Mosquitoes flying around

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in the Shower Drain

January 25, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Enjoying the shower or bath is a great way to start the day or unwind at its end, but it’s difficult to feel relaxed during your bathing routine if you have an insect audience. Because they seek out water, cockroaches are a common pest in bathrooms, and drains are often their entry point. Learn how to get rid of cockroaches in a shower drain or bathtub, so you can take action when pests appear.

What attracts cockroaches to your bathroom? 

The idea that cockroaches only live in dirty homes is a myth. Any clean house can become the site of an infestation. Cockroaches come into homes looking for food, water, and shelter. They often enter homes to escape harsh weather, getting in through cracks, crevices, vents, and plumbing. Cockroaches can’t survive without water for more than a week, so they may come indoors looking for it during droughts. In the bathroom, cockroaches can also find many things to feast upon, from soap to toothpaste to shed skin cells. In addition, cockroaches prefer the dark, and many bathrooms lack natural light.

cockroach crawling by shower drain

Common types of cockroaches

More than 4,600 species of cockroaches have been discovered, but only about 30 of them are known to invade homes. In bathrooms in the U.S., most infestations are due to one of three species:

  • German cockroaches: These pests account for the majority of cockroach infestations in the U.S. The insects are around 0.5″ long. Their bodies range from tan to light brown, and you can recognize the species by the two dark brown stripes positioned behind their heads.
  • American cockroaches: This species is significantly larger than the German cockroach, averaging 1 to 2″ in length. They are red-brown in color.
  • Oriental cockroaches: These cockroaches typically have shiny black bodies with tinges of red-brown and brown. They typically grow to around 1″ in length.

Are cockroaches harmful to humans? 

Although they don’t sting or bite, cockroaches can harm humans by spreading illnesses through viruses and bacteria like streptococcus, salmonella, E. coli, and staphylococcus. In addition, their eggs, outer shells, cuticles, saliva, and feces can cause allergic reactions. People with asthma and other respiratory conditions may experience trouble breathing due to these items.

Signs of a cockroach infestation

Detecting cockroaches in the bathroom can be tricky. Because the pests are nocturnal, they may come out only when you sleep. If you turn on the bathroom light at night, these fast runners may disappear into hiding places before you can spot them. 

Fortunately, cockroaches often leave behind signs of their presence that you can spot. These include:

  • Droppings: Search for black feces that looks like coffee grounds or grains of rice in the corners, under the sink, inside and around the vanity, and behind the toilet.
  • Smears: If the cockroaches run through the feces or a member of your household comes in contact with it, the waste may look like brown or black smears.
  • Unpleasant smell: Cockroach carcasses and feces release pheromones to attract more of their kind. You may detect these chemicals as a foul musty smell.
  • Signs of feeding: You may discover evidence of what cockroaches have been dining on in your bathroom. Chunks missing out of soap bars or torn or shredded tissue or toilet paper could be signs of an infestation.
  • Shed skin: Cockroaches shed their skins five to eight times before they reach maturity. You may find their empty shell casings around plumbing fixtures and bathroom cabinetry.
  • Egg casings: Cockroach eggs hatch from a casing called an ootheca and leave behind a shell after they hatch. The ootheca usually has a capsule shape and may be amber, reddish-black, black, or brown.

How to get rid of cockroaches in your shower drain

Denying pests food and water and blocking entry points may help control an infestation. To get rid of cockroaches in a bathtub drain or shower drain, follow these tips:

  • Look for cracks or holes in drain pipes using a flashlight and repair any damage.
  • Fill in any crevices and holes around the drain pipes.
  • Tighten or replace leaky faucets.
  • Use a ventilation fan to reduce humidity in the bathroom.
  • Rinse the interior of the shower or tub after bathing and then thoroughly dry it.
  • Wrap any exposed plumbing that is prone to condensation.
  • Throw garbage away in a waste can that has a tight-fitting lid and empty the trash can daily.
  • Clean the shower or tub drain and sink drain with an enzymatic cleaner.
  • Wipe off the vanity and sink daily.
  • Regularly clean the toilet bowl.
  • Store soap bars in an enclosed container.
  • Always keep the lids on toothpaste and toiletries when not in use. 

Premium pest control services

The above tips may prove successful at preventing cockroaches. However, infestations can be difficult to address on your own. At Hawx Pest Control, we know how to take care of cockroaches in the shower drain and have high-quality tools and products to get the job done right. We can also recommend a maintenance schedule to make future infestations less likely. If cockroaches come back before the next treatment, we will, too, at no additional cost to you.

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