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What Are Cockroaches Looking for When They Enter Your Columbia Home?

Dec 20, 2021

Cockroaches are outside insects that have learned to adapt to various conditions. They are fantastic hiders and will eat anything. They reproduce quickly, only adding to their ability to survive. 

If cockroaches have moved into your home, you might not see the bugs themselves. Instead, you might see egg casings, droppings, and shed skins. You might notice a musty smell, too. Along with leaving behind physical evidence, they can cause health problems. Keep reading to learn more about what draws cockroaches to your Columbia home so you can keep them out in the future.

Common Cockroaches in Columbia Homes

Despite there being over 4,500 species of cockroaches, there are only four you’ll see in your Columbia, MD home. 

American cockroaches are the largest of the common species of cockroaches in Columbia. They measure about three inches long and are reddish-brown with yellow markings behind their heads. They prefer to live on trees and in sewers, but they’ll enter homes to find food and water. 

Brown-banded cockroaches are small, measuring about half an inch long. They are dark tan with dark brown bands on their wings. 

German cockroaches are slightly smaller than brown-banded cockroaches. They are also tan and have two stripes behind their heads. They run rather than fly, even though they have wings. 

The oriental cockroach can be an inch long. These black insects enjoy living in mulch in landscaping. When they move into homes, they build nests in wet and dark areas like basements and crawl spaces. 

What Cockroaches Are Looking for in Your Columbia Home

A group of cockroaches feeding on cookie crumbs

Like all living beings, cockroaches want food, water, and shelter. They move into homes when they find entry points in doors, windows, and foundation cracks. 

Unexpected Food Sources

Cockroaches are omnivorous and eat any organic material. Their diets include cardboard, wallpaper adhesive, kitchen grease, food scraps, hair, and soap. Schools often attract roaches because they provide easy access to food spills and book bindings. 

Water Sources

Roaches need water sources. They particularly enjoy laundry rooms, basements, and crawl spaces. These locations are the most likely to have leaky pipes and fixtures. They’ll also build nests outside your home in birdbaths, pet food bowls, or flowerpots. 


Outside, roaches make their homes in compost piles, leaf piles, and woodpiles. They also like the safety they find in garages, attics, and basements. If there is consistent food and water nearby, cockroaches have little reason to leave. 

How to Prevent Cockroaches

Close-up of a cockroach on top of a piece of food in a kitchen

Keeping cockroaches from moving into your home is important. To do this, you’ll have to also keep them farther away from the outside of your home. 

Maintain Your Home’s Exterior

The key to success is to avoid giving them food, water, and shelter near your doors, foundation, and garage. Avoid overwatering your outside plants, especially any near doors and windows. You should also avoid storing firewood and compost next to your home. Roaches like to live in tall grass and weedy areas, so keep your landscaping trimmed and tidy. 

Homeowners often don’t realize that they may bring roaches and other pests into their homes via packages and used items. Roaches often live in paper bags, used furniture, and boxes. Always check your packages, especially from thrift stores and gardening stores. Roaches from your yard will move into your home through crevices and cracks, so seal those areas. 

Clean Your Home’s Interior

On the inside, the best defense against roaches is to keep your home clean by following these steps: 

  • Never leave food scraps out — clean your kitchen surfaces after every meal. 
  • Sweep crumbs off of the floor daily and vacuum your carpets weekly. 
  • Store leftovers and pet food in sealed containers.
  • Do not leave food in the sink or disposal. 
  • If you have pets, clean their eating area every day. 
  • Do not leave food out overnight. 
  • Recycle old boxes rather than keep them in your home. 
  • Install dehumidifiers in moist areas, like your basement and laundry room. 

Call Phenom Pest for Cockroach Elimination Services

Close-up of a cockroach held by the antennae by a blue-gloved hand

Cockroaches are resilient and can be difficult to remove from your home. The best way to avoid an infestation is to make your home less attractive to them in the first place. Call us today for the most proactive and highly effective cockroach control and elimination services.


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