how to get rid of cockroaches in a toaster

How To Get Cockroaches Out of A Toaster [A Step-By-Step Guide]

Because they center around kitchens, most appliances will be at risk of cockroaches, including your toaster. Despite the heat levels they reach, toasters can still be a hub of warmth, shelter, and food for cockroaches.

To get cockroaches out of your toaster, unplug and shake it over an outdoor trash can. Then, check the crumb tray for roaches, nymphs, and eggs sacs. Wrap the appliance in plastic and ensure that it’s well-sealed. Place it in the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit for several days to kill off any cockroaches and their eggs.

Clean your kitchen, set bait traps, and surround your toaster with boric acid. This will ensure that new cockroaches don’t make their way into the toaster. You can best safeguard your appliance in the future by getting a toaster cover that’s roach-proof. This will keep your toaster clean and protected.

Do Toasters Attract Roaches?

According to the University of Kentucky, cockroaches are attracted to crumbs, spills, and any other food. Toasters and toaster ovens will accumulate crumbs along the bottom.

Cockroaches are not attracted to the appliance itself, of course. Rather, they like the prospect of food they will get by camping nearby or even living inside the toaster.

Living in or around a toaster will also provide warmth during cold winter days. The machine could be located near sources of water, like your sink. This makes toasters an odd but acceptable living space.

how to keep roaches out of toasters

Can Heat Clear Roaches Out Of A Toaster?

The heat of a toaster may drive cockroaches out. Toasters get notably hot, especially near the coils. However, this is not a guarantee, as cockroaches may live in the appliance’s outer parts.

Perhaps most dangerous is the bacteria that roaches leave behind. Unfortunately, you cannot trust the heat from the toaster to disinfect any traces the cockroaches left behind. That’s true even if you set the toaster to its highest setting.

Toasters often reach temperatures of 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this is not evenly distributed throughout the entirety of the toaster. The coils alone reach this temperature, with the heat dulling as it gets further away from the coils. Roaches can leave contaminants throughout the toaster, some harder to get rid of than others. 

If cockroaches have already infested your toaster, you must clear it out before cooking with it again. It may even be necessary to dismantle the toaster to wipe down the motor and other important components.

Dangers of Cockroaches Living In Toaster

According to the International Journal of Scientific Research, cockroaches can carry around 32 different bacteria on them at any given time. These bacteria can all induce negative health symptoms.

BacteriaEffect
Aeromonas spp.Causes wounds or other injuries to become infected and diarrhea.
Alcaligenes faecalisCauses of stomach flu and urinary tract infections.
Bacillus strainsCauses food poisoning and pink eye.
Campylobacter jejuniCauses inflammation of intestines.
Enterobacter spp.Causes bacteremia (bacteria in the blood, which can create infections and abscesses).
Escherichia coliCauses diarrhea and wound infections.
Klebsiella spp.Causes pneumonia and urinary tract infections.
Mycobacterium lepraeCauses leprosy.
Proteus strainsCauses wound infections.
Salmonella strainsCauses stomach flu, food poisoning, typhoid, and pneumonia.
Sphyngobacterium spp.Causes sepsis (toxins released in your blood).
Staphylococcus strainsCauses wound infections, skin infections, and infections of internal organs.

Some homeowners may be allergic to cockroaches and the skins they shed. Their presence can exacerbate asthma or respiratory conditions, as well as introduce worms, fungi, and viruses to your home.

Cockroaches will secrete a musty odor that will attract even more roaches. This can make a toast-home for one cockroach into a nest for several.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in a Toaster

Removing cockroaches from your toaster can be trickier than it looks. You cannot spray your toaster with pesticides without risking your health, after all. Throwing out a perfectly good toaster can also seem wasteful. Since the roaches may infest the new appliance you buy, that becomes even more true.

Tidying up the toaster every week will help. However, this doesn’t guarantee that all the eggs have been removed. Instead, you’ll need to undertake a long-term treatment to remove, disinfect, and safeguard your toaster.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency finds that an IPM (or integrated pest management) is effective. It’s also an environmentally conscious method of ridding your home of a cockroach infestation.

