It’s one thing to have roaches scuttling in your kitchen, but to have them in your coffee maker is completely unacceptable. We know spotting your favorite brew maker infested is disgusting or even worrying. To a great extent, the sight of the cockroaches is embarrassing, knowing how clean you’ve tried to maintain your machine. Perhaps, you’ve even brewed and drank these dreaded guests on multiple occasions (so yuk, right).
You may be questioning; is there any hope of saving the cockroach-infested espresso machine that you invested hugely to get? How do you get rid of these stubborn insects from the machine you use daily to make your favorite brew?
Let’s find out.
Why Roaches Love Your Coffee Maker
It’s not uncommon to find roaches in coffee machines. Shockingly, 40% of commercial coffee makers are infested with roaches, something you should think about before ordering coffee on the go. So, if this is causing you anxiety or keeping you up at night, you’re not alone. Most coffee machine owners have experienced cockroach infestation at least once in their lifetime.
To better understand how to get rid of roaches from your coffee-making machine, you must know what keeps them coming to your brew maker.
This is why coffee machines are a perfect hideout for roaches:
- The coffee machine structure: Coffee makers have numerous warm, moist, and dark spots for cockroaches to hide.
- Source of nourishment: You may assume that roaches love coffee, and that is why they infest your coffee maker. That is not necessarily it; roaches eat just about anything. The coffee ground may not be roaches’ preferred food due to its strong smell and coarse structure. But because your coffee maker never lacks coffee grounds, water, and residue, it becomes a reliable food source. Again, coffee makers are kept near tastier food options like sugar and creamer, which attract roaches even more.
- Ease of access: Kitchen counters and cupboards are some of the best places cockroaches will frequent to feast on food particles. Since coffee machines are on top of these counters and given that the coffee machines are rarely used, the roaches find a relatively safe and undisturbed home.
- Camouflage nature: Unfortunately, it’s not easy to tell between a roach and a single coffee ground. Your coffee maker (with its many hideouts) makes it easier for cockroaches to hide for months or even years without being detected. Even worse, cockroaches are nocturnal creatures and professional experts at hiding.
- German cockroaches are known for their attraction to coffee makers.
You may assume that these are seemingly harmless insects, but you don’t want to entertain them. Besides their disgusting sight, roaches are unhygienic (they feed on garbage, sewerage, and lay waste). They can also sometimes play a role as carriers of intestinal diseases, such as diarrhea.
Some research shows roaches’ droppings, shed body parts, and saliva can worsen allergies and asthma. Letting these insects sit in your coffee machine is a great risk. Besides, if you’ve spotted one roach turd, it’s a sign of an infestation; many more are lurking nearby.
Can Roaches Live in A Coffee Machine?
Your coffee machine provides all roaches need to survive; ample food, water, and safe, warm, and dark shelter. There’s no reason why roaches will not live in your coffee maker. The bad thing is it isn’t often easy to spot them.
To determine if your coffee maker is hosting these insects, look for various elements:
- Droppings: Roaches’ feces are easy to identify. Small roaches leave droppings that resemble black pepper or ground coffee. For large cockroaches, their droppings are dark and cylindrical with ridges on the side and blunt ends.
- Odor: Roaches leave an unpleasant smell, which you can detect by smelling the bottom of your coffee maker.
- Shed skin and body parts: If you’re keen enough, you’ll spot the pests’ body parts and skin.
- Egg cases: These are soft or strong protective casing (ootheca) that contains 8-40 eggs.
- Smear marks: Look for dark, irregular-shaped smear marks on the horizontal surface or junctions in your coffee maker.
It may be even tricky to identify roaches in your coffee maker since they’re almost identical to coffee grounds, but keep looking for any signs if you suspect their presence.
How to Get Rid of Roaches in Your Coffee Making Machine
Various methods will help you remove roaches from your coffee maker. Whatever method you choose, be careful to use materials that will not destroy your machine.
Descale and Clean Your Coffee Maker
Most coffee machines contain various parts, which can be disassembled before cleaning. You can then clean and sanitize the parts with warm water and bleach. If you own a more complex coffee machine, it’s best to reach out to a professional to disassemble it; chances are you may not be able to put it back as it should. If you want to give it a trial, your instructional manual will come in handy.
As we mentioned, likely, it’s not just your coffee maker that is infested by roaches. You want to use a recommended pest control solution around your kitchen and other infested areas. If this sounds like too much work for you, it’s best to call in a pest control expert. The good thing is you do thorough pest control for your home, and your coffee maker remains unscathed.
