How To Get Rid of Cockroaches in Coffee Machines

Many of us enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that 40% of commercial coffee machines are infested with cockroaches, making this problem more common than you might think.

You can remove cockroaches from a coffee machine by disassembling the machine and cleaning it with bleach or hot, soapy water. Cockroaches don’t like cold temperatures, so placing the device in a large freezer or outside will drive them out. Dust and bait traps are a safe option, as are traps using moist coffee grounds in a jar.  

You can keep cockroaches away from your coffee machine by creating a catnip or herbal tea, which roaches hate the smell of. Don’t use Raid spray or boric acid on your device, as you’ll break it.

Do Roaches Like Coffee Makers?

Cockroaches are attracted to coffee makers because they’re a source of:

  • Warmth
  • Moisture
  • Food

Cockroaches also have easy access to coffee machines because they’re kept on kitchen counters and in cupboards where they like to reside. Most people only use their home machines once or twice a day, leaving cockroaches relatively undisturbed and safe from harm.

German cockroaches are especially drawn to coffee makers. Unfortunately, cockroaches carry many harmful diseases, including Salmonella, Dysentery, and Gastroenteritis. Roach feces have also been linked to eczema and asthma in humans. Leaving them in your coffee machine can cause several health issues.

Can Roaches Live in a Coffee Makers?

Coffee makers are warm and dark, providing shelter and safety from humans and other predators. If you frequently top your machine up with coffee grounds and water, there’s no need for the cockroaches to live anywhere else.

There are many small places inside coffee machines for cockroaches to crawl into, so they can set up home in one. To determine whether cockroaches are in your coffee machine, look for the following signs:

  • Droppings. Cockroach feces are small, long, and brown or black.
  • Foul odor. Roaches produce an unpleasant musty smell.
  • Smear marks. You’ll see brown, irregular smears where cockroaches have been.
  • Shed exoskeletonsRoaches shed their skin, which you can sometimes see inside or around your coffee machine.
  • Ootheca. Cockroaches produce egg cases containing 8-40 eggs.

Determining whether you have cockroaches in your machine is tricky because cockroach feces are almost identical to coffee grounds. Be careful not to touch them with your bare hands, or you’ll pick up pathogens.

how to clean roaches out of coffee makers

Do Coffee Grounds Attract Roaches?

Because of the strong smell coarse texture, cockroaches don’t particularly enjoy coffee grounds. However, if there’s no other food available, cockroaches will eat them, particularly if they’re fresh. Cockroaches eat just about any organic substance, meaning coffee’s not off-limits, even if roaches aren’t keen on the taste and smell.

Roaches eat coffee ground residue from the insides of the machine. They also eat their way through bags of coffee grounds, thanks to their strong mandibles.

Coffee’s also highly acidic, which can kill cockroaches once ingested. Similarly, the chemical makeup of coffee is toxic to cockroaches, killing them in large doses. That being said, coffee machines are commonly kept near sugar, creamer, and other tastier food options. These things are more likely to attract roaches than coffee grounds.

Do Roaches Eat Coffee Beans?

Because cockroaches don’t love coffee, they’re not particularly fond of coffee beans. However, as we’ve mentioned, roaches aren’t fussy about what they eat, so they’ll eat coffee if they have to in order to get the nutrients they need to stay alive. It doesn’t matter which type of coffee bean you use, as they’re all the same to roaches.

Does the Smell of Coffee Attract Roaches?

While cockroaches don’t enjoy eating coffee, the smell of instant coffee attracts them. That’s why coffee traps work so well on cockroaches. Coffee has a strong odor. The Journal of Experimental Biology explains how cockroaches have a strong sense of smell and can detect coffee from afar. They’ll and will investigate to see whether it’s a source of food.

However, don’t confuse instant coffee with ground coffee – the latter of which repels roaches.

How To Get Cockroaches Out of Coffee Machines

When removing cockroaches from your coffee machine, be careful not to use anything that will destroy it. The following methods will help you remove roaches from your device:

Disassemble and Clean the Machine

If you have a simple machine with few parts, you could attempt to clean your coffee machine thoroughly by dissembling it. That way, you can access the small parts and sanitize them using warm water and bleach.

If you have an expensive coffee machine, leave it to the professionals. The chances of you breaking the machine or putting it back incorrectly is high. Otherwise, try getting hold of an instruction manual so that you have a better chance of salvaging your machine.

Cold Temperatures

Cockroaches don’t like cold temperatures. By placing your coffee machine outside or in a cold room, you can drive any roaches out from your device as they’ll flee to search for warmer temperatures. As long as you have a hardy machine, it’ll survive cold temperatures. However, be careful not to leave it in the cold for too long. To remove cockroaches through cold temperatures:

  1. Switch off and unplug your coffee machine. Drain it of any water and allow it to air dry.
  2. Place the machine in a large plastic bag and seal it, leaving enough room for roaches to escape within the bag.
  3. Place the machine in a large freezer if you have one, or put it in a basement, shed, or garage if you live in a cold enough location.
  4. The ideal temperature to drive roaches out is between 50-35 degrees Fahrenheit. Any colder will kill them, leaving them to rot inside your machine.
  5. Leave your coffee machine to cool for 4-5 days.

If the temperature remains consistently cold, the roaches will flee the coffee machine and become trapped inside the bag, allowing you to discard them. Depending on the amount of air in the bag, the cockroaches may suffocate and die. Don’t forget to give your coffee machine a thorough clean with bleach before using it again.

