how to sleep when you have cockroaches

How To Keep Cockroaches Away While Sleeping

No one wants to sleep with roaches nearby, but sometimes it’s inevitable. If you’re dealing with a heavy infestation, it won’t be eradicated overnight. Likewise, if you live in an apartment, you may be forced to wait for your landlord to contact an exterminator. In the meantime, you’ll have to lie awake and hope that roaches don’t try to crawl across you. That is, unless you use these temporary measures to protect your sleeping-self. 

When sleeping in a room with cockroaches, always use bait traps. These will lure cockroaches away from you and to the poisoned food source. Sticky traps and mechanical traps will even keep the roaches contained so that you can dispose of them later. For long-term results, sprinkle boric acid around your bed and never let food or water into your bedroom. Vacuum, take out the trash every day, and consider essential oil diffusers as a deterrent for roaches.

Even an ultraviolet light placed next to your bed will be beneficial. Cockroaches may infest your wardrobe, closet, and drawers, so inspect these areas. If you can, sleep on a raised bed frame and wash your face before bed. Although pesticides and traps will be necessary to solve your roach problem, this will keep them out of your bed for now. Cockroaches don’t target sleeping people, but they may still get into your bedding. 

How to Sleep When You Have Cockroaches

If cockroaches are scurrying throughout your bedroom, it can seem impossible to sleep. They will make little fluttering sounds as they fly, or quiet noises as they bump into objects.

The mere thought of drifting off while cockroaches roam around your bedroom, and in your bed, can be enough to keep anyone awake. If your home has cockroaches, and you still need to sleep, then take action by:

Sleeping Elsewhere

Of course, the easiest solution is to sleep somewhere else. You can bunk at a friend’s house, or sleep in an area of your home that sees fewer roaches, such as the living room. This will let you get some shut-eye while you’re administering pest control methods during the day.

However, pest control may not work right away, so you’re finding roaches everywhere. Your living room, basement, attic, and other sleeping spots may be just as infested as your bedroom. Likewise, you may not have the liberty of crashing at a friend’s house.

Using Pesticides In Every Room

Roaches are smart enough to flee from areas that are being targeted with pesticides. They will look for safer hiding places, and return when the coast is clear. This is especially common in apartments, where a colony will move next-door to wait out fumigation.

If you’re targeting your kitchen with pesticides, you may be putting your bedroom at risk. That makes it worthwhile to apply insecticides everywhere in your home. Ensure that you take the right safety precautions and not spray your bed linen with any poison. However, if you were saving your bedroom for last to avoid the hassle, it’s time to move up your plans.

how to sleep in a room with cockroaches

Cleaning Behind And Under Furniture

A bedroom has several areas where a roach can find shelter. It’s possible there is a nest lingering:

  • Underneath your dresser
  • Inside a desk
  • Behind cabinets
  • Inside storage boxes, chests, or containers

With that in mind, be sure to move all of this furniture and investigate for signs of a colony. If you find this gathering of roaches, use contact sprays to clear them out. This will immediately kill the majority of the roaches, and encourage the others to flee the area.

It won’t solve your infestation as a whole, but it will deter the roaches from your bedroom. You can then finish them off with slow-acting pesticides for better results.

Sleeping High Up

Roaches are capable of scaling up walls and furniture. They have little hooks on their legs that give them purchase on otherwise smooth surfaces. That means your bed frame isn’t surefire protection against curious roaches, but it can deter them.

Roaches form pathways that are used by the entire colony to forage and navigate your home. If something is placed in their way, the roaches will simply climb over it. For example, if your bed lies flush with the ground, or the mattress is placed on the floor, roaches are more likely to climb into your bed with you.

If your bed frame sits off the floor, and the roaches can easily walk underneath it, they’re less likely to scale up and bother you. This doesn’t fix your roach problem, of course. However, it gives you peace of mind while you’re targeting the infestation. There’s less chance of a wayward roach climbing into your sheets or scuttling over your body during the night. It has a better route to choose from.

Removing Water Sources

Roaches are drawn to moisture and will try to congregate around it. If your bedroom has an evaporative cooler, glasses of juice, or table-top fountains inside it, a roach will be enticed to stick around. That makes it crucial to never leave water sources in and around your bedroom.

This may include shutting the door to your bathroom, and placing a seal along the bottom of the entryway. You should also move humidifiers, air purifiers, or little fountains out of the space. Anything that may offer a container of water or even condensation for a roach to drink is bad news.

