Cockroach activity spikes with rising temperatures

Jun 11, 2021, 09:58 AM by Fred Speer

Seeing a cockroach scamper across your kitchen, bathroom, or garage floor is unsettling, to say the least. The thought of these filth-ridden insects being anywhere near your family’s food or living space is downright disgusting.

Cockroaches have earned their less-than-stellar and well-deserved reputation. These six-legged troublemakers breed rapidly and in large numbers, they carry several disease pathogens and allergens, including triggers for asthma, and they present a true health threat.

A recent news story on the CBS-TV affiliate in Sacramento detailed how residents were seeing increased cockroach activity in and around their homes.

The heat is on with cockroaches

As the thermometer ticks upward, so does cockroach activity. Lance Van Zant, branch manager of Clark Pest Control’s Auburn office, says that cockroaches prefer 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, but as temperatures remain high, cockroaches will start seeking shelter inside homes and structures in search of moisture.

According to Van Zant, the most frequently spotted cockroaches are Turkestan cockroaches, which are often mistaken for the American cockroach or the Oriental cockroach. The Turkestan cockroach population is especially high this year, due to the mild winter weather California experienced.

While no pest will win an award for its sanitation habits, cockroaches seem to go out of their way to travel to areas where human and animal waste, grease, stagnant water, and rotting food are present.

Cockroaches are nocturnal pests, and will hide in dark, warm areas, especially narrow spaces where surfaces touch them on both sides. Their ability to hide in very small spaces – in cracks as small as 1/16 inch wide – can make them a challenge to control.

Cockroaches tend to congregate in corners and travel along the edges of walls or other surfaces. Van Zant says that cockroach activity is often noticed in cracks in slabs and concrete, gaps in the walls in the kitchen and bathrooms, and in basements and crawlspaces where temperatures are cooler.

The revulsion that people feel when they encounter a cockroach is trumped by the threat these insects pose to food safety. Cockroaches – especially the American cockroach, which is often found near human excrement in sewers or with pet droppings – can transmit bacteria such as E. coli or Salmonella if they crawl across surfaces where food is prepared or served.

Not to be outdone, German cockroaches are believed to be capable of transmitting disease-causing organisms, including staph infections and hepatitis. They also can spread dysentery.

Eight good cockroach prevention tips

What can you do to prevent meeting up with cockroaches? Clark, your friendly termite, grounds care, and pest management expert, offers these tips:

  1. Keep kitchen counters, sinks, tables, floors, cabinets, and pantries clean and free of clutter.
  2. Clean dishes, crumbs, and spills right away – cockroaches love grease and waste.
  3. Store food in airtight containers where cockroaches cannot access it.
  4. Don’t leave pet food out overnight in feeding bowls – this is a favorite meal for cockroaches.
  5. Seal cracks or openings around home foundations and inside cabinets.
  6. Eliminate sources of excess moisture buildup, such as leaky faucets.
  7. Inspect deliveries of grocery, food, and other goods, plus backpacks or clothing, for signs of cockroaches and other pests. Give the items a good shake to dislodge unwelcome guests.
  8. Keep the landscape plants next to your house trimmed, and don’t use too much mulch, as they provide an ideal harborage for cockroaches.


Clark Pest Control is committed to safeguarding your home from pests during these challenging times. Our service technicians use such personal protective equipment as gloves, masks, and respirators, they practice social distancing, they call ahead to notify before a service, and they adhere strictly to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when servicing inside or outside your home.

If you have questions or concerns about cockroaches in and around your home, call or text (800) WE NEED YOU (936-3339) or email us at clarkcares@clarkpest.com. We are ready to help solve your pest issues.

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.