What Attracts Cockroaches In Your House?

Learning to identify what attracts cockroaches in your house can help you to keep them out. Cockroaches are carriers of serious diseases such as polio, dysentery, and typhoid and transfer germs to humans by leaving saliva or droppings on food or kitchen utensils.

Roaches also spread several strains of bacteria, including staphylococcus and salmonella that can cause potentially fatal bouts of food poisoning. Needless to say, cockroaches spread som nasty diseases!

Like every other creature, they have basic requirements to help them live a comfortable life, but it’s important not to let them enjoy a luxurious lifestyle at the expense of your own family’s health.

What Attracts them In Your House

What Attracts Cockroaches in Your House?

1. Food

Cockroaches are omnivores and enjoy a varied diet feeding off anything they can find. They have distinct preferences for meat, starchy carbohydrates such as flour or bread, and sugary treats. However, they will also eat paper, decaying vegetable matter, and human debris like hair and tiny skin cells.

Cockroaches can survive up to four weeks without eating any type of food and if starvation levels are critical, they will even eat each other.

Regularly remove fallen crumbs and other debris by vacuuming, sweeping up, and mopping hard floors.

Cockroaches can easily chew through cardboard packaging, ensuring food is stored in containers that cannot easily be broken into. Ensure trash bins inside and outside your home are large enough to contain your regular supply of trash.

Secure lids will help to prevent enticing debris from spilling out.

When you consider what attracts cockroaches in your house, food is certainly the number 1 thing!

2. Water

Leaky taps that are hidden under sinks are especially attractive to cockroaches as they provide a water source that often goes undetected.

Cockroaches can survive without drinking any liquid for around three days. However, all they need to drink is at least one small drop of water each day.

Even if you have fixed any leaks, they are resourceful enough to obtain whatever they need from a damp washing-up sponge or the condensation that accumulates on surfaces in rooms with poor ventilation.

3. Shelter

Every creature looks for a cozy retreat, and the average home offers plenty of choices for cockroaches. They prefer undisturbed areas such as little-used cupboards packed with items to the cavernous spaces beneath fitted kitchen cabinets.

However, as they roam about your home, they can hide in almost any space, squeezing under kitchen appliances such as toasters, behind books, and crockery.

4. Warmth

Cockroaches are arthropods with a cold blood supply and prefer living in a warm environment. They don’t hibernate, but they do become less active during the winter unless they have found a cozy spot in your centrally-heated home.

If they feel warm, it doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside, and they will continue to live as if it was the summer.

5. Nesting Sites

Your home is probably littered with suitable nesting sites. What attracts cockroaches in your house are various places where they can nest!

Popular places include cozy corners behind refrigerators or cupboards. They like to build nests into compact mounds attached between stable items such as the corners of walls or items.

They use various materials, including discarded fibrous egg cases, general debris, or their own cast-off skins.

A roach nest site can often be detected by a greasy trail leading towards it.

Up to forty or fifty eggs are laid inside a tough, protective case called an ootheca. So you will want to find them pretty quickly.

6. Cracks and Gaps

To take up residence in your home, cockroaches first need to get in.

One of the most common ways is to squeeze through gaps in the brickwork.

An adult cockroach grows to approximately two inches in length, but its flattened shape allows it to crawl into the tiniest of gaps. And due to its flexible exoskeleton, a cockroach can flatten its body even further until it is only a quarter of its usual height and is barely thicker than a sheet of paper.

You should regularly check for tiny gaps around pipes, door jambs, and window sills.

However, egg cases or young cockroaches that are only about 0.25 inches long can easily be transferred in boxes, bags, or even on shoes and clothing that have been left in an area where they are living.

7. Undisturbed Environments

Cockroaches thrive in environments that are not disturbed too often.

Leaving furnished rooms or storage areas undisturbed indefinitely is an open invitation for cockroaches to invade your territory. They are mainly nocturnal, so you might not be aware of them for a long time.

However, if their numbers increase significantly, cockroaches will often be seen scurrying between feeding sites during daylight hours.

Frequently Asked Questions



It is often believed that cockroaches are only drawn to homes that are constantly dirty and unkempt. However, cockroaches can be found in the cleanest of houses. What attracts cockroaches in your house is a regular supply of food and water in a comfortable, warm environment.

Even neat, tidy cupboards can provide ideal nesting sites if they are rarely disturbed.

Regularly cleaning your home, recycling unwanted objects or clutter, and sealing any visible gaps that lead to the exterior can help to prevent cockroaches from gaining access to your house.

However, once they are in, these resourceful, adaptable creatures can run at around 3 mph! They will also have a lower center of gravity than you…

…so good luck!


About the author

DIY Pest Control Enthusiast Since 1996

After spending the entire night lying awake in a cockroach-infested hotel, I have driven myself to build knowledge on all things pest control. Since then, I've tested pest control techniques to see what works and what doesn't. Now, here I am giving you all the info I have learned!

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