Can Cockroaches Survive in the Washing Machine or Dryer?
Cockroaches are fairly tough, especially inside the house, and you might be at your wit’s end trying to kill them. You might freak out when shoes, swatters, and sprays don’t seem to get rid of the cockroach infestation in your home, but one appliance might be able to remove them from your home and your clothes. The humble washing machine and dryer are going to be one of your greatest weapons against cockroaches.
Cockroaches love to get into dark and moist places, and sadly a laundry basket is such a place for them. They can burrow into your clothing and live inside of your dark closet, and if you don’t get rid of them, they can even start to lay eggs inside of your clothing.
This is not only very gross but also makes them very hard to kill. However, there are a few tips that you can use to take advantage of the cockroaches’ two natural weaknesses. Heat and Water.
Does Hot Water Kill Roaches?
One of the best weaknesses that you can expose with cockroaches is their vulnerability to heat, like bed bugs. Cockroaches are cold-blooded, and the temperature they feel is the temperature around them.
Cockroach species like the German cockroach and the oriental cockroach start to sweat right around 30 degrees Celsius or 90 degrees Fahrenheit and will die at about 50 degrees Celsius or 122 degrees Fahrenheit. The very high temperatures in the air will kill them, which also works in water.
Most washers reach about 130 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than enough to boil cockroaches in your clothing.
Does dryer heat kill roaches?
You can get the proper roach-killing heat from only a few places; for example, a dryer gets to around 125-135 degrees Fahrenheit, and that’s enough to kill cockroaches. If you have any on your clothes or suspect that any have found their way into your laundry basket, then chuck the whole thing into the dryer and know that roaches will not survive.
Do the Roaches Drown?
If the hot water doesn’t seem to kill the cockroaches, you can take solace in the fact that they will drown under the water. It will take a while, especially as the roaches are very durable. The German cockroach can live up to 15 minutes under cold water and a few minutes under warm water. The American cockroach can survive up to 40 minutes underwater, and they can easily climb out of bathtubs and toilets.
The main reason cockroaches survive and can handle drownings so well is that they can breathe through their sides and heads. Those side breathing slits are also why they can live without their heads for a while because the head isn’t the only way they can breathe.
Inside a washing machine, the heat is what will kill the cockroaches, as there are some opportunities in the washing machine for the roaches to break out of the water and keep breathing. Still, they can drown, and the double team punch of heat and water should destroy most cockroaches.
Do Cockroaches Like Dirty Laundry?
Dirty laundry lets your cockroaches find food and water easily, and it gives them a base to hide in your home. They like dark and moist places, and a laundry basket is often placed in a dark closet or a moist washroom. This will give the cockroaches a perfect home and a base for them to spread through your house. If you’ve got filthy laundry covered in crumbs and other debris, you might find that the bugs are using it as a home.
Does Detergent Kill Roaches?
Laundry detergent is designed to suffocate roaches, covering up those breathing pores on the side. You can use the laundry detergent mixed with water, and the mixture will wash off the protective membrane that helps the cockroaches retain water. Then they will lose a lot of water and then dry out.
You can also place the detergent inside your washing machine to get the same effect, which will help kill the roaches.
Will Washing Clothes Kill Cockroach Eggs?
If the cockroaches have been laying eggs inside your clothing, then those eggs are much harder to destroy than the roaches themselves. Cockroach eggs have a capsule put around them called the ootheca, and that capsule can easily withstand the pressure of a washing machine if the water temperature is not high enough.
Then they can find a dry place to sit undisturbed and hatch the next army of cockroaches. If the cockroach eggs aren’t in hot enough water, they will survive and hatch. So the washing machine isn’t the most reliable thing for getting rid of cockroach eggs, but they can do a number on cockroaches themselves.
Cleaning Out Your Laundry Basket
One of the best ways to keep cockroaches out of your laundry basket is to make sure that your clothing is unappealing to the cockroaches in the first place. Make sure to remove any crumbs and store your laundry basket in a light and dry environment instead of a cool and dark one.
You should also wash your clothes every week, and avoid letting your dirty clothes sit and fester. Because then that’s a clear sign for the cockroaches to move in!
Getting Rid of Cockroaches with the Washing Machine
While it isn’t the best method for slaying bugs in the world, your washing machine can be an effective bug killer if needed. You should still focus on using roach bait solutions like boric acid or hiring a pest control professional to help you clear the bugs out if needed.
If there is no infestation in your home, you can rely on your washing machine to get rid of any bugs hiding inside your laundry basket and make sure they don’t bother you again!