How Do Cockroaches Get in the Dishwasher?

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Cockroaches can live in a hostile environment without water or food for a long period. It’s possible to have cockroaches living in the cleanest of homes, and in such situations, they will take cover in the kitchen and more specifically in your dishwasher. Most homeowners get frustrated when they find cockroaches in their dishwasher since they are unsure of how to get rid of them. The dishwasher is a very delicate location, and it might be very difficult to get rid of cockroaches (call The Exterminators for expert cockroach control Toronto services) without contaminating the dishwasher with toxic chemicals. You could also eliminate roaches from your dishwasher using non-toxic methods, and they will disappear completely.

Cockroaches In Dishwashers

Cockroaches on the dishwasher sponge The dirty sink has nasty cockroaches, food scavengers, and is also a disease carrier in the digestive tract.
Cockroaches on the dishwasher sponge The dirty sink has nasty cockroaches, food scavengers, and is also a disease carrier in the digestive tract.

You might be surprised to find out that there are cockroaches in your dishwasher. This might be the last place where you would like to see cockroaches. You might be wondering why they are there in the first place. The reason is simple. Cockroaches are attracted to places with an abundance of food, water, and moisture. The dishwasher fulfills all these criteria by giving the cockroach access to an abundance of food leftover on the plates, water, and by being in the dishwasher itself, cockroaches are staying in a moist place. Cockroaches need very little wiggle room to take advantage of all the cracks, gaps, hinges that the dishwasher gives them to enter. This is why it is strongly recommended to combat their presence with non-toxic formulations or to consult a pest control technician first before trying something.

Other bugs in dishwasher

Apart from cockroaches, ants can be found in dishwashers as well. This is because there is an abundance of food and moisture, something one species of ants is especially attracted to, namely the Pharaoh Ant. This ant, in particular, has a sweet tooth and an eye for oily foods. It prefers moisture and is hard to spot due to its color when it finds itself on the floor. Ants can pose a significant problem when it comes to the kitchen since it is the central point where all the food is stored. To successfully get rid of ants in the kitchen it is strongly recommended to hire a professional ant control expert. This does not mean that nothing on your part is expected. Having a neat and orderly kitchen will ensure that the problem stays away. Regular cleaning of kitchen counters, cabinets, and mopping floors ensure that ants have nowhere to go. When you do find yourself in such a situation, several sources suggest to use white vinegar and put it in the top rack while taking every moveable piece out of the dishwasher and individually clean it.

Cockroaches in dishwasher door

Chances are when you open up your dishwasher that you see cockroaches lingering around doing pretty much nothing. You might wonder why and how these cockroaches got in the first place. Cockroaches are very agile creatures that can get through virtually any gap or crack with ease. Cockroaches are opportunistic animals that will take any chance to take any amount of food, no matter how small. From the door, they can advance deeper into the dishwasher compartment to eat from the scraps left on the dishes, cutlery, and cups.

Cockroaches under dishwasher

Cockroaches can be found under the dishwasher because of the temperature and because of the food scraps usually left behind in the kitchen. Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures and because of habit will most likely be active at night. Other than the dishwasher other electronic appliances in the kitchen can also be the target of cockroaches such as refrigerators, toasters, and they can even find their way in outlets. It will help tremendously to mop the floors regularly and to make sure that trash is regularly thrown out or discarded.

How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches In The Dishwasher

The brown cockroach died. In a sink with a dirty dish
The brown cockroach died. In a sink with a dirty dish

Finding cockroaches in your dishwasher may be an unsettling experience, but there are ways to prevent it and to take care of it. When you find cockroaches squirming around the first step is not to panic. To get rid of the roaches, put vinegar in a cup, and set the dishwasher on its highest setting. This will also sanitize the dishwater as well.

  • Next what you want to do as a precaution is to take the dishwasher apart. All the racks that are detachable and give them a good scrub with simply hot water and soap. You also might want to take out the cutlery compartment and give that a thorough scrub as well.
  • Cockroaches always find their way in through some sort of entry point, even though it may look very insignificant to us, we have to understand that the limbs of cockroaches can easily be flattened to allow itself to squeeze through tight holes, gaps, and crevices of any kind.  To seal these holes or gaps you can simply use caulk.
  • To get rid of the remaining roaches, you can pour a thin line of boric right beneath the dishwasher.Pour too much and cockroaches will avoid it. It should be barely visible to the naked eye.

Clean your dishwasher

Proper sanitation will go a long way to preventing cockroaches from invading your dishwasher. First, you will need to pull out any dishes that are in the dishwasher and set them aside. Remove the rack at the bottom and examine the drain. Cockroaches are known to thrive in tight spaces and especially if the tight space means getting water and food. Get rid of any debris from your drain. Place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack, then run your dishwasher on the hottest cycle. Cockroaches are unable to stand extreme heat or cold. This process will sanitize the dishwasher as well as flush out any stragglers.

Get rid of the entry points

Once the dishwasher is sanitized, and all the roaches hiding within have been flushed, you need to take preventive measures to ensure that the cockroaches do not make a home of your dishwasher again. Inspect your dishwasher for cracks and open spaces and fill them with caulk. You can also apply a fine layer of boric acid that is invisible to the eye.

Get rid of any remaining cockroaches

Cockroach on old dishwashing sponge
Cockroach on old dishwashing sponge

You can effectively get rid of any remaining cockroaches by mixing one-part boric acid, two parts flour, two parts cocoa and sprinkling them around areas in your kitchen that you suspect have cockroach activity. Ensure that the mixture is sprinkled on your floorboards, plumbing and under your refrigerator. To keep roaches out of your newly cleaned dishwasher, make sure that there are none left anywhere in your kitchen.

Take preventive measures

Ensure that your dishwasher door is always shut at all times. Especially when there are dirty dishes waiting to be cleaned. Avoid leaving food on your kitchen countertops and surfaces. Make sure that you take your trash out daily. Also, regularly clean your dishwasher. A good rule of thumb is to have it cleaned once in two weeks; this will ensure there are no food scraps laying around. Sanitize your dishwasher every other weekend or as need be.

In case you notice cockroaches in your dishwasher, it is a wise idea to call your local pest control service to check it out. More often than not, the presence of cockroaches in dishwashers normally points out to a cockroach infestation. Getting a professional pest control Toronto to help you deal with this problem will mean effectively get rid of your cockroach problem for good.

Article Updated: November 17, 2020

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Joe The Exterminator
Joe The Exterminator

Joe is a professional pest control exterminator with over 15 years of experience and enjoys sharing his knowledge about different pests and how you can deal with them.