Can Roaches Live in an Empty House?
If you've seen a cockroach, you know that those little buggers can and will survive a nuclear war as easily as they shrug off blows from your shoes. Cockroaches head into homes for the same reason that other insects do, to get an easy supply of food and warmth from humans. However, what happens when the humans are gone?
Cockroaches will infest and multiply inside an empty house, even if there are no humans to drop food for them. They are adaptable and will eat just about anything, from food to inorganic matter. They will eat starch-based paint, cardboard, paper, and paste... and they've even been known to eat one another! Starving cockroaches out isn't the greatest idea.
Roaches will remain inside of an empty house until the food starts to run out, and as long as there is enough water to keep them hydrated, they can theoretically stay inside of the vacant house forever. The more cockroaches inside of the empty house, the faster they breed and can find more food.
Why Do Cockroaches Go Into Vacant Homes?
Cockroaches are cold-blooded, meaning that they take on whatever temperature is around them at the time. During the cold months, American cockroaches lower their body temperature to go without eating for long periods, effectively slowing their bodies down. During the warmer seasons, they can be active without food as the warmth gives them extra energy.
But while cockroaches can go around a month without food, they still need water at least once a week. If they can find a moisture-rich room inside your home, they will get into it without any hesitations and make their homes there. Finally, even if they manage to outgrow your home, they will still use the area as a base of sorts and forage around your house for supplies.
Will Roaches Die On Their Own?
No, roaches will not die on their own, and they won't up and leave your vacant property either. In the very rare case that the roaches run out of things to eat, they'll still breed inside of the moisture-rich rooms of your home. A female roach reproduces and lays eggs on her own, without the need for any male fertilization, and she can lay up to 60 at one time.
Even considering that starving cockroaches will eat their egg casings and their young to survive, that's still far more cockroaches being born than normal. The population will explode, and if they can sustain their high population, you can bet that they will not be outlasted. Instead, it would be best if you took action to get them out of your empty house.
How Do You Get Rid Of Roaches In An Empty House?
The main problem is that your house will be empty, so killing cockroaches as they enter your view isn't going to work. Instead, you need to take a more proactive approach to cockroach repelling.
First, you should do a deep clean, one of the deepest cleans that you can manage. Clean everything and keep it sanitized while also making sure that you reach all of those hard-to-reach spots. Cockroaches don't just hide in strange places, but they can also find even the smallest food and drink spills.
You should also check for any rooms with either high humidity or leaks, giving cockroaches easy access to water. Look at your sinks, heating system, washing machine, and fridge. If it produces water, it should be water-tight and bone dry.
Remove Your Trash
Once you remove all the food items from your home, you need to focus on the inedible material... for humans, that is! Cockroaches will eat paper, cardboard, and anything with even the smallest bit of starch in it. Make sure to do a deep clean of your wastebasket and remove any paper-based garbage so the roaches can't get to it.
House On Lockdown
Finally, place the house on lockdown and make sure to seal all cracks, holes, and gaps with a calking solution to better prevent roaches from coming in. Make sure to seal your doors as well with a metal threshold and a door sweep.
Once everything is sealed, you can take it one step further by adding Borax, boric acid, or roach bait to areas where you think cockroaches might frequent. Borax damages the exoskeleton and the cockroaches' digestive system, and it kills them quickly if they eat the powder.
If a cockroach infestation has taken over your home, then hiring a professional exterminator might be a good idea if you find that home remedies aren't good enough. Pest control professionals are paid and trained to look through the house and snuff out all the places that roaches try to hide. They can inspect your property before or after you decide to leave it vacant and eliminate large roach infestations using special pesticides.
Keeping Your Empty House Empty
If you leave your house empty for a while, you certainly don't want to return to find that a horde of bugs has moved into your home! Before you leave, make sure to do a deep clean of your home, seal up any cracks/ crevices, and remove as many food and water sources as you can.
Cockroaches are durable and persistent but not invincible, and if you make it harder for them to enter your home, they will eventually move onto another house.
Even the cleanest homes attract roaches, and having a roach infestation doesn't mean that your house is dirty. It just means that it is very easy for the cockroaches to get inside your home, and you can go around your house and prevent the roaches from getting inside. Then you will be able to leave your property empty and trust that no bugs will come inside of it.