Cockroaches prefer to live in temperatures that range from 25 to 40 degrees Celsius. This is the standard temperature for a U.S. home. If the room temperature drops below 25 degrees, cockroaches will vacate the premises in search of a warmer dwelling.

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Cockroaches are cold-blooded and cannot regulate their internal temperature. Many will go into a state of hibernation called diapause if they can’t find somewhere warmer to live. If the temperature falls below 15° F, most cockroaches will die. In winter, roaches slow down to conserve energy and will reproduce at a slower rate.

Most homeowners would like to get some relief from cockroaches during the winter months. As human dwellings are kept at a reasonably warm temperature throughout cold weather periods, cockroaches can survive even the coldest winter seasons. Cockroaches that are outside and exposed to the cold will perish.


Table of Contents hide
1 Where Do Cockroaches Go in The Winter?
2 Do Cockroaches Die in Cold Temperatures?
3 Do German Cockroaches Hibernate?
4 Do American Cockroaches Hibernate?
5 Do Oriental Cockroaches Hibernate?
6 Will Cockroaches Leave A Cold House?
7 What Season Do Cockroaches Come Out the Most?
8 How to Keep Cockroaches Away in Winter?
8.1 Keep Food Containers Sealed
8.2 Clean Up
8.3 Remove Garbage
8.4 Plug Gaps
8.5 Related Articles:

Where Do Cockroaches Go in The Winter?

Cockroaches are cold-blooded arthropods that cannot regulate their internal temperature. Though they are adaptable creatures, they can’t survive extreme temperatures. According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, cockroaches do not develop or reproduce when temperatures are too cold (below 45° F) or too hot (above 115° F).

Most species can’t survive when the temperature drops below 15° F. When winter approaches, most cockroaches will move indoors to stay warm. However, the cold weather affects cockroaches’ ability to reproduce and develop.

Many cockroaches enter a state of hibernation called diapause. This is a type of dormancy where cockroaches’ metabolic and growth rates slow down. As long as their chosen home has an abundance of food and water, they will continue to survive, albeit at a slower pace than during summer.


During the winter, cockroaches that live outside will enter hibernation. Most will sleep their way through winter, hiding under piles of woods, leaves, and mulch. Cockroaches can’t migrate during the colder months, so they need to find a warm hiding spot to survive. The most common hibernation spots are:

Vents. Cockroaches sneak inside vents to gain access to warm homes.Decaying trees. Tree stumps or dying trees offer shelter from the cold, wind, and rain.Wood piles. American cockroaches, in particular, find refuge in piles of firewood nestling inside the cracks and gaps. They can get disturbed if the woodpiles are used throughout winter, making them a risky hiding spot.Walls and rafters. Cracks in walls offer access to drywall or warm insulation. They’re quiet and out of harm’s way.Kitchens. Cockroaches will hide down the back of kitchen cabinets to avoid detection. This also gives them access to food crumbs and liquids that seep through the gaps.Basements. Often the most humid part of the home, basements are an ideal hibernation space for cockroaches.Drains and pipes. Pipes and drains are full of moisture, attracting cockroaches looking for hydration.

Do Cockroaches Die in Cold Temperatures?

While most cockroaches can adapt to cold temperatures, most adult roaches will die if exposed to temperatures below 0° F. When the temperature reaches this low, they will struggle to survive and slowly perish unless they find a warmer place to live. Nymphs are more likely to go into hibernation.

Before they die from the cold, roaches will conserve their energy by limiting their daily activities. They’ll eat and move less, and reproduction will slow down. Instead, they’ll spend most of their time looking for a warm home.

Pest controllers use freezing to eliminate cockroaches. If roaches are placed into a sub-zero freezer, they’ll die within half an hour. Similarly, prolonged exposure to low temperatures will kill cockroach egg cases.

Though, this technique will only work when there’s a small or localized infestation. Large hordes can split off too easily and hide in other areas of the house.

Do German Cockroaches Hibernate?

Hailing from the warm climes of Southeast Asia, German cockroaches are susceptible to extreme temperatures. Studies suggest that when exposed to a temperature below 45° F, German cockroaches will die within 10 hours. If the temperature drops below 14° F, they will die within an hour.

Because of their inability to survive the cold, they live exclusively in and around human homes. Warmth is also essential for German cockroaches to reproduce. To conserve their energy during winter, German cockroaches reduce their activity levels by 75% and spend most of their time resting until the weather warms up.

However, if their chosen dwelling is warm enough and there is enough food and water for them, German cockroaches will continue to multiply and invade the home. This makes it challenging to remove infestations from the house.

German cockroaches enjoy temperatures of around 70° F, which is the standard temperature many homeowners keep their houses set to. Unfortunately, this invites cockroaches into the home, where they will thrive in the winter months.


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How to Keep Cockroaches Away in Winter?

As cockroaches aren’t around so much in the winter, it would be easy to become complacent about pest control inside your home. But there’s still a chance that a lone cockroach could appear in your kitchen and bathroom, signifying you have a colony of hibernating cockroaches that will cause havoc when they re-emerge in the summer.

Therefore, prevention is vital. Follow these steps to stop cockroaches from getting inside the home during winter:

Keep Food Containers Sealed

Cockroaches can get into open bags, so keep food and leftovers in an airtight plastic container. Similarly, keep chilled food in the fridge – don’t leave it left out on the counter. Also, keep pet food stored safely in an airtight container where cockroaches can’t reach it.

Clean Up

Clean dirty dishes and cutlery immediately after use and put them away in their designated storage area. Wipe down kitchen counters and sweep all crumbs and food debris into a secure bin. Cockroaches can access even the smallest scraps of food, so give your kitchen a good spray down each evening.

Wash floors, removing dirt and debris, and scrub off food stains that cockroaches will be attracted to. Keep your living areas free from clutter, including piles of paper and clothes.

Remove Garbage

Don’t leave garbage lying around. If cockroaches can get inside your bin, they will have access to enough food to keep them sustained for a long time. Instead, replace your garbage bag every few days and clean out your trash can beforereplacing the bag.

Plug Gaps

Look for any cracks in your skirting boards and foundation and seal them up. Cockroaches love small gaps and crevices to hide away in, so blocking access will drive them elsewhere.

Similarly, plug up drains in the bathroom. Cockroaches can get inside the home through plumbing, so prevent access by blocking all plugs when they’re not in use.

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When it comes to the cockroaches you need to look out for in the winter, German and American roaches are most likely to seek refuge inside the home. They don’t like the cold and are more likely to die during freezing temperatures. It’s only natural you’ll see a reduction in the number of cockroaches in winter compared to the summer.