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Ask the Entomologist: Why Do Cockroaches Love The Dark?

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Kevin Hathorne, technical director and board certified entomologist for Terminix Service, Inc., the ninth largest pest control company in the U.S., answers the questions that bug us all the most.

Q:  Why do cockroaches mostly crawl in the dark and what’s the best way to get rid of them?

A: In general, cockroaches are nocturnal creatures because they are a food source for many predators. For the best chance of living a complete life cycle, they tend to hide in dark hidden areas during the day and then forage for food and other resources at night in the cover of darkness.  This is in hopes of being hidden from predators while they scurry about.

The best way to avoid a cockroach infestation is to make sure your home is clean.  Cockroaches require lots of water and they eat pretty much all the foods that humans eat.  So, try to avoid giving them free access to food and water as best you can.  Immediately clean up spilled food items, don’t leave dirty dishes sitting around too long, make sure the stove and other food cooking appliances stay clean, and don’t let trash accumulate.  This will go a long way to avoid cockroaches getting out of hand.  However, even the cleanest homes may occasionally get cockroaches.  Some species can wonder in from the outside, crawl up the outside of water and sewage lines from the crawlspace, or accidentally be brought inside in cardboard boxes and other items.  It’s always good to have a regular pest service on your home to deal with these situations.  A pest professional can identify the cockroach species, figure out the best methods of control for the situation, and give advice on how to prevent future infestations.

For more information on what a pest control service can provide, simply call 1-800-TERMINIX and you will be connected with a local branch office.  They can schedule a free pest inspection and treatment estimate for you.

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