Finding a hiding cockroach in your room or bedroom, and eliminating it, can be a tricky job.
But not anymore.
In this guide, you’ll find out how to get a cockroach out of hiding no matter where they’re in your home.
You’ll find out three ingenious ways to prepare and lay traps in the strategic places of your home so that roaches can’t resist.
So, if you think you’ve got cockroaches in your room (or home) and you can’t find them, then this post is all you need.
Where Do Roaches Hide In Your Home?
Roaches are nocturnal bugs. They forage during the night and hide during the day.
Before we get into the hacks on how to lure out a cockroach, it’s essential to know where roaches hide.
Knowing the hiding places will help you to set up baits, traps, and lures to attract the hiding cockroach and entrap it.
The seven common places in your home where cockroaches hide and build their nests or colonies are –
Inside The Cabinets
During the day cockroaches hide in dark places. And there’s no better place for them than the cabinets in your home and kitchen.
Roaches favor kitchen cabinets and other food storage areas in your kitchen like the kitchen cupboards and kitchen pantry.
Cockroaches get their food from your kitchen. And the kitchen cabinets in your kitchen and kitchen pantry with food are perfect places for them to hide.
Roaches will sneak inside the cupboards, shelves, bookshelves, and cabinets to hide and to feed on the food droppings that spill out while taking in and taking out the food jars.
Given a chance, cockroaches will also sneak inside the food storage containers in your food pantry.
That’s why cleaning your kitchen often and ensuring no food spill overs prevents both roach and pantry pest infestation in your kitchen.
Inside And Underneath Kitchen Appliances
Electronic kitchen appliances are the unlikeliest of places where roaches can hide during the day.
These appliances are favorite hiding places specifically for German roaches because they’re tiny and they prefer dry places.
So, they can sneak inside toasters, microwaves, ovens, coffee makers, and underneath countertop appliances.
Your kitchen countertop is where you undertake most of your recipe preparing tasks.
So, there are always food stains and food spillovers on the countertops if you don’t clean the surface well. That attracts many bugs on kitchen countertops including roaches.
The other species of roaches like the American roaches that prefer damp places can also sneak inside the fridge and dishwashers.
In The Drains And Pipes
Moisture and dampness are the essential elements that keep roaches alive.
And there’s no better dampness source in your home than drains and pipes underneath the sinks in bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, basement, and garage.
Also, roaches take shelter in the areas near leaking pipes and faucets.
Damp corners of your home with leaky pipes are cockroaches’ prime real estate. These are the places where roaches build their nests too.
It’s because the eggs and baby roaches get enough dampness to sustain themselves. The roach poop that the baby roaches eat also remains moist.
Keeping the drains clean and unclogging them prevents roaches and bugs like drain flies from using them as a nesting place.
Also, fixing the leaking pipes reduces the dampness in your home. And less dampness in the home makes your home less attractive for roaches and bugs.
Soft Furnishings Like Couches
It’s not only bed bugs that can infest couches. Roaches can too.
Soft furniture like couches, accent chairs, and even your bed mattress are hiding places for cockroaches
Because they’re comfortable. If there dirty with food spill overs and food stains, then it’s a win-win for cockroaches.
Cockroaches will sneak inside the couches and mattress and hide. They can even lay eggs in these places.
If you’ve got a habit of eating on your bed, then the food crumbs that fall off will attract roaches and a slew of other bugs known as bed worms.
Keeping the soft furnishing clean deters bugs from taking shelter in them.
Also, using a steam cleaner to clean the soft furnishings is a great way to get rid of bugs hiding in them.
Steam cleaners produces heat. The heat kills the eggs and babies of roaches and bugs on these soft furnishings.
Cracks And Crevices On Walls, Furniture, And Floor
Cracks and fissures on furniture and walls are also hiding places for cockroaches.
Cockroaches will sneak inside the thinnest of gaps easily. They’re designed to crawl inside spaces that which are at least one-sixteenth of their width.
That’s why cockroaches can sneak inside walls and build their nests in walls.
Do you wonder where roaches come from inside your house? Most of the time from your yard.
Roaches in yard hide in the cracks of the walls, underneath the mulch beds, compost, and in the gaps between wood piles.
And inside your home they look for the same kind of hiding places. So, they sneak inside the cracks.
Add dampness to your walls, floors, and furniture then it’s a perfect cockroach haven.
Cracks develop on the damp surfaces. In these cracks, roaches can comfortably hide.
That’s why it’s essential to always seal the gaps and cracks on the walls with a quality sealant so that roaches and bugs can’t hide in these places.
Dresser Drawers, Wardrobe, And Closet
Yes, cockroaches hide in clothes that you keep in dresser drawers, wardrobes, and closets.
Dresser drawers are even hiding places for bed bugs.