Unplug and Shake

After unplugging your toaster, shake it over a garbage can to see if any cockroaches or their eggs fall from inside. This will not get rid of all the cockroaches inside, but it can shake any hidden ones out.

Check the Crumb Tray

This is where many of the toasted crumbs collect after use. It should be easy for you to pull out.

Empty and wash this collection tray at least once a week. This should also clear out the eggs since mother roaches will like planting their egg sacs in this area.  

Cockroach eggs are packed in a capsule known as the ootheca. If the infestation has progressed, you may find juvenile cockroaches in the collection tray. These will look like their adult counterparts, only smaller.

Additionally, cockroaches will leave brown streaks along any surfaces they brush up against. You may find these all along the crumb tray, where they left marks as they ate.

After washing and drying this tray, you need to clean the rest of the toaster, too.

Wrap In Plastic

To kill off any stragglers, you need to wrap the entire machine in a tight plastic bag and place it in your freezer (away from your other food). Make sure there are no holes through which the remaining cockroaches can escape.

Cockroaches will have certain temperature thresholds that they cannot tolerate. Utah State University recommends that you turn your freezer down to anywhere below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the bag in there for 24 hours. If you live in a cold-enough area, you may also leave this bag outside for around 5-6 days.

Conversely, cockroaches can die in extreme heat, but this will take much longer. As mentioned, the intense heat of a toaster is not an effective way of killing off the infestation. That’s mainly because toasters are only on for a few minutes at a time, so the ambient heat does not become sufficiently intense.

Cockroaches and their eggs will die at around 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit if you leave them in this heat for around 5 to 6 hours. It will be hard to do this with your toaster and not damage it.

Shake The Toaster Out And Wash

Once the last step is done, shake out the toaster over a garbage can outside. This should remove the carcasses of the dead and frozen cockroaches.

You’ll need to remove the traces the cockroaches left beyond. Wipe the exterior and the crumb tray thoroughly with a soapy solution.

Disassemble The Toaster

You may also have to disassemble your toaster to get at other cockroaches or eggs hidden within the machine.

Though cockroaches might be found along the collection shelf and within the motor, it is possible that they could be hiding in other parts as well.

Vacuuming the machine is a viable option if your toaster is not particularly delicate. You might also want to coax any surviving cockroaches out using baits or sticky tape.

Experts can handle repairs if you aren’t comfortable taking apart your toaster. Plenty of appliance repair services can restore and sanitize your toaster, but it’s not usually financially viable to go down this path.

cockroaches living in toaster

Clean Your Kitchen

The University of Florida stated that cockroaches are most likely to hide in dark, damp areas around your home during the day. They usually come out at night to find food. You might find them lurking inside the following locations:

  • Around your sink or drainboard
  • Cabinets (particularly in the upper corners)
  • Behind your fridge
  • Behind drawers
  • Around pipes
  • Behind windows, doorframes, loose baseboards or moldy strips
  • Under tables and/or chairs
  • Anywhere in your bathroom
  • Hidden in coffee makers

Sealing up any cracks you come across (whether in walls, floors, or pipes) is a good start. Regular vacuuming or sweeping, mopping, and wiping down any surfaces you normally eat on will be beneficial.

Set Cockroach Traps and Bait

The toaster might not be the source of the infestation, so you’ll need to inspect your kitchen to identify where the cockroaches first entered.

The bait will lure out any particularly stubborn cockroaches from hiding. You can also set glue traps with small food bait and put any full traps in the garbage.

Food-grade diatomaceous earth sprinkled around the toaster will ensure that any remaining cockroaches will not escape unscathed. Rotating the location of these traps and baits is recommended.

How to Protect Toasters from Cockroaches

Ridding your home of cockroaches is a very involved process. Even if you can remove the few that are living in your toaster, you might not get rid of every cockroach in your home.

Fortunately, there is a simple method for keeping roaches out of toasters. Cleaning is a large part of it, but you’ll often need a cockroach-proof toaster cover to keep cockroaches out for good.

These covers range from plastic to cloth covers you can zip right over the appliance. This not only protects the toaster from getting dusty or grimy, but it also safeguards against cockroaches.