Freeze the Roaches
Cockroaches are highly susceptible to cold temperatures. One of the non-toxic methods of killing them is exposing the cockroach-infested appliance to extreme temperatures. Leaving your unplugged coffee maker in the cold for long (say in a cold garage, basement, or shed) will kill them or drive them out.
Alternatively, put your coffee maker into a plastic bag, seal it (leaving just enough space for roaches to escape), and leave it in the freezer for a week. The roaches can survive 30 – 50 ° F, but any colder temperature will kill them.
With consistent cold temperature, the roaches will free and become trapped in the plastic bag where they may suffocate and die before you discard them. Once you get your coffee maker out of the freezer, remember to give it a deep clean before using it again.
Of course, if you’re looking to get rid of roaches from your entire house, freezing the house will not work. The cold temperature will damage electronics and cause rusting in some appliances.
Trap the Roaches
Trapping can be used successfully to get rid of roaches from your coffee maker under certain conditions:
A small roach infestation
Fewer hiding places (or all hiding places are sealed)
Your space maintains good sanitation
You use an effective trap management
The following trapping methods will help you get rid of roaches out of your coffee making machine:
- Coffee Trap
A coffee trap is the easiest method you can use for an infested coffee machine since you already have everything you need; coffee grounds. You want to place your coffee grounds in a jar and add water to make it moist. As we mentioned, the coffee grounds will attract the roaches into the jar. Once inside, the jar and the moist coffee grounds will trap them.
- Bite Dust Trap
Dust traps are an excellent roach control method. All you need is to sprinkle the “dust” (which are desiccants) around the coffee maker, and as the roaches come out of the machine looking for food, they eat the substance and are poisoned. Other roaches will eat the dead body and will also be poisoned. This method will only work if the roaches leave the machine. Be very careful when handling this pest control method to avoid contaminating your coffee machine with poison.
- Bait Sticky Trap
Similar to dust traps, you want to place bait traps around the coffee machine, not inside, to catch any roaches coming to and from your coffee machine. Since bait traps have no odor, they are highly effective for capturing cockroaches. Place the bait traps under your appliance (if you have enough space), the nearest walls, and in hidden areas near your appliance. You will need to move the traps often and replace them when needed.
How To Clean Roaches out of Your Coffee Machine
Once you’ve gotten rid of roaches from your coffee machine, you want to give it a deep thorough cleaning. We know your first thoughts are to discard that coffee machine and buy a new one, but with the right products, your coffee machine will be reusable. The specifics of cleaning out a coffee maker will vary based on your machine type, but here are the cleaning steps to follow to clean a drip coffee maker. The good thing is, if you know how to clean a drip coffee maker, you’re equipped to clean any other coffee maker.
- Pour equal amounts of water and white vinegar into the water reservoir.
- Place the carafe or glass onto the warming plate and turn on the machine.
- Allow the pot to brew, turn off the machine.
- Wash the carafe or glass (when cooled off) with warm soapy water, rinse with warm water.
- Dump the vinegar and water solution from the machine’s water reservoir and put clean water in it.
- Turn on the machine and give it some time to clean all vinegar. Repeat this step if you see the need to rinse the machine a second time. The best way to make this judgment is to smell the brewed water—if the vinegar smell lingers, go ahead brew another rinse with clean water.
- When happy about your machine, turn it off, disassemble all removable parts (like the filter basket) and clean them using hot soapy water. For deep cleaning, soak the parts for an hour.
If you’ve suffered roach trauma and don’t feel like vinegar will do the part, or just hate the smell of vinegar, use any commercial cleaning product. For deep cleansing, use a very tiny amount of bleach (no more than a teaspoon); only be ready for a thorough rinse.
How to Keep Roaches Off of Coffee Maker
The best strategy to stop roaches from getting into your coffee machine is to clean it as often as after every use. You want to keep the surrounding surfaces and counters sparkling clean; discard all the coffee, mop the spilled milk, empty the water tray. It may seem like a lot of work and can be frustrating at times, but it’s the only way your coffee maker will remain roach-free.
Other preventive measures involve brewing the substances cockroaches hate one in a while and placing them around or inside your coffee machine.
Here are some substances cockroaches hate;
- Peppermint, cypress, and cedarwood (essential oils of these substances can work well)
- Crushed bay leaves
Consider making a brew with these ingredients and spraying the mixture on your kitchen counters near your coffee maker. On that end, avoid spraying any poisonous substances in your kitchen or near your coffee machine. You (your young ones or your pet) may end up ingesting the poison in the coffee, or it ends up contaminating your kitchen. Besides, most of these substances barely work and are a fire hazard.