What Happens To Cockroaches During Winter?

Extreme close up of the face of a cockroach against a dark background.

Cockroaches: Where do they go in winter?

You wake up one winter night for a midnight snack and flick on the light and see a cockroach scurry under the stove. If you were wondering where cockroaches go in winter, you just found your answer. Cooler temperatures may mean less outdoor activity for certain insects, but many cockroaches are happy to make your home their winter refuge.

Why are there cockroaches in my house?

Roaches come into your house in winter for three things: food, water, and shelter. Cockroaches can’t regulate their body temperatures, so they tend to head indoors as temperatures drop. The food sources inside your home are abundant, since the nasty little buggers eat pretty much anything. They are like the goats of the insect world. They will eat the glue of bookbindings but love it when you leave pizza out overnight. Like any living creature, roaches need water, and your home is dripping with opportunities for thirsty insects. 

A roach will head indoors in the winter whether your house is sparkling clean or frathouse-level-sticky. Keeping things clean can be a deterrent, however. Leaving food and dirty dishes in the sink overnight or for days on end is an irresistible attraction. Abundant food and water sources provide ideal breeding conditions. Proper food storage and clean counters make for fewer cockroach munchies, but don’t forget about your pet’s food. Rover’s dish may not be tempting to you, but that film on the inside of his bowl and open water is a feast for roaches.

What kind of cockroach is the worst?

There’s no such thing as a good cockroach, but if we had to rate one as the worst, hands down, it’s the German cockroach. 

The most common type found in American homes, they breed more rapidly than other species and, to make matters worse, are resistant to some insecticides. As a result, getting rid of them requires a hardcore approach and multiple types of bait on rotation. 

German cockroaches are smaller than other breeds and have two dark stripes running down the backs of their heads. They live almost entirely indoors and tend to stay close to water sources, which is why they are typically in kitchens and bathrooms. 

The infamous giant cockroaches of Texas

The American cockroach is the largest home-infesting roach in the United States. The average size is about one and a half inches, though it can grow up to two inches long. Unfortunately, as many Texas residents can attest, the adults of this species can fly. They are attracted to light and may land on unsuspecting humans entering the house at night. The American cockroach is just as likely to live outdoors but will head inside when temperatures drop to set up shop for the winter. 

Like other cockroaches, warmth and the abundance of food and water are the equivalents of laying out the welcome mat. While they don’t breed as rapidly as the German cockroach, it doesn’t take long for the situation to get out of control. If you see one cockroach, there are always more hiding out of sight. 

How to keep roaches out of your home in winter

No matter what you do, cockroaches will still try to come inside for warmth and food when it gets cold outside, but you can make your home less appealing to them so they won’t get comfortable. 

Thoroughly clean your home as often as possible, leaving no food crumbs, leftovers, or messes on the floor and counters. Remember to clean under your appliances periodically, as these are common places food builds up. Those toaster crumbs offer plenty of opportunities for cockroaches to feast.

Everyone knows roaches love food, but as mentioned earlier, they also love water sources in your home. While the bathroom and kitchen are obvious sources, any leaking water is an attraction. If your air conditioner unit has a drip or your home has any leaking pipes or valves, repair them immediately.

The best way to keep roaches out of your home in winter is to make sure they can’t get inside. Check the seals around your windows and doors to minimize entry points. Cockroaches can fit through almost completely flat gaps, but you can reduce the number of openings available.

The professionals at 855Bugs can help you keep cockroaches at bay any time of year. We’ll help you identify and seal up entry points or deal with active infestations if present. Don’t let these or other pests inside your home this winter. Contact us for a free inspection today.

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