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A Cockroach On A White Surface, Braving The Winter.

Why do I have cockroaches in the winter?

Why do I have cockroaches in the winter?

You would think we’d get a break from having to worry about cockroaches in the winter, right? As cold-blooded insects, shouldn’t they go dormant or die in the colder months? Unfortunately, cockroaches are a year-round pest because they find places to survive the cold. Like most pests in the winter, they look for food and water. Additionally, they look for warm, moist dark places to take shelter from the cold. Just like mice and squirrels, they need warmth to survive!

Unfortunately, your house has everything cockroaches need to survive the winter and cozy up until spring! Even businesses have cockroaches in the winter. They love commercial buildings, especially warehouses, garages, hotels, and restaurants.

A cockroach on a white surface, braving the winter.

Roaches come with more than just the “ick” factor!

Did you know that roaches can run up to 3 miles per hour? It’s bad enough to see roaches with their spindly antennae skittering across the kitchen counter or bathroom floor. It’s worse, however, to know they spread disease and bacteria. They can also carry mold and fungus from their dark, damp hiding places and spread them throughout your home. That’s why it is important for your health, hygiene, and sanitation to get rid of cockroaches and keep them from coming back.

The Types of Cockroaches in the Winter

The two most common types of cockroaches in Hampton Roads, Virginia are American Roaches and German Roaches. Although they are relatively similar, they have their unique characteristics. Knowing their differences can help you identify the type and the best way to get rid of cockroaches in the winter.

American Roaches

American Roaches, also called Water Bugs or Palmetto Bugs, can be up to 2 inches long and are the largest of the house-infesting insects. The males are slightly larger than the females, and they are the most difficult to get rid of due to their armor-like bodies and aggressive traits. They frequent drainpipes where they can hide out unnoticed. They eat sweets and starchy items like book bindings, glue, and wallpaper paste.

German Roaches

German Roaches are attracted to moisture, clutter, and dirty kitchens. They are attracted to rotting food or messes left behind for them to enjoy. German Roaches are smaller than American Roaches and lighter brown in color and live mostly indoors. They typically feast on leftovers and caracaras of other German roaches and mostly keep to the kitchen of a home.

Silhouette of a common seven-legged table, occupied by cockroaches in the winter.

Are Roaches Worse in the Winter?

It may seem like you see more cockroaches in the winter. Why? Because even the ones that can live outside in the warmer months need to get away from the cold.

They are also not scared of sounds or people until you’re practically on top of them with a shoe. Since they seek warmth, they tend to make themselves known by wandering into living spaces where temperatures are friendlier than the outside world. Unfortunately, they are social creatures, so when there’s one, there are a LOT more that you can’t see.

Cockroach Prevention

Ready to get rid of roaches? You can take steps to help prevent them from coming into your home or business altogether:

Don’t serve them a ready-made meal – Cockroaches will eat ANYTHING they can find. Maintain good storage practices with pantry items and bulk food items. They love dog food. Keep food sources in sealed containers.

Give them the cold shoulder – Reduce access to food and water by sealing cracks and crevices along doors, windows, and cabinets. Don’t forget your crawl space and pipes.

Dry conditions repel them – One of the best ways to keep your home from being attractive to roaches is to avoid excess moisture buildup in your crawl space, kitchen, and bathrooms. This is especially effective with German roaches. Neither American Roaches nor German Roaches can survive more than a week without water.

What else can you do about Cockroaches in the Winter?

If your prevention measures have failed, it’s time for roach control. There are do-it-yourself products out there. However, most are only somewhat effective and don’t get rid of the majority of the colony. They also don’t follow the life cycle of the roaches and may only repel roaches instead of killing them. You should also be careful where you spray or use the insect bombs, so you don’t contaminate food surfaces.

Seek Professional Help from Mosquito Elite Pest Control to Get Rid of Roaches!

Don’t feel bad if you just can’t get rid of them. Afterall, they survived when dinosaurs didn’t! They’ve been around a long time. If you need to get rid of roaches or you can’t figure out how they are getting in, call Mosquito Elite Pest Control. We are expert cockroach exterminators and pest’s worst enemy! Our roach control treatments are effective to get rid of them and keep them gone. Call (757) 689-0640 to schedule a consultation.


Here’s a great article for kids about where bugs go in the winter.

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