How to Keep Cockroaches Away at Night
This article is not for the faint of heart or for those who are squeamish about cockroaches. Depending on where you live, you have up to a 41% chance of having cockroaches if you are an urban dweller. Here are some of the most common questions about cockroaches that you might want to read before you turn out the lights.
Will Cockroaches Crawl on You at Night?
When you turn on the lights in a dark room, the worst thing to see is roaches running to their hiding places. You do not want to think about the next thing, but probably will, is whether roaches will crawl on you at night. In short, yes, they will.
Cockroaches are not attracted to anything particular in your body, and you are simply in their way as they travel from one destination to another. If you have food or crumbs on you, they might go for that and seem like they are trying to bite you.
Roaches like to curl up under the covers with you because it is a warm, dark, humid place. They love all dark places in your home, including underneath cabinets, in walls, and under sinks.
Does Sleeping with the Light on Keep Cockroaches Away?
If you only have a few roaches, they will probably seek a dark hiding place when you turn on the light, but this is not a sure bet. Some roaches might still come out at night while you are asleep, even with the light on. Also, they seem to get used to the light after a while, so they will not be afraid of it and will come out any time.
Some roaches even seem to be attracted to the light and can be seen hanging around lights or the corner of a television screen that is on.
Another reason why keeping your lights on is not the best solution is that this harms your natural circadian rhythms. This can cause sleep deprivation and serious health issues. Also, you still have roaches in your house, which can be a health risk. Keeping the light on is not a long-term solution or the best solution.
What Time Are Roaches Most Active?
Roaches are most active at night, and you seldom see them during the day. They will only venture out during the day if they are starving. Hunger will override fear, especially if you leave food out in the open.
Cockroaches can go a month without food, but they can only go a week without water. If you see a cockroach venturing out during the day, it might be a sign that there is a large population. You will sometimes see this happen if you are using an effective pest control method, and they are dying.
Before you try to simply starve them out, you need to know that they can eat a wide variety of things for food.
They can eat:
- Human food
- Book glue
- Roach droppings
- Wallpaper glue
- Plant material
- Anything organic
- Dead roaches
Because cockroaches breathe through their body and have an open circulatory system, they can even survive for up to a week without a head. Consequently, the headless roaches died of dehydration because they could not drink. Taking away the water sources in your home is not practical because all they need is the condensation that collects on your pipes in the walls to be perfectly happy.
Where Do Roaches Go During the Day?
One way to see where roaches go during the day is to turn on the lights in a dark room and see where they go when they run. They like any protected, dark, moist place. Knowing where roaches hide can help you develop a plan of attack for getting rid of them permanently.
One thing to mention is that bug bombs are not the best solution. They only kill a portion of the roaches and do not get deep into all the areas where roaches hide.
Here are some of the places where cockroaches like to hide during the day:
- Underneath stoves and refrigerators.
- Inside light switches.
- Beside plumbing.
- Behind wall paneling.
- Underneath carpets.
- Between molding and the wall.
- Behind baseboards.
- In garbage cans.
- In cracks in walls.
- In trash cans.
Cockroaches can get into the tiniest of spaces. They prefer to be wedged into tight spaces where they feel protected, so how do you get rid of them?
Do Cockroaches Hurt You?
The next thing that you probably want to know is whether cockroaches bite. The good news in this area is that their mouthparts cannot pierce human or animal skin, so they cannot bite. If you are getting bitten at night, it is probably mosquitoes, bed bugs, or fleas.
They can also harm you in other ways.
For those who have asthma, cockroach feces and skin can trigger an attack, especially in children. Another factor is that you have no idea where they have been, and they carry a wide range of diseases.
According to the North Carolina State University Schal lab for the study of cockroaches, they are implicated in the spread of leprosy because they will try to eat decaying flesh. The CDC has documented cockroaches as the source of the spread of salmonella, polio, and MRSA.
The problem is that they will crawl around in your bathroom and then crawl around on your kitchen utensils. This is the main reason why you want to get rid of them if you have them.
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches?
One of the worst things you can do to get rid of roaches is to buy a bug bomb. You might see a reduction in the number you see, but they will quickly breed and return. Also, they can cause serious illness in humans and pets, including difficulty breathing or even death in some cases.
Fortunately, some natural solutions will work to get rid of cockroaches. Boric acid is one of the few natural methods that have scientific backing. In this study, the researchers mixed boric acid and sugar to use as bait in various ratios. A 50/50 mix resulted in an 88% population reduction within 48 hours, and boric acid alone resulted in a 91% reduction of roaches in 48 hours.
Diatomaceous earth was also found to be an effective way to kill cockroaches. These remedies are safe to use around pets and children, but they do take some time before you begin seeing results. All you have to do is lightly dust around baseboards, in cupboards, and anywhere where you might be dealing with a roach infestation. In the case of boric acid, you can mix it with sugar or peanut butter and use it as roach bait.
Now you know a little more about roach behavior, and you have some effective, natural ways to get rid of them quickly. These are inexpensive solutions that are readily available at many home improvement stores or online. If you have roaches, the best thing to do is to get some boric acid or diatomaceous earth right away so that you can get a good night’s sleep.
If you are struggling to handle a serious cockroach infestation, you should get in touch with a pest control professional as soon as possible. Pest control professionals can deal with common roach species like the American cockroach, oriental cockroach, german roaches, and many others.