Dust Trap

Dust traps are an excellent pest control method because you use them around the coffee machine instead of inside it, minimizing the risk of coming into contact with the poison when you use your machine again.

When cockroaches come out of the machine to search for food, they walk in the “dust” and become poisoned. If you have a few cockroaches, the surviving pests will eat the dead body, also consuming the poison and dying. However, dust traps only work if the pests leave the machine.

Bait Trap

Bait traps are similar to dust traps in that you place them around the coffee machine instead of inside, catching cockroaches when they emerge from hiding. Bait traps are made from odorless gel, making them more attractive to cockroaches than others. They’re also safer around electricals, as they don’t get into all the cracks.

Place a few traps around your coffee machine and leave them there until the pests become trapped inside the poison, allowing you to dispose of them.

Coffee Trap

Seeing as you have an infestation in your coffee machine, you can use this to your advantage by creating a coffee trap. The best thing about this is you already have coffee grounds you can use to draw roaches out into the open.

Place any old, moist coffee grounds into a jar (add a bit of water to them if they’re dry) and make it accessible for roaches to crawl into. The coffee attracts them, while the jar traps them, enabling you to dispose of any caught cockroaches.

Pest Control

If you’ve tried all available options and you’re still suffering from cockroaches in your coffee machine, it’s time to call in the professionals. A pest control expert can offer the best solution using methods that are likely to cause the least amount of damage, leaving your coffee machine unscathed. They’ll also inspect the rest of your home to ensure there are no further infestations you don’t know about.

How To Clean Roaches Out of Coffee Makers

Even though your first thought may be to discard your coffee machine and buy a new one, a roach-infested machine is actually salvageable if you deep clean it using the right products. The method you use depends on the type of machine you have, but follow these steps for the best results:

How To Clean a Drip Coffee Maker

Drip coffee makers are easy to clean if you do the following:

  1. Pour a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar into the machine’s water reservoir.
  2. Place a glass or carafe onto the warming plate and turn the machine on, allowing a pot to brew.
  3. Once it’s ready, turn the machine off and rinse out the glass or carafe as soon as it’s cooled, washing it thoroughly with warm, soapy water.
  4. Pour clean water into the coffee machine’s water reservoir and turn the device back on. Give it a second rinse cycle to remove all traces of vinegar.
  5. Take off any removable parts and clean them using hot, soapy water. If you want a thorough clean, leave them to soak for an hour first.

If you don’t want to use vinegar on your machine, a commercial coffee cleaning product will work just as well. You can also use a teaspoon of bleach, being careful to rinse it out thoroughly.

How To Clean a Single-serve Coffee Maker

Single-serve coffee makers are the kind that use coffee pods or capsules to produce coffee. Cockroaches are sometimes less drawn to them, as they leave minimal coffee residue behind, but they’re still at risk of an infestation because of the moisture produced. To clean one:

  1. Turn off the power, remove all plastic pods from the machine, and pour away any water in the reservoir. Fill it with equal parts water and white vinegar.
  2. Find the largest mug you have and place it on the drip tray. Brew a cup and let the solution run through the machine.
  3. Repeat the process until the “add water” notification pops up on the machine. Allow the machine to stand for 30 minutes while it remains turned on.
  4. Once 30 minutes have passed, clean the reservoir with hot, soapy water. Refill it with clean water and run it through the machine a couple more times.

Repeat this process for a couple of days to ensure there are no cockroaches left.

do roaches eat coffee beans?

How To Stop Cockroaches Getting Into Coffee Machines

Thankfully, there are several methods you can use to protect coffee makers from roaches. For example, cockroaches hate catnip. A study by Science Direct discovered that placing catnip around your home repels German cockroaches. That’s why placing brewed catnip tea on the warming plate or drip tray of your coffee machine can keep them away. You can make catnip tea by following these steps:

  1. Boil a kettle, placing the water into a cup, and submerge a teaspoon of catnip into it.
  2. Let it brew for 5-10 minutes and leave it in the cup, allowing the scent to travel around the room.
  3. Add lemon juice to intensify the brew, as cockroaches also hate the smell.
  4. For maximum results, transfer some of the tea into a spray bottle and mist your kitchen.

Cockroaches also hate the smell of:

  • Rosemary
  • Eucalyptus
  • Oregano
  • Cedarwood
  • Cypress
  • Bay leaves

Depending on what you have in your cupboard, you could also make a brew using these ingredients. Another thing to do to ensure your coffee machine remains roach-free is to clean it after every use, discarding the coffee, mopping up spilled milk, and emptying the water tray. These are the things that will attract cockroaches in the first place.

Can I Spray Raid on My Coffee Machine?

Roach is a common pesticide that many people use in their homes once they’ve discovered a roach infestation. However, spraying Raid and other poisons over your coffee machine is a bad idea. There are many reasons why:

  • You could ingest the poison after making coffee.
  • It’s ineffective in the long term and rarely kills all cockroaches.
  • It’s a waste of time and money.
  • Using sprays can break your machine or cause a fire hazard.

Raid and other sprays have their uses, but you shouldn’t consider them against your coffee machine.

Finding cockroaches in your coffee machine is common, but there’s no need to throw it away. Try some of our removal methods first, and you should find that they successfully resolve the infestation problem.

Photo of author

Jack Andersen

Hi, I'm Jack. A close friend of mine went through a cockroach infestation about 5 years ago, so I'm here to share what I've learned with everyone. I hope that you find the information useful.

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