10 Things You Didn't Realize Are Attracting Roaches To Your Home

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If you're dealing with roaches in your space, you're not alone. According to 2019 data from the United States Census Bureau, 14 million residences reported seeing roaches in their house or apartment in a year span. These annoying pests can be found just about anywhere, so it's no surprise that they've made their way into so many residences. They're also not the best roommates, as they can carry pathogens and germs or make allergies worse. Roaches are also known for being notoriously hard to kill, so if you want to keep your home roach-free with the least amount of work possible, it's a good idea to determine what might be attracting them to your space in the first place. 

There are a few obvious things you can do to prevent roaches from getting into your house, like making sure you routinely clean to eliminate easily-accessible crumbs and sealing up cracks that might grant these little pests access from the outdoors, but there are also a few things that you might be missing, including the 10 items we've listed below. Reducing these things can help prevent a cockroach problem from happening or cut back on the occasional bug you might find on your floor. However, it's important to remember that if you detect any warning signs of a full cockroach infestation, it's best to call in a professional to help diagnose and treat the problem at hand.

1. Cluttered spaces

Roaches, just like pretty much every other living thing, need three things to survive: food, water, and shelter. You might think you're safe from roaches because your space is free from food crumbs, dirt, and grime, but something as simple as a pile of cardboard boxes or stack of old books can provide an attractive hiding space for pests. Cluttered areas, even if they aren't necessarily dirty, can give roaches a space to hang out and set up camp, so it's a good idea to declutter your home on a regular basis to help avoid any surprises when you go to move your items.

2. Laundry piles

Frequently running your washer and dryer in your laundry room can result in a space that's slightly warmer and more humid than the rest of the home. This isn't much of an issue normally, but roaches tend to gravitate towards areas that have a higher temperature and moisture content, especially during the chillier and drier months of the year. Add on the fact that piles of laundry — especially if they're dirty or still contain food reside — can make for the ideal hiding space for roaches, and you have the perfect storm for unwanted pests, even in one of the seemingly-cleanest spaces in the home.

3. Overlooked kitchen spaces

It's likely that you're already doing a good job of cleaning your countertops in your kitchen, but there's an unexpected spot that can become a haven for roaches: the backsplash. This vertical area is often overlooked because it doesn't pick up crumbs as easily, but areas where your backsplash meets the counter or is concealed behind appliances can start to look like luxury accommodations to pests. Make sure you're cleaning these spots just as thoroughly as the rest of your counters, especially if you notice that there are any cracks or crevices that can be transformed into nests for these annoying insects.

4. Leaky pipes

It's commonly known that roaches are attracted to food sources, but they're also frequently searching for readily-available supplies of water, too. Roaches, just like humans, can survive without food much longer than they can survive without water, but the sources they seek out might not be as obvious as the kitchen faucet or your pet's bowl on the ground. If you notice roaches frequently appearing in areas where you have accessible pipes, it could be a sign that you have a minor leak. This may be why you see cockroaches in your clean home. When in doubt, call out a plumber — you could solve two issues at once.

5. Coffee makers

The idea of beginning your day with a roach crawling out of your coffee maker might be enough to make you bypass your morning brew altogether. Unfortunately, this nightmarish scenario is more common than you might think. Roaches are consistently attracted to a few different things like moisture, warmth, and darkness, and a coffee machine can create the perfect set of conditions for unwanted house guests to set up shop. To make your appliance less favorable, consider dumping out the water after each use, frequently wiping down your counters, and sealing up any cracks in your kitchen that could act as potential entry points.

6. Outdoor lights

Porch lights might help you find your way at night, but they also do the same for wood roaches. Compared to other kinds of roaches, wood roaches are much less of a pest thanks to the fact that they usually have no interest in hanging around your home, but it can still be jarring to have to deal with a massive bug scurrying around. When your outdoor lights are left on during their peak season (May to June), these bugs are more likely to find their way into your home, so limit your light use and make sure to properly seal your windows and doors.

7. Houseplants

Houseplants are a great way to bring some freshness and color to a space, but they could also come with the risk of attracting roaches. A well-watered plant sitting in the shade is the perfect combination of darkness and moisture to lure in pests, especially if the plant has lush leaves that can act as a convenient canopy to conceal them. With that being said, however, it's unlikely that you'll find roaches in plants with drier soil or those that are sitting in direct sunlight. There are even plenty of different indoor and outdoor plants that roaches can't stand if you're looking for an added layer of protection.

8. Eating throughout the house

Let's face it: we're not all perfect when it comes to cleaning. Deep cleaning your home every single day simply isn't feasible for most people, but there are strategies you can use to help lower your risk of attracting cockroaches on your days off. One major change you can make is limiting your food consumption to certain areas of the house, like the kitchen and the dining room. By doing this, you'll decrease the area you have to clean to eliminate food residue, meaning you can clean more frequently and thoroughly without having to expend as much time and effort.

9. Thin food containers

Keeping your pantry essentials in their original containers is the easiest option, but even when they're properly closed, they could still be attracting roaches. Thin plastic and cardboard containers can be chewed through by roaches, so if you're noticing that the items in your pantry are compromised or you're finding a larger number of bugs near your food, it might be a good idea to transfer your items into resealable containers. While this might seem like it's a costly investment, there are plenty of reasonably-priced options, like this 24-piece set of Vtopmart Airtight Food Storage Containers with Lids for only $32 on Amazon.

10. Cracked foundation

It's common to focus on sealing your windows and doors when you want to prevent bugs from making their way into your home, but if you notice that you're dealing with more pests that you should even after checking out or even replacing all of your weather sealing, you might be facing an issue with your foundation. Roaches are incredibly skilled at weaseling their way into even the thinnest of cracks, so it can be helpful to caulk cracks in your foundation, even if it's fairly-minor damage that isn't causing any other major issues in your home.