Getting rid of roaches can be a long and expensive battle. Wouldn’t it be great if you take preemptive steps to make your home roach-free forever?
You bet it’d be.
So, in this guide, you’ll learn how to prevent cockroaches from entering your home.
You’ll learn seven steps that will make your home impenetrable for roaches and many other bugs.
This guide also reveals cheap home products that will help you stop roaches from sneaking inside your home.
Let’s dive in.
7 Steps To Prevent Cockroaches From Entering Your Home
- Seal gaps and cracks on your home’s walls, foundation, windows, and doors
- Fix leaking pipes to control moisture in your home
- Keep your kitchen and kitchen pantry clean
- Store your food in airtight jars
- Remove cardboard boxes and reduce clutter in your home
- Use smells that cockroaches hate
- Keep your yard clean
Let us explain each of them.
Seal Gaps And Cracks. They’re The Entry Points Of Roaches
Cockroaches enter homes from outdoors through the thinnest gaps and tiniest of holes.
Cracks and gaps on your home’s foundation, walls, windows, and doors are points of entry for roaches.
Roaches can’t eat through caulk made of silicone. So, seal them. Use a quality sealant, like a silicone-based sealant, to caulk these cracks.
If the walls, windows, and doors are damaged, and you can’t sell them, then repair them.
Remember, roaches can crawl through gaps that are lesser than their width. For example, the most common roach that invades homes, the American cockroach, stands 13 mm tall, and it can crawl through gaps of 3 mm!
Fix Leaking Pipes To Control Moisture In Your Home
Some species of roaches, like the American cockroach and Oriental cockroach, are moisture-seeking bugs.
These roaches love to hide and nest near sources of moisture. Places where there are water usages (like kitchen, bathroom, laundry room) are cockroaches’ go-to places to hide.
And leaking pipes in the plumbing areas underneath sinks and behind appliances increase the dampness in your home.
The dampness damages the walls around it. That leads to the development of cracks.
And these cracks become the prime real estate for roaches to hide and build their nests.
Do not forget to fix the clog drains of your home. Clog drains hold debris that roaches love to eat.
They nest there too. So, choked drains are also the sources of roaches inside your bathroom and kitchen.
Hence, fix any plumbing issues, like leaking pipes, faucets, and clogged drains inside your home.
That’ll reduce the dampness in your home. And it’ll make your home unattractive for roaches.
Keep Your Kitchen And Kitchen Pantry Clean
Bugs like ants and cockroaches that live and breed in a human dwelling depend on your kitchen for food.
And if your kitchen is dirty and poorly managed, then it’ll become a haven for roaches.
Roaches feed on the food crumbs, food waste in the kitchen trash bins, and food stains on kitchen countertops.
Plus, food droppings in the stove, oven, microwave, and dishwasher also attract roaches.
German roaches infest electrical appliances because the heat from them attracts these roaches. And they like to invade dry places more than damp places.
So, keep your kitchen clean to prevent roaches from entering your home.
Avoid used plates and utensils with food stains sitting on your kitchen sink overnight.
Unclean and unwashed plates in kitchen sinks draw roaches and ants.
The places where you store your food, like inside drawers, kitchen cabinets, and kitchen pantry, shouldn’t have any food spillovers.
Keeping kitchen and kitchen pantry clean will deny the food sources that roaches need to survive.
Using kitchen cleaners with lemon are a great way to keep roaches away. The citrus smell of lemon or lime is a roach repellent.
Store Your Food In Airtight Jars And Containers
Keeping your kitchen clean won’t add too much if you have poor food storage.
And poor food storage means that you keep you don’t keep your food in sturdy airtight jars and containers.
Roaches and pantry pests can easily chew through thin plastic jars and contaminate your stored food.
On top of it, poor lids on the food storage jars will cause the food to spill over, which will attract pests like ants.
And flour stored in weak and substandard airtight containers can an be easy target not only for roaches but also for flour bugs.
