How Roaches Spread – 7 Ways Roaches Use to Spread in Houses

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Roaches are very hardy insects. They can live in difficult environments and can even survive for a month without food. But what makes these insects incredibly hard to get rid of is there ability to spread like wildfire. But do you know how they do it? Read on as we list down the surprising ways on how roaches spread. You may be able to use these in roach-proofing your home.

How Roaches Spread - 7 Ways Roaches Use to Spread in Houses

Roaches can use a variety of ways to spread. CC Image courtesy of Happy1892 on Wikipedia

They use the pipes and sewers

Our plumbing system is a network of interconnecting highways for roaches. It’s damp and dark, perfect for these travelling insects in searching for new homes. And their stops? Your sink and bathtub drains.

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You can stop them though by using a few simple tricks. Install drains with very small holes, and buy drain plugs for your tub and sinks. You can also pour ammonia into your drains to repel the roaches from ever climbing up that sink hole.

They hitchhike

Roaches, specially the very small ones, are master hitchhikers. If you stay in roach infested motels, your clothes and luggage can be a convenient vehicle for these creatures to ride on.

So if you really have to stay at an old rundown motel that’s home to a lot of roaches, always inspect your things when you get home. Don’t just place your travel clothes and luggage nonchalantly on your bed. Put them in a plastic bin and wash them immediately. Check your things for stragglers, and vacuum your luggage.

This is not being overly cautious. After all, you’ll never know what hit you until you’re suddenly facing a massive infestation, specially when it looks like it just came out of nowhere.

They hide in old furniture

old stuff

Old, preloved or vintage, whatever you call it – it’s the same. They all come from someone else’s house. These type of furniture need to be checked regardless if their previous owners had roach problems or not.

To save yourself from an infestation, vacuum the entire furniture. Rub it down with cleaning agents, and inspect it for egg casings and droppings.

They use cardboard boxes

It’s always better to use clear plastic organization boxes rather than cardboard ones. That’s because roaches eat cardboard, and they may even make their nests inside them.

So when you’re transferring to a new apartment or a new house, unpack the contents of a cardboard box, and put them inside plastic bins before you take them to your new place.

They hide in electronic devices

In our last post, we talked about how roaches can infest a coffee machine. So it makes total sense to inspect TVs, clocks and other kitchen appliances before you transfer them to another location.

They hide in plants

Outdoor roaches live inside potted plants when it becomes cold outside. So before taking your ornamentals inside, check the leaves, trunk and soil for signs of roaches.

One way to ward off invading roaches is sprinkling diatomaceous earth onto the soil of your potted plants. Diatomaceous earth powder kills roaches as well as other insects that dare to stay in your greens, and it also gives additional nutrients to make them grow bigger.

They multiply fast

Finally, perhaps the greatest reason why roaches spread so fast is how they multiply. According to, German cockroaches, in particular, can rapidly spread in an entire building in just a few weeks. The roaches can live up 2 weeks, but the females in this species can produce 7 egg capsules in one lifetime with each case holding 48 eggs.

American roaches, on the other hand, live for 30 months with females able to produce 150 nymphs just before they die. And the Brownbanded cockroach species, another indoor cockroach, can have 182 young roaches for every female in their nest.

Knowing how roaches spread doesn’t only lessen your chances of getting a terrible roach infestation. It keeps you more attentive about what you bring to your home. And also, it makes you open to the possibilities of other pests that can potentially spread into your living space.

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