Roaches in Dishwasher + How to Remove Them

A dishwasher can create an ideal living space for roaches and other insects considering that people rarely clean them. Roaches can hide inside, behind, or under those machines as long as they can access food.

Dishwashers have plenty of space, food remains and other entry points that make it possible for roaches to hide and move about freely. You can take several steps to deal with the bugs before they become a major problem for your home.

Why don’t cockroaches die in the dishwasher?

You would expect cockroaches to die in a dishwasher especially if you use it frequently. However, dishwashers are some of the most preferred hiding spots for roaches within your home. 

Most dishwashing machines are located within the kitchen section. For a cockroach, it means quick access to food, and a safe place to lay eggs and since dishwashers are rarely moved, the insects can live there for a long time without fear of displacement. 

Although roaches cannot live within the main compartment of your dishwasher, their flat bodies make them perfectly adapted to fit within the nooks and crannies on most kitchen appliances. The insects also prefer living under moist, dark, and warm conditions typical to most dishwashers.

Can roaches damage a dishwasher?

Cockroaches can cause significant damage to your dishwasher if left unchecked. Roach-infested dishwashers are most likely to suffer from electrical damage as the insects chew through wire insulation, short circuit integrated circuit boards, etc. 

You might also suffer from electrical malfunctions and shocks as exposed wiring is vulnerable to water leaks and electric arcs which can be dangerous. 

Accumulation of dead insects can also cause your appliances to clog and not function as intended. Dead cockroaches can fill up ventilation spaces, and cause your appliances to overheat (and other malfunctions) that can cost you a considerable sum to repair.

You can avoid insect-related damage to dishwashers and other kitchen appliances by regularly conducting inspections and cleaning your appliances. Another alternative is to hire a professional to search for the insects and flush them out.

How to get rid of cockroaches in a dishwasher

Getting rid of roaches within your home can be a daunting task for most people as the creatures are extremely difficult to eradicate. However, you can take several measures to reduce instances of roach infestation within your space.

1. Use traps and baits

Traps and bait are an excellent way to control roaches and other bugs living within your home. You can find numerous alternatives that range from sticky traps, laced cookies, gels, etc. 

Roach traps and bait can help you to deal with low-level infestations and to keep the cockroach numbers under control. However, they might not be the most effective method to completely eradicate them. 

A bait trap works best when placed in an ideal position where the insects are most likely to find it. For instance, you can place bait traps under a dishwasher, near cracks, and along wall edges where the insects are most likely to locate them. 

The method is often preferred because it is cost-effective, requires little technical know-how, and can act as a long-term strategy to keep roach numbers under control.

2. Check (and fix) leaks and gaps inside your dishwasher

Leaks and gaps provide a haven for roaches to live, hide and reproduce in. You need to pay special attention to the condition of your dishwasher if you are looking to prevent the insects from taking over your house.

Besides, leaks and gaps affect the functionality of your dishwasher and could cause additional problems in the future. Roach infestations can also cause leaks and gaps to occur. 

Air Gaps are commonly caused by clogs and could be an early indicator of potential roach infestations within your space.  Always conduct regular inspections of your appliances to check for potential insect damage.

3. Regularly clean your dishwasher using vinegar (and baking soda)

It is important to regularly clean your dishwasher to remove food stains, oils, and other undesirable stuff that could attract roaches to your home. Vinegar is an ideal disinfectant and also doubles up as a cockroach repellent owing to its strong smell. 

Cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar not only ensures that your appliance remains clean, but also helps keep the insects from using your dishwasher as a living space.

Here’s how to clean your dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda:

  1. Prepare your dishwasher by removing dishwasher racks, filters, and utensil holders. Wipe and soak them for about 30 min in a dash of vinegar and warm water mixture.
  2. Clear food particles and other debris from your dishwasher and run a hot water cycle with vinegar for about 15 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle some baking powder on the bottom of the dishwasher and run it again on a short hot-water cycle.

Also, remember to clean the door and under the dishwasher where roaches are most likely to hide. The combination of vinegar for roaches and baking soda can help in them away from your dishwasher or other kitchen appliances.

4. Apply insecticidal dust

You can use insecticidal dust to keep roaches from your dishwasher. Insecticidal dust is effective when controlling large populations of roaches by targeting the insects’ living spaces.

Diatomaceous red, boric acid, Ficam D, and  Tempo dust are some ideal examples of insecticidal dust that can be useful when dealing with roaches. You simply spread the dust over the cockroaches’ routes and hiding places and wait for the insects to come into contact with the dust. You can also add bait to attract the bugs to consume laced products such as peanut butter, sugar, etc.

Spread insecticidal dust under the dishwasher and other surfaces that can readily attract roaches. A drawback to using insecticidal dust and powders is that they can be rendered ineffective when placed under wet surfaces. You might also need to exercise caution as some of the dust products can be hazardous to your family’s health.

5. Keep your kitchen clean

A clean kitchen can help keep roaches at bay. Cockroaches thrive under unsanitary conditions and can easily take over a place unless it is constantly kept clean. Kitchens have plenty of food remains and numerous hiding spots for cockroaches and other insects. 

Use disinfectants such as vinegar and bleach when cleaning kitchen floors, counters, and equipment. You should aspire to have a clean-up at least twice a week (or more) as a prevention measure from roach infestations.

It’s best to complement your clean kitchen with other roach prevention methods to ensure a more effective response when eradicating roaches. Besides, a clean kitchen helps to prevent bacteria and other pathogens brought in by the roaches from adversely affecting your family members.

Why do roaches like dishwashers?

Dishwashers make for a perfect hiding spot for roaches. Most people rarely clean out food that remains after their dishes are clean. Roaches have a strong sense of smell and can sniff out small bits of food within your dishwasher. Moreso, the insects can squeeze through small spaces to access the food. 

Some dishwasher makers use soy-based insulation on their electrical wires. Roaches are attracted to the scent of soy and consider it to be a rich source of nutrition. Others add scented perfumes to the wiring to protect the buyers from undesired smells but the latter can have counterproductive consequences by attracting roaches to your dishwasher.

Most dishwashers have dark, warm and moist compartments that are difficult to access regularly. Roaches use such spaces to hide from predators, lay eggs, and evade harmful chemicals such as bug spray. 

How to prevent roaches from infesting a dishwasher

You can take several measures to prevent roaches from infesting your dishwasher. First, ensure that your dishwasher is always clean and free from clogs. Also, make sure that you keep your dishwasher in top-notch condition by regularly fixing leaks, clogs, and gaps.

Roaches love to hide under the dishwasher where it is warm and moist, try looking at the insects in such spots and deal with them proactively before their numbers increase and they become a major problem.

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