Potted plants are widespread nowadays as people love to keep them in their homes or workplaces for various reasons known to them. Plant owners often time worry about roaches submerging themselves deep into the soil and mistaking them for ants.
A simple answer to this question is that although cockroaches live in potted plants, not every plant home will suffer attacks from these insects. But, you’re most likely to find these bugs in your plant if you leave unused fertilizer in the soil or if the soil is still barely wet, conducive enough for roaches to bury themselves in.
For cockroaches to lay their eggs, such a place must have a small amount of liquid, must have a structure that covers or protects them, and must also be warm. Due to these conditions, it is prone for one to easily find cockroaches in plotted plants because they provide the exact conditions for them to lay their eggs. It is, however, uncommon and unusual for cockroaches to eat healthy and flourishing plants. They only begin to eat the plants once they become rotted or decayed.
Cockroaches can be removed from potted plants by adding a small diatomaceous in scattered drops or particles over the plant. Apart from this, salts used in making baked goods, baking soda, or a sugar trap can be used as bait to entice the cockroach.
Do Indoor Plants Attract Cockroaches?
Cockroaches can be in or over almost everything, and sometimes they are always in large numbers. It is important to note that the cockroaches are not very often attracted to the plants exactly, but the conditions that the plants provide them with attract them to the plant. These factors include warmth, moisture, and shelter. All these factors are what the potted plants provide, and so they like the soil better than the plants.
You will always see cockroaches invading homes that make all these factors available for them because these are the factors that they need to remain alive. As much as these factors are available where they are, it will be tough for them to leave, except if the sources begin to reduce.
So note that if you have potted plants in your homes, offices, or anywhere then there is a more significant percentage of roaches.
Do Cockroaches Eat Indoor Plants?
Cockroaches are a group of organisms that feed on dead and decomposing organic matter, and they are insects that only eat plants. Healthy plants also attract the roaches as food; however, when they become rotted and decayed, it becomes more appealing to them if there’s no other food present for them to eat.
Some people use tenants and scraps of food as a source of manure to keep their potted plants healthy. This increases the chances of roaches invading and eating off the plants.
The reason is that all the components of the manure used for the plants are what the cockroaches consider food.
Examples of the components might include;
- Solid waste from farm animals
- Small pieces of grass that have been cut off
- Fragments of discarded or leftover food
- The shell of an egg
The odor from the manure lures the cockroaches. They then form a layer into the soil and start eating them. Some potted plants require frequent fertilization, making them open to attack, harm, or damage by the cockroaches.
ALSO SEE: Can You kill Cockroaches by Stepping on them?
How To Remove Roaches Cockroaches From Your Potted Plant.
If you want to remove cockroaches from your potted plants, you cannot resort to using dangerous chemicals because they will end up destroying the plant in the end. Instead, natural means of getting rid of pests are to be used. These methods include;
Diatomaceous earth is a slightly crispy siliceous material from Dustin’s remains and used as a filter. This is a very secure and home-free pest control method that can be used on potted plants. Diatomaceous earth is not only used for getting rid of cockroaches in potted plants but also for getting rid of all kinds of insects that affect crops.
Diatomaceous earth can be applied by adding tiny drops on every part of the plants and all other places where the roaches might be probably hiding. After you are sure that all the roaches in the potted plant have been killed, you can then remove them from the plant.
Use of baking soda
Baking soda is the kind of salt that is used in making baked foods. It is also very potent in getting rid of cockroaches from potted plants. However, in this case, the roaches have to eat from the baking soda before dying.
Baking soda is not used alone because the roaches have an aversion to the smell. To do this, you have to mix the baking soda with sugar for them to be lured. You might be wondering how a baking soda kills a cockroach, and it kills it by making it blow up. This is because;
- Baking soda increases in size rapidly.
- The external supportive covering of the cockroach traps it.
iii. Their organs press or squeeze so hard that it breaks or loses their shape.
Even if, in the end, the baking soda does not get rid of the roach, over time, it will die from hunger or might be killed by other animals. How do you produce this? Below are the steps.
- Measure two teaspoons each of the baking soda and the sugar.
- Mix them thoroughly in a bowl.
iii. Uniformly spread the mixture so that one part is not baking soda and another part is sugar.
- Position the mixture near the potted plants so that the cockroaches can be lured and killed quickly.
