Cleaning Tips to Nix Cockroaches

The National Pest Management Association offers key methods for cockroach prevention

FAIRFAX, Va. (February 23, 2015) – There are few sights more jarring than a cockroach scuttling across the floor of your own home. These hardy pests aren’t just creepy — the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns that they also pose significant threats to human health. Cockroach saliva, feces and decomposing body parts can cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma symptoms, and they can also spread 33 kinds of bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli.

“Cockroaches are notoriously difficult to control, but taking preventative measures is necessary to protect human health,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Now is the perfect time to conduct a thorough inspection of the home and begin practicing cleaning habits that can prevent a cockroach infestation from taking root.”

According to the NPMA, proper sanitation and eliminating sites of moisture are best practices to keep in mind and the following tips can also keep cockroach hot spots pest-free:

  • Kitchen: Keep counters, sinks, tables and floors meticulously clean every day. Clean dishes, crumbs and spills right away, store food in airtight containers and always avoid leaving food out—including pet food. Vacuum any crumbs stuck in corners and around cabinets and regularly clean cabinets out with soap and water. Check under sinks and clean under appliances for moisture issues.
  • Bathroom: Cockroaches are attracted to moisture and can only survive for a week without water, so always wipe up standing water around sinks, tubs and toilets. Fix leaky faucets and ensure sinks are clear of water before bedtime—cockroaches are nocturnal and will typically emerge to search for water and food at night when the house is dark and quiet.
  • Basement: Eliminate clutter where possible to reduce hiding spaces for cockroaches. Basement windows and areas where weather-stripping has become worn are frequent points of access for cockroaches, so homeowners should be sure to seal any cracks or crevices that these pests could use to enter the home.

For more information on cockroaches, visit

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. For more information, visit