Cockroaches are already horrifying enough with their quick movements and association with filth, but what happens when you spot one of these pests taking to the air inside your home?
Flying roaches are resourceful and often seek food, water, and shelter. They may enter your home by various means, targeting weak areas such as holes and cracks.
Determining how flying roaches made their way into your home and why they are staying will get you one step closer to solving your roach problem. First, let’s work to identify which species of roaches can fly. That way, you can uncover the exact reasons they chose your home as their new hangout spot.
- Cockroaches enter the home through various cracks, gaps, and openings near weak areas like windows and doors.
- Repelling flying cockroaches starts with identifying how they get inside the home and what they are attracted to.
- Different species of cockroaches occupy different areas of the house, so identification can aid in repelling them.
Can All Cockroaches Fly?
Nothing is as frightening as witnessing an insect go airborne, especially if you’re most familiar with roaches that remain grounded, such as the common German cockroach. There are four main species of cockroaches that are considered pests in the United States.
While three out of the four have the ability to fly, they rarely do (thankfully!).
|Likely Location in House
|Ability to Fly
|Light brown with two dark stripes on the pronotum
|Yes, but rarely do
|Light brown with two light-colored bands across wings
|Warm, dry areas such as bedrooms, living rooms, and closets
|Males yes, females no
|Shiny black or dark brown with a foul odor
|Damp, dark areas
|Reddish-brown with a yellow figure-8 pattern on the pronotum.
|Dark, humid areas such as basements and sewers
|Yes, but rarely do
One of the most common species of flying roach is the brown-banded cockroach. These cockroaches are present in most U.S. states and thrive in warmer temperatures. They enter homes or buildings if they smell food and usually enter through small cracks and crevices. While the males can fly, the females have smaller wings and are unable to fly.
Oriental cockroaches are the only cockroach of the four that definitely cannot fly. While the others can, they mostly choose not to.
Here’s Why You Have Flying Cockroaches In Your House
There are two main ways flying roaches may enter your house. Either by finding an entrance that they can squeeze their bodies through or by unintentionally being carried inside. Let’s break down both methods to get to the root cause of your flying roach conundrum.
Cockroaches love dark and humid living spaces. Unfortunately, this makes your plumbing system an easy target. With their flat bodies, it’s easy for flying roaches to squeeze through small openings found in compromised drain pipes.
These pipes can also supply flying roaches with everything they need to survive: water and food particles. Though these pipes may provide flying roaches with an adequate water supply and shelter, some roaches may come out of kitchen and bathroom drains during the night to search for other food sources.
To combat this, try covering all plumbing pipes to the outside with hardware cloth such as AggFencer 36inch x 10ft Hardware Cloth 1/8inch. This will block their entrance into your plumbing pipes, preventing them from coming inside.
If you suspect a flying cockroach infestation and would prefer to work with an expert, please contact our nationwide network of exterminators, which will connect you to a provider in your local area in seconds.
2. Wood Piles
There is nothing better than cozying up in front of the fireplace in the colder months, right? Well, be careful if you chop your own wood.
As we mentioned, certain species of flying cockroaches thrive in densely wooded areas. If you gather your own firewood to use in your fireplace, these roaches may hitch a free ride while you’re transporting bundles of wood into your home.
Always inspect your firewood closely before bringing it indoors to ensure the wood is free from insects and ready for the fireplace. We also recommend storing your wood piles off the ground. A simple rack such as Artibear Firewood Rack Stand can make it more challenging for roaches to climb onto your woodpiles.
3. Cracks and Holes in the Ceiling or Walls
It’s hard to keep a house or apartment building 100% free from wear and tear, but it’s essential that you remedy any cracks and holes as soon as possible to stop roaches or other insects from entering.
Look around your home for potential entryways. These include gaps between your floors and walls, small holes, and cracks in your skirting boards. Even if the opening seems small, cockroaches can easily infiltrate them with their small, flat bodies.
NYC Health backs this up by telling us that most roaches can fit through spaces as small as 1/8 inch. Use silicone caulking, hardware cloth, steel wool, or copper mesh to keep roaches out of small cracks and holes.
4. Openings Around Doors or Windows
Another way flying roaches enter your home or apartment building is through small gaps created by windows and doors. If you have a window that won’t shut properly or an exterior door that is not fully sealed, roaches can easily find their way in.
Suptikes 2 Pack Door Draft Stopper can help seal holes at the bottom of your door to deter flying roaches from sneaking inside.
