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English Ivy & Roaches

By Lucinda Harper ; Updated September 21, 2017
Thick, ground-covering and wall-climbing English ivy is an ideal breeding ground for roaches.

Once roaches move into homes and building, they multiply quickly and can become a huge pest problem. Roaches can spread germs, bacteria and disease, so it is important to control the problem quickly. English ivy is a popular hiding spot and breeding location for outdoor cockroaches, and may become a concern for homeowners finding outdoor roaches coming indoors.

About Roaches

Cockroaches do best in environments that provide food, water and a good hiding space during the day as they come out to feed during the night. According to the University of Florida, "they secrete an oily liquid that has an offensive and sickening odor that may ruin food." The bacteria they spread can cause disease, food poisoning and other sickness. Outdoor roaches rarely thrive indoors, but they can still invade a home or building and cause many problems.

English Ivy

English ivy is native to Europe and western Asia, and it is a popular groundcover for landscaping and decorative houseplant. Because English ivy is a hardy plant tolerant of cold weather, varied watering and light conditions, it provides a good outdoor environment for cockroaches to hide in and breed all year round. This climbing vine and will grow on the walls of buildings and homes, giving roaches an accessible indoor route.


Oriental and American cockroaches are also known as waterbugs and are the most common roach found in English ivy. They thrive in dark, moist areas with decaying organic matter and the thick, groundcovering ivy provides an ideal setting. Stopping roach problems may start with removing these outdoor hiding places, or trimming and maintaining English ivy near homes and buildings.


To successfully control a cockroach problem, a homeowner must also be concerned about prevention. To prevent outdoor cockroaches commonly found in English ivy from coming indoors, keep windows and doors closed, and screens in good condition. If English ivy grows on the walls outside your home, make sure all cracks are sealed to prevent roaches from entering the home.


Chemical control, such as baits, is a good way to solve outdoor cockroach problems. According to the University of Florida website, baits are "highly recommended because of their effectiveness and targeted application, decreasing unnecessary pesticide exposure." Normally found in granular formulations, baits are easy to apply outdoors near English ivy plants.


About the Author


Lucinda Harper has traveled far and wide, writing about her professional work experiences in education, politics and the beauty industry since 2004. She graduated from the University of California Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.