Are you shocked by the sudden appearance of cockroaches in your yard? If yes, then this guide is all you need.
In this guide, you’ll find out the five reasons for roaches in yard at night.
Roaches outside your home, on places like mulch beds, grass lawns, and patio deck at night is a clear sign of roach infestation in your yard or garden.
So, you’ll also learn how to get rid of roaches in your yard.
Removing the roaches in your yard or garden will certainly rescue your home from a possible massive cockroach infestation waiting to happen.
Why Do I Have Roaches In The Yard At Night – 5 Reasons
- Organic wastes in your yard
- Dampness in your yard
- Loosely covered catch basins
- Roaches spillover from the neighbors
- Cockroaches are nocturnal
These five reasons all play a significant role that increases the roach infestation in your yard gradually.
Roaches outside your house in your yard or lawn isn’t an occurrence that happens overnight.
There are factors responsible for drawing them to your home and property.
You notice roaches crawling in places like your patio deck, on your outdoor furniture, and on your grass lawn only when their numbers increase.
In other words, when the cockroach infestation outdoors gets worse.
Let’s take a deep dive into each of these reasons and find out why they cause roach infestation in your yard.
Organic Wastes In Your Yard
Let’s face it. Your yard isn’t always free from decaying organic garbage.
There’s rotting firewood, foliage, decaying mulch beds, and even trash bins with food wastes.
All these things are a magnet for bugs, including roaches.
Roaches will hide in these places and feed on the food and organic wastes in your yard’s.
Some species of outdoor roaches, like the wood roaches, feed on rotting pieces of wood. These decaying wood blocks are easily available to them in the firewood piles or in the mulch beds.
On top of that, cockroaches are scavengers. They can eat all organic matter, including their dead.
So, a dirty yard is always an ideal place for roaches to live and breed, especially when there’s another factor involved.
It’s high levels of dampness.
Dampness In Your Yard
Most species of roaches are moisture bugs. It means that, along with wastes and filth, moisture is an essential life force that roaches need to remain alive.
That’s why roaches inside homes hide in places like bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and basement where there’s high usage of water.
Overwatering, blocked drains and pipes, and stagnant water in your yard increases the yards dampness levels.
And if there’s high dampness in your yard, and organic wastes, roaches will invade your yard.
High moisture levels will damage the walls and furniture of your yard. Cracks will develop because of excessive moisture.
These crevices become the hiding places for bugs like roaches and ants.
Also, excessive dampness causes the organic matters to decay. These rotting organic matter emit a stench which attract roaches.
Loosely Covered Catch Basins In Your Yard
There are many old houses and properties that have catch basins.
Organic wastes slip through the loosely covered catch basins ending up in clogging them.
As catch basins are a junction for lot of drainpipes disposing dirty water from homes, the water gets stuck, and the wastes start to rot.
Those rotting organic wastes become a breeding ground for roaches, mosquitoes, and flies.
These catch basins become a primary hiding place for roaches like American roaches, oriental roaches, and palmetto bugs.
These species of roaches nest and breed near damp wastes. They also feed on the damp filth.
Roaches Spillover From The Neighbors
If your neighbor has roaches, or the neighborhood where you live has a roach problem, then it’s only a matter of times that roaches will invade your home and property.
Cockroaches breed fast. If left unchecked, their numbers shoot up in a matter days.
And when they run out of hiding places and food sources, roaches look out for new sources of food and shelter.
That’s the time when they lookout for new places to infest.
If homes nearby your home has a severe roach infestation then cockroaches will move to your yard.
Cockroaches Are Nocturnal
And the final reason for seeing roaches outdoors at night is that cockroaches are nocturnal creatures.
During the day they hide in the most tightest of gaps and corners.
Cockroaches undertake their scavenging activities when it’s dark.
Many folks believe that cockroaches are attracted to light. That’s why they see cockroaches crawling on their patio underneath the patio lights.
