Roaches are notorious for hiding and nesting. They can live in many places around your home. If you don’t know where to look, it’s easy to let them thrive. The next time you’re performing some spring cleaning, be sure to keep an eye out. These locales around your house or apartment are at risk of harboring roaches.
Roaches can hide in your ceiling, walls, moldings and trim, around light fixtures, and in your baseboards. They may also take up residence in your appliances, such as your fridge, dishwasher, microwave, and oven. In your bedroom, they’ll prefer your drawers and closets, but can resort to your bed. Bathrooms harbor them in drains, pipes, and cabinets. Clothing and furniture can serve as hiding places, but these spots are less likely.
Cockroaches hide wherever they can find seclusion, darkness, and heat. If these areas also have food, water, or humidity, the bugs will concentrate in that area. That means that your kitchen and bathroom are at the most risk. Your living room and bedrooms are acceptable places to hide if roaches can’t find anywhere better. Just be sure to identify the kind of roaches you’re dealing with, as some species like certain places more than others.
Where Do Roaches Hide In Your Room?
Not all roaches will choose the same hiding space. That’s because different species have different preferences for food, shelter, and reproductive security. While no roach will resist an open container of food, others may prefer to live in:
- Humid environments, like a basement
- Electronics, such as those found in your living room
- Pantries, where they have opportunities to chew through food containers
If you know what kind of roach you’re dealing with, this helps in narrowing down their headquarters. Of more than 4,500 roach species in the world, only 4 are considered common household pests. If you see one of these kinds scurrying around your home, take a moment to note its:
- How it moves
This will help you decide which species of cockroach has taken root in your home. With that information on hand, you can deduce where to find the others.
The American cockroach is characterized by its large size, reddish hue, and fully formed wings. Of all household roaches, this one is the most active. The American cockroach is more likely to fly and scurry around during the daytime to satisfy its cravings. It’s also one of the fastest reproducers, so a colony will quickly grow in size. This motivates a fully-fledged infestation to risk scavenging in the daytime.
Because of their numbers and high levels of activity, these roaches tend to be found in areas with a lot of food and water. This usually places them in:
Oriental cockroaches, sometimes referred to as water bugs, are easy to identify. They’re smaller than other roach species, wingless, and colored in a deep brown or red. They may appear black in some lighting. They’re less dexterous and move slowly in general.
The most notable trait of this species is their love of water. Outdoors, you will find them near ponds, puddles, and other sources of stagnant water. Barring that, these roaches will seek out areas that are damp and humid, with high levels of moisture. This includes:
- Basements, especially if there has been flooding
- Inside pipes and drains
- Bathrooms, especially if it gets steamy on the regular
German cockroaches are brown to dark brown in color. They have parallel bands running along the length of their body. Their most notable characteristic is their small size, sometimes less than an inch in length. This makes them very difficult to find, and highly insidious within a home.
German cockroaches love nooks and crannies, able to slip through small cracks and crevices. Favored places include:
- Electronics, such as kitchen appliances or gaming consoles
In their search for food and water, they may also choose the nooks in your bathrooms and kitchens.
Where Roaches Live In Your Home
Roaches will hide anywhere they can reach. They are highly adaptable insects. There is no one place in your home that will be ‘inhospitable’ to a roach. However, if these bugs have their pick of the litter, they will choose areas that have:
- Ample food
- Little activity
- Water or moisture from humidity
This allows them to not only hide, but also thrive. If all these factors are not available at one location, roaches will make do. They may first accomplish this by making little ‘supply runs’ to different areas of your home. For example, if there’s moisture in your bathroom, but no food, the cockroaches may try scurrying towards any food scent they detect. This could lead them to your kitchen.
If that’s not possible and your home is spotless of tempting smells, they’ll simply make do. That’s supported by a study published in The Journal of Economic Entomology. Here, researchers determined that American cockroaches were able to survive for long stretches without food and water. Madeira cockroaches survived for more than 50 days.
As such, you should check any area of your home for roaches. Even if the locale seems unpleasant to them, the insects may be setting up base. Let’s explore all the places that cockroaches like to hide:
Where Do Roaches Hide In Bedrooms?
After the kitchen, bedrooms are perhaps one of the scariest places to have a roach infestation. It’s harrowing to think of roaches crawling around the room (or on you) as you sleep.
Even if you don’t spend much time in your bedroom throughout the day, it’s important to keep it roach-free. These pests can trigger allergies and asthma, and spread harmful bacteria on surfaces they touch. This could irritate your skin and your lungs alike.
