Do Cockroaches Go Away in the Winter? + Hibernation & Prevention

Cockroaches prefer temperatures between 77-104°F (25-40°C) to survive. This is the average house temperature in the United States. Therefore, cockroaches will leave the premises if the temperature falls below 25 degrees in search of a warmer environment.

As cold-blooded insects, cockroaches enter a hibernation-like state (diapause) when temperatures drop in the winter. Their growth stops, and metabolism slows down. If exposed to temperatures below 15°F, they’ll die. As such, cockroaches simply find warmer places in winter and don’t go away.

Roaches slow down in the winter to preserve energy and reproduce slower. This points to the fact that, during winter, roaches are likely to get indoors since the outdoors will be warmer. It explains why there is often an increase in roaches indoors in winter.

Cockroaches Feeling Cold

Do cockroaches go away in the winter?

Cockroaches are arthropods with cold blood and can’t adjust their internal temperature. Despite their adaptability, they cannot withstand low temperatures. As such, cockroaches do not develop or reproduce when temperatures are too cold or too hot.

When the temperature dips below 15° F, most species die. Most cockroaches will relocate indoors to be warm as winter approaches. On the other hand, the cold temperature impacts cockroach reproduction and development.

Diapause is a hibernating period for many cockroaches. Cockroaches’ metabolic and growth rates slow down during this sort of hibernation. They will survive as long as their chosen habitat provides plenty of food and water, but at a slower rate than in the summer.

Cockroaches that reside outside will hibernate throughout the winter. Most will spend the winter lurking under heaps of wood, leaves, and mulch. Cockroaches cannot move in the winter; they must locate a warm hiding place to stay alive. 

Their most common hibernation spots include vents, decaying trees, woodpiles, walls and rafters, chimneys, kitchens, electrical appliances, basements, drains, and pipes.

Do cockroaches die in the winter?

While most cockroaches can adapt to low temperatures, those exposed to temperatures below 0° F will die. They will struggle to survive and eventually die unless they can locate a warmer area to inhabit when the temperature drops to this low. Nymphs are more inclined to hibernate than adults. 

Roaches preserve energy by decreasing their everyday activities before succumbing to the cold. They’ll eat less and move less, and their reproduction will also slow. Instead, they’ll spend most of their time searching for a warm place to make their home.

Cockroaches are killed by freezing, according to pest control experts. For example, if you put roaches in a sub-zero freezer for half an hour, they’ll die.

Cockroach egg cases will also be killed by extended exposure to low temperatures. This method, however, will only work in the case of a minor or isolated infestation. Large hordes can quickly split up and hide in different parts of the home.

Unlike bed bugs which are only eaten by a few lizards, roaches have more natural predators, although they can’t be effective in controlling them.

Do cockroaches hibernate in the winter?

When the temperature drops below particular levels in the winter, many cockroaches go into a hibernation-like condition of dormancy (diapause). Their metabolic rate decreases, and development halts in this dormant condition. 

Cockroaches may survive the winter if they enter warm buildings or residences with enough food and water. This implies that they will continue to reproduce and consume. 

Therefore, roaches are more likely to appreciate your home in the winter because it provides a perfect environment with warmth, food, and water.

Some of the most common roaches and their winter behavior are as follows:

1. American cockroaches

The American cockroach prefers to dwell outside in the summer but will go indoors in the winter to avoid the cold. They cannot survive in temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. They will thus spend the winter outside in rotting trees and wood piles to survive the season.

2. German cockroaches

German cockroaches are a severe pest concern in the United States, with enormous populations seen across the country. They quickly penetrate human constructions and establish homes there and are difficult to expel once inside.

The German cockroach will survive the winter as long as it can find food and a humid atmosphere. This generally entails infesting human environments in which they are skilled.

3. Oriental cockroaches

Although Oriental cockroaches prefer to stay indoors, they may frequently wander outside to seek food. By late summer, most adults have died; the only ones left are from the previous generation. 

They need water to survive, so they’ll spend the winter hiding in basements, crawlspaces, and floor drains. The oriental cockroach reproduces just once a year during the winter months. 

These cockroaches can withstand colder temperatures than most other cockroach species, and they spend the winter in rock walls and other warm places.

4. Brown-banded cockroaches

Although it may not be as common as the German cockroach, the brown-banded cockroach may be found throughout the United States. They are drawn to heated office buildings, residential complexes, and work-generating appliances like electric motors. 

They favor high cupboards in the home and build up pests in the kitchen. Brown-banded cockroaches have little trouble surviving the winter if they can establish their homes indoors.

Besides these ones, there are Florida roaches and many other species in the United States. Depending on your climate, you’ll see them both indoors and outdoors.

Does cold in the house get rid of cockroaches?

Cockroaches dislike being in the cold. They will leave, searching for a warmer home if the atmosphere becomes too chilly. They may not be able to find one, but staying in a chilly house is rarely an option for bugs. 

They don’t need to look for another home because many houses contain minor gaps and crevices that give adequate warmth for them to live.

On the other hand, some cockroaches can endure and even adapt to cooler temperatures. Certain animals will hibernate within a cooler home till it warms up again as long as they have access to food and water. To keep their bodies warm, many cockroaches may congregate in groups.

How to keep away cockroaches in the winter

It’s easy to grow lax about pest management inside your house throughout the winter because cockroaches aren’t as active. However, a single cockroach in your kitchen or bathroom might indicate that you have a colony of hibernating cockroaches that will create havoc when they re-emerge in the summer.

As a result, prevention is critical. To keep cockroaches out of your house during winter, follow these steps:

1. Clean Up

After each use, promptly clean soiled plates and silverware and place them in their respective storage spots. Sweep any crumbs and food debris into a safe receptacle after wiping off kitchen worktops. 

Cockroaches may get into even the tiniest pieces of food, so spray down your kitchen every evening.

Wash the floors to remove dirt and debris, and scrub any food stains that may attract cockroaches. Keep your living areas clean of clutter, such as paper and clothing heaps.

2. Plug Gaps

Look for and seal any cracks in your skirting boards and foundation. Cockroaches prefer to hide in little cracks and crevices. As such, preventing access will drive them away.

Drains in the bathroom should also be plugged in. Cockroaches can enter your home through the plumbing, so make sure all outlets are unplugged while not in use.

3. Keep Food Containers Sealed

Since cockroaches can sneak into unsealed bags, food and leftovers should be kept in an airtight plastic container. Similarly, keep chilled food refrigerated rather than left on the counter. Also, put pet food in an airtight container out of reach of cockroaches.

4. Remove Garbage

Garbage should not be left lying around. Cockroaches will have access to enough food to keep them alive for a long time if they can get inside your garbage. Replace your waste bag every few days instead, and empty your trash container before doing so.

With roaches in the house, you’re also likely to have rats. Rats feed on most insects as part of their natural diet and will often also feed on the foods eaten by the insects. If a roach can find enough food in your home, chances are high that rats will do too.


German and American roaches are the most likely to seek shelter indoors when it comes to cockroaches to watch out for in the winter. This is because they dislike the cold and are more prone to perish under such conditions. Therefore, it’s only natural that the number of cockroaches decreases in the winter compared to the summer.
Luckily, keeping them out of the house is quite easy if you know what to do and expect. With the information above, you should be able to keep roaches out of your house.

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