Removing All Food

Eating breakfast in bed or snacking on popcorn during a late-night movie are some of life’s little pleasures. Unfortunately, cockroaches feel the same way. They will raid your bedroom at night for:

  • Scattered crumbs
  • Food containers with trace sauce or leftovers
  • Dropped or discarded food in or around your bed
  • Even food at the corners of your mouth

You should make your bedroom off-limits to food. Keep meals isolated to your dining room, especially if you’re applying pest-control methods there. If you must eat in your bedroom, be sure to:

  • Remove all containers
  • Clean up spills
  • Vacuum the floor for possible crumbs

Even washing your face before you go to bed can help discourage a heavy infestation from checking out you as a food source. The same will go for any pets that sleep in your bedroom with you. Food bowls should be moved elsewhere, and you should make sure everyone’s tidy before bed.

Check For Eggs

The most dangerous part of having roaches in your bedroom will be the eggs. Your wardrobe, closet, bedding, and clothing will all serve as ideal hiding places for an ootheca. If your home is so badly infested that the insects are targeting your bedroom, you can be sure they’re reproducing.

Even once you kill the main colony, the next generation may come back to haunt you. That makes it crucial to thoroughly investigate for eggs. You will find these little capsules placed:

  • Underneath furniture, such as your wardrobe or bed
  • Inside of fabric, such as with clothing or sheets
  • Near sources of heat, such as your electronics or in your mattress (if the roaches can gain access)
  • Inside storage boxes or drawers, especially toward the back

Once you find them, be sure to remove and destroy the egg casings. For clothing, this may involve running the items through your washer and dryer at the maximum heat setting.

Vacuuming Thoroughly

Roaches will seek out any food source available, even if it isn’t traditional food. This may include:

In the average bedroom, these strange foods are abundant. Worse yet, they’re easy to overlook. If you only vacuum once every 1-2 weeks, your bedroom may appear clean, but your cockroach infestation will remain fed. They can scour your carpets, rugs, and hardwood flooring to find little scraps that will keep starvation at bay.

To prevent this, be sure to up your cleaning routine. Vacuum your carpet every 1-2 days while you’re dealing with the infestation. This is especially crucial if you have pets. They will be leaving behind hair, food crumbs, and even feces by accident.

How to Sleep in a Room with Cockroaches

Of course, pest control takes time. You can’t eradicate a full roach colony in the span of a few hours or a few days. If you can’t sleep elsewhere, that means you’ll eventually need to share a room with your cockroaches.

Laying down, closing your eyes, and dreading the sound of a roach doesn’t sound like a good time. Luckily, there are ways to safeguard yourself when sleeping in a room with roaches.

Use Bait or Traps

Instead of hoping the roaches won’t bother you, you can use bait to draw them away. Bait traps come in many forms.

Homemade varieties include a small plate with poisoned sugar or peanut butter. Professional kinds may have a box that traps and kills the bug once it’s inside. Sticky traps will also adhere to wayward roaches and keep them put. No matter the case, be sure to use enticing bait that will make the roach choose the poison over your bed.

Roaches don’t want to bother humans, so you will be the last resort. If they have sugar, peanut butter, or honey to choose from, poisoned or not, they will congregate there.

Once they have, the poison will kill them immediately or over time. A Slow-acting pesticide is recommended for targeting an entire nest. If you’re after quick results, though, it’s best to choose a sticky trap or a box trap. This will ensure the roach can’t wander off and find you.

Lay Down A Protective Circle

If you want to punish any roach daring enough to approach your bed, you can use boric acid. As long as you don’t have pets, this can be sprinkled lightly around your bed frame. Any roaches that approach and try to climb up the legs will be forced to traipse through the white powder.

Boric acid is not immediately deadly to roaches, but can kill one inside of 3-7 days. Depending on the amount you use, and if you’re starving out your roaches, it could work faster.

This will ensure that the roach carries the boric acid back to its colony. Here, it will kill off other members by sharing the poison. As a plus, roaches generally dislike the smell of boric acid. Unless it’s masked with other baits, they may opt to avoid your bed altogether.

Ultraviolet Light

According to the Journal of Economic Entomology, American cockroaches are repelled by ultraviolet radiation. Not only does it drive away adults, it even slows down the production of their eggs. With that in mind, it’s helpful to get an ultraviolet light and place it near your bed.

