How To Know If Roaches Are In Walls – 4 Signs That You Should Never Ignore

Early stages of roach infestation can be hard to spot. It’s because these nasty critters hide in the most unimaginable places in your home.

And one of those is your walls and ceilings.

This guide will reveal why roaches in walls can be a sign of burgeoning roach infestation in your home.

You’ll also learn how to know if roaches are in walls and the ways to get rid of them from the walls.

Keep reading.

Why Roaches Get Inside Walls

Believe or not, crevices on walls and ceilings can be the safest places for roaches, especially when the walls are damp.

These places provide them the darkness and moisture roaches need to survive.

Cracks develop on walls of your kitchen, basement, and bathroom because of excessive usage of water.

Leakages in the home’s foundation also plays a role in increasing the overall dampness of your home.

This increase in dampness damages the floor, walls, and ceiling.

Hence cracks develop.

When roaches sneak inside homes looking for food and shelter, they’ll target the places cracks on the damp places.

So, they sneak inside these wall cracks.

Most of the time, roaches will hide in the wall cracks of your kitchen.

It’s because there’s enough food waste and food stains in your kitchen for the roaches to eat.

These hiding cockroaches will come out during the night and can also target your food stored in the kitchen pantry.

Apart from your kitchen, roaches can also hide in the wall crevices of your bathroom.

Organic wastes, like hair and broken nails, and toilet paper are some of the things that roaches will feed on your bathroom.

Inside the bathroom, roaches will also hide in the crevices underneath sinks and bathtub.

These places are damp and dark and keeps them safe during the day.

Roaches In Walls – The Four Signs That Are Easy To Overlook

How to know if roaches are in walls

Roaches inside homes will exploit every tight gap and crevices to hide. Most species of roaches hide in the cracks near damp surfaces, except the German roaches.

And they’ll also hide inside the cracks on the walls.

Cockroaches are nocturnal. They do most of their activities at night.

During the day, roaches prefer to lay dormant and hide.

So, it can be tricky to find out if roaches are hiding in the walls during the day.

But there are signs that are right there for you to see and hear to confirm cockroaches’ presence inside walls

Here are the four signs that tell you roaches are in walls –

  1. Roaches crawling in and out of the wall cracks
  2. Cockroach stains on the walls
  3. Sounds of scratching coming from inside the walls
  4. Dead roaches on the floor

Let’s get into each of these reasons.

Physical Sighting Of Roaches Crawling In and Out Of The Cracks In The Wall

There’s no sure-shot sign of roaches in walls other than physical sightings of alive cockroaches coming in and out of the walls. 

Now, what type of roaches will choose which rooms to hide depends on the roach species.

For example, walls belonging to areas of your home with high dampness, like the bathroom and kitchen, will harbor oriental roaches and American roaches.

It’s because these roaches prefer to hide in highly moist areas.

In contrast, walls belonging to dry rooms of your home, like the bedroom and living room, will harbor the German roaches.

Cockroach Stains On Walls

Cockroach smear marks on the walls

Cockroach stains on walls are the wet poop marks that roaches leave behind.

These poop marks, also known as cockroach smear marks, on the walls are an undeniable sign of roach presence. 

You’ll find roach smear marks on the walls of damp places in your home, like on the walls of the bathroom, basement, kitchen, and laundry room.

And cockroaches that live in damp places, such as the American roach and the oriental roach, discard liquid poop in the form of smear marks.


It’s because they eat wet filth.

Roaches can randomly defecate anywhere. But most of the time their smear marks are near their nesting or hiding places.

The baby roaches, and at times the adult roaches, feed on their feces and their dead when they run out of food sources.

Sounds From Inside The Wall

Now don’t get this wrong. Roaches that infest homes don’t make sounds audible to humans. 

But roaches crawling inside the wall can produce a chirping sound which at times is audible. 

That happens when there are many roaches or an entire colony of roaches hiding in the walls. 

In a home with a heavy roach infestation, this is quite common, especially behind false walls and false ceilings.

The area behind wallpapers and false walls are ideal places for the roaches to hide. 

Give these roaches the tiniest and the thinnest of gaps, and they’ll capitalize on the opportunity to sneak in and hide.

Dead Roaches On The Floor

Many roaches die in their nests because of various reasons.

The roaches that are alive will eat their dead or they can also evict the half-eaten dead bodies out of their hiding places.

So, if you find dead roaches lying on the floor, then there can be a roach nest on the wall cracks above the floor.

If you see dead roaches near drywalls or wallpaper, then chances for roaches being present in them are high.

How To Get Rid Of Roaches In The Walls In 5 Steps

How to get rid of roaches in walls

Getting rid of roaches in the walls is an easy task. 

