Here we are in the coldest weeks of winter, yet the humble cockroach seems impervious to the cold. In fact, for the most part, they are. German cockroaches, in particular, can live and reproduce during the entire winter within the rafters, sheet rock, and interior walls of your home, apartment building, or office building, where the temperatures are usually warmer than 50 degrees.
Even outside, where the weather dips below freezing, cockroaches are adept at finding caves, logs, and other natural locations to shield themselves from the wind and cold. Once in your home, you’ll often see them in and around floor drains, crawl spaces, and basements, because they need water to survive.
When the temperatures drop, many cockroaches go into “diapause,” which is a hibernation-like state of dormancy. Although their metabolic rate slows and growth stops, they continue to eat and reproduce throughout the winter months, provided they have found a warm home with plenty of food and water.
Once inside your home, German cockroaches are difficult to eliminate without the help of a professional pest management company. In fact, in a recent study conducted by Purdue University, it was reported that the German cockroach is becoming harder and harder to kill, primarily because it is becoming impervious to multiple types of insecticides.
12 Tips for Preventing Cockroach Infestations
While you might need professional help to completely eliminate and manage your cockroach problem, there are some things you can do right now to minimize the risk of an infestation.
- Seal all windows and door frames.
- Seal all exterior cracks and gaps with caulk.
- Promptly remove dirty dishes and food scraps from your sink and countertops.
- Promptly discard uneaten food.
- Promptly clean up all liquid spills and food spills.
- Do not store fruit on countertops or tabletops.
- Store all pantry goods that come in paper, cardboard, or thin plastic in thick, well-sealed containers.
- Don’t leave out pet food overnight.
- Place dishes in soapy water after eating, rather than in a stack next to the sink.
- Empty garbage cans and wastebaskets daily.
- Keep outside garbage in a sealed container.
- Regularly clean floors, counters, and rugs.
Why Professional Help is Needed
Most off-the-shelf insecticides, even when they are directly applied to a surface area, are not able to penetrate the egg case of the German cockroach. As such, cockroaches that hatch after treatment are not affected, which is why follow-up applications by a professional pest management company is so important.
What’s more, cockroaches are nocturnal and extremely good at hiding, which makes it even more necessary to bring in a professional. Because cockroach eggs are naturally protected from pesticides, it takes one of our skilled technicians to manage and get rid of these pests. We use a variety of baits, flushing agents, and dusts to determine the severity of the situation, and we know how to treat the infestation properly. Without our special equipment and extensive knowledge, cockroach control is nearly impossible to do on your own.