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Old 01-30-2011, 03:51 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 24,534
Are cockroaches attracted to electricity?

Okay, awhile ago I asked for a bug ID, because we got lots of them. I accidentally dropped out of that thread (sorry) because I couldn't get a good picture... long story short these days we're sure it's some kind of nasty-ass cockroach. Little ones.

I just found one of the enemy bases - under my pets' drinking fountain, on the motor. (Seriously. Screaming. They ran up my arm. It was like a horror movie.) I have previously found them hiding out (and pooping, and for some reason these roaches have very distinctively-smelled poop) on power strips. I've seen them emerge from the slits for the plugs, even. Three separate power strips, actually. And under my Aero Garden. Now, the Aero Garden and the fountain are also shelter, but the power strips aren't. (Oh, and I smelled the roach poop smell around a clock radio but did not confirm their presence.)

My boyfriend said he had read somewhere about roaches being attracted to electricity, but we couldn't find a solid cite with a little Googling. (Roaches that have been modified to eat electricity instead of food, yes. Urgh.) But they've definitely decided they like things with electricity in them - however, I guess some of them could just be heat. (Some are also water and shelter - not surprising at all, then. I'm talking specifically about places they hang out that only have power to recommend them, unless maybe there's a heat thing also.) So, do they love my power strips because of the power part?

Last edited by Zsofia; 01-30-2011 at 03:52 PM.
Old 01-31-2011, 05:22 AM
Blake Blake is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,049
Ants are attracted to electrical fields, cockroaches are repelled by them.

Cockroaches prefer to shelter in places that are warm and moist where they can feel something both above and below them. Your aero garden and fountain are absolutely perfect on all three counts, with the water providing high humidity and the motors providing heat. The power strips provide god confined shelter, and many types of strip will also produce heat.

So no, there's no evidence they are attracted to electricity. At a guess I would say that you are letting your house get a little cool at times , and they are going looking for heat sources. Fell your power strip and see if it feels at all warm. If it does then the mystery is solved, they are seeking heat. In that case they will almost certainly be in your radio and any other heat producing electronics as well.


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