It is commonly believed that cockroaches only infest poorly kept homes where interior living spaces are unsanitary. While it is true that cockroaches thrive in landfills, dumpsters and sewers where organic waste is ubiquitous, very few people are tolerant of living in conditions that are filthy enough to literally attract outdoor cockroaches into homes. However, cockroach infestations often become quite extensive within filthy homes, as cockroaches are reluctant to leave cluttered and unsanitary living conditions once they become situated indoors. In truth, even the cleanest and most well maintained homes provide the basic conditions that cockroaches require in order to survive and reproduce. Moisture, food and shelter are all cockroaches need to thrive, and cockroaches can secure these conditions within any home. It is important to remember that cockroaches naturally dwell in close association with humans, and not just humans that are slobs.

The four primary cockroach pest species in Massachusetts are commonly known as American, German, Oriental and brown-banded cockroaches. German cockroaches are by far the most commonly encountered and most frequently controlled cockroach pests within homes because they, along with brown-banded cockroaches, dwell solely within homes. Because of this, German, and the much less common brown-banded cockroach species, are indifferent to the interior conditions of homes. In fact, German cockroaches usually wind up in homes due to being unknowingly transported indoors by humans. When German cockroaches are transported indoors, they generally spend almost their entire lives reproducing within dark wall voids, and at night, only a small number of cockroaches leave wall voids to forage in exposed living spaces. Cockroaches do not require much food to sustain themselves, and wall voids are conducive to moisture buildup, even in arid parts of the world. American and Oriental cockroaches are peridomestic species, meaning they naturally dwell in urban and suburban areas, but they only enter homes in certain situations. For example, American cockroaches derive many benefits from inhabiting sewer systems, but they only enter homes when doing so is more advantageous than remaining in yards, parks, sewers, or any other urban area. American cockroach behavior during storms provides a more specific example. Sewer overflow resulting from heavy bouts of rainfall causes American cockroaches frantically swarm out of manholes in a frantic effort to find shelter, often within homes.

Have you ever found American cockroaches within your home?