The Gross Truth About Cockroaches and Contact Paper

Time to rethink that kitchen cabinet DIY project.

Kitchen and Cabinets
Photo: hikesterson/Getty Images

Today, in not so fun news, we regret having to inform you that the contact paper you so adore lining your kitchen cabinets or even a counter backsplash, could make a roach problem worse. Take a deep breath, scan your living room floor for the pesky critters, and read on.

As The Kitchn recently reported, cockroaches indeed have a penchant for contact paper, and while we may think that food is their only bait, the insects actually feast on everything from hair to paper, including your beloved sheets of contact paper. As Ben Sciortino, owner of Tri-S Pest Control explained to The Kitchn, "Contact paper is the equivalent to an all-you-can-eat cruise buffet." What's more? "To add insult to the situation, once they've enjoyed a full meal of contact paper, they often will use the now-glue-free area to breed," according to Sciortino.

But before you launch into panic mode, it's worth noting that contact paper doesn't cause roaches to magically appear in your kitchen or any other living space where you use the product. However, if you are currently dealing with a cockroach problem in your home, it could make the situation worse. For those who use contact paper in their homes — or if a loving mama insists on lining your new shelves with the stuff every time you move — Dr. Angela Tucker, manager of technical services at Terminix has some sage counsel.

"Correct installation of contact paper is a critical first step," Dr. Tucker told The Kitchn. "Make sure you measure the contact paper for the surface you will cover and ensure that there are no wrinkles or other imperfections. Once it is installed, keep the surface clean of food debris and quickly remove liquid spills. You also want to periodically check the edges of the contact paper to make sure that is still securely attached to the surface you placed it on." Also, it goes without saying, but if you have a recurring roach infestation problem in your home, entrust the insecticide work to a professional.

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