Well, cockroaches are not attracted to light. If they were, they wouldn’t have been hiding in the darkest of nooks and corners.
Cockroach activity peaks at night. And if there are all the conditions that draw roaches to yard and homes, you’ll notice cockroaches at night.
Is It Normal To See Cockroaches Outside Your House?
No it’s not. A garbage-free and bug-free yard and outdoors will not have roaches.
Properly maintained yards, gardens, outdoors, and lawns don’t attract roaches and bugs.
There needs to be measures that must be put up to deter these critters from infesting your yard and home.
You’ll find out how to do that in a minute. For now, let’s look at the type of roaches that invade yards.
Types Of Roaches That Live In The Yard
Truth be told, any types of roaches can live in your yard. There can be American roaches, German roaches, and Oriental roaches in your yard.
(Unlike most roach species, German roaches prefer to hide in dry places.)
But there two types of roaches that very specific to outdoor environments. And those are wood cockroaches and Asian cockroaches.
However, both the wood roaches and Asian roaches are outdoor roaches. Both prefer to live in your yard than indoors.
But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t invade your home. When the weather outdoors becomes too wet or dry, both of these roaches can invade homes too.
Wood roaches and Asian roaches breed very fast. Unless you get rid of them, their numbers skyrocket.
So, when their numbers increase, these roaches will seek new places to hide and new food sources. And that’s when these roaches can infest your home.
Wood roaches hide in the piles of wood, in tree barks, and underneath mulch layers. They can also take refuge in the foliage and blocked gutters of your roof.
Wood roaches primarily feed on the decaying wood and foliage. So, these places provide them both food and places to hide.
In contrast, lawn roaches prefer to hide in grasses. Tall grasses and overgrown bushes and lush green lawns are ideal hiding places for these roaches.
In fact, tall grasses can provide shelter to many bugs. These bugs in grasses can become problematic as many of them bite humans.
The dampness around these lush green vegetation also makes it perfect for the lawn roaches to take shelter.
Lawn roaches or grass roaches will eat the grass, especially decaying grass and foliage as it’s easy for the roaches to digest them.
At night both lawn roaches and wood roaches will come out of their hiding places to foraging for food.
But just like other home invading roaches, lawn roaches can also feed on decaying human food and on the garbage in the trash bins.
Sightings of roaches in yard at night is common in summer months.
During summer, the weather becomes dry and it reduces the overall dampness levels in the yard.
So, these roaches forage for new food sources and hiding places. And they’ll crawl onto places like your porch, lawn, and flower pots looking for both.
How To Get Rid Of Roaches In The Yard?
You can get rid of roaches in your yard, garden, and grass lawns in seven easy steps –
- Eliminate cockroaches’ hiding places by removing all the wastes in your yard
- Control and reduce the dampness in your yard
- Seal all the gaps and cracks on the walls surrounding the yard
- Use a cockroach spray or desiccant roach killers like diatomaceous earth or insecticide dust
- Keep roach baits
- Scatter insecticide granules along the perimeter of your home
- Dispose off the dead roaches
- Repeat the above steps as follow-up treatments
Let’s get into each of these steps in detail.
Eliminate Cockroaches’ Hiding Places By Removing All The Wastes In The Yard
A clean yard is what the roaches hate. A clean yard denies the roaches their hiding and breeding places.
So, before even you use any insecticide sprays, thoroughly clean your yard.
Ensure that there’s no decaying organic matter, like rotting pieces of wood and leaves, in your yard. These are hiding places, nesting grounds, and even food for the roaches.
Wood roaches and Asian roaches, both hide under mulch beds and stones. It’s because of these places are moist and dark underneath.
So, if the mulch bed in your yard is old or have started to rot, change it with a hardwood mulch.
Hardwood mulch wood chips lacks moisture and they’re good in repelling bugs, including termites.
