Are Roaches Attracted to Cardboard? (3 Tips for Preventing an Infestation)

A cockroach is lying on it's back on a piece of cardboard

Cardboard attracts roaches both as a source of food and a suitable shelter. To keep these pests out of your house, it’s essential to understand the relationship between roaches and cardboard and learn how to minimize their contact.

We all know the dread of a cockroach sighting and the fear of an infestation. In order to minimize the chances of this unfortunate event, it is important to understand what brings roaches into your home. 

One of the most surprising attractants is cardboard. This common material provides both food and shelter for roaches.

Why Does Cardboard Attract Cockroaches?

1. Food Sources

Cardboard is an excellent source of food for roaches. It is made from organic materials that contain tree fibers. It is also made with glue, giving off a sweet scent that attracts even more.

2. Shelter

Cardboard boxes are the ideal environment for roaches to live in.

A group of cockroaches are looking for food and shelter in a persons home

They have flexible bodies that allow them to fit into tight spaces. This allows them to get into boxes that are not properly sealed and make themselves at home

3. Moisture and Darkness 

Cardboard material can absorb and hold large amounts of moisture and is usually stored in dark, out-of-the-way spaces.

This makes them the ideal environment for roaches. 

Cockroach Prevention: Effective Measures You Can Take

Cockroaches are attracted to cardboard for a variety of reasons. Since we all tend to have cardboard at our house quite often, it is important to be aware of this possibility and do everything possible to prevent it.

A woman is storing her extra household items in a cardboard box

Cardboard boxes are the perfect home for roaches to live, make nests, and lay eggs. This is especially true when left in a warm, damp environment like a garage. 

Not only do these boxes provide shelter, but they are also a food source. Cardboard is made up of organic fibers, which provide sustenance for the insects.

There are several simple steps you can take to prevent roaches from finding a home in your cardboard:

  • Keep boxes dry – Roaches like moist environments, so ensure your boxes are kept in a dry place.
  • Limit food source – They are often attracted to the food left behind or stored within the boxes.
  • Seal and store boxes properly – Using strong boxes without rips or holes and sealing them with tape will make it more difficult for roaches to get inside.
  • Inspect regularly – Perform routine checks on the condition of your boxes and keep an eye out for roaches, so you can address the issue before it becomes an infestation

Common Places for Infestations

Cardboard Box Storage

Since cardboard makes such an attractive home for roaches, any area with a large number of them will of course attract a lot of roaches.

A young woman is storing her extra books and music items in cardboard boxes in her garage

This is especially true when they are placed in a dark and damp area like a garage, attic, or basement. 

In areas like this, it is also important to consider the contents of the boxes. Any boxes containing organic material – especially food but also books or other paper goods – will be even more attractive. 

Secluded Spaces

In addition to the usual box storage areas, roaches can also find homes in the secluded parts of your houses. Think of anywhere you put boxes that are out of the way. One of the most common is in your closet. 

Roaches do not like to be around a lot of people, so they will gravitate toward undisturbed areas, especially if there are materials like cardboard that provide shelter and food.

Preventing Infestations

1. Cleaning Tips

Roaches are primarily attracted to sources of food, so make sure there are no food scraps or crumbs in any of the boxes within your house.

If you’re storing any nonperishable foods, check regularly to make sure they are properly sealed. 

This applies to the rest of your house as well. If you are concerned about the possibility of a roach infestation, sweep and mop regularly, and dispose of expired or rotting food. 

2. Proper Storage Practices

Avoid cardboard altogether when you can. Instead, use plastic bins with lids that fit tightly.

Keep your storage area clean and organized, especially if there is any food present. 

If you need to use cardboard, keep it in clean and dry places, and ensure that the openings are properly sealed off with tape. 

3. Pest Control Methods

There are many natural remedies, such as essential oils (lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, etc.), that have been known to be effective in deterring cockroaches and other pests.