Bedrooms tend to accumulate a lot of clutter. If you have a disorganized home, the bedroom can become a secondary storage area. Clothes, trinkets, and gifts can all accumulate in your sleeping area, gathering dust and attracting pests. Despite their help in tidying, storage bins and crates also attract roaches.
- Storage boxes are rarely opened, providing a dark, quiet place to hide.
- Boxes are often stacked in a corner and left undisturbed. Roaches can come and go without notice.
- Boxes can be made from (or filled with) papers, cardboard, and tissues. Roaches find this edible.
- Boxes may be transferred to your bedroom from other infested areas, like the garage or a neighbor with a roach problem.
- Roach egg sacs can easily be laid on the boxes and overlooked as you pack or move them.
Be sure to check over your storage boxes once every few months. Even if you just dust off the collection and put it back, this ensures no pests can live there undisturbed.
Closets, Dressers, And Drawers
Just like storage containers, roaches will live happily in places where clothes are stored. This may include:
- Closets, be they walk-in or smaller
Roaches find these to be ideal places to live, since they’re:
- Dark. Certain drawers or areas of your closet may hardly ever see the light. That’s especially true if you’re storing seasonal clothes you won’t need for months.
- Quiet. You’ll only use your closet once or twice a day, and only for a few seconds or minutes.
- Warm. If you have several clothes packed into a drawer or dresser, roaches can nest in the warm layers.
- Nooks and crannies. Perhaps you never look at the back of your dresser drawers. Maybe your wardrobe contains many little compartments. These are ideal spots to lay eggs.
There may also be food sources in these locales. However, roaches will mainly prefer this as a base of operation as they scuttle into different areas throughout the night. The en-suite bathroom or neighboring kitchen, for example, will be prime targets.
Do Roaches Hide In Clothes?
Roaches aren’t well-known for living inside clothes. However, they will take the chance if they have no other options. After all, clothes are often stored in drawers and closets, where roaches won’t mind staying. Once they’re nestled in the fabric, they may take advantage of its natural benefits.
- Certain fabrics are edible. Cottons, for example, contain fiber and proteins that a roach can technically survive on.
- Fabrics are warm. As mentioned, roaches like warm areas. The layers of your coat may be ideal.
- Good place to hide eggs. More than anything, roaches will like clothing as a safe, quiet, warm area to stash eggs.
Even if the cockroaches don’t nest on the clothing, they’re likely to crawl on it. This can leave behind trace bacteria, feces, and fungi. The next time you put on the clothes, you’ll be exposed to these contagents. You may also give away clothing or store it in different areas of the house. This can allow the planted egg sacs to hatch and spread the infestation.
Be sure to check over and wash your clothing regularly. That’s especially true if it’s been stored in the back of your closet for a while. If you notice any of these signs, be sure to take action:
- Egg cases
If you want to protect your clothing even more efficiently, consider moth balls. Not only will this keep out their namesake pest, these poisons will also help deter roaches. You should still wash the clothing before wearing it, of course.
Do Roaches Hide In Mattresses?
Roaches are technically capable of hiding anywhere. Your mattress may be a prime candidate if:
- The roaches have no other hiding places
- They don’t have access to other types of food
- There are gaps or rips in the sides of your mattress
- The home is cold, especially at night, and the roaches need warmth
With a combination of these factors, cockroaches will be motivated to set up camp in your bed. From here, they have access to many appealing things:
- Fabric to eat
- Quiet shelter, both during the day and night
An extremely hungry cockroach may be tempted to scour through your bed for food. This will include skin cells and hair, which can sustain a roach for a short amount of time. If the insect grows truly desperate, it may even start chewing on you as you sleep.
Understand that this is a highly unlikely scenario. Usually, cockroaches will find some form of food somewhere else in your house. Likewise, you would’ve probably noticed them in your home long before this and exterminated them.
Nonetheless, it is possible. If roaches set up camp in your bed, you should look for entry points in the lining, top, and bottom of the mattress. You should also see if you can find streaks of brown. These indicate that the roach has smeared feces on the material as it squished inside.
Where Do Roaches Hide In The Bathroom?
When it comes to places well-loved by cockroaches, bathrooms are a top contender. These locations have everything a roach could need. They’re:
- Quiet, especially at night.
- Dark, with limited natural lighting from the fewer windows
- Humid, especially after a steamy shower.
- Have ample water in the shower, toilet, and sinks
- Have organic waste in the form of hair, skin cells, and disposed sanitary products
- Have plenty of hiding spaces
If your kitchen is a no-go for cockroaches due to your traps or poison, don’t rest easy. You should check over these spots in your bathroom. The insects may have just moved in here.