Trim any overgrown bushes near your home’s perimeter wall. Roaches can use these bushes to sneak inside your home.
Plus, never ever leave any trash bin full of garbage in your yard.
Trash bins with food wastes and organic wastes attract roaches. Why? It’s because they feed on the trash in the bins.
On top of it, trash bins with garbage will attract mosquitoes and flies, which will lead to maggots.
So, it’d be best if you dispose of the waste in the trash bins daily. If it has been lying around dirty for ages, then after disposing the trash, clean it with a disinfectant.
Control And Reduce Dampness In Your Yard
Do not overwater your yard. And fix any water leakages.
Both will reduce the dampness of your yard.
Overwatering and water leakages keep your yard damp, which is what the cockroaches want.
A damp yard with full of organic waste is a haven for roaches and many other invasive bugs.
Also, keep the drains in your yard clean. If there’s a catch basin in your property, keep it clean.
Clogged drains and catch basin are breeding and hiding places of not only roaches, but also for bugs like mosquitoes and drain flies.
Seal Gaps And Cracks On The Walls Surrounding The Yard
Sealing the cracks and crevices on the walls of your home’s foundation, perimeter walls, and in the storage places of your yard is essential.
In these gaps and cracks, roaches hide and make their nests.
Sealing them will rob them of these hiding places. It’ll also ensure that there are no hiding places left for other bugs.
Check where you keep firewood. If there are any cracks and crevices on the platform where you keep firewood, seal them.
These cracks are the preferred hiding place of outdoor roaches.
Using a silicone-based sealant to do the sealing is always better than using a standard seal. Silicone-based sealants are robust. And the sealants last for decades.
The best part? Roaches and bugs can’t chew through them.
Use Cockroach Killer Spray, Diatomaceous Earth, Or Insecticide Dust
Now that you’ve did the basic work, it’s time to go on the offensive against these roaches in your yard.
There are quite a few ways to do it.
One of them using a roach spray. Begin with spraying in places where cockroaches can hide before you can spray on the entire yard.
So, mulch beds and wood piles are your first choices.
Then use the spray on places like window sills, doorways, and crawl spaces.
These are the places from where roaches can sneak inside.
(Read the instructions carefully before using the roach spray. Insecticides are harmful to children and pets, so keep insecticides away from them)
Alternatively, you can make a home-made spray to eliminate roaches. This spray works against roaches both indoors and outdoors.
Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and water and shake it well. You can mix half a gallon of both.
But if your yard is big, you can make a larger amount of this mixture.
To add more punch to it, add a few drops of dish soap in the mixture.
Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on your yard. Ensure that you cover the whole yard, and you don’t miss any corners and tight spaces.
Diatomaceous earth, or insecticide dusts are also good alternative to sprays. All you need to do is scatter them on your yard and let them do their work.
Diatomaceous earth is dehydrator. It penetrates the exoskeleton of the roaches.
Once inside the roaches’ bodies, diatomaceous earth will soak the moisture inside their bodies.
The result? The roaches get dehydrated, the exoskeleton breaks, and the roaches die.
But DE isn’t an instant roach killer. It takes it’s time to work.
Keep Roach Baits In Your Yard
Despite following all the steps, there’ll be surviving roaches. After all roaches have survived 5 extinctions.
To manage this downside, roach baits are a great option.
Roach baits contain pheromones that attract roaches. And the baits also have roach-killing chemicals in them.
Keep these roach baits at the tight corners in your yard.
Do not overlook the places like underneath the patio deck, mulch beds, and wood piles, where roaches can hide.
It’d be best if you keep these baits at least 6 feet apart from each other.
The roach baits lure the cockroaches out of hiding.
When the roaches eat them and carry the baits to their nests for the other roaches to eat, it eliminates the entire roach colony.
Scatter Insecticide Granules Along The Home’s Perimeter
Insecticide granules sink in the soil and prevent subterranean bugs and insects from inside your home.