Pay close attention in the summer if you use an air conditioner to cool down your home. If the unit is not installed properly, it can create small gaps between the accordion panels and your window. Always ensure the panels are flush with the sides of your window to prevent any pests from entering.
5. Used Furniture, Appliances, and Cardboard Packaging
When buying used furniture or other household goods, it’s important to do a close examination before taking your new items home. If the place you purchased your used items from has an unknown flying cockroach infestation, some pests may hitch a ride and enter your home without you ever knowing.
Cockroaches also love cardboard boxes and newspapers. These pests can hide in boxes during the transportation of goods. If you stock up on cardboard or have had goods delivered to you in cardboard boxes, remove the boxes from your home as soon as possible.
6. Other Apartments
If you live in a large apartment building or complex and begin spotting flying roaches hanging around your unit, they may have traveled from another apartment. Some ways roaches do this are through shared ventilation systems and plumbing pipes.
Contact your landlord or property manager as soon as possible to see if they can accurately identify the source of your roach problem. Roaches are hard to control once they start breeding inside your apartment, so don’t wait!
How To Get Flying Roaches Out of Your House
Thoroughly Clean Your Home
As soon as you suspect a flying roach infestation, clean your home thoroughly by mopping the kitchen and bathroom floors, vacuuming the carpet, removing trash, and ensuring any open food containers are closed and put away.
Even if your home is well-maintained, flying roaches are attracted to even the smallest bits of crumbs. Do your best to clean your house from top to bottom to get rid of any potential food sources.
Flying roaches also leave behind waste products such as shed skin and droppings. To remedy this, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to reduce roach debris that may cover your floors.
Hire a Professional Pest Control Service
Depending on the size of the infestation and how comfortable you feel taking care of the issue yourself, contacting a professional pest control service might be an ideal solution.
With so many species of flying roaches, it can be hard to determine where they are coming from. However, a professional can use their expertise to get to the root cause quickly and efficiently. This is also an ideal strategy if you live in an apartment building since, as we mentioned, flying roaches do travel between units.
Remember, you can use our nationwide pest control finder to connect with a local pest professional!
Remove Open Food Sources
Like many pests, cockroaches hang out wherever there is an adequate food supply. By taking away their food sources, roaches will not want to hang out in their new home for too long and will search elsewhere.
Go through your kitchen cabinets and get rid of any old food that might attract flying roaches. Ensure all food containers are completely sealed. If they are not, consider purchasing food storage containers like the 32 Piece Storage Container Set with Easy Snap Lids, which will keep roaches and other pests out.
Use Roach Traps
If your roach infestation is small, consider purchasing a few roach baits like the 11 Pack Gideal Indoor Roach Traps with Bait. These traps should be placed in areas where you’ve noticed roach activity.
If it’s hard to tell where the roaches are hanging around, try placing them in kitchen cabinets, the corners of your kitchen, and your bathroom. Think dark, damp, and warm places, and put your traps there!
One important thing to note about roach traps is that they won’t eliminate your roach problem. They will catch a few roaches, but to really get rid of these pests, you’ll need to seal the entrance where they’re coming inside. Otherwise, more roaches will just keep coming.
Use a Roach Spray Made with Essential Oils
If you’ve only spotted a few roaches around your home or are looking for a quick elimination strategy, try using a safe aerosol spray like the Raid Ant and Roach Killer with Essential Oils.
These essential oils often have powerful aromas, which drive roaches away. They work by masking the scent of food, other roaches, and predators. This makes roaches avoid areas where the scent is present.
We recommend combining this tactic with others on this list, as sprays are often a short-term solution. Getting rid of an immediate roach problem is fantastic, but you’ll want to get to the bottom of the situation to prevent it from worsening.
Other sprays can be just as effective against flying cockroaches. Head over to our article on the best sprays, baits, and traps for cockroaches for a closer look!
Use Other Scents That Roaches Hate
Cockroaches use their sense of smell to locate food, follow trails left by other roaches, and sense predators. Without their sense of smell, roaches are vulnerable to predation or starvation. Using strong scents that cockroaches hate is an excellent way to repel them from certain areas.
In fact, even lighting a candle can help repel roaches! Check out the candle scents that keep roaches away for a more in-depth look.
Scents aren’t meant as an end-all solution, but they can help you repel roaches from certain areas while you employ other more permanent tactics to kick them out for good.
