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Where Do Roaches Come From? 7 Most Common Roach Routes

Where do roaches come from? And more importantly, how in the world did they find their way into your living quarters?

If you’re asking these not-so-fun questions, the chances are good you’ve got a roach infestation on your hands. And that sucks because there’s no way around it; cockroaches are gross.

They love to live in damp, dark, humid environments and will eat just about anything. And because they’re not too picky about where they live, cockroaches are a major vector of disease-causing pathogens.

The revulsion most people feel toward cockroaches is entirely justified, given the way they live their lives.

Where Do Roaches Come From?

With all this in mind, if you find a cockroach or three in your home, or you just want to prevent such a horrible event from ever occurring, you may be wondering where cockroaches come from in the first place.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s examine a few of the ways cockroaches can enter your home – and what you can do about it.

Roaches Come From…Water Pipes and Drains

Cockroaches thrive in areas of high humidity. Water pipes and drains provide an ideal habitat for cockroaches. Unfortunately, they also provide easy access to your home.

American cockroaches are the most likely culprit here. They often live in large numbers in sewers that connect to residential drains. If something disturbs them from their homes, such as sewer construction, they will look for somewhere else to go.

And that drain in your home could prove irresistible to them.

How to stop roaches from entering

Caulking is the best way to go here. Make sure that any drains in your basement or home are sealed. Obviously, you can’t seal the drain itself, but make sure to seal any gaps around the drainpipe.

Also, it definitely helps to keep plugs in sinks and bathtubs when not in use to prevent any cockroaches from crawling up the pipe and sneaking into your home.

Roaches Come From…Neighbors

If you keep a spotless home, it may seem monstrously unfair that you have to deal with a cockroach problem. After all, the number one thing you can do to keep yourself from dealing with these nasty little bugs is to maintain good hygiene and give them nothing to eat.

But if you share a wall with your neighbors, for instance in an apartment or a townhome, it may not matter how clean you are. If your neighbors have a cockroach problem, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes your problem.

Cockroaches, especially German cockroaches, travel easily from one unit to another. They will travel along water pipes, electrical conduits, or heating pipes.

How to stop roaches from entering

If you live in an apartment or townhome and have a persistent cockroach problem, talk to your property manager. It’s possible that they already know of the problems in other units that are causing yours and can call in professional help.

In the meantime, use silicone caulk to seal up gaps and cracks around any pipes that enter your unit to keep the cockroaches out.

Another great solution is to create barriers around the perimeter of your property – such as along baseboards and across entrances – with diatomaceous earth so that any roaches that crawl across will soon die.

Roaches Come From…Grocery Bags

You’d be surprised – and probably horrified – to know how many grocery stores have cockroach problems. The smallest species of cockroach, such as the German cockroach, can easily stow away in anything you bring home from the grocery store.

It doesn’t even need to be food. Reusable grocery bags and cardboard boxes can easily hide a cockroach or two. And it only takes one pregnant female to start an infestation.

How to stop roaches from entering

Carefully check your grocery bags, and be very wary of corrugated cardboard boxes. Get rid of these immediately to ensure no cockroaches enter your home.

Roaches Come From…Work and School

Do you have a cockroach problem at work? It may be more likely than you think. If you work in a food factory, a bakery, a restaurant, or a bar, chances are good that there are cockroaches at your workplace.

But even if you work in an office, it’s possible that the place has roaches. Especially if it shares a building with an establishment that prepares food.

How to stop roaches from entering

Carefully check anything that travels from the workplace to the home with you to make sure no cockroaches have stowed away. And don’t forget about school.

Schools have kitchens, and where there are kitchens, there’s the possibility of cockroaches. Keep a close eye on the kid’s lunch containers and bookbags.

Roaches Come From…Dry Pet Food

Cockroaches are anything but picky eaters. They will consume anything organic and happily feed on dry pet food.

How to stop roaches from entering

Whenever you open a new bag of kibble, take a careful look inside to make sure no pests are hiding within it. Pet stores can often have a cockroach problem which they may unintentionally pass on to you.

Roaches Come From…Cracks in Foundations

German cockroaches are the species that most commonly infest homes, and they don’t live outside. But if you think living in a detached house will keep you safe from cockroach invasion, think again.

Depending on the climate where you live, there are species of cockroach that can live outdoors. And these species can enter the home from outside in much the same way that other pests do.

In warm climates, American cockroaches and Oriental cockroaches can survive outdoors. From there, they can enter homes via cracks in the concrete foundation.

Although these are relatively large bugs, they are good at squeezing through tight spaces. And American cockroaches can even fly, although they are not very good at it.

This can give them access to all kinds of entrance points to your home. So how do you keep them out?

How to stop roaches from entering

Take a good look around the outside of your house with that trusty silicone caulk in your hand. Seal up any gaps and cracks that you find.

Not only will this keep certain species of cockroach out of your home, but it will also restrict entry for other pests, such as ants and mice.

Roaches Come From…Under Doors

Sometimes, the simplest answer is the correct one. If you live in a climate that’s warm enough for cockroaches to live outside, it’s possible that they are simply walking in through the front door.

And they don’t even knock.

How to stop roaches from entering

Check the gap between the bottom of your front door and the threshold. If you can see daylight, you’ve got a problem. Remember that cockroaches can squeeze through gaps that are only one-quarter of their height.

Bearing in mind that roaches aren’t all that tall to begin with, you’ll want to seal any gap bigger than about 1/8 of an inch.

Door guards are an easy way to block entrance to cockroaches and other pests via the doors of your home.

Keeping cockroaches out of your home isn’t an easy task. These secretive insects are very good at hiding and very willing to exploit any opening they can find which will give them access to the groceries you paid for.

But with some care and diligence, you can make your home a cockroach-proof fortress. Just make sure to check every item on this list. Because even one cockroach in your home is way too many.

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