So, use airtight jars and containers to store your food. And do not let your stored food go stale.
The smell from stale stored food plays a significant role in attracting roaches and pests like ants in the kitchen.
Remove Cardboard Boxes And Reduce Clutter Inside Your Home
Do you know cardboard boxes in places like the attic, basement, storage room, garage, and even in your bedroom attract bugs like roaches and spiders?
Yes, they do.
Cardboard boxes, books, paper piles, and old magazines contain starch that roaches eat.
And these boxes can become the nesting places of roaches.
So, get rid of useless cardboard boxes inside your home. And reduce clutter.
Clutter provides roaches in your home the tight gaps and corners to hide during the day. Roaches are nocturnal, and they do most of their foraging activities at night.
If there are old books and magazines that you don’t need, throw them away.
The starch in the paper and glue on the book bindings attract roaches and bugs that eat books and papers.
Use Smells That Keep Roaches Away
Using smells that roaches hate is an underrated yet most effective way of preventing cockroaches from entering your home.
The most effective ones are peppermint and cinnamon. The strong smell from these repels roaches and many types of pests.
Use peppermint spray all over your home, especially in your kitchen.
And keep a few sticks of cinnamon in your food storage places like kitchen cabinets and pantry shelves.
There are other smells that roaches hate. For example, lavender and eucalyptus are proven elements that keep roaches away.
You can prepare sprays by adding 7-11 drops of lavender or eucalyptus essential oils in a bottle of water.
Stir the mixture well and pour it into a spray bottle. Then spray the mixture in your home.
The pungent smell of white vinegar also repels roaches. Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and water and use it as a spray.
Using sprays that prevent roaches from entering your home is effective even if you live in an apartment.
Keep Your Yard Clean
Your yard is the source of most of all sorts of bugs that invade homes. And that includes roaches.
To prevent roaches from entering your home, ensure no roaches in your yard.
And for that, your yard must be clean free from waterholes and organic wastes.
So, get rid of organic debris like foliage, rotting wood pieces, and expired mulch beds.
Also, ensure that there are no drainage issues in your yard. The rainwater is disposed of without clogging.
There shouldn’t be any water leakages in the piping system of your yard. Water leakages will make the yard damp which attracts bugs and roaches.
If there are any rotting tree stumps, get rid of them too. Tree stumps can be home to termites, ants, and wood roaches.
Store firewood properly so that they’re safe from rains.
Rotting pieces of firewood are a menace in your yard. They become the home not just for roaches but also for termites.
You can also use outdoor roach sprays all over your yard to prevent roaches from encroaching your yard.
If there’s a catch basin in your property, then ensure that it’s unclogged. The scum and wastes gather on these catch basins are food for roaches.
You’ll massively reduce the chances of roach infestation in your home if you clean your yard and seal the gaps and cracks on the walls facing the yard.
What Attracts Roaches In The House?
Two types of roaches creep into your home. The ones attracted to moisture and food wastes and the others are only attracted to food wastes.
Moisture draws big roaches like the American roaches. American roaches are the common reddish-brown roaches that invade homes.
Inside your home, the American roaches will hide in damp places. So, they hide in places like below the sinks and plumbing areas.
In contrast, German roaches, smaller than American roaches and tan, are more likely to hide in dry places like pantry shelves, kitchen cabinets, and even inside kitchen appliances.
German roaches will feed on the food crumbs on the kitchen floor and the food wastes in the kitchen trash bins.
On top of eating what the German roaches eat, American roaches feed on liquid sewer wastes in drains, book bindings, papers, and cosmetics.
They’re omnivores, and they can eat a variety of things.
Roaches enter homes for food and shelter. In this guide, you’ve learned how to deny them both.
This guide revealed the seven steps that will help you prevent roaches from entering your home.
And you don’t need any special skills or the knowledge of a pest controller to do the job.
These are easy and safe ways that will help you keep roaches away from your home and property.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.