Roaches are able to come up certain drains from the sewer. They may scuttle up the metal and gain access to your home. Be sure to check over:
- Shower drains
- Bathtub drains
- Sink drains
The majority of modern homes have plumbing designed to prevent this. More than likely, the roaches came into your home through a different access point. Once inside, they found their way into your bathroom and settled in your drains. These spots provide an ideal hiding place as they’re:
- Collect hair, skin cells, toothpaste, and grime
- Rarely cleaned
Of course, a well-used drain will be less appealing than an ignored one. Roaches aren’t powerful swimmers and can’t resist the strong flow of water. If you have one sink or a tub that sees little use, these drains will be at the greatest risk. Roaches may crawl in and out of them at will, eating whatever they find in other drains.
Much like bedrooms, your average bathroom will store a wide variety of things. This is made possible by cabinets placed:
- Over the toilet
- Under the sink
- In the corners of the room
Most of the items stored here are highly edible to a cockroach, even if it seems gross to you. As such, these areas are not only dark, quiet, and secure. They’re also prime feeding areas. Cockroaches may nest, lay eggs, and get their dinner in one spot, munching on your:
- Soap, which contains animal fats and oils
- Tissue and toilet paper, due to the cellulose present inside the fibers.
False cabinets that hide pipes are also a prime location. Roaches that come through pipes can easily make the cabinets their habitat. These spots don’t store anything, so they see even less activity than other cabinets. They provide a direct source of water, and easy access to other areas for food.
Trim And Molding
Bathrooms often have their floors and ceilings lined with trim or molding. Even when left perfectly flush against the wall, cockroaches are still able to gain entry to these tiny spaces. According to an article published in International Pest Control, full-grown American cockroaches have been known to squeeze in spaces as small as 3 mm.
That’s even worse when steam and humidity cause trim or molding to swell. It’s possible that previous water damage has caused gaps to form along your walls. These areas may eventually lead to rotting wood. Roaches, especially American cockroaches, like eating wood that has already been softened. This can provide a food source and hiding place in one.
Where Do Roaches Live In Kitchens?
Kitchens are the favorite spot of cockroaches. Aside from easy access to food and water, there are also many hiding spaces to be found.
When searching for an infestation, the refrigerator is one of the most important spots. However, many people still overlook it. After all, your food should be perfectly secure inside it, right? On the contrary, roaches may gain access to the inside of a fridge by:
- Sneaking in while the door is open
- Hitching a ride on the outside of food containers
- Burrowing in through a small gap in the shell or lining
Once inside, they can absolutely spread bacteria and filth. When looking for a nest, though, the biggest issue will be the:
- Back of the fridge
- The underside of the fridge
- The outer insulation
Here, the cockroaches can burrow in and make a perfect habitat. They can:
- Enjoy the warmth of the motor.
- Enjoy darkness and seclusion, as few people ever move their refrigerator.
- Have easy access to the pantry and counter tops.
- Gain water from any leaks or condensation in the fridge. That’s not to mention access to your kitchen sink.
- Easily expand to other areas without notice. Cockroaches may take advantage of any cabinets that closely line the sides of the fridge.
Just like the fridge, dishwashers are also a prime space for roaches. There is often a lot of moisture in dishwashers, especially those which aren’t regularly cleaned. Stagnant water is a common attractant for roaches, and dishwashers have a lot of it.
Dirty dishes left overnight can attract roaches, as well as food stuck in the drain. Roaches may use the dishwasher as their main feeding zone, while hiding elsewhere. If they decided to nestle in the machine itself, they’ll do so:
- Underneath it
- In any gap between it and the wall or cabinets
- In and around the hoses that extend from the back
To prevent roaches from entering your dishwasher, make sure to:
- Run your machine as soon as you load it with dishes
- Clean the machine to remove any bits of food after the wash cycle
- Remove any sources of stagnant water
- Clean it with bleach once a month to remove tempting smells or bacteria
Stove And Oven
Roaches can live in stoves and ovens, despite the heat. If the temperatures climb too high, these insects will just escape into the surrounding cabinets. They may also nestle in less hot areas of the machine to weather the worst of it. Ovens and stoves are wonderful spots because they:
- See little activity, as you won’t often move or check behind the machine.
- Have storage compartments for pans, where roaches can hide or lay eggs.
- Stay warm, so roaches can remain comfortable and safe.
- Are full of food scraps, such as leftover crumbs from a pizza in the oven or sauces on the stovetop.
Be sure to pull out your oven once every year and check behind it. Not only will this help you find and prevent roaches, but other pests as well. Cleaning up dust, crumbs, and grime will help keep the area unappealing to unwanted guests.