So, why do roaches hide in clothes?
Other than damp places with ample food supply, roaches prefer to hide in places that has abundant supply of cellulose.
So, cardboard boxes, old books, and clothes in dresser drawers are also ideal hiding places for cockroaches.
Fabric, especially linen and cotton, and paper, contain cellulose which roaches eat.
The darkness in the dresser drawers plus the clothes’ ability to block the roach smell makes clothes in drawers an ideal hiding place for roaches.
In the bedroom cockroaches can hide in the dresser drawers, underneath carpets and rugs, between books and magazines, and even inside your wardrobe.
If you’ve got an adjoining bathroom in your bedroom, then things can’t get any better for roaches.
The dampness in the bathroom and the clothes in the drawers will make their lives better than perfect.
The area under the sinks of your bathroom, kitchen, basement, laundry room, and garage is dark and damp.
That makes a perfect hiding place for the most common cockroach species in US homes, the American roach.
The American roaches are big and dark brown. These roaches lay their eggs, nest, and hide near the damp sources of your home.
There are always some water leakages or dripping water underneath sinks that make the floors and walls surrounding the plumbing area of the sink damp.
And American roaches, which depend heavily on moisture to survive, choose the area underneath sinks to hide.
Signs Of Cockroaches Hiding In Your Home
Now that you know exactly where roaches hide, it’s time to confirm their presence.
You won’t be seeing these hiding cockroaches often, especially during the day.
But if you know what the signs of roaches are, then you’ll be sure there are hiding cockroaches in your home.
Apart from physical sightings of roaches, there are three signs of hiding cockroaches –
- Roach poop and smear marks
- Cockroach nests
- Cockroach smell
Let’s have a look at each of them.
Roach Poop And Smear Marks
Roaches are indiscriminate poopers. They’ll discard anywhere, even on your food.
But the most probable places where roaches poop are near their hiding places.
So, damp places like bathroom, basement, and especially kitchen, are the places where you’re most likely to find roach poop.
Roach poop and roach smear marks are the same. The only difference is that poop is dry and the roach smear marks are liquified roach poop.
If roaches are feeding on dry wastes, then their poop will be dry. This is pretty common with German roaches because they prefer to hide in dry areas and consume food dry crumbs and dry wastes.
However, roaches like American roaches and Oriental roaches that inhabit filthy wet places like drains, sewers, and catch basins, consume wet wastes.
So, their poop is in the form of wet smear marks on the walls, floors, and near the places where they hide.
Cockroach nests can be hard to find. But the best part is that roach nest in places where they hide.
Any tight corners, gaps, and cracks in your kitchen, bathroom, basement, garage, and laundry room, are places for roaches to make nests.
Why? Because these places have enough moisture and food supply for roaches to survive.
Roach nests aren’t like nests of birds.
Roach nests are like a pile of broken roach wings, baby roaches, roach egg cases, dead roaches, and roach feces all together in one place.
From their secretion glands, roaches secrete pheromones. It’s a chemical substance that insects discharge from the glands to communicate or attract a mate.
When these pheromones mix with the dampness and filth, it smells oily and musty.
That musty odor is typical when the roach infestation is high. When the infestation level is low, you might not get that smell.
If there are too many roaches hiding in one particular area of your home then you’ll get that pungent musty odor.
The smell can also come from roach nests. It’s because many roaches and their babies live there together.
How To Lure A Cockroach Out Of Hiding – 3 Easy Ways
Setting up homemade DIY lures with food mixed with roach killers like boric acid, commercial cockroach baits, and sticky traps are the best ways to attract a cockroach out of hiding.
These three ways work well when you keep them near the cockroaches’ hiding places.
If you see a cockroach in your room and can’t find it, then use the methods you’re about to learn to lure a cockroach out and entrap it.
So, how to use them? Let’s find it out.
Commercial Cockroach Baits
Commercial cockroach baits, readily available, are the easiest and most effective ways to lure roaches out of hiding.
These roach baits have a scent that triggers the neurological system in the roaches, tricking them into thinking that there’s food around.
When the roaches consume it, they die.
There are also gel baits available that don’t emit any smell. These baits also work.
However, you’ll have to keep them where you see the highest roach activity. Also, you’ll need to use the gel bait near the cracks and gaps on the walls where roaches can hide.
But there are two drawbacks to using these roach baits.
First, they’re not a cure for a full-blown cockroach infestation in your home.
Second, these roach baits are poisonous. And it can be harmful to pets and children too.
So, you’ve to be very careful in using them.
DIY Lures With Food And Boric Acid
You can easily and quickly make DIY lures that act as traps to catch a cockroach or to lure cockroaches out of hiding.
These homemade traps are very effective in catching multiple roaches at once.
And you can make them with the help of products in your home right now.
