Can Clean Houses Get Roaches?: The Surprising Truth

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What do you think about when you think of roaches? You probably think of dirty, old apartments full of garbage. But Can Clean Houses Get Roaches?

The answer is yes; clean houses can get roaches. There are a couple of reasons for this, with the main reasons being that they need moisture, shelter, and food to survive. 

If your home can provide these things for them, no matter how clean, they will invite themselves into your house.

Now that you know clean houses can get roaches, you may be curious what they are and why they can come into your clean house.

What Are Roaches?


The roach or cockroach is an insect from the Blattodea order, which also contains termites. Their origin dates back millions of years.

The most common in North America are the German Cockroach, Oriental Cockroach, American Cockroach, Brown-banded Cockroach, and Smokybrown Cockroach.

What Is the Difference Between a Roach and a Cockroach?

Is there a difference between a “roach” and “cockroach”? No, they are two names for the same insect.

The word cockroach comes from the Spanish word cucaracha.

Why Can Clean Houses Get Roaches?

Like rodents, roaches need three things to survive: water, food, and shelter.

Your home may be clean, but it provides these things without you realizing it. And your home may also make it easy for them to enter without you realizing it.

What Attracts Roaches in a Clean House?

Unlike rats and mice, roaches can only go a week without water. 

So, places with moisture, like your basement, bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen, will attract them. They will also be attracted to any leaky or broken pipes in your house.

Roaches prefer warmer temperatures and are common in humid, tropical areas. But when it starts dropping down into the forties and below, they will begin to die off.

That is one of the reasons why they are attracted to your warm home. Colder temperatures also make it hard for roaches to breed, so your warm home will help them do that.

Roaches are nocturnal and dark homes at night that have no lights on, provide cover for them to go forage for food. Roaches are omnivorous and eat things that your home may supply.

They prefer vegetables, meat, and fruits but will scavenge on dead animals, feces, hair, and paper, among other items.

Do Roaches like Clean Houses?

Roaches are looking to survive and breed. To do this, they need water, food, and shelter.

It does not matter if your home is clean or dirty as long as they can get those three things.

A clean home may make it harder for them to get water or food, but they will keep looking for it until they find something edible or drinkable.

How Can a Clean House Get Roaches?

Since roaches do not care if your home is clean or not, they are going to enter any way they can to get the food, water, and shelter they need.

Like rodents, insects can enter your clean home in various ways. Roaches are small bugs, and because of this, they can enter various points around the outside of your home. 

So you may be wondering where these points and areas are on the outside of your house?

Where Do Roaches Come From When Your House Is Clean? 

It’s scary to think how easily a rodent can enter a small crack in your foundation, but a roach is much smaller, making it even easier for it to enter your home. Below are areas where they can enter your clean house:

  • Cracks, gaps, and holes on the outside of your home
  • Dryer vents
  • Areas around pipes or faucets on the outside of your house
  • Window screens
  • Windows and door frames
  • Window air conditioner units
  • Food and beverage containers brought into your home
  • Pet food containers brought into your home

Roaches can easily walk or fly in through your outside doors if left open.

Once roaches get into your house, they are not only trying to survive but breed.

How Do Roaches Mate?

Roaches are primarily social insects and prefer to live in groups. While living in groups, male and female roaches will usually produce sexually.

Do Roaches Reproduce on Their Own?

Female roaches can reproduce asexually through a process called parthenogenesis. While reproducing asexually, female roaches only give birth to females. They can reproduce over and over asexually.

How Long Does It Take Roaches to Multiply?

The rate at which roaches reproduce and multiply varies by the type of roach species. Normally a female cockroach can produce 128 eggs. 

So, roaches can multiply exponentially, producing a large infestation in your house in a year or even shorter period.

What If I Only See One Roach in My House?

As was mentioned earlier, roaches are social insects, so if you only see one roach, more than likely, there are others hiding out in your house.

If it is only one and it’s female, you still may have a pending infestation if it starts producing asexually.

So be cognizant and check moist areas, cracks, and crevices in your house for more of them.

Are Roaches Dangerous?

Yes, roaches are definitely dangerous to humans. They can carry diseases and allergens that affect you and your family.

For some, they can also cause psychological trauma.

Can You Get Sick from Roaches in Your House?

If roaches are in your house, they can cause allergens and trigger asthma in you or your family members.

They are also known to carry Entamoeba histolytica, poliomyelitis virus, and Salmonella Typhimurium. All of which can make you and your family sick.

How Do You Get Rid of Roaches Permanently?


Now that you have a roach infestation and know they are dangerous, it’s time to take action and get rid of them. But how do you get rid of them?

As long as you have entry points and food and water for roaches in your house, it may be difficult to get rid of them permanently, but according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), there is a four-step plan for managing roaches in your house.

1. Prevention of Roaches in Your House

Prevention means sealing the cracks, gaps, holes, or crevices in and around your home. Also, place weather stripping around windows and doors.

Inspect and check what you are bringing into your home to avoid unknowingly carrying any more into your house.

2. Sanitation of Roaches in Your House

Sanitation refers to the denial of the three things roaches need most: food, water, and shelter. 


  • Clean your home and especially clean up all food and crumbs after eating around the cupboards, countertops, toasters, etc.
  • Clean under the stove, refrigerator, furniture, and other areas where food can get trapped
  • Clean up any spilled pet food, and do not leave any out.
  • Empty and clean litter boxes regularly
  • Take the garbage out regularly and put it in a sealed container.


  • Patch up or replace any leaky pipes 
  • Run humidifiers in rooms that have excess moisture or humidity
  • Put away your pet’s water


To deny shelter for roaches, remove clutter in your home, like newspapers and other papers, cardboard boxes, and damp clothing.

3. Trapping Roaches in Your House

Now, you can trap the roaches. You can purchase roach traps to not only trap them but also monitor them.

The best places to set traps are against vertical surfaces like corners, under cabinets, sinks, drains, and in your basement.

4. Chemical Control of Roaches In Your House 

If the first three steps did not work, your last option is to use a chemical approach to kill and get rid of them.

There are a variety of chemicals and products you can purchase to do this yourself or hire a local pest control company.

Some other common questions about getting rid of roaches are below.

How to Get Rid of Roaches Overnight?

Something else you may be wondering is if you can get rid of cockroaches overnight.

If you only have a few, it may be possible to use the four steps recommended by the CDC and get rid of them overnight.

If you have an infestation, you may want to contact your local pest control company to see if they can get rid of them overnight.

Will Roaches Leave a Cold House?

As was mentioned earlier, once the temperature starts dropping into the forties and below, they will begin dying. But is this a practical way to get rid of them?

Probably not, especially if you are living in the home. It may take a while to cool your home down to the forties, and you are not going to like staying in your house in those temperatures.


As I mentioned earlier, clean houses can get roaches. It doesn’t matter how clean your house is; if your home allows them access to water, food, and shelter, you can get roaches.

Like rodents, roaches can enter your home through cracks, holes, and gaps in your home.

But since they are much smaller, they can also enter through windows and doors and attach to the things you bring into your house, especially food sources.

Roaches can breed and multiply quickly. Female roaches can reproduce female roaches only asexually.

Roaches are also dangerous due to them carrying diseases and allergens.

To get rid of roaches in your home, follow the CDC’s four-step plan for managing roaches in your house.

If you’re not sure you have roaches in your house, read our post – Do You Live In A House With Roaches? to find out.