The mere sight of a cockroach can be pretty scary for those afraid of the insect. Cockroaches disgust a lot of people because of their looks and also because of their association with unhygienic conditions. They usually pop out of drains and gutters during the summer months, as that is when they seek out mates and food. After this time, they disappear during winters. So if they’re active in the summer and disappear in the winter, then what temperature kills cockroaches? Keep on reading to find out.
Cockroaches cannot handle any temperature below 0 degrees Celsius. Their preferred temperature range is well above that. However, these insects seek out places where they can survive. Their strong survival skills let them thrive even in the middle of winters. Depending upon how skilled the cockroach is, they can handle temperatures as low as 2 to 3 degrees Celsius, or they could even die at around 20 degrees.
Ideal Temperature for Cockroaches
The preferred range of cockroaches is anywhere between 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. They can survive at temperatures both above and below their desired range. However, between 25-30 degrees is when they are most active.
Cockroaches are cold-blooded animals and seek out the same temperature as humans. You may think that you’re setting the ideal temperature for yourself, but you may end up inviting a cockroach infestation in the home.
At around 25 to 30 degrees is also when cockroaches reproduce the fastest. Because summer and spring are when such a temperature range is prevalent, cockroaches are most visible during these two seasons.
Spring and summer are also when you need to protect your house from a cockroach infestation. The fast reproduction rate of cockroaches aids their infestation process. Once they find that your home provides the ideal conditions for them, they will never leave.
What Attracts Cockroaches
Even though cockroaches don’t have a brain, they have solid survival instincts. All 460 recognized species of cockroaches are tropical and are quite resilient. Given enough time, they will adapt to different surroundings. The ideal conditions they seek out are:
- They desired temperature range
- Food sources
The simplicity of their needs is what makes survival so effortless for them, especially in apartments. The best way to prevent them from invading your home is by creating an environment that stops them from stepping foot into your apartment in the first place.
Getting Rid of Cockroaches in Apartments
Apartment buildings are particularly susceptible to a cockroach infestation as you cannot guarantee that all residents will keep their apartments clean. However, there are multiple strategies that you can use to rid your apartment of these pests. We suggest that you go for low-risk control strategies instead of going in guns blazing with chemical treatments that can potentially harm the inhabitants of the house. Here are a few defense tactics that you can use.
Traps are an effective way of getting rid of cockroaches – provided you can lure them in. You can place these traps in all corners of the building or in high traffic areas.
There are various traps available in the market. Some require additional bait, while others are self-sufficient. You can also create numerous DIY traps at home. Here are a few that can be purchased and are ready to use:
- Black Flag Roach Motel Insect Trap – The best part about the Black Flag roach trap is that it hides the dead carcasses from view. This trap lasts up to four months and provides an easy and effective solution to a roach infestation.
- Syngenta Advion Cockroach Gel Bait – The Advion gel is used as a treatment for a heavy infestation of roaches. Placing 3 to 5 drops measuring about 0.25 inches each at approximately 10 linear steps should handle even the most severe cases. This gel is harmful to children under three, so if you have a toddler at home, we suggest you opt for another treatment. However, this treatment is ideal for your building corridors and will prevent any cockroaches from walking in through your door.
- Boric Acid– Boric Acid is the most effective treatment for cockroaches. It is natural and is not particularly harmful to humans and pets. It damages the exoskeletons of various other insects, taking away their protective cover and eventually killing them.
With cockroaches, it sticks to their arms and legs and enters their system when they clean themselves. Once in their system, it dries out their internal organs, killing them. Boric acid proves exceptionally potent as cockroaches eat their dead mates. Once a roach eats another with boric acid in their system, the cycle repeats itself and continues. It also works well in combination with bait traps.
Sprinkling a hefty layer throughout the building should effectively solve the problem for a very long time. It may even help your neighbors get rid of these pests.
- Electronic Pest Repellants – Electronic pest repellants give off ultrasonic waves that drive away pests. These may be the best option for those with toddlers and curious pets. One such option is the Neatmaster Ultrasonic Pest Repellent, which works well even on snakes, mosquitoes, and other pests. It covers up to 800 to 1200 square feet and is 100% safe and effective in driving away these pests.
As clearing an apartment building of roaches is complicated, using an electronic repellant may be the best option for you.
- Chemical Sprays – Using chemical sprays like Raid are also a pretty good option. They provide an excellent immediate solution. However, they have minimal coverage and do not tackle the problem at its roots. A better option would be to call in professional help and have them spray down drains and all nooks and crannies in your home.
Professional chemical sprays are useful and can protect your home against these pests for up to a year. Just take precautions and do not inhabit a freshly sprayed area. Close the doors and windows for at least a few hours and let the spray work its magic. Open all doors and windows for ventilation once you come back home before you walk in with your pets and children. The chemical fumes can prove to be harmful to both, so make sure your house is well aerated before you step in.
Heat them or Freeze them
Cockroaches are cold-blooded creatures and will die in extreme cold and heat. A good tactic is to ensure that you don’t provide them the ideal temperature, to begin with. These insects have physiological mechanisms that allow them to survive the cold and heat. Temperature changes must be drastic and should shock the cockroach. The temperature shock is what kills them.
Freezing cockroaches is a simple process if you follow these simple steps.
- Place bait in a glass jar
- Place the jar vertically on the floor near the insect
- As soon as the cockroach walks into the jar close the lid
- Place the jar in the freezer
It doesn’t get simpler than that. If you do this as soon as you see a cockroach, they won’t have the time to mate and produce any children. This limits the chances of a cockroach infestation if the sighting is new.
Overheating them also gives the same result. You can also place the captured insect near a fireplace or directly in front of a heater. In both techniques, they will die within 30 minutes.
Vacuuming is time-consuming and requires extensive attention to details. It is not easy to go over the entire house with a vacuum, sucking up all cockroaches, but it works. After pulling them into the machine, you should deep clean the house to get rid of their germs and the eggs they may have laid.
Clean the machine as soon as you are done the vacuuming and dump the captives in a container they cannot escape from. You can then kill them with a chemical spray or heat or freeze them till they die.
Because cockroaches seek out the same temperature that humans do, it becomes harder to cockroach proof of your building based on temperature alone. You should go for a more permanent solution like chemical sprays that will leave your mind at peace for a long time. You can also opt for an electronic repellant as it is the easiest and most effective method, especially for apartments.
Do cockroaches die in the cold?
Cockroaches can adapt to very low temperatures if the temperature shift is gradual enough for them to get used to it. That is why they can also be seen during early winters or at temperatures around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. They can freeze to death if the temperature drops suddenly. Sudden temperature changes, whether high or low, send a shock down their systems that can kill them.
Why do roaches die on their backs?
The use of insecticides to kill cockroaches directly affects their nervous systems. Their muscles seize up, and they are unable to move their legs, which they tuck underneath their bodies. The insecticides cause enzymes to build up in their bodies, which adds additional weight to their already heavy backs. Unable to handle the weight, they turn over and die on their backs.
Can cockroaches play dead?
Yes, they can and do play dead as part of their survival instinct. Cockroaches can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes. When attacked, they sometimes turn on their backs and lay still, pretending to be dead in the hope that their attacker will leave.