Any good environmentalist will tell you that despite their appearance and reputation, cockroaches serve an important role in the “circle of life” and our larger ecosystem. They eat nasty stuff and leave behind nitrogen which is good for plants and helps us breathe as well. Cockroaches are also a valuable source of nutrition for other creatures which are far more pleasant to have around.
None of which means we want them inside our homes. They’re creepy to look at and we come across them at the worst times! Flip on the light and THERE THEY ARE! Our minds know they’re just insects doing what insects do... but it feels rude. And aggressive. And gross. All that “nature” stuff is great, but we want to know how to stop roaches coming up the drain!
One of the most common ways cockroaches find their way into our homes is through our plumbing. They love the nasty stuff that comes out the other end, so when it’s time to look for more of it, a few hardy adventurers simply follow the trail back to the source. They end up in our bathtubs, under our sinks, and skittering across our kitchen floors.
There are three basic approaches to preventing cockroaches. Combine all three for maximum impact.
Cockroaches need moisture, something we don’t want in our homes anyway (unless we’re washing or drinking). Check under your cabinets for leaks or condensation. Seal gaps and YouTube strategies for tightening up those pipes. In addition to addressing your roach problems, you’re doing your home a favor by reducing the chance of mold or other long-term damage.
If you have trashcans under your sink or in dark closets, consider emptying them nightly or moving them to more exposed areas. Avoid leaving dirty dishes or food-related messes overnight. Sweep up those crumbs and wipe down that countertop. It doesn’t take that long, and you’ll thank yourself tomorrow. Run the garbage disposal regularly and use non-toxic cleaning supplies to keep those pipes flushed. If there’s no food or water, most cockroaches will go elsewhere.
While you’re searching for leaks, look for cracks or gaps where cockroaches or other critters might find their way into your living spaces. There are a number of easy-to-use products for insulating in hard-to-reach areas or sealing undesirable gaps. It may take an afternoon, but it will be worth it not to see cockroaches tomorrow morning. Install metal screens on your drains or remember to close them with rubber stoppers at night.
As a bonus, anything that keeps out roaches probably keeps out lots of other potential visitors as well!
The third approach is the most aggressive. Before you start rifling through the supply cabinet trying to figure out what to pour down drains to kill roaches, take the time to research products that are safe for both your pipes and your family. There’s a reason there are so many different options and so many laws requiring all that small print.
We understand the desire to act decisively, but that shouldn’t mean acting recklessly. DO NOT just grab a gallon of bleach or whatever else you have laying around and start pouring. That's NOT how to stop roaches coming up the drain and usually does more harm than good! Some commercial products bait and trap invaders while others attack roaches before they reach the inside of your home. What’s best depends on your specific circumstances – so READ THOSE LABELS.
You don’t need to start with something expensive. Try pouring a mix of baking soda and vinegar into your pipes, followed by boiling water. This won’t damage your plumbing and will flush away anything living inside. It’s generally illegal to introduce insecticides into the water supply and they rarely reach the problem in sufficient concentration to do much good anyway. Commercial cleaners aren’t made to kill insects and tend to hurt your pipes more than they do cockroaches.
If you’ve tried the safe options and you’re still seeing cockroaches, it may be time to call in the professionals. We’ll do a careful evaluation of your situation and offer our customized recommendation. We’re a family business which believes in personal attention and a commitment to doing things right – often far more affordably than you might think!