What Roaches are Attracted To – Top 10 Roach Attractants in Your House

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Can the cleanest house still get a cockroach infestation? Of course. Even the tidiest house can have these pests running around in its deepest darkest corners. That’s because infestations have a lot to do with what roaches are attracted to. They don’t need a logical reason to invade your house.

This post will tell you very specific roach attractants that many people take for granted, so you can devise the best course of action to get rid of these dirty and pesky bugs.

What Roaches are Attracted To

Food is one of the main reasons why roaches enter houses. CC Image courtesy of ric_k on Flickr

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Leaky Pipes and Faucets

Roaches don’t just love water. They absolutely need it to survive. That’s why leaky pipes and faucets in your house, especially the ones placed in your yard, tend to attract these bugs to your house. You can also see these insects frequent stagnant collections of water like puddles and half-full buckets.

A Humid House

Not only are roaches interested in water sources, their ideal living environment must have an ample amount of moisture. And houses with high humidity means they have a lot of moisture inside.

Roaches like to live in damp and cool places. So if you have roaches around, you might want to check your house’s humidity level. Since not everyone has a hygrometer, one simple trick that you can do is look for moisture stains on your ceilings, walls and wallpaper. They’re discolored and dark splotches that sometimes have subtle bumps on them. You can also check for mold and rot in wooden parts of the house.

Once you’re sure that your house has a lot more water than it’s supposed to have, make the necessary steps to clear out all the humidity.


Roaches eat virtually anything, and decaying wood is actually part of their diet. So it makes sense that old houses made mostly out of lumber can invite a large number of these bugs. In fact, there are actually specific species of cockroaches that are named Wood roaches because of their biological need for wood. You can see them in woodpiles, hollow trees and wood stumps outside, but they can also invade houses looking for more things to eat.


Since a lot of mulches are technically wood, it’s no surprise that roaches are attracted to them. Specific kinds of mulches, in particular, are terrible for yards because they’re perfect nesting places for roaches and other insects like termites and harmful beetles. These mulches are made from insect-favored wood; they trap a lot of moisture underneath, and they provide shelter.

Haystacks and Barns

Barns are also notorious for having roaches. These insects can feed on farm animal food like corn, cereals and crops, but they can also dine on animal droppings. The American cockroach, for example, is a specie that’s often seen inside barns and in haystacks.

Exposed Food

roach on exposed food

One of the greatest driving forces of a cockroach is food. But the ones exposed to human houses didn’t just developed a taste for what we eat. They’ve started nibbling on non-edible objects as well.

These cockroaches come to our houses to forage for food. Their favorites are starchy, greasy and sugary food items that we often leave exposed on tables, countertops and cupboards. These roaches will also search the floor for crumbs and other food debris in ‘un-vacuumed’ corners.

Another bad habit for roaches is taking on non-food items that have some residue of what they usually eat. They can chew on cardboard, paper and books because these come from wood, and they also like eating craft clue and book bindings because of their starch content. So if you don’t keep these things inside secure cases, they’ll definitely get nibbled on.

Uncovered Trash

Not taking out the trash is one of the biggest factors in having pesky roaches in the house. These insects are particularly fond of the leftovers inside the bin. The pungent smells of decaying food inside attract them by the dozen.

This is why keeping a regular schedule in throwing out your trash is a good step towards driving these insects away. You should also clean the bins every now and then and cover them with tight lids.

Pet Food

Pet food is just another one of a cockroach’s way to get food and water. So not cleaning your pet’s eating corner can invite a lot of them in. Regularly vacuum your pet’s feeding area, and always keep his/her bowls cleaned and dried after every meal. You should also keep your pet’s bowls elevated during feeding time, and place them in an open area, far away from walls and potential roach hiding spots.

Dark Places

Most cockroach species naturally like to spend time in dark corners. They’re also nocturnal insects that are habitually active at night. They can even prompt that start of their active hours right after you switch off your lights.


Finally, even if this tip dwells in the realm of common sense and even if a clean house is not a guarantee on having a roach-free life, we can’t leave out the fact that cleaning your house will decrease the roaches’ valuable hiding spots.

Houses with hygiene problems provide more dwelling places and more opportunities for these pests to forge for food. So the best thing you can do is to clean your house thoroughly.

So those are the most specific things that fully explain what roaches are attracted to. We hope you can use this list as a guide to generally just improve your home and to keep it away from disease spreading roaches.

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