What Attracts Roaches and Where Do Cockroaches Come From?

David Floyd:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. David is Quality Pro certified and is a certified Structural Pest Control Operator in the state of North Carolina, and the owner of NCPestControlExperts pest control company.

Every year, cockroaches affect millions of homeowners in the United States. They are tremendous scavengers and seem to find a way into your home like little magicians. That being said, they are extremely unnerving to see them scurrying across your kitchen counters. If you’re a home owner you might be curious where do cockroaches come from and how you can you prevent cockroaches from coming into your home?

what attracts roaches

What Attracts Cockroaches To Your Home:

Most species of outdoor cockroaches are simply looking for their basic necessities for survival. Cockroaches get so focused on these few necessities for survival that they will do nearly anything they can to fulfill these needs.

Here are the few things that will attract roaches to enter your home.


Roaches are always looking for new food sources, and this is the #1 reason roaches have picked your home. If you have crumbs in your kitchen, or leave dirty dishes in your sink, you’re creating a potential hotspot for a roach infestation. Human food is a huge part of a cockroaches diet!

cockroaches are attracted to food

Cockroaches are very tricky and will easily enter through cracks and crevices around your doors and windows to help them get into your home and towards the food! 

The easiest solution is to keep your kitchen as neat and tidy as possible. Along with this, ensure you store food in airtight sealed containers to make it difficult for the roaches to sense and get to.

If you’re still dealing with an infestation, then check out our guide on how to get rid of roaches, or consider hiring a pest control professional!


Similar to food, water is essential to a roaches survival, so they are constantly on the look out for new water sources.

They generally will use your kitchen or bathroom sink as their new watering hole. If you have a leaky faucet, this will attract roaches to hang out in your sink to get a sip.

We recommend sealing any leaky pipes or faucets to limit their ability to find water. Also ensure you’re occasionally changing out your kitchen sponge because this can also attract roaches!

Shelter From Predators:

One of the last things that attracts roaches to your home is shelter from predators!

Roaches prefer dark areas with small spaces for them to hide and be protected from larger predators. If a roach can find a dark tight space to hide in during the day, it will greatly improve a roaches lifespan.

The best way to help prevent against this is to use chaulk to seal any obvious gaps that cockroaches come in through. Depending on the species of cockroaches, these holes don’t have to be very big, so if you can see light through the hole, it’s probably big enough for some type of cockroach to enter through!

Where Do Roaches Come From?

When thinking of how a cockroach infestation starts, it generally boils down to two options, roaches that enter your home from living outdoors, and cockroaches that enter your home after hitchhiking their way into your home.

where do roaches come from

More often than not, roaches are in the search for food and that’s why they end up in your home.

Where Outdoor Roaches Come From

Most species of cockroaches will live outdoors by nature, and will get into your home when they are looking for food and water sources.

The main types of roaches that will do this include:

  • American Cockroaches
  • Oriental Cockroaches
  • Wood Cockroaches
  • Brown Banded Cockroaches

By nature these roaches will live in any habitat that has food, water, shelter from predators, and generally is dark and humid. If your home fits this bill, then these conditions attracts cockroaches.

How Cockroaches Enter Your Home:

Cockroaches will always attempt at finding a new home, and you need to be aware of the handful of different ways cockroaches will attempt to enter your home.

Your Homes Perimeter:

Cockroaches live in the mud and the dirt, in warm and humid areas. 

Most homes in the United States have some sort of dirt or soil surrounding the perimeter of their home. This means roaches don’t have to travel very far to come into contact with your home. 

Even if you live in an apartment, roaches have no issue living in dumpsters or in and around dark alleyways near your apartment complex. 

When roaches are living around the perimeter of your home, they’ll often enter your home through some of the following methods:

  • Cracks and Crevices – Especially around your doors and windows
  • Piping and Wiring – Check your water pipes and any wiring that enters your home for excess gaps that roaches get to enter your home from.
  • Dryer Bents and Bathroom Vents – Any exhaust vent from your home has the opportunity for roaches to enter in. Ensure that it’s sealed as much as possible.

Trees and Shrubs Around Your Home:

We recommend all houses have at least a three foot gap between any trees and shrubs and your homes perimeter. 

Although it doesn’t seem super significant, roaches often live in trees and shrubs. If you have trees and shrubs that are directly touching your home or perimeter, it makes it easy for roaches to travel from these bushes to your home, and eventually find a way into your home. 

German cockroaches and oriental cockroaches are great examples of cockroaches that will take any opportunity to find a new home. So even something as simple as having a bush too close to your home’s perimeter will bring cockroaches closer to your home, and one step closer to entering your home!

Hitch-Hiking Their Way Into Your Home:

I mentioned how roaches are tricky, and they will pull out all the stops to figure out a way to enter your home. 

German cockroaches and American cockroaches are known for hitchhiking their way into new homes by living inside of cardboard boxes or grocery bags, and when you bring these cardboard boxes or bags into your home, that when a German cockroach or American Cockroach will use it as an opportunity to setup a new home!

So even when you’re coming back from the grocery stores, check your bags to ensure you don’t have any cockroach hitchhikers coming insider your home!

Since cockroaches come from many different places, it’s always important to keep an eye out when you’re bringing new things into your home. This is especially important when you’re bringing in second hand items, or items that have been outside for a long time. Cockroaches get hidden in everyday objects, and when you bring them inside, they can be hard to get rid of!

There have been many times where people have had to hire pest control technicians because of a thrifting item they brought into their home!

So if you’re wondering where do cockroaches come from, pay special attention to what you’re bringing into your home!

How To Get Rid Of A Cockroach Infestation?

If you notice a single cockroach, it’s probably safe to assume that there are many more running around inside your home.

The easiest way to get rid of a cockroach infestation is to simply call a reputable pest control company to take care of them. If you need a suggestion of a reputable company, send us a message and we’ll direct you to a qualified professional!

That being said, a lot of getting rid of a roach infestation comes back to prevention.

  • Keep your home as tidy as possible and clean up food crumbs.
  • Inspect your water pipes and faucets to ensure there aren’t any drips which will tempt roaches inside your home.
  • Inspect sink drains to ensure there isn’t standing water.
  • Use chaulk to seal any obvious cracks and holes roaches can use to get inside your house. 
  • Check plumbing and water pipes to ensure there aren’t large cracks into your house that roaches can use to get inside.
  • Inspect grocery bags and cardboard boxes as you’re bringing them into your house.
  • Reduce humidity in your home. Cockroaches prefer warm and humid environments, so do your best to reduce humidity where needed.
  • Use vinegar for roaches!

Prevention is 90% of the battle, and by following the above tips you will greatly reduce your chances of enchanting a cockroach hoard, as well as send existing roaches packing from your home!

If you are dealing with a serious issue, then I recommend calling a professional. They will use advance techniques that can kill roaches within hours, and can also guide you on how to limit their ability to get inside your house in the future!

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