Home » What Causes Roaches? 7 Common Causes of Cockroaches in Homes

What Causes Roaches? 7 Common Causes of Cockroaches in Homes

What causes roaches to wander into your home? If that question is keeping you up at night, we get it. There are few things as traumatizing as suddenly finding your kitchen floor pulsating with life by way of cockroach.

It’s a horrible sight for the best of us, and a chronic nightmare for some others – but it can also come with some deeply unhygienic complications.

Interestingly, roaches themselves are fairly ‘clean’; it’s their near constant routine of washing their bodies that actually allows some traditional poisons to be so effective (in essence, the chemicals can stick to their bodies, which is later ingested when they lick themselves clean).

It’s the stuff they walk through and subsequently traipse through our homes that can truly cause problems: disease, allergic reactions, bacterial growth… you get the picture. And it’s not one you want to deal with.

What Causes Roaches?

Obviously, the easiest way to deal with cockroaches is to not have them at all. Ready to find out what causes roaches so you can avoid getting them in the first place?

Food…or something like it

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how to prevent silverfish

One of the most common causes of roaches is exposed food. Cockroaches aren’t fussy – it doesn’t matter what type of food you have lying out on your kitchen counters, even something common like fruit; they’ll eat it.

Obviously, the first defense is to keep all of your perishables and foodstuffs locked and sealed away, but it’s worth considering that a roach’s diet isn’t the same as ours. Some species of roach are even attracted by cardboard, books, paper and some woods.

So you’ll also want to clean up the clutter.

Damp, dark and private spaces

Even if you manage to keep your food at feeler’s length from any nearby cockroaches; the typical beastie can survive around a month without having a meal.

In this interim, they tend to be attracted to any dingy, dark and wet places around the home – hence their attraction to garbage bin areas, garages, basements and some areas of your kitchen.

It doesn’t have to be a combination of the three, though, many homeowners report cockroaches living in storage boxes and cluttered shelves; basically anywhere private and away from the dangers of other predators… like us.

Exposed trash

what causes roaches

Much the same as leaving any kind of foodstuffs out in the open; roaches will be drawn to your exposed trash like a magnet. Food scraps, garbage liquid, cardboard, dark, quiet – it’s the perfect place for a roach infestation.

A messy, dirty home with food scraps littered over the countertops and trash piling up is like heaven for these roaches – they’ll be able to feast to their heart’s content and have plenty of warm nooks and crannies to live in amongst all the rubbish lying around.

Always take out your rubbish before the smell begins to permeate, and make sure to keep any bin areas as clean as possible to clear away any tempting morsels of food or garbage.


Water is another huge cause of, and attraction for, roaches in the home. This can be anything from leaking pipes/drains (especially pipes which are hidden away in darker cupboards or under sinks) to simple things like pets’ water bowls being left out, or even small puddles of water collecting around sinks and doorways.

Roaches absolutely need water and they can only live a week or two without it. So a house without readily accessible water is a house that roaches won’t choose to settle down in.

Keep your home as dry as you can – as little as a few drops can be enough to satiate a cockroach’s thirst!

Nooks and crannies

Roaches love to find their way into your home through tiny cracks and gaps around the house. Much like other types of vermin, they can squeeze through spaces which are much, much smaller than their actual body size – German roaches can fit into cracks as thin as a dime!

Gaps in pipe work, under doors, in skirting boards, tiles, and walls are all perfect habitats for them to leave their waste, reproduce and travel back and forth from other locations.

But that’s not all – roaches don’t just use these tiny cracks and gaps to travel into your home, they actually like to live in them.

Roaches are thigmotropic, which means they like to feel something solid touching their bodies, preferably on all sides. As such, they’ll seek out little cracks and crevices that offer them the comfort of a tight fit – these tiny nooks and crannies are like the roach equivalent of a luxuriously plush mattress.

A home with plenty of gaps and spaces in the baseboards, walls, between the counters, and so on is like a 5-star hotel for roaches so seal up as many of these potential roach homes as possible!


If your house is constantly attacked by weeds in the garden, or main pathways next to doors; then this could provide yet another attractive point for those nomadic roaches in the neighbourhood.

This goes double for anything like natural mulch or festering vegetation (think about where your mown grass is stored prior to garbage collection, for example). Keeping a tidy and clean garden, as well as clearing around doors, windows and pathways can be key steps in defending against that cockroach threat.

Stuff you bring into your home

Lucky for you, roaches aren’t like bed bugs and don’t typically hitch a ride home on things like furniture or clothes.

But they do like living in cardboard boxes, appliances and electronics. People have unwittingly brought home roach infestations in cardboard boxes, used microwaves and toasters, and even computers and gaming consoles.

Roaches love the heated, quiet and dark spaces appliances and electronics provide so be very careful about bringing used items into your home, especially if it’s coming from a roach infested home.

If it’s an item you absolutely need, prevent bringing roaches into your home by first quarantining the item in a sealed plastic bag along with Nuvan Strips and leaving it for a week.

Other roaches

One of the biggest attractions for roaches will be the presence of its peers. Where you see one roach, there’s usually more to come; it’ll invite its friends, and rampant breeding can soon take over (and don’t underestimate how quickly these little guys reproduce).

Obviously, the key is to never let a single roach set up shop in the first place, which means going down the avenue of preventative measures – here’s to how keep roaches away from your home for good!

1 thought on “What Causes Roaches? 7 Common Causes of Cockroaches in Homes”

  1. Thank you for this informative article. I would like to add some other common causes about this:
    -Crawling inside through small holes and cracks in the building.
    -Finding openings around doors and windows.
    -Moving from one apartment to another through pipes and other holes in shared walls.


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