockroaches

The American cockroach is the largest type of house-infesting roach. American cockroaches are reddish brown or dark in color. They could have yellow or light brown areas behind the head.

Cockroaches have antennas that are the same length as their body. Although they have wings, they rarely fly. Males' wings are longer than females'.

They're about 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. American cockroaches have a flat or oval shape. This species has about six legs.

They can be found indoors in:

  • Attics
  • Trash cans
  • Basements
  • Sump pumps
  • Bathtubs
  • Walls
  • Floor drains
  • Crawl spaces
  • and other locations

They can be found outdoors in:

  • Wood piles
  • Attics
  • Mulch
  • Trees
  • Under roof shingles

Do Cockroaches Bite?

They can, but rarely do. It shouldn't be a problem if you notice a bite unless it's infected. If you see an infection, contact your doctor immediately.

How Cockroaches Enter Homes

Holes in vents or pipes are common reasons. Check your vents and pipes for any holes that cockroaches could get into.

Look for gaps and cracks in your home's doors and windows. One of the most common reasons is windows and doors that don't close all the way. Cockroaches could hide in used items and won't come out until they're inside your home.

They could also enter through bags and boxes. Some species might hide in luggage, furniture, cardboard boxes, or grocery bags. You could bring an egg casing home inside of a bag without knowing.

Inspect containers before bringing them inside your home. Check food for roaches before storing it away.

Keep grocery bags outside to eliminate pests inside the home. You could also consider using recyclable bags to reduce the risk of cockroaches entering your home.

Cockroach Causes

They're often in kitchen cabinets, basements, or attics. Newspapers and magazines can provide shelter to these pests, along with clothing.

Water and food that's easily accessible can attract them. Bought furniture might have cockroaches inside as well.

Signs You Have a Cockroach Infestation

The first clear sign of an infestation is seeing live or dead cockroaches. Cockroaches are nocturnal, so it's common to see them in the evening.

They might be low on resources or overcrowded if you see them out during the day. Check your home for cockroach droppings.

Cockroach Droppings

Cockroach droppings are normally oval or dark pellets similar to pepper or coffee grounds. Check to see if there's a pungent odor.

Even if there's one cockroach, it'll give off an unpleasant scent. Dead cockroaches produce oleic acid, and their droppings produce pheromones.

Cockroach Eggs

Look for dark and elongated capsules around your home. You might have an infestation if you see this.

One ootheca could hatch up to 30 nymphs. Their look can vary depending on the species of cockroach you have. Cockroach eggs will often be glued on hard-to-reach areas.

Where to Check for an Infestation?

If you think there might be cockroaches, check the basement, kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. Cockroaches can enter through holes in the wall, leaky pipes, or cracks in the foundation.

Showers, bathtubs, drains, and pipes could also have cockroaches. Check that there aren't piles of wet towels and that leaks are fixed.

Look under your washer, dryer, towels, and stack of clothes. In the kitchen, look under the refrigerator and stove.

You'll also want to open cabinets and cupboards. Look under the sink for leaks that could attract them.

Where Common Species Like to Hide

American cockroaches like to hide in bakeries, grocery stores, and restaurants. They prefer warm and moist areas, often where food is located.

They can also be found in sewer systems, floor drains, near water heaters, pipes, basements, and boiler rooms. If repairs are done on a sewage system, it could let cockroaches enter.

Brown-Banded Cockroaches

Brown-banded cockroaches prefer warmer climates than German cockroaches. They'll often live in elevated or high areas.

You can find them at eye level or higher. Check closet shelves, pantries, books, behind pictures, kitchen chairs and tables, and shower stalls.

Check televisions, electric clocks, timers, refrigerator motors, and other heat-producing areas. You might find their egg casings glued to the kitchen sink, furniture, textured ceilings, or walls.

German Cockroaches

They're the most common indoors! German cockroaches are most common in multifamily residences.

They prefer humid, warm, and dark locations near food and water. Their preferred temperature range is between 70-75 F. German cockroaches can hide in crevices and cracks in cabinets, in storage areas, or near sinks or appliances.

What to Do After You Find Cockroaches at Home

First, you'll want to do everything necessary to prevent the problem from spreading. You'll want to order do-it-yourself pest control services right away.

