Where Do Roaches Go in the Winter? How Roaches Survive Snow Season

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Roaches are very tough creatures, not because they bring deadly diseases but because they’re incredibly difficult to kill. They can survive for months without food. And while mosquitos and ticks die during winter, roaches can even last through the freezing temperatures of that season. But this begs the question, how do they do that? Where do roaches go in the winter?

Where Do Roaches Go In The Winter

If you have to associate winter with roaches, the Oriental cockroach might be the first thing that would pop into most people’s minds. CC Image courtesy of gailhampshire on Flickr

Some roaches hibernate

Like bears, roaches have adapted to “sleep” during the coldest days of the year. But what they do is something more drastic. These insects intentionally let their breathing rate plummet until they enter a coma-like state. This kind of hibernation keeps them alive even during icy temperatures.

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According to Green Solutions, almost all species of roaches hibernate in the winter. And this is mostly observed in outdoor cockroaches. The American cockroach, for example, cannot survive if it gets -9°C or 15°F out. So it hibernates inside a pile of wood to keep warm. Others hide under mulches, planters, crawlspaces and decaying trees.

Other roaches remain active

While many roaches may sleep off the freezing winter, some lucky ones that found shelter inside buildings remain active and alert. Indoor roaches and some outdoor ones that snuck in remain active inside homes. You’ll still see them scurrying on the floor looking for food, but they’ll hide in walls, inside furniture, cabinets, drains and in your basement to keep themselves safe.

The Oriental cockroach breeds during winter

The Oriental cockroach can withstand the harsh conditions of winter. They’re primarily outdoor roaches, but they can move inside houses when the weather starts to get too overbearing. They’ll also stay in sewers and drains if those places are near.

Roaches in general are already tough. But this cockroach species, in particular, is known to thrive in almost any condition, making it one of the hardiest group of roaches ever known. And as if to showcase how tough they are, their breeding season exclusively falls during winter, so they only produce eggs once a year.

The Brownbanded cockroach stays in warm high places

Brownbanded cockroach up close

Roach species have different tricks to stay alive during snowy days. The Brownbanded cockroach, being an indoor roach, doesn’t hibernate. According to Stern Environmental, this cockroach will gravitate towards your kitchen because of all the heat that’s created in that room. The roach will also stay in other high places to keep itself warm.

Roach infestations worsen before winter

When the weather just starts to get colder in autumn, outdoor roaches will start to actively look for hiding places to keep warm. This means that houses are more likely to get infested by these retreating insects.

The best way to prevent this is to seal cracks on your walls, doors and windows, plug drains and invest on door seal sets or tight screen doors. You should also inspect the plants, outdoor furniture and even the firewood you bring into the house. It could be possible that they have roaches hiding inside them.

So there you have it. Where do roaches go in the winter? Surprisingly, not very far. They can stay in your house or even inside the woodpiles in your backyard. Whatever the case, all roach species have adapted some kind of trick to survive the cold season. And being insects that have been around for 300 million years, it’s only natural that a little snow won’t hurt them.

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