Unwelcome Roommates: The Secret Life of Roaches in Your Home

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Do you live in a house with roaches? Roaches are familiar and common insects and pests that are found all across the globe. These nasty insects are resourceful and strive to live, eat, drink, and breed in any possible environment, including commercial buildings and residential houses, without you even being aware.

Roaches don’t usually bite, but these insects cause problems over time, such as health issues and minor to significant damage inside the house. They dwell on furniture, leather, and even in the backyard. Chances are that if you have an immaculately clean house they will still come in to make it there home.

If you don’t know if you have roaches in your house, read our article to get an idea of what to look for and how to identify them. We’re also going to explain what these insects are and how to get them out of your house!

What Are Roaches?

Roaches are social insects that are well-known across the globe for their strong, sharp smell and ability to eat and hunt all forms of garbage. They belong to the Blattodea order with other insects, such as termites. Overall, roaches are dark in color, medium-sized insects with shiny and hard exoskeletons.

Roaches begin their early stage of life as nymphs found in eggs. As time passes, these nymphs grow bigger and bigger and will shed their exoskeleton a few times until adulthood. Adult roaches are usually around ¼ to 4 inches long, with six legs for digging, climbing, and fitting into tiny holes. 

Since there are a lot of species that can be found all over the world, it would not be surprising for others to confuse roaches with other insects or bugs.

Some people even wonder if roaches are different from cockroaches. Well, the answer is the two are the same insects; you can refer to them as one or the other. The term ‘roach’ is just the short version of the cockroach.

How to Identify Roaches?

Over 4,000 kinds of roach species live in the world, with around seventy types in the United States. But only a few are in residential homes and commercial properties. The most common ones we can spot are American, German, Oriental, and brown-banded cockroaches.

American cockroaches are the biggest, around 2 inches long, infesting households. On the other hand, brown-banded cockroaches are probably the smallest, and they can only reach around ½ inch in length.

Oriental cockroaches are slightly larger, measuring 1 inch in length. In contrast, German cockroaches usually vary in size from ½ to around 5/8 inches.

While these social insects look the same, with all of them having oval-shaped bodies, you should be able to tell and identify them apart. The best way to do this is by looking at and observing their different body shades.

For instance, American roaches possess a reddish-brown color. On the other hand, brown-banded roaches have a striking banding on their wings. While Oriental cockroaches are black and shiny, German cockroaches have tan to light brown body shades with dark stripes.

Why Are There So Many Roaches In My House?

Roaches will find their way into the house because of three things. They are on a quest for food, water, and shelter.

While these insects usually find their way into homes and apartments with other items like clothing and luggage, they want to stay and look for food and water.

Since these insects are motivated by their survival instinct, it would not be surprising to see many roaches hanging and lounging around the house looking for these things.

How Do You Live In A House With Roaches?


No one sets out to live with roaches, but it can happen if you’re not careful with how you are living or paying attention to what is going on in and around your home.

While it’s common to say that roaches like dirty or unsanitary homes, these insects can still live and thrive in the household, even if you’re a meticulous or excellent super-duper cleaner.

Indeed, there are a lot of factors that attract these little beasts to clean homes. Below is a list of the three things that attract roaches:

Landscape Features

Certain landscape features, such as standing water in gutters, flower pots, and bird baths, will harbor many roaches. Since these pests are searching for food, they will pile up in the yard, dwelling in wood piles or composts. Leaf litter and dense vegetation in the landscaped areas around your house are ideal hiding places for roaches.


Leaky appliances, pipes, faucets, and sinks create a thriving condition for roaches since these areas provide a readily available water source. This is also why you often find them in the kitchen, pantry, laundry, and bathrooms. Air conditioning and refrigerators are also possible hideouts, as roaches want to indulge in the condensation from these appliances.

To learn how to get rid of moisture in your home, read our article – Does Baking Soda Remove Moisture?

