Can Roaches Come Through Vents?
Cockroaches are some of the hardiest and resilient pests in the world. They can inhabit many areas of your home that you would not even consider. The vents to the outside of your home are like a superhighway that these unsavory creatures can use to get inside. Let’s explore how this happens and what you can do to prevent it in the future.
Can Roaches Get In Your House Through the Vents?
When you have a cockroach infestation, you first want to know how they got in. One of the best pieces of advice is to seal all of the holes with caulking or foam to keep them out. They can come into the house through openings around pipes in the floors and outer walls. Another place they can use is any vent or opening to the outside of the house.
Cockroaches can squeeze through openings that are paper-thin. They prefer places that have droplets of water, such as condensation on your pipes, but condensation can also form on the inside of air conditioning vents, providing them with an enticing hiding place. That is also why one of their favorite ways to enter the home is through the drainpipe of your AC system.
Vents provide a dark, seemingly safe environment that makes an excellent place to hide during the day. They like to stay out of the light, and they can come out when all of the inhabitants are asleep and the lights are off. Another reason why they like your vent is that they are warm in the winter when the heat is on.
Once inside the air vents, they are free to travel throughout all the areas of your home. If you have a heating system connected to other apartments, they can move from apartment to apartment using the ductwork of the building. You might think that the air flowing through your vents is enough to keep them out, but they are strong climbers, and it is no match for them.
How Do You Stop Roaches from Coming Through Vents?
One of the problems with cockroaches in your vents is that they are hard to get out, even for professionals. When professionals spray for cockroaches in your home, they do not include the vents and ductwork. If you use bug bombs, it is doubtful that they will make it through the ductwork system. There are a few ways that you can prevent cockroaches from coming in through your vents and roaming freely throughout your home.
The first is to put screens on the vents. It is suggested that you use window screens and caulking to seal any holes around the vents themselves. If your vents are cracked, they can let cockroaches and rodents inside. To prevent this, you should have a professional inspect the vents regularly and repair any cracks.
Another thing that attracts cockroaches to vents is the vegetation around them. If your vents are covered with vines, branches, or shrubs, they can use these to climb up and enter the vents of your home. You should keep vegetation trimmed away from your vents to prevent them from being able to reach it. This is no guarantee if your home is made from wood, brick, stucco, or another material that is easy for them to climb.
How to Get Rid of Roaches in Your Air Vents?
If you have roaches in your vents, you probably will not know it unless you see them crawling in and out on either the outside or the inside. The first step in getting rid of any cockroach problem is to remove their food sources and water, but this is easier said than done. Cockroaches have a varied diet and can eat things like wood, drywall, books, carpet glue, cardboard, and paper. Almost anything in your home can be a food source, and they can easily go for up to a month without any food at all.
One thing to consider is that cockroaches cannot withstand temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Cockroaches are cold-blooded, meaning they cannot regulate their body temperature, but they can still stand much higher heat than humans.
Many cockroach species live in the Middle East, where temperatures are typically between 70 to 90 degrees. Even when temperatures reach 110 degrees for prolonged times, cockroaches have no problem. Cockroaches exposed to 120 degrees Fahrenheit will survive for between two and seven hours. They will move to a cooler area during this time or risk death.
One thing to consider is that if cockroaches have made their way into your heating vent when you turn the system on, the ductwork can get as high as up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that temperatures will be higher close to the furnace and lower farther from it. While this might kill some of them, many will escape and move towards cooler temperatures. This gives you a chance to catch some of them with baits or traps.
Professional Ductwork Cleaning
Many essential oils will repel cockroaches, but once again the problem is getting it deep enough into the ductwork to do any good. One of the few ways to get anything from deep inside your ductwork is to have an HVAC company do a deep cleaning. They have special equipment and vacuums that can suck debris, dirt, and dust from deep within the system that you cannot reach with a standard vacuum cleaner. This is also a good idea to help remove any allergens left from the cockroaches.
Diatomaceous Earth and Boric Acid
Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder that consists of the fossilized shells of ancient, microscopic creatures. This has been used to kill cockroaches successfully for many years. Another similar method is to use boric acid, which is a byproduct of making Borax. Both these fine powders will not harm humans, pets, or small children and are an organic way to get rid of cockroaches anywhere in your home.
To use these powders, you place a fine dusting around the areas where you see cockroaches. The idea is to have fine enough dust that you cannot see it. If cockroaches see a pile, then they will walk around it.
They have to walk through it accidentally and carry it back to their nest. When they groom themselves, they will ingest it, and it will cause tiny cuts in their digestive tract and exoskeleton. Cockroaches engage in social grooming, so when their friends come to help, they will die too.
This is a time-tested solution for getting rid of roaches organically. You could use this method to get rid of cockroaches around your vents by placing a fine dusting in the area surrounding the vent or slightly inside. You can place it anywhere you have seen cockroaches in your home.
Getting cockroaches out of your ductwork and vents is challenging, but it is not impossible. The best method involves sealing the vents and using screens to keep them out in the first place. Diatomaceous earth and boric acid provide excellent natural alternatives to harmful chemicals.