Scatter these granules along the perimeter of your home. You might have dig half-an inch deep and a foot wide ditch before laying the granule.
After using the granule, water it. The granule particles will sink in the soil.
However, there are some granules that you can use directly on the soil without digging for it and watering it.
These granules easily remain active 6-9 months and protect your home from bugs sneaking inside your home.
These granules will also prevent cockroaches from sneaking inside your house from your yard.
Dispose Off The Dead Roaches
This step is an important step. After following these steps, you’ll notice a massive reduction in roach activities in your yard at night.
But you’ll see many dead roaches too.
You don’t want them in your yard.
It’s because these dead roaches will attract many other bugs that feed on dead insects.
And cockroaches feed on the dead roaches too!
You don’t want your yard a prime real estate for other bugs.
So, look for dead roaches and dispose of them away from your property.
Repeat The Above Steps As Follow-Up Treatments
Roaches are tough pests to kill. Despite taking all the steps above, there will be many roaches that will hide and escape.
These roaches can start a new infestation in your yard.
That’s why it’s vital that you repeat the steps at least twice a week so as to ensure that there’s no more roaches in your yard.
Also, ensure that you are maintaining proper cleanliness in your yard and you’re not letting the dampness levels of the yard soil to increase.
Best Roach Killers For Yard
To make things easier for you, here’s a list of best roach killers. These will make you job a lot easy while you’re getting rid of roaches in your yard.
Best Roach Killing Spray
Harris roach spray is one of the most reliable and effective roach killers for yard that is out there.
The best part of this spray that it has residual toxicity, which means that it does its job days after spraying.
It’ll also kill roaches on contact and continues to kill without you spraying it again and again.
Harris roach spray is odorless and non-staining. It’ll not cause any damage if you spray it on your outdoor furniture.
Spray the Harris roach killer on places like wood piles, mulch layers, and around your home’s foundation. These are the places where roaches in the yard hide.
If you don’t want go down the spray route, you can use granular roach control insecticide.
The thick and heavy grains of Niban granular pest control insecticide makes it great for outdoor use.
These granules can last for at least 2-3 months. It means that once you’ll have to scatter the granules once every two months.
The granules are durable. They can withstand heavy rains and don’t get washed away.
These granules can also withstand extreme heat and cold. So, under harsh conditions Niban insecticide granules does the job perfectly well.
The best part is that it contains boric acid. It has the capacity to kill the roaches both on contact and ingestion. It also destroys any roach nests in the yard.
Scatter the granules around your home’s foundation, in the wood piles, underneath the porch and deck, and on the mulch layers.
Let it sit there and do it’s job.
The granules work not only against roaches but also for many other pests like ants ants, silverfish, and earwigs that enter homes from your yard.
Best Roach Repellent
Spraying roach-killing sprays and laying out traps aren’t the be all and end all of getting rid of roaches in your yard.
You need to take steps to ensure that roaches don’t come back after treatment. For that you’ll need to use a roach repellent.
And peppermint oil is the one that repels roaches and a slew of other bugs. Roaches hate the smell of peppermint oil.
To keep the roaches out of yard and to prevent roach infestation in the future, spray the peppermint oil spray in your yard twice a week.
The smell of the peppermint spray sticks on the surface and stays there for two-three days. So, you don’t have to spray it daily.
Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, and they are most active during the night. That’s why your yard is so full of roaches at night.
Using diatomaceous earth, baits, insecticidal spray, filling up the cracks in the walls, and cutting the moisture and food sources keep your yard free from roaches.
It’d be best not to ignore cockroach sightings in your yard. Because roaches in yard can sneak inside your home and cause a massive roach infestation.
In this guide, you’ve found out what attracts roaches to your yard at night and how to get rid of roaches in your yard.
Remember, roaches are tough pests to eliminate. And if their sightings are regular both inside and outside your home, you’d need to hire a professional pest controller to get rid of them.
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.