Are you in the midst of an American cockroach infestation? Have you placed all your food in containers that can’t be breached by the critters, set out poison traps, and even hired an exterminator to no avail? If so, read on to learn about a secret attack weapon that you probably already have in your home — an air conditioner.

Why Roaches Love Your House

An interesting fact about American cockroaches is that they didn’t originate in the Americas. They actually started out in a region of Africa that is super hot and humid and were transported to western regions of the world via slave ships long ago.

Because of their warm-blooded roots, American cockroaches do not fare well in dry or cool climates. They are most comfortable at temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you keep your house at this temperature and your house happens to be damp, you’re providing these pesky bugs with a dream resort.

What The Difference Of A Few Degrees Can Do

The reproductive systems of American cockroaches are greatly affected by fluctuations in climate. At an ideal temperature of 85 degrees, a female American cockroach will lay eggs every 3 days, and those eggs will hatch in about a month. For every 5 degrees colder their environment becomes, though, the amount of time it takes those eggs to hatch doubles!

How You Can Use Your Air Conditioner To Fight A Roach Infestation

Air conditioners wage a double-duty attack against roaches. Not only do they lower the temperatures inside your home, prolonging the length of time it takes for roach eggs to hatch, but they also work to lower the humidity in your house.

If you’re plagued by an American cockroach infestation, try setting your air conditioner to cool your home to around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. While this is a perfectly livable temperature for humans, cockroaches perceive it as an arctic tundra and they will quickly do whatever they can to flee the freezing abode in favor of a warmer place to live.

Will lowering your home’s temperature with an AC unit completely eradicate your cockroach problem? Probably not. It will, however, drastically slow the growth rate of your problem so that conventional pest control measures are more effective.

When using your air conditioner as a means of pest control, it’s important that the unit is in good working order. A clog in your condensate drain can allow moisture (which roaches love) to build up inside your home. With the summer months quickly approaching, you can expect cockroaches to begin scurrying about looking for food sources. Make sure they don’t peg your home as their restaurant of choice by having your air conditioner serviced and ready to go. 

For more information, check out companies such as Air Conditioning & Heating Inc.