Food Sources

Since roaches will eat whatever food they can, whenever or wherever; they will most likely head straight into the kitchen, even if you keep your kitchen clean and 100% spotless.

They aren’t picky eaters; their diet can consist of cardboard boxes, grease, pet food, book bindings, wallpaper pastes, leather, and even hair.

If You Live in a House with Roaches – What Damage Can They Cause?

Roaches can only cause minimal damage to your home except for extreme infestation. These insects would likely dwell and target your home’s organic fabrics and leathers, paper starch, and adhesives.

However, over time, the slight damage would most likely build up into something else, with letters, books, drapes, furniture, and clothing becoming possible roach food.

They can also cause damage by leaving their black excrement around your home which can contain diseases that cause sickness and affect you and your family.

If You Live in a House with Roaches – How Do You Get Rid of Them?


Suppose you want nothing but to eliminate and prevent roaches from invading the inside of your house. In that case, you must start limiting their growing numbers outside your home, such as in the garden or yard. Here’s how you can do it.

Make Use of Sticky Traps 

Sticky traps are practical tools to prevent roaches from heading directly inside the house. Put these sticky traps outdoors or where you spot them entering the house, like foundations, cracks, windows, and doors.

Clean! Clean! Clean!

Since roaches will do everything to survive (shelter, food, and water), you must ensure that you clean the areas of your house and leave them with no way to get food or water.

These include removing leaf and wood piles and stagnant water. Secure the lids of your trash bins and trim your plantings a distance from the house.

Get Tricky Baits

To lower the number of roaches seeking refuge and shelter in your house, get them tricky baits and kill them before they even get inside. Create a bait station in fences, outbuildings, corners, ledges, and house foundations. 

What Natural Remedies Should You Use to Get Rid of Roaches?

There are some natural but effective home remedies you can use to stop these nasty little beasts from dwelling and piling into your home. Below are a few that we recommend:

Baking Soda

Baking soda is the easiest and quickest way to eliminate any trace of roaches in your home.

Place the baking soda in a dish with some food residue and trick the cockroaches. Once these insects absorb the baking soda, it will create a gas in their stomach, causing them to internally explode.

Do you have an ant problem, too? Learn how to get rid of ants when you read our post – Does Baking Soda Kill Ants?

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth is another natural, excellent insect repellant. Once this home remedy gets on the roaches, it can dehydrate these pesty insects to death. Use food-grade diatomaceous earth and sprinkle on any surface where you often see them.


While most humans love citrus, this treat is a repellent for roaches. For instance, the smell of lemon deters these insects. Sprinkle a few drops of lemon essential oil on your mop before mopping the floor, and see the roaches flee.

How To Keep a Roach-Free Home?

Cleanliness is the number one answer to keeping your home roach-free. Start by eliminating anything that will attract roaches, like human or pet food sources.

Kitchen appliances should also be grease-free to avert roaches from them. Wipe the table and kitchen counters every night and add lemon oil to deter these insects. On top of everything, get rid of roaches’ nesting materials like cardboard boxes and newspapers. 

To learn more about cleaning and roaches in your home, check out our article – Can Clean Houses Get Roaches?

Do You Live in a House with Roaches? – Conclusion

We hope that if you’re concerned about roaches in your house, you’ve learned from us what to look for.

Roaches are social insects that are dark in color, medium-sized with shiny and hard exoskeletons. There are over 4000 kinds in the world, with around seventy types in the United States. Roaches want into your home because they are on a quest for food, water, and shelter.

Once they accumulate and grow over time, these insects might cause extreme infestation you don’t even want to imagine. That’s why identifying these insects and taking action will help solve this problem. Before this happens and to help prevent roaches from entering your house, remove compost piles from outside your home and moisture and food from inside your home. 

If it’s too late and roaches have already entered your home, follow our tips and use the products above to eliminate them.

To learn more about roaches and how they get into your home, check out our article – How Do Roaches Get into Your House?