Why Do I Have Roaches If My House is Clean?

cockroaches gross.

What Attracts Cockroaches?

Why are there cockroaches in my house?

Many people think of cockroaches as disgusting pests that only inhabit the homes of hoarders or other unkempt areas. However, the reality is that different species may be attracted to different things inside and outside your home. They are usually looking for food, water and shelter. 

  • Moisture
  • Crumbs and Pet Food
  • Dark Spaces


Many species of cockroaches in Houston are attracted to damp areas. A good rule of thumb is that anything that can contribute to mold growth can also attract cockroaches.

Inspect your plumbing for leaks under sinks or around exterior plumbing fixtures. Any areas of standing water such as a decorative bucket in your yard or even your pet’s water bowl can attract cockroaches. Squeeze out kitchen sponges and seal them in plastic bags overnight and don’t forget to clean your gutters regularly to remove wet clumps of leaves.

Crumbs and Pet Food

This one may be more of a no-brainer, but many pests can be attracted to your home if you have ample food sources. Clean out your pantry thoroughly—wiping down all surfaces and vacuuming or sweeping out crumbs that may have collected on shelves or across the floor.

After feeding your pets, pick up their bowls, and replace any leftover food back into the bag. You can also start feeding your pets on schedule and sealing their food in airtight containers while not in use.

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Dark Spaces

Many insects are attracted to dark areas where they can hide and wait for an opportunity to get their next meal. Check crevices, holes, or cracks throughout your home and seal off as many small entrances as possible if you think you may have a cockroach problem.

Keep an eye on these other hiding places that cockroaches are likely to be found:

  • Under kitchen or bathroom sinks

  • Pantries

  • Storage sheds

  • Garages

  • Mulch beds

  • Closets

  • Plumbing entrances

  • Attic vents

  • Soffit vents

  • Beneath doors

How do you get rid of cockroaches?

Different species of cockroaches have different hiding places and habits. Professional cockroach control services from Preventive Pest Control will differ in their approaches because our team is trained to seek out what species you’re dealing with and use different strategies to help you eliminate the issue. Some of our methods may include baits, residual dust, anti-reproductive inhibitors, and roach barriers.

Do bug bombs work?

This is a common question and thanks to a recent study conducted by North Carolina State University, we now know that bug bombs (sometimes known as ‘total release foggers’) are not an effective way to eradicate a cockroach infestation. Researchers tested four commercially available bug bombs with “various insecticide active ingredients” on apartment complexes and homes with moderate to severe infestation of German cockroaches.

They found that bug bombs don’t reach the areas that cockroaches are likely to infest and can leave up to 600 times more pesticide residue on countertops and floors—which are heavily used by pets and human inhabitants of the home.

Common cockroaches in Houston, Texas

There are many different kinds of cockroaches that could be inhabiting your home. Here are 5 of the most common you’ll see in our area:

American Cockroach

The American cockroach is the largest of the cockroaches you’ll find in the Houston area. Growing up to three inches in length, these nightmarish critters are distinguished by their reddish-brown color and the yellow band behind their head. Unfortunately for homeowners and anyone with a phobia of bugs, American cockroaches have one more terrifying trick up their sleeves—they can fly.

Brown Banded Cockroach

The Brown Banded cockroach is named for the two distinct brownish bands across the base and body of the abdomen. Male and female Brown Banded cockroaches have wings, but thankfully, only the males will fly when disturbed.

This species of cockroach is commonly found in homes as they prefer warm, dry areas to nest in. They’ll seek shelter in sheds, pantries, closets, and even strange areas such as inside light switch plates or in your refrigerator motor.

German Cockroach

A German cockroach can be identified by its smaller size and light brown body with black stripes. German cockroaches can’t fly, but they do mostly exist in the same spaces as humans due to readily available food and water sources.

This species of cockroach can be one of the more alarming to find in your home—though it’s not because of how they look. German cockroaches are smaller than other species in our area, but they live in large colonies of greater numbers than other species. They also reproduce at a much quicker rate than other species, if given the right circumstances.

Oriental Cockroach

Oriental cockroaches are a distinct dark-brown, almost black, color. They have a bright sheen that makes them stand out in the light and both males and females are unable to fly.

Oriental cockroaches are sometimes referred to as ‘water bugs’ due to their affinity for wet areas. You may find Oriental cockroaches in or around plumbing areas in your home (such as under your sink) or in wet mulch piles in a garden. Because they’re drawn to water, Oriental roaches sometimes travel through sewers or other areas where bacteria is rampant—if you find this roach in your home contact the professionals immediately as they can pose serious health risks.

Smokey Brown Cockroach

These cockroaches are similar to the American cockroach in looks—they’re dark brown, almost black, can grow to a little over one inch in length, and can fly.

The Smokey Brown cockroach is similar to the Oriental cockroach in that both species are attracted to areas with high levels of moisture such as plumbing leaks in your kitchen or bathroom. Thankfully, this cockroach is a lot more likely to be found outside your home in mulch beds, holes in trees, or your garage.

If you’re tired of dealing with a reoccurring cockroach problem, contact the pest control experts at (713) 955-7405. The Preventive Pest Control team is standing by and ready to help you reclaim your home.

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