Sticky traps can also be used to get rid of cockroaches from a potted plant, although it is not a very effective means. Sticky traps consist of a long and narrow piece of material with a heavy adhesive on them. If the cockroach lands on it, it becomes glued and is unable to move and might end up dying of starvation.
Drowning the potted plant in water
Cockroaches can also be removed from a potted plant by drowning the potted plant in water. The reason this is done is to remove the cockroaches. In the case where eggs have already been laid by the roaches, you will need to submerge the plants about two to three times to catch the young insect.
How To Reduce Invasion Of Potted Plants By Cockroaches.
There is a maxim that says, ‘Prevention is better than cure, so it is better to do things that will reduce the chance of the potted plant being affected by the roaches than finding means of getting rid of them after the roaches have invaded. Below are some ways you can reduce the risk of roach invasion in your potted plant.
Make sure your home is always tidy.
Cockroaches also invade clean homes talk less of a home that is dirty and untidy. A messed up and untidy house provides conditions that make the roaches develop and grow successfully.
Cockroaches enjoy feeding on already decayed food, so the following things should be avoided in the home;
- Allowing the waste bin to pile up for several days before it is disposed of.
- Leaving plates and cutleries unwashed in the sink for a long time.
iii. Leaving food remnants on the floor and refusal to sweep them
- Having melted animal fat poured on table surfaces without cleaning.
Suppose the things mentioned above are put into consideration, and the home is always left neat. In that case, the probability of roaches invading the home becomes significantly reduced, and so the potted plants become safe.
Avoid the use of certain plants
There are certain plants that cockroaches love, and when used as plants in the home, they increase the risk of infestation by the roaches. Examples of such plants are indoor trees and tropical plants.
Tropical plants have a moderate degree of wetness, and so it provides a very suitable condition for roaches to live in.
Also, the tropical plants do not survive well in an area where there is a large amount of sunlight, so the plants are put in a dark environment with a lot of water. All these conditions are what enhance the chances of survival of a cockroach.
So when you are selecting potted plants, look for ones that do not require a lot of water, like succulent potted plants or orchids.
Avoid the use of open-air soil
Apart from the fact that you always keep your home neat, using open-air soil can increase the chance of cockroaches infesting your potted plants. The reason is that the roaches might have laid eggs in the open-air soil, and later when you use the soil for your potted plants, the roaches start developing.
To prevent the occurrence of this, you can make use of potting mix instead of using open-air soil. Also, do not put plants from outside into your home, and even if it has to be done, ensure you get rid of a considerable amount of soil from the roots before taking them into your home.
What Kind Of Plants Do Roaches Hate?
It is important to note that there are some types of plants that the roaches hate, and so if your potted plants are regularly invaded by roaches, you might want to consider choosing plants that the roaches have an aversion to. If you use such plants, the roaches will stay far away from your plant, thereby keeping it healthy and safe. Below are some of the plants that roaches are averse to.
Catnip is one of the plants that tend to drive away or ward off roaches. If you place catnip in corners of your home, it will keep the roaches away, and Science Daily has stated this. Catnip is also a better insect repellent than Deet, a colorless oily liquid insect, and tick repellent.
However, if you don’t see a catnip plant, you can put a small amount into thin and loosely woven cotton cloths around your plants. If you don’t want to put it around, you can disperse it widely all over your potted plant. This method will go a long way in warding off roaches from your potted plant.
Rosemary plants produce oil which is considered very dangerous to cockroaches, especially brown ones. So if you want to keep roaches away from your plants, you can opt for rosemary plants. Rosemary is not complicated to grow, it requires a large amount of sunlight and is not affected or harmed by drought.
Due to this reason, a cockroach cannot survive in a rosemary plant because the soil lacks a considerable amount of moisture that the cockroach needs to live.
Mints plants are also good repellents for roaches from a potted plant, even though they are not as effective as the other two plants. It is relatively easy to grow mint plants because it does not require too much moisture.
Apart from mint being a roach repellent, the smell from the plant is also pleasing and therapeutic for the home and can be used as a cooking ingredient.
It is not enjoyable to see cockroaches infesting your potted plants. At the same, it is possible to get rid of them. Provided that you carry out your part in making sure that roaches are far away from your plant, they will always stay healthy, and you will not have to worry about roach infestation.