It will take a very concentrated amount of ultraviolet light to drive off a full colony. However, setting it near or under your mattress can deter them from that area. Instead, they will bother spots in your room that are more appealing. If those areas contain bait, that’s even better.

How to Avoid Cockroaches While Sleeping

The idea of a cockroach scurrying across your face is a nightmare. One going into your ear or mouth is enough to put even the toughest person off.

Even if you’re leveraging baits, pesticides, and sleeping off the ground, you may want extra protection.  Fortunately, there are cockroach repellents that can help. Here are some of the best to use:

Garlic, Lemongrass, And Pandan Leaves

According to Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, lemongrass is one of the most effective herbs to use against American cockroaches. Runner-ups included garlic and pandan leaves. Not only are the smells unpleasant, but the chemical structure is off-putting to roaches.  

For example, pandan leaves contain terpenes and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons. These produce a strong aroma that deters roaches from the area. You need only crush up these herbs and place them in key areas throughout your bedroom. Be sure to refresh them every 1-2 days, or else the pungent odor will fade. Once it has, desperate roaches may even turn to it as food.  

Essential Oils

Roaches use their antennae to detect scents and navigate the world. By using smells that roaches dislike, you can help drive them away from your bed and yourself. Essential oils do this best, as they are highly condensed. Popular kinds include:

  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Eucalyptus
  • Citrus
  • Lavender
  • Cypress
  • Peppermint

The best option is to use these in a diffuser placed near your bed. This will spread the odor into the air and make roaches less likely to target that area. You can also mix the oils with water and spray them around your room with a spray bottle.

Of course, roaches are tenacious insects and will adapt to conditions they dislike in order to reach food. Because of this, roach repellents aren’t 100% effective, especially if the bug is motivated.

However, in your bedroom, roaches don’t have the same access to their favorite things as they would in a kitchen. Because of this, roach repellents are more effective in the bedroom than in most places in your house. They will only be present because they’re desperate, and when you add bad smells to the mix, they’ll try to target somewhere else.

how to avoid cockroaches while sleeping

Will Cockroaches Crawl On Me At Night?

In general, cockroaches won’t bother sleeping people. They will be in search of food and water, and they do not target living creatures as a meal. Even if they did, humans are too large for a roach to contend with. Instead, these bugs will scurry around other areas of your bedroom and largely avoid you.

This is true for people that toss and turn in the night. The movement and activity will scare the roaches away into more safe, quiet areas.

However, if you’re dealing with a heavy infestation, the roaches may be in abundance. This raises the chances of one crawling across you while you’re sleeping.

If cockroaches are attracted to crumbs or leftovers in your bed, they may be hungry and curious enough to investigate. If the rest of the home is spotless, and a roach has no other choice, it may explore you as a food option. It won’t be interested in taking a bite, but it will see if it can glean nutrients from food crumbs, dead skin cells, and hair.

If you’re dealing with a serious infestation, you may wake up to a few roach bites. These will be small, red spots that may get infected if you don’t properly clean them. If you notice this, it’s crucial to speak with an exterminator right away.

Will Cockroaches Crawl In Your Bed?

Roaches will avoid you, but your bed and mattress are less scary to these bugs. If you leave your bedroom unoccupied for most of the day, this can turn it into an appealing haven. After all, your bed may contain:

  • Dead skin cells
  • Leftover hair
  • Sweaty, salty sheets
  • Food crumbs

Worse yet, the mattress itself is appealing. If allowed, a cockroach will happily manipulate any tears or open pockets in your bed. If this allows the roach inside, it can benefit from the warmth, tight spaces, and ample hiding spots. This is also found in the blanket and pillows.

It’s best to deter the cockroaches from your bed, rather than hoping they stay away on their own. A whole clutch of cockroach eggs hatching inside your mattress will be nightmarish.

Will Keeping Lights On Keep Cockroaches Away?

Cockroaches are nocturnal and will avoid the light. However, that’s not because it harms them. They simply understand they cannot properly hide or evade predators in open sight.

Because of this, leaving a night light or lamp on throughout the night will not drive them away. Instead, they will wait to see if the light brings activity and predators with it. If it doesn’t, since you’re sleeping, the roaches will start exploring.

With that in mind, keeping roaches away while you’re sleeping depends on you. By using the right pesticides, traps, and deterrents, you can sleep easy, roaches or not.