Check the house for any holes and cracks. These could be in the pipes, garage, garbage, windows, etc. Seal and caulk any foundational issues to ensure there aren't leaky or broken pipes.

Why Would a Clean House Have Cockroaches?

Even clean homes could have cockroaches, although a dirty home attracts them more often. They could come in through a food source, a leaky pipe, or even wood or cardboard. They can carry pathogens from where they were previously.

What to Expect in Do-it-Yourself Services

First, you'll enter your zip code. This helps to identify the best product type for your area.

Next, you'll input your home's square footage and number of floors. This offers a customized solution to decide how much product to apply.

You'll choose the plan that works for your budget and choose how often to pay. You'll then review and check out. This service includes cockroach infestations.

Where Should I Spray, and How Much?

Always read the label instructions and warning before you begin. Keep animals and plants away from the product before use.

Common areas include entryways, cracks, and crevices. Patios and sidewalks are common places as well.

You might also need to place a coating around the home's foundation at the home's exterior. It's a good idea to wear gloves, a dust mask, and eye protection.


  • Spraying where pollinators or bees will land
  • On flowering plants
  • Where there's standing water
  • Near or in drains
  • Within 15 feet of water features such as ponds that contain fish

How to Prevent Future Infestations

Once treatment occurs, you want to avoid future problems. First, remove anything that could attract roaches.

Clean Spills Immediately

Clean any spills or crumbs when they occur. Sweep and mop the floors regularly. That includes around and under appliances.

Put away and wash all dirty dishes immediately. Try to avoid standing water whenever possible. Never leave the garbage inside overnight.

It's best to take it out before bed. Keep all food in airtight plastic or glass containers.

Avoid Having Perishables Out

Avoid leaving fruit and vegetables on the counter. Have perishables in the fridge.

Keep all kitchen appliances clean. That includes cooking appliances, the dishwasher, and the stovetop. Wipe tables and counters after cooking each evening.

Consider using a few drops of lemon oil in your cleaning water. Citrus will keep cockroaches away. Remove all clutter in the kitchen and other spaces of the home.

Fix Water Leakage

Cockroaches are common in humid and moist environments. If you have a leaking water pipe, that could attract them.

They need water and moisture to survive. Fix all pipes immediately to prevent them from happening again.

Why Get Rid of Cockroaches?

Cockroaches are filthy pests and could cause respiratory diseases. They could cause asthma, especially in young children.

Allergy outbreaks are common due to their droppings or saliva. Bacterial infections could occur, including E. coli, Streptococcus, and Salmonella. These infections could lead to food poisoning, dysentery, or diarrhea.

How Long Will Treatment Last?

Treatment lasts for about a few months! For severe infestations, the treatment might take longer to clear up. It could take up to 10 days for it to take full effect.

Further Tips for Prevention

Discard all empty boxes. They're a breeding ground for cockroaches.

Have seal openings and window screens to keep cockroaches outside. Use screens or seals for large openings around sewer vents or drainage lines.

Have a tightly fitting lid and a sturdy container for garbage. Don't allow children to eat outside of the kitchen.

They could drop food particles which later attract cockroaches. Clean all food remains from the desk, table, and kitchen counters immediately.

Rinse and remove bottles, cans, and plastic containers. Any remains could attract cockroaches. Ensure the containers are clean and empty, whether in recycling or the garbage.

Even if you do everything necessary, cockroaches might still enter. It's vital to use a do-it-yourself treatment plan before they become worse.

The Next Steps for Cockroaches at Home

After reading this guide on the next steps for cockroaches at home, you should have a better idea of what to expect. Take your time identifying the pest and the next steps.

No matter what pest you're experiencing, stopping the infestation before it worsens is imperative. Save time and money by doing it yourself!

We've been in pest control for many years and offer you the most effective treatment. Just provide your zip code along with a few more details and we'll curate a custom monthly plan for your needs and location.

It's so simple you'll wonder why you paid for pest control services in the past! Do-it-yourself pest control could last for months, and if you have any questions, we're here to help. We'll take your location and specific needs into account.

Sign up today to get started! For your convenience, our products are pet and child-friendly. You can pay monthly or up to one year for coverage. No matter how you choose to pay, your satisfaction is guaranteed.


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