Cockroaches are known throughout the world. In addition to being dangerous to human health, they’re a prime nuisance both inside and outside the home. So how does one deal with cockroaches inside the household?
Cockroaches are scavengers. They eat decaying plant and animal matter, but they are also drawn to grease and oils, and even dead skin and hair. For cockroaches, the home holds a plentiful bounty of food, water, warmth, and shelter. Once inside, it could be very difficult to get cockroaches out of the house for good.
How do cockroaches get into the bedroom?
Cockroaches are drawn to warm, dark, and humid places. The warmer and darker, the better. However, they can adapt to cold temperatures if given enough time. They can fit in the very smallest of cracks and in fact, they prefer to be tightly wedged between things. They are able to squeeze into incredibly tight spaces by flattening themselves and splaying out their legs. This makes it possible for cockroaches to hide inside wall outlets, and even behind baseboards.
Roaches in the bedroom are certainly possible, even though it’s not an obvious source of food and water. The bedroom is full of dead skin and hair that many people often overlook.
Underneath dressers and inside closets are popular hiding spots for roaches, as it offers shelter and food – as long as you don’t clean those places.
And if you have roaches in your bedroom it’s obviously bad news. But can roaches climb walls and beds? The answer is yes (though some, like the Oriental cockroach, don’t climb as well as others). Roaches can climb many different types of surfaces, such as walls, furniture, and yes, even beds. On top of this innate climbing ability, many roaches can also fly (though not the Oriental cockroach). Not only is this terrifying, but it makes disposing of the roach very frustrating.
Signs of roaches inside the home
The most obvious sign that you may have cockroaches living in your home is seeing a cockroach. A close second, however, is the presence of roach feces. Cockroach droppings may be concentrated on the wall behind large appliances. Its appearance will vary depending on species, but it could resemble black pepper or coffee grounds, or be deposited as oval-shaped pellets or simply brown staining. A little bit of fecal matter may be indicative of one or two roaches, while a large collection of pellets or a widespread stain may mean you have an infestation.
Additionally, roaches tend to prefer the dark; seeing a roach at night isn’t too uncommon, especially in climates where roaches thrive. However, seeing a roach during the daytime may mean trouble, roaches are primarily nocturnal and don’t like being out during the day. A daytime roach may be scurrying from other roaches or looking for a territory of its own within your home.
Another probable sign that you have roaches is a musk-like smell. Some species of roach are notorious for emitting a foul-smelling odor, described as “oily” by some professionals. This smell is especially apparent when there are large numbers of cockroaches.
How to prevent cockroaches in bedroom spaces
Roaches in bedroom spaces is a terrifying prospect, especially if you’re familiar with the large and intimidating American cockroach. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to prevent roaches from thriving in your bedroom.
The first, and possibly the easiest, is to ensure a clean bedroom.
Cockroaches will eat pretty much everything, so cut off their food source of dead skin and hair by regular cleaning. You can also help prevent roaches by not bringing food into the bedroom as well.
Crumbs that go unseen by you are picked up by cockroaches looking for their next meal. Another preventative measure is simply to keep an eye out for signs of roaches. Move large furniture, and clean behind them once in a while to snuff out cockroaches where they may be nesting.
How to keep roaches away while you sleep
Do roaches climb beds? Absolutely, and roaches in bed while you sleep is definitely not an ideal situation. Even with a clean sleeping space, roaches may still find their way into the bedroom. So many people wonder how to keep roaches away from bed areas but often are at a loss with how to do so without chemicals and sticky traps. Thankfully, there are some household tricks that will keep the roaches at bay, without fumigating your entire room.
Ensure that holes, cracks, and entry points are sealed; cockroaches are masters at squeezing into small spaces, and even a thin crack is enough to let them gain entry. If your windows are loose, ensure you replace them as soon as possible. Cover holes in the walls, and thoroughly seal doors and windows. You can also use essential oils. Peppermint oil is an effective cockroach repellent that you can mix with water and spray around the bed to keep roaches at bay. Catnip oil has also shown promise as a German cockroach repellent and a component of thyme oil is lethal to some German cockroach life stages. American cockroaches are further repelled by turmeric, ginger, clove, cinnamon, and lemon grass.
Bedding that drags on the floor should be picked up and tucked, and bed skirts should be put away. Any sort of hold a roach can grab, they will use to get into the warmth of your bed. And that is definitely not pleasant to wake up to.
Roaches are bad news, but you can prevent them
No one wants a cockroach in bed while sleeping soundly, but thankfully, there are multiple ways to prevent them. The first step to ensuring that cockroaches stay outside the home is always prevention. Ensure that you maintain a clean space so that cockroaches don’t have a place to hide and don’t come in for an easy meal. Watch for warning signs that may point to a cockroach infestation. Remember that roaches are not only incredibly sturdy, but can also fit in unlikely places, such as behind walls, within wall outlets, and even underneath carpets and rugs.
If you suspect that you may have a roach problem, it’s important to reach out to your local pest control to dispose of the roaches in a safe but effective manner. Cockroaches can spread infection and may trigger allergic reactions.