When the weather turns cold and winter comes, you probably figure you will need to worry less about insects of all kinds. In general, most insects prefer the warmer months and are most active in the spring, summer and early fall. So, it can come as a real surprise to come down into your kitchen during the dead of winter, turn on the lights, and see cockroaches scurrying around on the floor.
Even in the dead of winter insects can still find a way inside your home. Common overwintering pests include spiders, stink bugs, box elder bugs and, yes, cockroaches.
If you think you have a problem with cockroaches, contact your local Ehrlich Pest Control office for a solution to get rid of roaches and prevent them from returning.
Do cockroaches die in the winter?
It’s kind of strange to think about cockroaches being cold. The hardy insects have hard exoskeletons and don’t appear to have any kind of warm-blooded aspect to themselves at all. However, when it gets cold, cockroaches and other species of insect can hibernate during the winter months. The pests will wait in the warmth and they will awaken and go searching for food.
This is why, when the weather turns cold, insects like roaches, start looking for places where they can find warmth and over-winter. They wriggle into cracks in siding, screens, crawl underneath doorways and garage doors, or crawl through pipes, sewers or other means to get inside homes and buildings. They crawl into the walls and set up their nests and then start looking for food.
Cockroaches need food
Cockroaches in winter are most likely going to be found in the kitchen and pantry areas. This is because they are looking for food. Roaches are opportunistic eaters and omnivores. This means they will eat just about anything. Roaches are looking for food high in proteins and nutrients which will give them the energy they need to breed and produce offspring.
Roaches breed fast and they breed a lot. This means they are constantly going to search your home for food. However, the pests are also sneaky and seem to have a kind of instinctive understanding that stealth works in their favor. So, they hide under sinks, within cabinets and behind kitchen counters where they can easily sneak out at night, find any food left out on the counters on crumbs on the floor, and scurry back to their hidey-hole.
Warm house = cockroaches
So, the moment your heater kicks on and you turn your home into a climate resembling spring or summer, any cockroaches which have found their way inside the walls, or the kitchen, will think it is spring or summer and come out looking for food. This means your own heater is what causes them to come out of hibernation and start showing up around your home in the dead of winter.
Cockroach prevention is key
Early detection and prevention of cockroaches is key to preventing the winter roaches from emerging. You need to make your home as sealed and unattractive to cockroaches as possible. Any scrap of food is a possible attractant to a cockroach that has found its way inside your home.
It takes some work to seal off your home, but you can do the following:
- Seal up food on the counters – use Tupperware and plastic containers that lock up tight and keep roaches and other insects out.
- Put food in the fridge – if it needs to be kept cold, put it in the fridge and make sure the fridge is sealed up so insects cannot get inside. Don’t leave food out on the counter uncovered.
- Clean dishes and put them away – don’t stack the sink or the kitchen counter with dirty dishes. Just a few crumbs of food, ketchup or anything else left on the plate is enough to attract roaches.
- Clean counters and surfaces on which you put food – wipe down the counters around your kitchen. Keep it free from crumbs. Empty out the crumb tray for the toaster, too, and anything else where even the smallest scrap of food might lay.
- Wash the floors – if you have tiles in the kitchen, it can easily get dirty with things dropped while cooking. Mop floors and wipe them down with cleaners often and keep food off the floor.
- Put away dishes and stores pots properly – dishes and pots need to be stored in places where roaches cannot reach. If you store put upside down, roaches cannot get inside to the surfaces where you cook food. The same can be said of bowls and dishes.
- Take out the garbage – cockroaches are not picky about what they’ll eat. They will gladly devour food scraps or rotten food you’ve tossed into the garbage. Take out the garbage, put it in garbage cans or dumpsters as frequently as you can.
- Vacuum – make sure you vacuum up dirt and food particles that get caught in the carpets and on floors. Empty out the vacuum bags, too.
- Seal up the house – are there cracks in the foundation? Is there loose siding or some way for anything outside to access the spaces between the exterior and interior walls? Are there pipes or wires with spaces around them leading from inside to outside? Are there cracks in the foundation leading outside? Spaces beneath doors, holes in screen doors or space beneath the garage door? All of that should be repaired and sealed up.
- Plug up the drains – roaches are also known to get inside homes through bathtub drains. Use bathtub plugs to seal up those drains and prevent access to the bathroom and your home through that access point.
- Get rid of clutter – roaches will nest in piles of clothes or paper, too. If you start stacking up debris and clutter, cockroaches could find warmth and a place to nest there.
- Store pet food away – make sure pet food is sealed up tight in containers so roaches cannot access them.
This and keeping things clean in general should reduce the ability of cockroaches to get inside and then to come out and start looking for food and tracking bacteria across your food preparation surfaces during the winter.
Ehrlich stops winter cockroaches
The experts in cockroach control at Ehrlich know how to find all of the cracks and crevices roaches can use to get inside. They find the hiding places if you’ve seen them on your floors and they can provide the right, targeted, cockroach removal treatment to get rid of cockroaches. We also provide advice and counsel to prevent cockroaches from returning to infest your home.
Don’t be surprised by cockroaches this winter. Contact your local Ehrlich pest control office today!