Likewise, roaches can live in microwaves. That’s because of dead spots in the microwave’s radiation. Not all areas will be exposed, even when the machine is in use. A cockroach may:
- Nestle in the back of it
- Slip into the wiring
- Simply use it for cover while it nests against a wall.
In some circumstances, dismantling the microwave is the best option for removing cockroaches. This will ensure that no nymphs are living in crevices. Likewise, this will also expose any eggs that may be hiding in small gaps.
Do Cockroaches Hide In Walls?
Cockroaches do indeed hide in walls. In fact, walls are usually an access point into your house for a roach. You may have cracks, crevices, or nooks that can be manipulated. Once inside the walls, a cockroach will happily eat through the insulation. This allows the bugs to create nests, lay eggs, or enjoy an ample food source.
Gaps between conduits, like electrical outlets and light fixtures, are also a common entrance point. You may find roaches using the insides of your walls as a highway around your home.
Do Cockroaches Live In Ceilings?
If you know there are cockroaches in a room, but can’t find where they’re centered – try looking up. Aside from walls, roaches have also been known to live in ceilings. Ceilings have more than enough space to house a colony of roaches. They may make a nest or gain entry through:
- Gaps around ceiling fans or lights
- Cracks along the ceiling
- Gaps in the detailing of crown molding
If you notice a roach on the ceiling, but can’t figure out how it got up there, then watch out. It may have just appeared from a gap you hadn’t noticed.
Do Roaches Hide In Furniture?
Living room furniture can be a quick, easy hiding spot for roaches. In fact, if you’ve purchased a sofa or chair second-hand, and now suddenly have roaches, guess what? That item is probably how they gained entry.
Roaches can technically munch on furniture itself. However, they’ll prefer chowing down on leftover food, crumbs, or spills found in these spots. If you let a potato chip or two fall in between the cushions, don’t delay in retrieving it. A nearby cockroach certainly won’t hesitate.
As scary as it may seem, roaches can hide in the couch that you sit on. If you’ve ever lost the remote control, you know there are many nooks and crannies within a couch. Roaches often utilize these gaps to make a home. Here, they can lay eggs and make nests:
- Underneath the cushions
- In the bottom lining of the sofa
- In between the springs inside the couch
- In the arms, if the roaches burrowed through the lining
On top of that, materials and fabrics that make up sofas or couches are often edible to roaches. They don’t appear fond of leather, due to its thick, stretchy nature. Roaches will find this difficult to chew through. Instead, cottons, suedes, and other fabrics will receive a bite or two.
Most of all, cockroaches will appreciate any spilled dip, dropped chips, or spare popcorn you’ve left behind. They are the most attracted to sugary or fragrant drinks. Getting a stain out of a couch can be a nightmare, but even more so if this stain attracts bugs. Worse yet, cockroaches have a great sense of smell. Even if you think that you’ve cleaned up a stain pretty well, chances are, the roach noticed.
Wood furniture is especially attractive to roaches. In the wild, roaches will naturally live in wood. While their mandibles are not powerful enough to chew through solid wood, softer kinds will be appealing. This may include thin detailing or wood that’s suffered from recent water damage. Old wood that’s beginning to splinter or give off shavings will be perfectly good food to a cockroach.
If you notice a lot of roaches near furniture made of wood, pay attention. Roaches may be nesting in this spot.
Do Roaches Hide In Plants?
If you own houseplants and are dealing with a roach infestation, these two things may be connected. Roaches will happily burrow into the soil of house plants. They may also take advantage of:
- The water source
- Any bits of fungi that start to grow
- Any coffee grounds or other fertilizer you place in the pot
- The plant itself
Soil is a great habitat for roaches, as it protects them from the elements and keeps temperature consistent. Outdoors, it is also very easy for roaches to find food sources within soil. If your flowerpot is the closest option they have, roaches will take it.
Do Roaches Hide In Electronics?
While it may sound surprising, electronics are a common spot for infestations in a home. That’s especially true for items like:
- Power strips
- Gaming consoles
- Kitchen appliances
- The wiring of a fridge or dishwasher
- Sewing machines
Electronics are dark, and most often remain placed in one spot for long periods of time. More than anything, electronics give off ample heat. This makes it attractive to roaches, especially if the rest of the house is too chilly for their liking. Here, they may not directly chew on the devices, but they’ll lay eggs, poop, and shed skin. This can damage your electronics.
Knowing where roaches hide and getting rid of them is only half of the battle. Making sure that roaches don’t come back is more important. To avoid roach infestations, be sure to seal up any entrances from the outside. You should also remove any food smells and routinely check for signs of the bugs. With enough hard work and diligence, you will be well on your way to a roach-free home.