Here are a few scents that roaches hate:
- Black pepper: Black pepper contains piperine, which is what makes us sneeze and what repels cockroaches. You can read all about how to use it in our article on ways to use black pepper to keep cockroaches away.
- Cloves: Cloves have a strong spicy aroma that humans love, but cockroaches can’t stand. In our guide on the 6 ways to use cloves to keep cockroaches away, you can learn about using whole and powdered cloves, as well as making a clove spray.
- Citrus: The aroma of citrus plants is another roach deterrent. Simply peel some citrus fruits like oranges or lemons and place the peels in strategic areas.
- Lavender: Another strong aroma that can help mask the smell of food is lavender. Read about how to use it in our guide on the simple ways to repel cockroaches with lavender.
For a complete list of smells, head over to our article on the scents that roaches hate!
Preventing Flying Roaches From Getting Back In
Seal Any Cracks and Openings With Caulk
Similar to other insects, flying roaches will usually enter a house or building through tiny crevices. These crevices can be formed over time through general wear and tear, especially with older buildings.
If you suspect this is how roaches or other insects are entering your home, inspect your house for all cracks, holes, and gaps, which can be an entry point. Try using Gorilla Waterproof Caulk & Seal to cover up any of these pesky roach entrances.
Keeping your home free from cracks and holes will also prevent other pests from entering, such as mice, rats, and beetles.
Assess Grocery Bags and Boxes
Flying roaches are sneaky little things. If you frequently use cardboard boxes to transport your groceries or you take trips to the local thrift store, thoroughly examine your newly acquired items before entering your household.
Even if you keep your home clean and tidy, there is never a guarantee that the thrift shop down the road will keep their back storage areas the same way. Roaches will search for food, water, and shelter anywhere they can find them.
From a truck transporting produce or a neighbor’s old donated sofa, roaches will find a way in if it meets their needs.
Keep Your Kitchen Sparkling Clean
Since flying roaches are attracted to food, it’s important to keep your home free from crumbs, dirty dishes, and old food as often as possible to prevent them from re-entering your household. The last thing you want is another infestation.
The kitchen is typically a prime target of roaches for a good reason. That’s where all the food is kept, after all! With this in mind, pay special attention to your kitchen and make it a priority to keep your sink free of dirty dishes. Give your floor a quick sweep after cooking and wipe down all countertops.
If you keep dried goods in a pantry or cabinet, spend a few minutes each week cleaning out these storage areas. Throw away expired food, make sure all containers are closed, and wipe down the shelves with an all-purpose cleaner.
You can read more about the different ways to keep roaches out of your kitchen here.
Examine Firewood Before Bringing it Into Your Home
Just as you would with grocery bags or cardboard boxes, inspect any firewood for hiding insects. Certain flying roaches, such as the brown-banded and wood cockroach, dwell near firewood and old tree logs.
Closely inspecting firewood is a great habit to develop, as other insects can make their home within the bundles of wood as well.
These tips should help you fight off any invading cockroaches. However, you can take a look at our guide on the 10 simple tips to get rid of roaches for more information.
Our Final Thoughts
Roaches are already a big nuisance to deal with on their own, but when you add wings into the equation, it can become much more frustrating. Hopefully, the tips highlighted in this article will help solve your flying roach problem once and for all.
To recap, here are 6 reasons you have flying roaches in your house:
- They’re going through the Plumbing
- Bringing them inside by accident from wood piles
- Holes and cracks within the home’s exterior
- Openings around doors and windows
- Used furniture, appliances, and cardboard boxes
- Other apartments have roaches, which then travel to your apartment
Just remember, solving your flying roach problem using the methods discussed does not fully guarantee you’ll never see another roach again. Something about your home attracted them and allowed them to enter, whether that be a small gap in your window or a bundle of firewood.
Put prevention procedures in place so these nasty critters don’t stand a chance of getting back into your home! And never hesitate to reach out to a pest control specialist if the problem doesn’t improve.
Bell, W. J. (1981). Cockroach diversity and identification. The Laboratory Cockroach, 1–14.
Isman, M. B., & Machial, C. M. (2006). Chapter 2 pesticides based on plant essential oils: From traditional practice to commercialization. Advances in Phytomedicine, 29–44.
Nasirian, H. (2017). Infestation of cockroaches (Insecta: Blattaria) in the Human Dwelling Environments: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta Tropica, 167, 86–98.
Rust, M. K., Owens, J. M., & Reierson, D. A. (Eds.). (1995). Understanding and controlling the German cockroach. Oxford University Press, USA.
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