Dealing With Roaches in Your Attic
While cockroaches may typically appear in your basement, crawl space, or kitchen, the attic is most definitely not off-limits for an infestation. As it becomes colder outside, your home has a higher risk of being infested by cockroaches.
This can lead to nasty smells, bacteria, and other nuisances in your home. Any cockroach infestation requires treatment if you want to keep your home comfortable and your family safe. Your house is the place where you and your family eat, sleep, work, and play. You don't want these visitors around!
Why are roaches in your attic?
You may not think that your attic is a good place for roaches to settle down, but a house's attic will often have everything that a cockroach colony needs to survive! Outdoor conditions can easily drive cockroaches into your home, where they will stay until you get rid of them. Bad weather, changes in the seasons, or simple curiosity can drive these insects to explore your attic.
Cockroaches look for environments that supply a steady amount of food, water, heat, and humidity. If your attic checks these boxes, it is prime real estate for an infestation, whether you want it to be or not. The shelter that an attic provides is very attractive to cockroaches. Add to that the higher temperatures often present in a house's attic, and you are already making your attic look like a haven for a variety of cockroach species like the German cockroach, brown-banded cockroach, American cockroach, or the oriental cockroach.
Cockroaches will also eat anything that they are presented with, even cardboard! While you may not be storing food in your attic, they could be feeding on several food sources, especially if they still have access to the outdoors through a hole in the wall, vent, or other entry points. If you have a leaky roof, you will likely also have standing water that the roaches will use for drinking. Attics also do not have much light, so the roaches can feel safe in the dark. With all of these factors, you can see how an attic can be a five-star resort for a cockroach infestation.
Signs of roaches in your attic
When dealing with a roach problem, you can check for certain symptoms to confirm their presence. Keep an eye out for any of these signs that you may be dealing with a roach infestation. With early detection, you have a better chance of eliminating the roaches before they reach a critical mass.
Look around for cockroach feces in your attic. You may not realize what you are looking at when you first spot them. Cockroach feces are small black dropping. You can compare them to black pepper or coffee grounds. Roach droppings will be present in cockroach highways, so you may see a sprinkling of them up against the seam of a rafter or hidden against the wall. The more feces that are present, the bigger the infestation is.
Cockroach Egg Cases
You should also keep an eye out for cockroach egg cases. These are a little harder to spot, as cockroach females will do everything they can to hide their eggs from potential predators. Egg cases contain dozens of eggs in one structure. They can be behind furniture, under refrigerators, hidden in drawers, or other well-protected areas of your attic.
Cockroaches also produce a distinctive smell when they move in. The roaches will smell musty, like mildew. This odor can get extremely strong if there are enough insects in one place. The longer roaches are in your attic, the more they will start to smell. You may be able to smell your infestation from downstairs if it gets bad enough.
Keeping Roaches Out of Your Attic
When it comes to cockroach control, the best offense is often a good defense. By not allowing cockroaches to enter your attic, you will stop an infestation from ever establishing itself. By taking simple steps, you will keep the insects out and provide peace of mind.
First, examine your attic for any food sources that the cockroaches may feed on. You may not be able to remove everything that cockroaches will potentially eat (because of their wide diet), but by cleaning up any spills, open food, trash, or other feasts for the insects, you will make your attic much less attractive.
Likewise, you should get rid of any standing water that may be in your attic. Cockroaches love humidity, so keep your attic as cool and dry as you can. You can purchase a dehumidifier to keep the air in your attic from gathering too much moisture. Look for water damage in your attic to both avoid cockroach infestations and prevent damage to the structure of your house.
Lastly, it would help if you sealed your attic. Get rid of any cracks or holes, especially ones that lead to the outdoors. If you have an air intake vent in your attic, do not seal it, but you can purchase a bug screen to install on the outside to prevent critters from making their way in.
Get Rid of Roaches in Your Attic
You can prevent cockroach infestations with proper care of your attic, but sometimes you may be too late. In these cases, you must find the quickest and most effective way to kill off the whole colony before it can re-establish itself.
Pesticide sprays are available at several stores. These should be used in spaces where the roaches congregate for maximum effectiveness. You can also purchase roach traps and dusts to treat your roach problem.
You can use gel bait and bait stations to help with roach control as well.
This exploits their natural hunger. Boric acid mixed with powdered sugar is a great way to get rid of large numbers of roaches quickly, as it will work in a couple of hours. Keep in mind that these need to be ingested to work, so if the roaches have other food sources they prefer, this may be less effective.
If all else fails, you should hire a pest control pro. You will not be their first roach infestation, so they will understand exactly what to do to take care of the problem.