A Cockroach's Favorite Spot In Your Home May Make Your Skin Crawl

While cockroaches are commonly associated with being in dirty, forlorn places, the reality is that there are plenty of surprising areas in your home that a cockroach would find just as hospitable. Though cockroaches can make a home just about anywhere in your house if the conditions are right, one of their favorite places to nest is also one of the last places you would ever want to find them: in your laundry.

Attracted by lingering smells of body odor and trace remnants of food, cockroaches have been known to find haven in piles of dirty clothes. This is especially true if you are guilty of leaving dirty laundry on the floor. Even if you are good about properly taking care of your dirty clothes, roaches can still make their way into your laundry baskets and hamper, leaving you with an unpleasant surprise the next time you go to do laundry. The frightening part is that your clothes don't even need to be dirty in order to attract roaches. In fact, despite their common association with uncleanliness, cockroaches will seek out piles of clean laundry to hide out in as well, enticed by the fresh smell and taste of detergent and the warm, humid environment of many laundry rooms.

Does this fact make your skin crawl, or is there just a cockroach in your laundry?

In addition to often going undetected in piles of laundry on the floor and in hampers and baskets, roaches will go the extra mile to prevent themselves from being detected and prolong the amount of time they get to set up camp in your laundry. In fact, roaches have been known to hide in the pockets, sleeves, and hoods of sweatshirts to remain undetected. If they infest your clothing like this, they lay claim to it by pooping in it, which can spread bacteria and even create mold spores. 

Lingering body odors that are absorbed into your clothes can also draw in cockroaches, even if they are freshly washed and smell clean to you. If a cockroach who hasn't eaten in a while makes its way to your pile of dirty or clean laundry, it may resort to eating the actual fabric of your clothes, leaving holes behind and completely ruining garments.

Roaches can only go for about a week without water, which is why they are commonly found in the warmest, most humid areas of the home like your laundry room. Because roaches can survive for up to a month without food, they don't need to reemerge from your laundry very often, meaning it can be a long time before you find them, especially if you are guilty of not doing your laundry as often as you should.

Don't create a hangout spot for roaches

Because cockroaches thrive in warm, moist environments and seek out humidity levels in your home that mimic this, it's important to be careful not to give them their choice of hiding places. If your washing machine is located in the basement, bathroom, or another part of the home that tends to be consistently more damp than other areas, your laundry is even more likely to play host to cockroaches if you don't work quickly to wash and put it away each time. Do your laundry often and put it away immediately after washing it to avoid tempting any cockroaches that may have made their way into your home, especially in the hot, summer months when cockroaches will be more active and will be more likely to seek entry indoors. 

If you notice a cockroach in your laundry or another sign of an infestation such as eggs, remember that cockroaches are a breeding ground for bacteria and it's important to thoroughly wash anything that a roach may have come into contact with. Because cockroaches have been known to survive extreme temperatures, don't rely on a washing machine alone to kill them, and ensure they are out of your laundry before washing. To clean fabric that has come in contact with a cockroach, wash it on the machine's hottest setting, preferably more than once, just to be safe.