Roaches are one of the more common pests that plague the average household. One minute you’re totally relaxed, watching television — and the next, you’re screaming for your life running out of the room while the little creature of terror flies maniacally behind you.
But where did it come from? Well, there are many ways a roach could have entered your dwelling space. You could have unknowingly brought one in that hitched a ride in your grocery bag,or they were hiding out in a cardboard box that was delivered to your door. More likely is that they were just outside and shimmied through the gaps on your doors and windows (they can squeeze through spaces as little as one-sixteenth of an inch). They can even come through your pipes (they can hold their breath for 40 minutes).
Like many pests, they like places that are warm, have moisture, are dark, and have readily available food sources – all of which your home offers.
There’s a stigma that roaches are only found in dirty homes, however this is not true. Roaches don’t discriminate when it comes to setting up house, but they do enjoy places where there is more food available – that means, trash not properly disposed, dishes left in the sink, food items not properly stored – these all contribute to roaches staying longer, and the longer they stay means the more babies they’ll give birth to in the sanctuary that is your house.
That said, even clean houses can have a roaches living in it. Roaches need very little to survive. They can survive a month without food, and a week without water, and are happy enough with the warmth that your house provides.
If your house or apartment isn’t newly built, then chances are they’ve always been there. They’re very nocturnal creatures, so unless you’re regularly awake during the night, you might not even know they’re there.
Once inside your home, they’re hard to find unless they come out from wherever it is they’re hiding. They will hide inside walls and under sinks, especially in a room that isn’t often used. They like basements and attics, and have no problem traveling from one room to the next to get to their food.
To help safeguard against roaches living with you, make sure you always check your grocery bags every time you bring one home. If you have something delivered, check the box – it’s not that uncommon to find small roaches have taken up space in there. And since empty boxes are a favorite breeding ground for cockroaches, make sure you properly dispose of them right away.
Caulk or seal gaps along your walls and doors, especially cracks between walls and pipes. You may also want to use drain covers for sinks that are pest-proof, that is, with holes small enough that roaches won’t be able to squeeze through, and invest in nets or mesh for windows and outside vents.
Properly disposing trash, regularly washing your dishes, and properly storing your food also go a long way to make your house more inhospitable for roaches.
And if you have more roaches than you care to deal with, having a professional come take a look is just a phone call away.