Keeping Cockroaches Out Of Your New Jersey Home This Winter

When we think of insects, we often categorize them by the season(s) they’re most active and while the concept has merit, it isn’t always accurate. For example, rodent activity is very high during the fall and winter months but these destructive pests are a year-round problem. Like mice and rats, roaches in New Jersey are a pest you cannot put in any one season. In fact, though we are sad to share this news, cockroaches in New Jersey are very much active during the winter months as they are during other times in the year. Not only are they able to survive winter, they can actually thrive.

cockroach crawling up a new jersey dining room table

Are cockroaches active in the winter?

As we just discussed, the answer to this question is a resounding yes.  But there’s a catch. Let’s dive in and unpack this a bit.

32 degrees Fahrenheit or the freezing point. That’s when rain turns to the white stuff and it’s also the line in the sand that determines if cockroaches live and if they’ll die due to cold. Without the proper shelter from extreme cold, cockroaches don’t typically stand a great chance of surviving. These cold-blooded pests may attempt to huddle together to create heat but more likely, they’ll head indoors in search of suitable shelter from the cold weather. In fact, roaches do best at what we’d consider room temperature meaning, especially in winter, our homes are the perfect place for cockroaches to wait for warm weather to return.

Types of cockroaches in New Jersey

Cockroach prevention tips

You may start to notice roach activity when the temperature outside remains below 45 degrees Fahrenheit consistently.  In other words, if you live in Chatham, East Orange or elsewhere in New Jersey, it wouldn’t be surprising to see roaches making their way indoors in search of warmth, access to water, and an abundant food supply in the next few weeks if they haven’t already started.

So how do you keep these disgusting, disease-spreading pests out of your home? Here’s what our cockroach control experts recommend.

Clean often

We cannot emphasize this enough. Cockroaches, and other pests, are attracted to the crumbs we leave on the counter tops or drop onto the floor. Cleaning often and thoroughly is one of the best ways to prevent insect infestation.

  • Wash dishes (including pots and pans) as they are dirtied and NEVER leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight!
  • Put food away after every meal and do not store food on counters unless they are in sealed containers. Picking up your pet’s food bowls should be included in this process.
  • Clean up crumbs and spills as they occur and that includes disinfecting the area if necessary.
  • Sweep, vacuum, and mop often.
  • Remove grease from the stove, including in between areas where appliance meets cabinets.
  • Pull out kitchen appliances to clean behind often.
  • Take the garbage out of the house every night if possible or at least make sure it is inaccessible to these pests.
  • Deep clean your home at least once a week.

Declutter where possible

We’re not asking you to be like Marie Kondo and discard everything that doesn’t have an immediate purpose or spark joy but rather focus your attention on areas where roaches are likely to hide. Cupboards, cabinets, and closets as well as cardboard boxes that hold holiday décor and other personal belongings are just a few of the spots to pay attention to.

We also advise against letting newspapers, cardboard, and other paper pile up as roaches use these items for food, as their bathroom, and as hiding spots.

Seal up the cracks

When you take a day and seal up every crack and opening on the exterior of your home, you’re defending it from invasions of cockroaches and also spiders, stink bugs, and mice as well as a plethora of other pests common to New Jersey.

In addition to caulking the cracks in the foundation, you should mend or replace screens that cover doors and windows, install steel wool or wire mesh in the gaps in the gaps around utility entrances, and fix holes elsewhere on the house’s exterior from top to bottom.

Fix leaky pipes & address moisture issues

Did you know that a cockroach can live for a week without its head? It’s true, and the only reason it dies is because it can’t drink water. With that in mind, take a look around your home to identify any area that may provide the cockroach with the hydration it requires to survive.

  • Pay close attention to pipes and plumbing in general. If there’s a leak, fix it ASAP.
  • Replace or fix any appliances that contribute to water issues.
  • If your bathroom is prone to moisture issues, install a fan or run a dehumidifier.
  • Check your crawlspace or basement and correct any moisture problems in those areas.

When should I call a professional?

Once established in your home, cockroaches can be extremely difficult to eradicate and any preventative measures you implement will not fix the existing problem. 

At the first signs of a cockroach infestation, contact Arrow Pest Control for help!

Home Protection Program

Service consists of the elimination of your current pest or rodent problem, complemented by both interior and exterior year-round protection of your home, which is inclusive of three seasonal visits. The program covers your entire property including attics, mailboxes, playsets, sheds, and fences.

Pests targeted with Arrow’s Home Protection Plan services include ants (excluding carpenter ants, pharaoh ants and acrobatic), bees, boxelder bugs, carpenter bees, carpet beetles, centipedes, cicada killers, clover mites, crickets, digger bees, earwigs, fabric & paper pests, fleas (inside only), ground beetles, hornets, mice, pillbugs, millipedes, rats, roaches, silverfish, sowbugs, spiders, springtails, stored product pests, and wasp.

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