Perhaps you have a cockroach infestation and need to know how to get rid of them. Or maybe you’re just curious about what roaches really don’t like. Either way, let’s take a look at the top 10 things cockroaches hate:
1. Cockroaches hate light. You might have heard the saying “shine a light and they will scatter like cockroaches.” The cockroaches’ avoidance of light is an evolutionary adaptation that gives them a higher rate of survival. Light gives cockroach predators a leg up, so in response, cockroaches adapted and became nocturnal.
Leaving the lights in your home on at night will keep cockroaches hidden. But light is not a good long-term strategy for getting rid of roaches. It may keep them temporarily out of sight and out of mind, but the roaches will still be active in places the light can’t reach.
2. Roaches hate cold temperature. According to Scientific American, at the freezing temperature of 23°F, half of German cockroaches die within 10 hours. At 14°F, 50% will die within the first hour.
It’s no wonder then, that cockroaches are biggest and most populous in the lower latitudes where temperatures are highest. Indeed, roaches are mortal and they have weaknesses. Cold temperature is one of them.
3. Lack of food. Like other animals, cockroaches spend good part of their day searching for food. Naturally, they prefer places that are abundant in potential food sources. So keep your home as clean and tidy as possible. Remember, a food crumb is a full meal to a cockroach. If you have a roach problem, keep your floors, countertops, and tables clean. Put a cover on the rubbish bin to keep the roaches out.
Although these steps can help, it is often not enough to get rid of roaches completely. Keep in mind that roaches are notoriously hardy and can eat anything organic including wood, paper, and cardboard. So even if you keep an immaculate home, it’s still possible to have roaches.
4. Roaches hate low humidity and dry weather. Humid weather and rain promote organic growth and increase the food supply for roaches. Roaches love rainy, tropical climates the most because it is easiest for them to survive there. On the contrary, an arid climate limits the range of plant and animal growth, which roaches don’t like.
5. Roaches hate not having access to a water supply. Roaches can go months with no food before they starve to death, but they will die in about a week without access to water. That’s why roaches are most commonly found in the bathroom and kitchen, especially if the weather outside is very dry.
Roaches won’t like your house if you deny them access to water sources. Cover the drains of your bathtubs and sinks when not in use. Roaches love the inside of your drain pipes, where they have access to water, darkness, and food (in the form of mold and debris). Mop up any standing water on the bathroom floor after a shower, as well.
6. Roaches hate the presence of people, pets, and other animals. You may think that you are afraid of cockroaches, but I assure you that they are more afraid of you. Roaches know that people detest them and will potentially kill them. They will run and hide at first sight.
Cockroaches don’t have great vision, but their whiskers and legs have an amazing ability to detect vibration in the air and on the ground. These vibrations indicate the presence of potential predators, and cause roaches to scurry to their hiding places.
7. Roaches hate boric acid powder. Boric acid is the number one recommendation on my list of roach control products. It is so cheap and long-lasting, and roaches absolutely hate it. Roaches die within a few hours of contact with boric acid. The powder also sticks to their legs so roaches transport it back to their nest, which increases the effectiveness.
8. Cockroaches hate ultrasonic pest repellers. This one is more controversial, but some evidence suggests that ultrasonic pest repellents are effective on roaches. These devices tend to work better on mammals than insects, however. So for now, I personally would stick with more traditional methods of cockroach control. It has interesting potential, though.
9. Cockroaches can’t stand cockroach gel. Second only to boric acid in my book, cockroach gel is awesome at getting rid of a roach infestation. A little bit of gel goes a long way. The gel can stain floors and furniture, so follow my tip on how to prevent this.
10. Cockroaches hate the smell of bay leaves. If you’re in the mood to try an all natural form of cockroach repellent, bay leaves are a decent alternative. Fresh leaves are effective, but crushing dry leaves into a powder makes for a more pungent smell. Put the leaves in a bowl and place them in the areas where you have seen the most cockroaches.
So there you have it. The top 10 things that roaches can’t stand. Now that you know what roaches don’t like, choose which ones you would like to implement to drive them from your home. Please let us know in the comments what you think.