A dead cockroach laying on its back

Put a few drops on cotton balls, and place them in areas that you think may be at risk.

Another potential solution is boric acid. Mix it with sugar or flour, and leave it out to bait the roaches. The sugar or flour will attract them, and the acid will kill them.

Identifying and Dealing with Infestations

Signs of Roach Activity

Look for these common signs:

  • Dark brown feces: Cockroaches leave behind small, dark droppings that resemble coffee grounds.
  • Stains: Roaches can create dark brown stains on cardboard due to their feces and body oils.
  • Holes: Holes in your cardboard could indicate that cockroaches have gnawed through the material.
  • Mold: Cardboard might have attracted roaches if it becomes wet, leading to mold growth, which is one of their food sources.
  • Dead roaches: Finding multiple dead roaches near your cardboard indicates their presence and activity.

Removing Infested Items 

Follow these steps if you find an infested piece of cardboard:

  1. Inspect: Check all cardboard items for signs of roach activity and damage.
  2. Dispose: Safely dispose of any infested cardboard in a sealed plastic bag to prevent the spread of cockroaches.
  3. Clean: Vacuum and clean the area where the infested cardboard was stored, focusing on removing roach feces and other residue.
  4. Prevention: Replace cardboard with plastic storage containers to deter future infestations.

Addressing Moisture Issues

To reduce the likelihood of roach infestations in cardboard items due to dampness, follow these tips:

  • Monitor humidity levels: Maintain a humidity level below 50% in your home to discourage roach and mold growth.
  • Inspect areas prone to water leaks: Check basements, crawl spaces, and other areas that might be susceptible to water intrusion.
  • Fix plumbing issues: Repair any leaks, broken pipes, or other plumbing problems that may cause moisture build-up.
  • Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation in damp areas to prevent wet conditions that attract cockroaches.

Cockroaches are known for their physical toughness and their ability to hide in tiny places as well as their quick reproduction. So, even if you do everything right, there is still a chance that they could get into your house and lead to an infestation. 

If that happens, it may be necessary to seek professional help to eliminate the problem. Tabor Pest Control has a team of professionals that possess in-depth knowledge about how to deal with roaches.

Rest assured, we at Tabor Pest Control will find an effective and safe way of dealing with cockroach infestation in your property while ensuring they don’t infest your home in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What attracts roaches to a home?

Roaches are attracted to homes due to a combination of factors like warmth, moisture, food sources, and shelter. Some common household materials, like cardboard, can attract roaches as they provide ideal shelter for hiding, breeding, and laying eggs.

Do roaches lay eggs in cardboard?

Yes, roaches can lay eggs in cardboard. Cardboard boxes are a favored breeding ground because they offer a dark, moist, and protected environment. When wet, cardboard becomes an even more appealing place for roaches to lay their eggs.

How can I keep roaches out of cardboard?

To keep roaches out of cardboard, you should maintain cleanliness and reduce moisture in your home. Make sure to store cardboard boxes in dry, well-ventilated areas and replace any damaged boxes. You can also use sealed plastic containers for storage instead of cardboard boxes to minimize the chances of roach infestation.

Does cardboard attract other pests?

Yes, cardboard can attract other pests like silverfish, termites, and rodents. These pests, like roaches, are drawn to the dark, moist, and sheltered environment provided by cardboard boxes. It’s essential to keep storage areas clean and dry to minimize the risk of attracting these pests.

Do roaches eat cardboard?

Roaches are known to eat a variety of materials, including paper products like cardboard. They are attracted to the glue used in cardboard and can feed on it for sustenance.

What can be used as an alternative to cardboard for storage?

Plastic storage containers or bins are excellent alternatives to cardboard boxes for storage purposes. They are typically more durable, moisture-resistant, and pest-resistant than cardboard. Additionally, using airtight containers can help prevent pests from accessing the items stored inside, ensuring your belongings remain safe and clean.