Pest Control – Can Going Through The Washing Machine Kill Roaches?

Pest control for roaches can be a real challenge. Roaches can infest any house, anywhere, under any conditions and in any area of the home. They typically like to hide in warm, moist, dark and isolated areas while they forage for food and can stay nice and toasty and lay

There seem to be conflicting opinions about what really works to kill roaches. One opinion is that roaches can survive going through a cycle of washing and drying in the laundry. Let’s examine this further.


Hot Water
One theory is that roaches can be killed in very hot water. They get into the dirty clothes pile and are transported to the washing machine with the laundry. Drowning the roaches in room-temperature water is extremely difficult, so the hotter the water the better. Roaches can’t survive heat over 125° so washing the clothes in very hot, soapy water on a full cycle (not energy saving setting) kills the roaches. Following up with a minimum drying time on a high-temperature setting for at least 30 minutes is extra insurance the roaches won’t survive.

There are studies that suggest some roaches can go up to 40 minutes without breathing and can survive up to 30 minutes underwater. The same tubes that roaches use to breathe – spiracles – are also used to transport water vapor out. If the tube is shut, the roach retains water and drowns.


Extreme Heat
An episode of the Mythbusters television show conducted a test to see if roaches could survive a nuclear fallout. Their conclusion was that 1 out of 10 roaches are able to survive the amount of radiation produced by the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. Alternatively, there are scientists who claim this is one of the most common myths to be quoted as a fact. The truth is that a cockroach can withstand 10 times more radiation than a person, but they would not survive a nuclear event.


Powdered laundry detergent with Borax is preferable to some while others prefer Dawn dishwashing detergent. A very high concentrate of water and detergent sprayed on roaches penetrates into the spiracles preventing air from entering into the trachea drowning the roaches. Expanding on this theory, spraying the liquid washes off the grease that protects the cuticle of the cockroach and the cockroach will lose body water and desiccate.


The best pest control of roaches is to freeze them out. When exposed to freezing temperatures they die. If you were to lower the temperature inside your home to 30°, for example, the roaches would leave or freeze to death. Roaches are adaptable and find ways to survive in most environments – except Antarctica.


The fact is, getting rid of roaches involves more than just spraying an insecticide or putting down a bait or dust or any of the methods previously mentioned. Roaches get into everything, multiply rapidly, and can survive for several months without food and up to two weeks without water. They definitely pose a challenge, but with the proper approach, roaches can be eliminated by following a proven roach management program from a professional pest control company.


If you suspect you have roaches in your home, the best option is to contact a licensed pest control professional. Our technicians will do whatever it takes to eliminate the roaches and keep your home roach-free. If you need pest control in the greater Springfield, Missouri area – call Expert Pest Solutions at (417) 413-4776.

Request more information or call for a quote today!

Posted in