Will Roaches Leave A Cold House? (Find Out Now!)

Will Roaches Leave A Cold House

I remember when I lived down by the Jersey Shore. Thanks to the awful neighbors next door, I got roaches sooner rather than later. It was terrible. And I never really got them out until I left the apartment. Ever since then, I did my best to learn how to prevent and kill pests of all types. In the past, I was told that roaches will leave a cold house. But, is this really true? It turned out to be more of an urban myth.

Cockroaches do not like the cold, and will fall into a hibernative state if it gets too chilly. In some cases, they may leave the home. However, this is not always guaranteed. Roaches generally will be willing to put up with the same span of temperatures as people will. So, unless you are willing to bother with extreme cold, it probably won’t work well for you.

While there are moments that cold can help remove cockroaches from your home, the full answer is more nuanced. Before you assume that cockroaches will leave, it’s smart to learn what’s real about this urban legend…if there’s anything real at all.

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Do Cockroaches Live In The Cold?

Yes and no. On one hand, we have to remember that cockroaches primarily live in the Southern part of the United States. On the other hand, we have to remember that New York City is a cold area and it’s also roach central. What I’m saying is that cockroaches generally like warmer climates but will tolerate the cold. The cold will generally not kill them.

With that said, cockroaches definitely prefer hotter climates when compared to colder scenes.

How Do Cockroaches React To The Cold?

It depends on the species and how cold it is, honestly. Most cockroaches will just slow down their movements when they get into colder climates. When the temperature dips below a certain threshold, roaches will start to huddle together in clusters as a way of preserving warmth. This usually happens when temperatures get close to freezing.

When temperatures dip very low, roaches will enter a state known as diapause. This is a semi-hibernation state that will involve their bodies slowing down their metabolism and everything else. If the temperatures dip below freezing, there is a notable chance that you will see the roaches die.

Why Is Using Cold As A Roach Killer Not Advisable?

It’s not advisable because it’s not feasible in most cases. Temperatures have to be extremely low throughout the home, often to the point that homeowners will be uncomfortable. If you have roaches in your wall, then you might not be able to dip your temperature low enough to kill those. This will cause a re-infestation.

Moreover, let’s talk about the feasibility of actually dropping the temperature in your home low enough to kill every single roach in your house. Most parts of the country do not get cold enough to kill roaches on a regular basis. Even if you do live in a place like North Dakota, the truth is that most people will not be able to fully air out their home.

Will Cockroaches Die In High Heat?

Let’s just put it this way: extreme temperatures will kill roaches, period. The question is, how extreme does it have to be? High heat will kill roaches, but it has to be extraordinarily high to do so. Most of the time, treating your home for bed bugs will also treat the roaches. Bed bugs die at 140 degrees, and roaches will be long gone by then too.

The truth is that most people will not want to have to deal with high temperatures that are lethal for cockroaches. It’s just really uncomfortable and may take longer than a day to fully kick in. After all, roaches actually take a while to kill, which can turn into a pretty gnarly time in your apartment.

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Kill Roaches?

Though it’s not easy to get a roach to die from the cold, it is possible. There are certain benchmarks that you should be aware of when it comes to temperature.

  • Roaches will lose their ability to reproduce at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. They have to stay at 40 degrees Fahrenheit too. Otherwise, they will regain their reproduction abilities and return.
  • Roaches will die at 15 to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s uncertain how long this takes, but you can bet that it will take longer than half an hour.
  • If you want to kill them with heat, you will have to crank up the temperature to 115 degrees or more. Roaches are remarkably resilient when it comes to heat, too.

How To Kill Roaches In Your Home Without Using Chemicals

Once roaches are in your home, it’s not easy to get them out. In fact, you are probably going to have to exterminate them in order to get rid of them. The best method to use to kill roaches is to sprinkle diatomaceous earth, or DE. This is a natural stone powder that’s made of crushed-up shells. It kills bugs by dehydrating them. You will need to replace the DE, too.

If that doesn’t work, it’s just best to hire an exterminator. Unfortunately, roaches are a lot like bed bugs when it comes to the difficulty level of trying to get them out of your home. Even then, if you live in an apartment building, there is a good chance that the roaches will come back.

It is even possible to find cockroaches in your dishwasher.

How To Decontaminate Roach-Infested Items Using The Cold

Let’s say that you went to an estate sale and found a cute retro blender. But, the house looks like it has a roach problem. I’ve been there, and I understand that desire to get appliances from sketchy people. There is a way that you can use the cold to decontaminate roach-infested items in your home.

To decontaminate small to medium-sized objects, place them in a plastic bag and seal the bag. Leave the bag in the freezer for a week, and it should be enough to kill the roaches.

Will Roaches Flee A House In Winter?

Nope. Quite the opposite, really. Roaches hate the cold temperatures that we often see outdoors, so this is the most common time that we see these pests skitter towards homes. If you have neighbors who recently tried to get rid of roaches, you need to be on your guard. There’s a good chance that they may end up trying to enter your home during this time.

With that said, certain types of roaches are more likely to be winter pests than others. The most common culprits include:

  • German Cockroaches. This is one of the hardest types of roaches to remove in the winter, since they like to hide in cracks and walls. They’re lighter brown and can grow up to 1.5 inches in length.
  • American Cockroaches. If the roaches you see are large and reddish-brown, it’s this type of roach. These tend to be far hardier in the winter than most other types. That’s why they’re so common in NYC.
  • Oriental Cockroaches. These roaches are big and black, capable of growing up to 2 inches, and are a royal pain. They are most likely to congregate in humid, dark areas.
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Related Questions

What plants repel cockroaches?

Like many other critters, cockroaches are remarkably sensitive to smells. This means that strong-smelling plants like mint, rosemary, catnip, and of course, lemongrass. A good rule of thumb to follow is that you should expect to have any kind of pungent herb cause roaches to walk away.

On a similar note, using mint spray is a good way to ensure that your home stays roach-free. The bugs really, truly detest that smell. A close second would be rosemary, followed by garlic or orange. This is why many citrus cleaners are linked to lower roach infestation rates.

Why are roaches attracted to my home?

Roaches are attracted to three primary things: heat, water, and food. If you are a homeowner who makes a point of taking out the garbage and keeping things clean, the roach infestation that you see is probably caused by a high level of water in your home. In most cases, drying out your home is an easy way to ensure that roaches do not try to make your home theirs.

Using dehumidifiers is a good way to make it happen. If you want to be extra cautious, use diatomaceous earth on a regular basis throughout your area.

How do you find a roach nest?

Roach nests are often found in the kitchen, close to the refrigerator or oven. The telltale signs include darkened spots, roach shells, and egg casings around the area. Removing the nest is a good start to cleaning up a roach infestation, but be careful. Most infestations have far more than one nest.

If you found one, it’s time to look around to see if there are others around your area. Once you have located all the nests, a thorough cleaning and spray down with pesticide is in order.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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