Love them or hate them, roaches are great survivors. They are said to be able to survive nuclear blast and can live pretty much anywhere that is remotely ideal.
However, to human lifes, they are bad. Their appearance is ugly to most people. They can contaminate food and bring harmful bacteria everywhere. Their bite on the human skin can cause irritation, swelling, or lesions.
So, can roaches live inside a refrigerator? If possible, where would they settle? How to get roaches away from your fridge?
Can roaches live inside a refrigerator?
In short, roaches can live in the motor compartment since that spot is warm. And although they won’t survive in cold temperatures, they will surely find the way into the fridge to get some food.
Further reading: How to Choose the Best Mini Fridge for Bedroom?
Brief information about roaches
Roaches like to live in humid, warm, or moist areas. They are also fond of living and habiting in dark places.
Roaches are also hardcore survivors. They can live anywhere that is only slightly ideal. They can go through very small gaps. If you remove a roach’s head, it may be able to continue living for another whole week, granted it will starve to death.
In a house, anywhere that is dirty with leftover food and dark, you can expect to find some roaches living there. They are the definitive indication that some areas in your house aren’t clean enough since they do not like clean and bright areas at all.
With the conditions above, you may think the fridge isn’t ideal for the roaches. But actually, they are happy to live in the motor compartment since it is… warm, dark, may be humid, and may have some small food pieces sticking there.
Now you think the inside space of the fridge is inhabitable for the roaches. They may not enjoy the cold, but they can survive the cold, and they will still try to occasionally go inside to get some food.
How can roaches get inside the fridge?
Even though roaches prefer other easy ways to get food. The strong-smelling food in the fridge can still attract them through the leaks in the fridge.
Roaches also seek moisture from the fridge. This happens through the leaks with:
- Blocked defrosting drain
- Old fridges with broken water line
- The water lines were eaten but other bugs before
- Frozen water supply
Some leak spots that the roaches can take advantage of including:
A gasket’s main job is to create an airtight environment where outside air or bugs can’t get inside.
Worn gasket may leave some gaps between the fridge and the door. The smell from inside the fridge can get leaked outside and attract the roaches to enter said gaps.
As mentioned, roaches can go through very tight spaces. So if you don’t close your door properly, even a tiniest gap is enough for the roaches to slip inside.
Gaps found in other parts of the fridges
The metal plates covering other components of the fridge can be loosen, which lets the roaches crawl inside.
For many older fridges, not all of the components are behind metal plates. Roaches can easily slip through the gaps around the compressor, condensation fans, normal fans, or coils.
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How harmful are the roaches in the fridge?
According to WHO (World Health Organization), roaches are unhygienic scavengers.
Roaches bring lots of pathogens including the salmonella bacteria that causes food poisoning. They are the carrier of intestinal diseases, such as diarrhea, dysentery, cholera and typhoid fever.
They are also dangerous when acting as an allergen source for asthma trigger.
When living in fridge, roaches leave mold spores, bacteria and other diseases that are harmful to your health. Moreover, they can can scratch you with their leg spines.
Refrigerator is the place to store food, while roaches can contaminate your food. Therefore, you should be really worried about roaches living there. How to get rid of roaches in the fridge?
How to get the roaches away from your fridge?
Try to clean the fridge regularly
Roaches don’t like clean spots at all. So try to clean your fridge regularly, and clean all areas that are likely to be habitable for roaches like fans, motors, coils, etc.
Also, clean your kitchen frequently, and avoid leaving garbage overnight, put the garbage in garbage cans with tight lids.
Further reading: How Often Should You Defrost a Fridge?
Preserve the gasket
You can clean the gasket while you clean the whole fridge. Make sure that no food is stuck in the gasket. You can clean the gasket with baking soda and warm water.
If the gasket is already worn or has holes in it, you need to replace it with a new one.
Close the fridge door as soon as possible
Don’t leave the fridge’s door open for too long since roaches can get inside easily. This also hurts your electrical bills in general. You can use further measures by covering the food with proper lids.
Opt for natural repellants
You can use eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, or peppermint oil to keep the roaches away from the fridge.
You can use boric acid to get rid of roaches that already invaded the fridge. However, don’t use chemical insecticides or other toxic substances inside your fridge.
There are some precautions you need to know while keeping roaches away from your refrigerator.
- Never use chemical pesticide to spray or put inside your fridge. These dangerous substances can poison all the foods and harmful to your health.
- Do not turn of your refrigerator for too long. This may happen when you are going on business trip or holidays. Because roaches like warm temperature, so they can live and grow in your fridge faster.
- Protect yourself by using gloves when cleaning the fridge. This will help you not directly contact any harmful factor that may have inside the fridge.
- Pay attention to baby roaches. They are very small, and you may not notice them when they intrude into your fridge. Or female roaches lay eggs somewhere in the fridge like door gasket. If you can expel them when cleaning your fridge, you will save time for facing the adult roaches in a near future.
- Discard all the food if you discover the infection inside.
Roaches are excellent survivors. They will use any chance available to get inside and live the refrigerator if they can sense food smell, moisture, or any small gaps in the fridge. To prevent roaches, you should clean the fridge regularly, use repellants, and close any gaps in the fridge.
1. How Do Roaches Get Inside Refrigerators? cockroachzone.com, Retrieved on Jan. 14, 2022
2. How to Prevent Roaches Living in a Refrigerator, smartkitchenimprovement.com, Retrieved on Jan. 15, 2022
3. Can Baby Roaches Live in a Fridge? homesteady.com, Christ Weis, Jul. 2017