When it comes to cockroach control, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way.

For many residents of the Southeast, there’s something deeply and viscerally unsettling about coming across a cockroach in our homes. They’re big, weirdly shiny, and capable of flight. Plus, they (quite creepily) move with alarming speed once the lights go on—but why is that? There’s more going on there than you might think.

So, without further ado, let’s get into the nitty gritty about these creepy crawlers and their nighttime habits.

Yes, cockroaches are nocturnal creatures by nature. Research suggests that they are most active during the hours before midnight.

Cockroaches prefer to go about their daily (nightly?) business—the quest for food, mainly—under the cover of darkness. Typically, cockroaches rest during the day, avoiding the sun and other sources of light. This is why cockroaches scurry for cover when you turn on the lights.

During the day, a cockroach’s instinct is to seek shelter in moist, dark areas to rest up and stay safely out of sight. That is to say, seeing a cockroach during the day is unlikely—unless you’ve got an infestation on your hands. 

If you encounter roaches in your home during the daytime, there’s almost certainly an established colony already hiding somewhere nearby and you shouldn’t wait to call in the services of a cockroach exterminator.

Roaches bugging you and popping up inside your home? Terminix is here to help. We’ve been providing cockroach removal and palmetto pest control for over 75 years now. Plus, our services are backed by the strongest guarantee in the industry.

Why Do Cockroaches Like the Dark?

In general, cockroaches are nocturnal creatures because they are a food source for many predators. For the best chance of living a complete life cycle, they tend to hide in dark hidden areas during the day and then forage for food and other resources at night in the cover of darkness.  

This is in hopes of being hidden from predators while they scurry about on their endless quest for food and water.

Can Roaches See in the Dark?

Yes, cockroaches can see in the dark. 

Cockroaches are able to navigate through practically pitch-black conditions through not just touch and smell, but sight as well. Cockroaches have complex compound eyes composed of thousands of light-sensitive cells, giving them mosaic vision. Because they have so many of these photoreceptors in each of their eyes, cockroaches are much more sensitive to light than humans.

In recent years, scientists have discovered that these cells are capable of helping cockroaches navigate in extremely low-light conditions through a mechanism that is not yet well understood. In fact, a cockroach’s eyes are so effective in the dark that scientists believe understanding their function could lead to huge leaps forward in night vision technologies.

Where Do Cockroaches Hide?

Cockroaches will hide just about anywhere that’s dark. They’re especially fond of narrow spaces and tight gaps, and can flatten themselves out to squeeze into just about anywhere. They can even hold their breath for around half an hour, allowing them to scurry into pipes without much danger. 

Around the home, cockroaches hide most often in places that are dark, warm, moist, and as close to a food source as possible. 

Common cockroach hideouts include:

  • Under or behind kitchen appliances of all sizes, including refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers
  • Below sinks in kitchens, bathrooms, and garages
  • Near or inside pipes and plumbing
  • Behind electric outlets and light switches
  • Beneath yard debris or thick vegetation
  • Under piles of cardboard or newspapers

If you discover a cockroach hiding in any of these places, the unfortunate reality is there are even more waiting to be discovered. Call in the professional roach exterminators ASAP. 

What’s the Best Way to Deal with Cockroaches?

The best way to avoid a cockroach infestation—and avoid having to therefore call in the palmetto exterminators—is to make sure your home is clean. Cockroaches, or Palmetto Bugs as they’re commonly referred to in South Carolina, require lots of water and they eat pretty much all the foods that humans eat. So, try to avoid giving them free access to food and water as best you can.  

This includes: 

  • Immediately cleaning up spilled food items
  • Not leaving dirty dishes sitting around too long
  • Making sure the stove and other food cooking appliances stay clean 
  • Not letting trash accumulate  

All of these practices will go a long way towards avoiding cockroaches getting out of hand.  

However, it’s important to keep in mind that even the cleanest homes may occasionally get cockroaches. Some species can wander in from the outside, crawl up the outside of water and sewage lines from the crawlspace, or accidentally be brought inside in cardboard boxes and other items. 

If you’re still dealing with cockroaches even after addressing all of these things, it may be time to call in the professionals.

For Cockroach Control, Trust Terminix

It’s always good to have a regular pest control service on your home to deal with the trickier pest situations. A pest professional can identify the cockroach species, figure out the best methods of roach control for the situation, and give advice on how to prevent future infestations.

For more information on what our pest control service can provide—or to request a free inspection from your local Terminix branch—give us a call. We’ll get you on the road toward a pest-free home, guaranteed.

Search the Blog