We’ve all heard the stories of bugs pulled out of people’s ears; apparently, about 42% of ear-invading bugs are cockroaches. If you notice a few signs of cockroaches in other rooms, there is a high chance that they may make it to your bedroom. Imagining cockroaches crawling up your bed is quite disturbing, so the easiest way to ensure cockroaches stay away from your bedroom is prevention.
You have to maintain an adequate level of hygiene and organization in your bedroom, remove any clutter, avoid storing food in your bedroom and if you have to, keep them in airtight containers. Seal cracks and crevices on the walls, weatherproof the windows, ensure you have no leaking taps or pipes, and always dry the shower or bathtub every night. You may also have to use cockroach repellents around your bed and access points like doors and windows.
How to keep cockroaches from the bedroom
Restricting cockroaches to the outside of the bedroom and the whole house is the most effective way of cockroach prevention. There are several ways you can prevent cockroach infestation in your bedroom; they include:
- Clean your bedroom thoroughly and regularly. The easiest way of keeping roaches away from your bedroom is by maintaining high cleanliness and hygiene standards. Pay particular attention around warm moist places like behind the wardrobes or around water pipes. Organize and declutter your bedroom, remove clothes from the floor and keep them neatly in drawers.
- Keep the trash can in the bedroom very clean. Always empty it daily and do not pour food, sauces, or drinks in the trash can to attract cockroaches. If you can, avoid having a trash can altogether in the bedroom as it is tempting to keep dirt in the room, which can attract and breed roaches over time.
- Remove cardboards and newspapers from the bedroom. Cardboard and paper can hoard a lot of dust and moisture, creating the best environment for cockroach breeding and hiding spots. In the absence of food, roaches can also feed on paper.
- Avoid carrying food to the bedroom as this will attract them to the bedroom. If you have to have a few snacks in the bedroom, make sure to store food and drinks in airtight jars and containers. Pet food can also attract cockroaches, so avoid leaving bags of pet food and water uncovered in the bedroom.
- Fix leaking water sources in your bedroom. Cockroaches hang around where there is water to drink; it is best to fix any taps or water pipes that could be leaking and always cover the toilet seat after using. It would be best if you also dried the bathtub and shower after use. Cockroaches are quite resilient; they can survive for weeks without food but will not make it past a week without water.
- Seal off any access points to your bedroom. Look for cracks around plumbing lines and along with the floor and ceiling corners. Get a caulking gun and cover any cracks and crevices on the walls. Apply weather-stripping around the windows and install door sweeps to prevent access under the door.
- For bigger openings such as chimneys and vents, you must install fine wire mesh to act as a barrier. Every once a year, you have to inspect the room again to check for more cracks and replace any torn wire mesh and vent screens.
- Use natural cockroach repellents that are human and pet-safe. Spray a mixture of peppermint and cypress oils with water anywhere that roaches can be hiding. Target places that are dark, warm, and moist, including under the bed.
- Use Boric acid if you do not have kids or pets in the house. Apply some light dusting of Boric acid around the door and dark corners or spray it on some bait like bread, and the roaches will die after consuming it. Vacuum the Boric acid 1-2 days after application.
- Get a pest control expert to spray the house and the yard with insecticide. The best way to keep roaches away from the bedroom is by keeping them away from the entire home.
Will sleeping with the lights on keep roaches away?
Though most varieties of cockroaches are nocturnal and are fond of dark spaces, it is a myth that they are scared of the light, natural, and artificial light. A recent study suggests that having a light on at night may reduce cockroach activity, but it will not permanently deter them. When you shine a light on them, they will scurry away from the fear of danger and humans rather than their dislike for light. Light may also disturb their sleep, but light itself does not harm them.
Cockroaches also adapt quickly to their environments; they can easily get acclimated to the light after some time. The same study performed an experiment that showed that darkening a room during the day did not make the cockroaches active, meaning internal mechanisms control their sleep cycle. In severe infestations, you will see cockroaches in the light as overcrowding in dark spaces pushes some roaches out of their safer hiding places.
Why would roaches be in my bedroom?
The bedroom is not the most likely place to find cockroaches, but we may see signs of roaches living in our bedrooms, such as eggs cases or roach droppings every so often. There are several reasons that may attract roaches to your bedroom.
- Cockroaches are attracted to warm, dark and humid areas, but they can also adapt to cold temperatures after some time. The bedroom has very many warm, dark and damp places that cockroaches can hide and breed, like behind closet boards, under carpets, in the wardrobes, and bookshelves.
- Cockroaches can fit in the smallest of spaces; therefore, they can crawl through crevices and cracks in the walls quite easily. They are likely to get to your bedroom by crawling through cracks in sewer lines to your bathroom.
- Though the bedroom is not the most obvious source of food and water for cockroaches, conditions such as water, hair, and skin cells in the bathroom can attract them to breed around the bedroom.
- Sometimes we do bring things from outside that carry young roaches or eggs that may not be easily noticeable. When you buy appliances in cardboard boxes or get stuff from storage, they will likely be infested with young roaches, especially if the storage area is dark moist like a garage or basement.
Even with a clean bedroom, roaches may still find themselves in your bedroom; that’s why periodic pest control is essential to kill cockroaches and their eggs too.
Will roaches crawl on you in your sleep?
Yes, cockroaches can crawl up your bed since they are most active at night, and that is coincidentally the time most people sleep. Fortunately, they do not bite under normal conditions, but they are unsanitary, and they carry germs and bacteria that can make you sick.
Sometimes, they lay their eggs in the nooks and crannies on the underside of wooden beds, so be sure to check your bed every so often for signs of roaches like egg casings.
In other common incidences, roaches crawl up the bed as they are attracted to chemicals known as volatile fatty acids, which mainly come from fermenting starchy foods like cheese, bread, and beer. Your earwax, unfortunately, produces the same chemicals which have a smell that attracts roaches. When a cockroach crawls into the ear, it may feel ticklish, and people will instinctively scratch their ears at night, pushing the roaches deeper and risk tearing the eardrum.
You can easily deter them away from the bed by using natural traps and repellents such as;
- Always keep your floor clean and free from clothes, towels, and books.
- Keep your bedding tucked in, and remove any bed skirts that could be dragging on the floor.
- Avoid eating from your bed, especially at night; crumbs of food may attract them up to the bed.
- Keep the drinking water on your bedside stand in an airtight bottle rather than in an open cup.
- Wrap non-tacky silicone tape around your bedposts to keep them from crawling up using the bedposts.
- Pour some coffee grounds in open containers and place them around your bed. The caffeine in coffee is harmful to cockroaches, and the smell will keep them away from the bed.
What time do roaches go to sleep?
Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active at night and less active during the day. Much like other living things, roaches have a circadian rhythm. A circadian rhythm is an internal cycle that tells the body what to do and at what time. Cockroaches are particularly active around midnight and less active during later hours of darkness.
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This period of inactivity and immobility is what experts consider sleep or rest. Their decreased activity during the day is also a survival instinct, and they will reduce their movement when humans are most active, which is during the day. However, if there is a severe infestation of roaches, you are more likely to see them during the day meaning external factors may change their circadian rhythm. Still, under normal conditions, their nocturnal habits return.
The best way to deal with a cockroach infestation is prevention using the methods explained in the article. Ensure you maintain high standards of hygiene and cleanliness in your bedroom. Avoid clutter and storing unnecessary things in the bedroom. Seal any access points to your bedroom and fix any leaking taps. For better prevention, you should have the cockroaches in the entire house exterminated professionally every so often.