But there’s a catch.

Roaches in the walls are a clear indication of heavy roach infestation. 

So, getting rid of roaches only in the walls isn’t a long-term solution against the roach infestation in your entire home. 

Fix Any Water Leakages Around The Walls Where Roaches Hide

The bathroom, kitchen, and basement are already damp because water usage in these places is relatively higher than in other rooms of your home.

Water leakage in the plumbing area of these rooms in your home is quite regular.

And American and oriental roaches love to hide and nest near damp places.

So, the first step is to fix the water leakages. 

That’ll deny the roaches the amount of water they need to survive. 

Clean The Rooms Where Roaches Are Hiding In The Walls

Roaches feed on filth and organic waste. That’s why your bathroom and kitchen are the prime places for cockroaches to hide.

Both these areas of your home have an abundant supply of food waste and organic waste like hair and nails. 

Clean these places and ensure that there are no food stains left behind. Food stains and edible oil stains attract roaches too. 

It’d be best if you use a disinfectant mixed with peppermint essential oil to clean the hard surfaces of the rooms where you’ve spotted roaches in the walls.

Roaches hate the smell of peppermint oil and eucalyptus oils. It repels them.

Cleaning the rooms whose walls are harboring roaches will cut off the supply of food to these roaches.

Use Anti-Roach Spray In The Gaps And Cracks Of The Walls

Now that you’ve denied roaches both water and food, it’s time to get on the offensive. 

And the best way to do it is to spray a lethal and strong anti-roach spray like Ortho Home Defense in the gaps of the walls to kill the roaches.

Ortho Home Defense spray kills roaches on contact instantly. 

But please do read the instructions on the label and take the necessary precautions while using the spray. 

Keep Cockroach Baits To Trap The Remaining Roaches

cockroaches stuck on cockroach bait

Roaches are slimy creatures. 

In the above three steps, there must be a bunch of roaches that might have escaped, which you would overlook. 

Leaving them alive isn’t a good option because these roaches will find new hiding places in your home. 

And they’d start to breed and spread fast. 

Cockroach baits come in handy to tackle the problem. 

Cockroach baits will lure the roaches that escaped. These roach baits contain roach-killing poison, which is lethal for them.

Keep these roach baits near the gaps and cracks on the walls where you’ve spotted the roaches.

Also, place the baits on places where roaches scourge for food. 

Some places to keep baits are below the sinks, near the oven and stove, below kitchen countertops, inside the bathroom vanity, and near your bathtub and toilet basin. 

But if you spot any alive roaches, either squish it to death under your shoes or spray an anti-roach spray directly on it. 

Finally, Seal The Gaps And Cracks On The Walls

Once you’re through with the above steps, you’d find dead roaches all around and inside the gaps of the walls.

Get rid of the dead roaches because dead roaches attract more cockroaches

Pull out the dead roaches inside the gaps on the walls with a fork, and discard them.

Now, seal those gaps and cracks on the walls with a silicone-based sealant

You would need a caulk gun to do the sealing. 

Silicone-based sealants are strong, and they last for at least a decade. 

The best part is roaches can’t eat through it. 

How To Get Rid Of Roaches In False Walls?

When it comes to roaches living in false walls, things might not be as straightforward as killing roaches in the standard walls.

You’d need to tear down the entire false wall and spray an insecticide spray on them. 

But in most instances, a massive number of cockroaches hide behind false walls. 

And that means heavy roach infestation. 

When there’s a heavy roach infestation inside your home, hiring a pest controller is always the best choice. 

It’s because roaches are tough, and they don’t die quickly with natural methods. 

Also, the effect of natural methods takes time. 

When the infestation level is low, then you can use natural methods to kill and repel roaches. 

But with a heavy cockroach infestation, DIY ways of getting rid of roaches won’t work.

You’d need an expert to do the job. 

That’s why we didn’t recommend any natural methods to get rid of roaches in the walls. 

In a way, roaches in the walls are a sign of heavy roach infestation. 


Roaches hide in the crevices that develop on the walls. Their primary targets are the walls of your kitchen and bathroom, where the water usage is high.

But when the infestation levels increase, they can be inside the cracks of walls in the other areas of your home too.

These four signs tell you that there are roaches in walls –

  1. Roaches crawling in and out of the wall cracks
  2. Cockroach stains on the walls
  3. Sounds of scratching coming from inside the walls
  4. Dead roaches on the floor

These signs can be hard to spot when the infestation levels are low.

This guide has a five-step guide to eliminate roaches in walls when the infestation levels are low.

When infestation levels are high, it’s always best to hire a pest controller to eliminate roaches in your home.

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