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What Causes Roaches in Mulch?

By Nick Davis ; Updated September 21, 2017
Roaches thrive in moist, dark places including mulch and grasses.

Roaches can nest and breed in various areas, including interior and exterior structures as well as in grass and other landscaping. Roaches multiply quickly and are a challenge to kill. Roaches can even live under mulch in and around your home. Eventually, roaches will make their way inside your home and feed on any food debris and paper products, and drink any water present in your home.

Heat and Food Source

Mulch provides a source of heat and food for roaches --- so the insects are attracted to the material. The mulch material, including pine straw, wood and other types of mulch, break down over time, producing heat. Roaches especially like the material when the ambient temperature is below freezing and an alternative shelter is not available.


Mulch provides a location for roaches to mate and produce offspring. Mulch material compacts tightly, producing even more heat during the compression process. Roach eggs can survive within the mulch without disturbance from humans.

Dark Area

Mulch material offers a dark home for roaches to live; the insects do not like light. The dark areas allow roaches to burrow and eat without fear of natural or artificial light penetrating the material. Mulch also blocks insecticides including sprays and traps unless you purposely move the mulch around and apply or spray an insecticide.


Remove mulch from around your home and spray the area thoroughly with an insecticide to eliminate the roaches. Replace the mulch with bare soil or gravel, which repels roaches. Also, seal any crevices and cracks outside of your home where mulch used to be --- this will keep any lingering roaches from entering your home.


About the Author


Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.