Mosquitoes flying around

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Vents

March 23, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Cockroaches are invasive and hard-to-handle pests that can survive in the most unlikely of places. And while they are commonly associated with unsanitary living conditions, that’s not always the cause of an infestation. 

Thanks to their flat, small bodies, cockroaches are experts at squeezing through small spaces undetected, and your home’s air vents are one of the places you’ll most often find them. Household vents make perfect pathways for cockroaches, especially in cold months when they search for warmth in hidden spaces. 

Why are there cockroaches coming out of my vents?

Cockroaches are masterful survivors and typically seek out warm, dark areas in close proximity to dependable sources of food and water. Unfortunately, this means most household HVAC systems are an ideal space for them. 

Cockroaches are drawn to air conditioners because they always have water nearby, thanks to the condensation produced by the unit. While your AC unit is outdoors, the HVAC system, including the air handler and vents, provides dark, undisturbed pathways for cockroaches to enter your home. 

Wall cold air vent sitting on hardwood floor

How do cockroaches get into air vents?

Cockroaches can sneak through cracks, seams, and crevices, so they have several ways to enter your vents. They generally come through the drain pipes or find a cracked or faulty seal to enter. When a cockroach enters your air vents, it can take over any room in your home. Once inside, they have easy access to your ductwork and, therefore, your entire house.

Do cockroaches bite?

Cockroach bites are extremely rare, and the likelihood of being bitten by a cockroach in a typical household infestation is low. If there’s an active food source nearby, such as food crumbs or waste, the likelihood of them taking the risk of searching a human for food is minimal.

Do cockroaches spread diseases?

Yes. The National Center for Healthy Housing names cockroaches a health hazard due to the risks posed to people with asthma and because they can carry disease-causing germs. Cockroaches are known carriers of respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases, including dysentery, diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid fever. One of the most concerning potential risks from a cockroach infestation is how quickly their numbers can grow and how stealthy their movement can be. They also leave behind waste, egg capsules, feces, and body parts that cause increased health risks.

What are the most common types of cockroaches?

There are 4,600 known species of cockroaches, but only 30 live with humans. Of those 30, you will find three most commonly in homes in the United States:

  • American cockroach: Sometimes called a palmetto bug, American cockroaches are 1-2 inches long, reddish-brown in color, and flat. They’re incredibly speedy runners, traveling up to 50 body lengths per second.
  • German cockroach: Lighter in color and smaller than their American counterparts. German cockroaches are the most common type of cockroach. They compensate for their shorter lifespans with rapid maturity and breeding rates. Female German cockroaches can produce an egg capsule that carries up to 48 eggs, which hatch in just 20 days.
  • Oriental cockroach: Also referred to as water bugs, Oriental cockroaches live in wet areas like sewers, crawl spaces, and drains. They are black and have smooth, shiny exteriors. Oriental cockroaches eat garbage, sewage, and decaying organic matter in plumbing.
close up of german cockroach on white background
German Cockroach

How to get rid of cockroaches in vents 

Prevention is the best way to avoid a cockroach problem in your vents. Check your vent system for cracks, faulty seams, and broken seals, and repair them as soon as you find them.

Cockroach pest control services 

The best way to handle a cockroach infestation in your vents is to hire a professional pest control company like Hawx. We offer safe and affordable extermination for your current pest problems and preventative treatments to address potential threats before they happen. Our friendly and knowledgeable professionals are ready to help you all year round. Hawx Premium Pest Control uses a three-fold process, plus high-quality tools and products, to create a custom treatment plan that suits your needs and restores peace in your home. Call us today for a free estimate and get rid of your cockroach problem for good. 

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