There’s nothing worse than coming home to find a bunch of cockroaches scurrying around in your garage. Not only are they unpleasant to look at (especially if you use your garage as a place to store food and valuables), but they can also be dangerous if they’re anywhere in your home. If you’ve been dealing with a roach problem in your garage, keep reading to learn more about the steps you should take.
What You'll Learn Today
What Causes Roaches in a Garage?
Roaches are some of the most common household pests in America – which is why very few people will have problems identifying these creepy-crawly pets! There are more than 30 different cockroach species in the United States – and keeping them at bay can be a challenge.
Like all living things, roaches need three basic things to survive – food, water, and shelter. Different species of cockroaches thrive on different sources of food, but for the most part, if you want to find the roaches in your garage, look for places that are humid and dark.
Garbage cans, unrinsed recyclables, items packaged in cardboard boxes, and other damp, dark areas are good sources of shelter for roaches.
If you only see one or two cockroaches in the garage, don’t panic right away. Sometimes, a roach might wander accidentally into the garage and can’t figure out how to get back out. It’s only if you see roaches multiple times – or see other signs of infestation, as listed below – that you should start to take action.
- Droppings – these look like small coffee grounds
- Greasy smear marks on the wall
- An unusual or unpleasant stench or odor
- Shedded skin or exoskeletons
- Property damage
- Cockroach eggs
How Do I Get Rid of Roaches ASAP?
Want to get rid of cockroaches – STAT? Try these simple tips to get rid of them for good.
Get Rid of the Food Source
The first thing you need to do to get rid of roaches is to remove their food source. Take a look around the garage and try to identify potential food sources that are attracting these pests.
If you leave pet food in the garage, get rid of it. Store food in an airtight container and sweep up any spills or crumbs that fall on the floor. Remember to fix any leaking pipes or sources of water, too.
Often, water leaks are so small and minor that you might not even notice them – but don’t worry, the roaches will! Even a tiny leak in your water heater that’s hardly filling the overflow tub could be enough to attract roaches – or even condensation! Get rid of any moisture that is present by fixing leaks and running a dehumidifier if you need to.
Remove Potential Bedding
If you’ve ever opened up a box of clothing that you’ve stored in your garage to find an unpleasant, writhing pile of roaches, you aren’t alone! This is a common occurrence because roaches and other pests love to live inside boxes that you use to store your clothes and other items.
Rather than keeping your items in cardboard boxes (which roaches can easily get inside), store them in plastic containers or bins instead. It’s far easier for roaches to get inside cardboard since all they have to do is eat the glue that holds the box together and burrow inside.
Stop storing cardboard and paper in your home too. These are both nesting materials. Don’t keep newspapers, magazines, books, paper bags, or cardboard boxes around. They’ll use this starch in the adhesive to lay their eggs.
Clean Out Your Recyclables
A lot of people put their recyclables (like old food cans and tins) in the garage without rinsing them first. If you have a roach problem, this isn’t a great idea. Even if you bag the items before putting them in the garage, roaches can still get to them and will happily chow down on the food left behind.
Move Garbage Cans
If you keep your trash bins in the garage between pick-ups, you’re just asking for a roach infestation in the garage. Put the trash outside ASAP and use a bungee cord to keep the lid tightly secured (which will keep out animals outdoors).
What Smell Will Keep Cockroaches Away?
The sense of smell is a powerful one – and cockroaches can often be kept at bay by using the right scents.
Consider putting out some essential oils like peppermint, cedarwood or cypress oils.
Another scent cockroaches aren’t fond of? Crushed bay leaves – or even coffee grounds. All of these can help repel cockroaches and keep them out of your garage.
Clean and Seal Up Your Car
There’s not much that would be worse than feeling a cockroach scurrying across your leg as you drive down the road.
Make sure your car is sealed up tight so roaches don’t sneak inside through the automobile vents or airflow systems. Close the vents after you’ve used them and make sure their seals are working correctly around the windows, trunk, doors, and roof.
Your car needs to be kept clean, too, as roaches might be tempted to go inside the vehicle if there are lots of crumbs or spills inside.
Try Boric Acid
Boric acid is naturally found in plants, combining boron and plants. Safe to pets and humans (for the most part), it is toxic to roaches.
It also weakens their wings and legs when the pests come into contact with it. To get rid of cockroaches, you might try putting out some boric acid on a paper plate.
Put the plate somewhere you’ve noticed cockroaches, then add a dab of peanut butter to entice the cockroaches to come to visit.
As one final technique to try, know that you can also use roach bait. Roach bait, sometimes sold as “roach houses,” can be purchased at places like your local home improvement store or even Walmart. Set these out in your garage, ideally out of the way of kids and pets.
If you can, put the traps near locations that are likely to attract roaches, like water sources, bedding, and food. Check the traps often and remove them as soon as your roach problem has gone, since they can be toxic.
Still confused about how traps for roaches work? Here’s a video that can walk you through the process and clear things up a bit:
How Do I Keep Roaches Out of My Garage?
Finally, know that you can always spray roaches with a pesticide. The challenge with this technique is that you’ll have to make sure the chemical comes into direct contact with the roach.
These sprays usually rely on pyrethroid chemicals to shut down a roach’s nervous system. It can take a week to kill roaches this way, since the sprays don’t always kill roaches instantly.
Foggers or bug bombs work in a similar fashion but instead of spraying the cockroaches directly, these put a fog of pesticide into the air. It infiltrates walls and cracks, killing any roaches that might be hidden in your garage.
Whatever you choose, make sure you take care of the roach problem as soon as possible. Left unchecked, a roach problem can easily spread to other areas of the home.
Use the tips above to find out how you can make your garage less hospitable for roaches. Once they are gone, you can start to clean up their messes – and take steps to prevent them from coming back!