There are few things worse than the thought of scurrying cockroaches in your home. Well, there’s one thing worse and that’s that cockroaches survive freezing temperatures the same way we do… inside our homes! That’s where cockroaches go in cold weather. Cockroaches, like other cold-blooded insects, don’t do well below freezing. This is why the most common cockroach in New England, the German Cockroach, lives almost exclusively indoors. With this in mind, residents of Springfield and Holyoke Massachusetts along with residents of Hartford and Windsor, Connecticut should not rely on the sub-zero temps to keep roaches at bay. Here’s what you need to know and what you should do.
Cockroaches are a health risk
Full-stop. Most notably, cockroaches trigger some of the worst allergies that pests can cause your family. Cockroach feces, saliva, and even body parts are known to be the instigators of allergic reactions. This reaction is especially strong in children. Approximately 23 percent to 60 percent of urban residents with asthma are sensitive to cockroach allergens. This impacts quality of life for an estimated 7 million children. “Studies have shown that early exposure to high levels of allergen may lead to the development of asthma in individuals with a genetic predisposition to asthma.” It’s essential that you prevent and treat cockroach infestations—even in colder weather.
What do cockroaches do in cold temps?
Cockroaches are capable of going into a kind of hibernation, known as diapause when the temperature drops too cold (40 degrees F) for them to search for food and mate. Think of all those New England summer homes that stay winterized under a blanket of snow. Even if a home is winterized and the furnace is turned off, the protection from the elements, the moisture, and the lack of activity can make for an excellent hiding spot with enough warmth for them to survive.
So, what can you do to keep your home cockroach-free?
We strongly recommend preventative treatment by a professional, but we might be a little biased.
- Cockroaches love moist, warm areas around the home. Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding site for pests.
- Store food and pantry items in durable, airtight containers, and dispose of food waste regularly.
- Don’t leave pet food out overnight when cockroaches are most active.
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
- Keep attics, basements, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags, and other packages brought into the home. When setting up seasonal decorations, consider unpacking them outdoors.
Want to keep the pests at bay? Call us at 413-566-8222 or contact us with any questions or if you are experiencing a pest problem. We have the knowledge and the services to correct your infestation. Ask Graduate about our preventative annual plans to keep your home pest-free year-round!