Crockery, Cutlery and Cockroach Chicanery: Why Cockroaches Choose to Nest in Dishwashers

Posted on: 13 November 2017

No matter how clean your home or apartment is, there are many places that could provide a home for a cockroach colony. Dirt is not the sole prerequisite for a cockroach infestation. Cockroaches require heat, humidity, water and of course—food. A dishwasher, unfortunately, offers all of these things.

They Don't Mind the Temperature

Yes, the temperatures inside a running dishwasher can reach 75 degrees Celsius and that is enough to burn a human or cockroach. However, this won't bother a cockroach colony that is nesting inside the door, along the pipes or among the electrical cables. They will simply wait until the machine isn't being used.

If you have discovered that your dishwasher is home to cockroaches, then you need to why and what you can do to clear them out and make sure they never return.

Stop Feeding Them

One of the major reasons that cockroaches love kitchens so much is simply that there is an abundance of food. No matter how well you keep your food contained and locked away, a patient cockroach colony will find a way to feed themselves as they breed and spread. They can go without food for a month.

However, getting rid of cockroaches requires a multi-pronged attack. Cleaning away the food debris from your plates before placing them into the dishwasher will deprive a cockroach colony of their food source.

But you shouldn't stop there.

Start a Drying Routine

Cockroaches can only go without water for a week. Your dishwasher is like a mountain spring to a cockroach. If you start a drying routine after every wash, ensuring that the inside of the dishwasher is bone dry after a cycle, you will deprive the cockroaches of their water source.

It will increase your electricity bill if you use the drying cycle often but it will be worth it in a week or so. You can also get creative. Use a tea towel or even a hair dryer if you must.

Cordon off the Area With Borax

First of all, be aware that borax is harmful to pets, children and adults if breathed in or accidentally consumed. Wear gloves and a face mask when using it, and ensure that children and pets are somewhere else. 

You have two choices. You can continue to use your dishwasher while stopping cockroaches from entering and leaving it, or you can turn it off for at least a week until the cockroaches have died of dehydration. Either way, you need to seal off the area with borax. Run a thin line of borax all around the dishwasher, underneath it and pull the dishwasher away from the wall. Put a thin line on connecting pipes and cables too. This will seal off their entry and escape points.

Remember, this is a multi-pronged attack. That means you need to carry out all three steps to destroy the colony currently inhabiting your dishwasher. You might find that the roaches are also living somewhere else in your home or that they are invading from a nearby infested property or room. In this case, call in a professional pest control service to treat the whole area.