The easiest DIY lure is the jar trap.
Take a glass jar, rub petroleum jelly in the interiors, put some stale food, preferably cooked fish or meat, and pour boric acid into the jar.
Keep the jar trap near the places where roaches hide.
Roaches inside the house are most active in the kitchen because the kitchen is the source of food and moisture.
So, you can keep the jar trap in cabinets, pantry shelves, kitchen cupboards, storage, and underneath the kitchen sink.
The smell of the food draws the roaches out of hiding. And the roaches sneak inside the jar.
They consume the food along with boric acid. And boric acid is a proven roach killer.
Boric acid doesn’t kill roaches instantly. It takes at least 24 hours for the roaches to die after consuming the boric acid.
Another method is using duct tape with food mixed with boric acid.
Keep the sticky side of the duct tape. And mix boric acid with foods like fish, meat, or peanut butter and keep it on duct tape.
It’ll work in the same way as the jar trap work. Many roaches will get stuck on the duct tape.
However, there’s a catch.
You’ll need to keep the traps before going to bed. Nocturnal roaches will venture out of hiding when the lights are off.
You can dispose of the traps with roaches in them the next morning.
You can also use a Raid spray to kill the roaches stuck on the traps.
These DIY lures and traps draw roaches that you saw and disappeared.
Sticky traps entrap the roaches when they step on them. These sticky traps have glue that makes the roach get stuck when it walks on it.
So, to make it work, you’ll have to keep the sticky traps along the edges of the walls and at the roach hiding places.
There are sticky traps that draw roaches out of hiding.
These sticky traps contain pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals that roaches emit to communicate with other roaches when they find a food source or a hiding place.
The pheromone smell from the sticky trap lures the roaches out. And when the roaches step on it, they get stuck.
You’ll also have to keep the sticky traps overnight to make them work.
Dispose of the roach traps with roaches stuck on them the next day.
What Smells Keep Cockroaches Away?
Smells of white vinegar, cinnamon, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil keep roaches away. These are effective roach repellants.
The smell of cedar balls also keeps roaches away. Many homeowners keep cedar balls in places like kitchen cabinets and closets to ward off roaches.
Cedar balls repel not only roaches but also fabric pests like cloth moths.
Another trick to keep roaches away is to mix equal portions of white vinegar and water. And spray it on the places where roaches hide.
Roaches cannot tolerate the severe acidic smell of white vinegar, and they’ll move out from their hiding places.
When it comes to using the smells of essential oils to keep roaches away, it’s an easy task too!
All you’ve to do is mix 3-5 drops of any one of cinnamon, peppermint, or eucalyptus essential oils with half a gallon of water.
To add more punch to it, add a few drops of Dawn dishwashing soap.
Rinse the mixture well and pour it on a spray bottle.
It’s a proven fact that sprays made out of peppermint, cinnamon, and eucalyptus have insecticidal properties that repel pests and bugs. And roaches are no exception.
The smell from these sprays are too strong for them to handle. On spraying them in the hiding places can drive the roaches out of hiding.
But there’s one key point to remember. Essential oils, white vinegar, and cinnamon do not kill roaches or bugs. They repel roaches.
Are Cockroaches Dangerous?
Yes, cockroaches are dangerous, and they’re a serious threat to human health. Cockroaches are allergen and disease carriers that can negatively impact your health and well-being.
Cockroaches are scavengers that thrive in human homes with a lot of food waste and dampness.
As per the United States Environmental Protection Agency, cockroaches can even get onto your food and pass the pathogens that cause diseases like salmonella, dysentery, diarrhea, cholera, and many others.
Cockroaches also cause allergies. The dried particles in the cockroach poop and shed skin can suspend themselves in the air and enter your respiratory system.
These roach allergens are extremely harmful to little children, the elderly, and people with asthmatic problems.
Roaches don’t bite. But they can scrub off their bodies against your skin. That can transfer the pathogens that they’re carrying.
And if they do it on ruptured skin or a wound, it can cause severe infection.
National Pest Management Association categorically mentioned in their reports that 63% of US households have cockroach allergens impacting human health. In urban areas, the number is higher, ranging between 78% and 98% of homes.
So, it’s vital that you eliminate a cockroach infestation in your home by hiring a pest controller, but also remove dead cockroaches inside the house.
There are three ways to lure cockroaches out of hiding –
- Cockroach baits
- DIY lures with foods mixed with boric acid
- Sticky cockroach traps
This guide revealed the signs or roaches and the places where they hide in your home. Both the information will help you in using the methods with precision to get out the hiding cockroaches and remove them.
But remember that these tactics will not remove a cockroach infestation in your home.
If there are recurring sightings of cockroaches in your home and property, then it’d best to hire a pest controller for at least a home inspection.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.