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Why Cockroaches Are Year-Round Pests

By Chris Williams on November 24, 2015.

German CockroachIn New Hampshire and Massachusetts we don’t have many pests that aren’t affected by our cold winters. As you can imagine, our pest control calls drop off significantly in late fall and winter as pests die or go undercover until spring.

Many Indoor Pests Decline in Winter

You’d think pests inside buildings would be unaffected by changes in the seasons, but there’s even a change in indoor pests in the winter. A lot of our fair weather indoor pests actually nest outside and just visit our homes for food. Others are indoor pests only in fall when they move in from outside trying to get warm. These same pests can become pests again in the spring when they leave their indoor hiding places looking for a way to get back outside. Indoor pests such as spiders and centipedes that are predators on insects and other arthropods become less noticeable in winter because their food supply dwindles, too.

We do have a few indoor pests that are unaffected by what’s going on outside because they get their food from human or animal bodies that remain available even in winter. Those would be our blood-sucking friends, the fleas, bed bugs, and head lice. But the one pest that is truly unaffected by winter is the German cockroach.

We’re Joined at the Hip With German Cockroaches

Some cockroaches such as the American cockroach and the oriental cockroach are what we call “peridomestic” cockroaches because they can also live outside or spend part of their time outside. Not so the German. The German roach is a “domestic” cockroach, totally adapted to life inside with man, and happy to be there.

The German roach doesn’t have any food requirements that it can’t fulfill in a typical kitchen. Food and water are available 24/7. The temperature remains balmy year round in the German cockroach’s world. There are virtually no predators (unless you count the exterminator) where this cockroach lives.

A roach can find plenty of hiding places in a typical home, even more if she’s a roach lucky enough to live in the home of a hoarder. German cockroaches don’t have to worry about being homeless either. If we move, German roaches are almost certain to move with us. Or we might just find them waiting for us in our new home, as if to say “Come on in. Weather’s fine!”

Photo credit: By Lmbuga, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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