Roaches typically thrive in the summer season as the increased humidity allows them to reproduce in large numbers; but when cold weather hits, where do roaches go? Do they die off? Do they hibernate? Roaches are resilient pests and they have made several adaptations over the years to ensure their survival even during the harshest winter weather. Their winter plans vary slightly by species but they all have one goal in mind: surviving the winter.
Roaches typically don’t like the cold as they are cold-blooded arthropods and their body temperature mirrors that of their surroundings. Some nymphs will enter a state of diapause (an inactive, hibernation-like state) where their metabolic rate slows and their growth stops. This usually happens for those nymphs that remain outdoors over the winter. Many other roaches are overwintering pests, coming indoors in search of warmer temperatures and food sources to get them through until spring. As long as the temperature inside your home remains above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, cockroaches will continue to thrive and reproduce no matter what season it is.
German cockroaches can crawl through openings as small as 1/6th of their normal size to get inside. They will often hide out in wall cracks and voids as they overwinter. Oriental cockroaches like to stay close to water sources like sewers, drains, and basements and will often be found near these spots inside your home during the winter. Brown-banded cockroaches are attracted to the warmth of electrical appliances and will usually be found in the kitchen during colder weather. American cockroaches usually remain outdoors, although some adults will come indoors in search of warmth and food. These roaches will usually hibernate in wood piles and decaying trees over the winter.
- Seal any cracks and crevices with caulk.
- Store food in sealed containers.
- Don’t leave dirty dishes or food scraps out overnight.
- Don’t leave pet food out overnight.
- Empty the trash daily and use cans with sealing lids.
- Remove clutter.
Roaches are known to carry allergens and bacteria that cause serious diseases in humans. They can also contaminate any food or other surfaces they come in contact with. Roaches are resilient which is why they’ve been around for so long. Because of this, you can’t depend on mother nature to get rid of them for you. If you have a roach infestation, contact a professional pest control company who can help identify which types of roaches you are dealing with, how they are getting in, and help set you up with a treatment and prevention plan.