Cartoon illustration of a cockroach sneaking into a crack in the wall

Finding Cockroach Hiding Spots Using Inspection Techniques and Sticky Traps

Additional Time: 5 days
Active Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 5 days 2 hours

Cockroaches owe a lot of their success to their ability to escape and hide, which means that the only real way to control them is to first find them, then hit them where they live.

In this Roach-Free Recipe, you'll learn where cockroaches are living in your home. Then you'll make a record of those locations to use in a plan that hits them hard.

Also see: A Simple 5-Step Guide For Getting Rid of Roaches.


  • Cockroach sticky traps (baited)


  • Flashlight
  • Pen and notebook
  • Piece of chalk
  • Handheld mirror or light stick (optional)
  • Knee pads (optional)
  • Step stool (optional)


A. Purchase Supplies and Read Product Labels and Instructions

  1. Purchase a flashlight and a notebook if you don't already own them.
  2. Purchase a 10-piece set of sticky traps. More if you'll be inspecting a large area.
  3. Consider buying a handheld mirror or a mirrored light stick. These are useful for inspecting corners and hard-to-see places.
  4. Consider buying a step stool and a pair of knee pads. The step stool will keep you safe and the pads will save your knees.
  5. Consider buying a face mask if you have allergies - you may be stirring up some dust.
  6. Read the instructions that accompanied your sticky traps and tools.

B. Know What to Look for

  1. Living or dead roaches
  2. Cockroach droppings
  3. A stale, musty smell
  4. Old, molted exoskeletons

C. Conduct the Inspection and Place Traps

  1. You'll be inspecting your space room-by-room. When you find signs of infestation, you'll jot the location down in your notebook, mark the area itself with a piece of chalk, then set a sticky trap, which you'll return to in several days.
  2. In the Kitchen
  3. Start with the refrigerator, moving it away from the wall if you can. Using your flashlight or mirrored light stick, examine the floor area beneath it and the walls behind and beside it. Look at the fridge itself, including the top, sides and underside (if possible). Examine the motor, the cord, the condenser coils, and where it plugs into the wall. Examine the rubber liner inside the door.
  4. Using the same approach, look behind and underneath the stove, only moving it if safe. Lift the stove top and inspect the burner areas. Check the insulation of the oven.
  5. Check inside and around your stove's ventilation hood, especially gaps around the edges.
  6. Look behind, underneath, and around the microwave, coffee maker, blender, toaster, toaster oven, and other counter top appliances.
  7. Look underneath the dishwasher and into any gaps on either side.
  8. Using your step stool, remove food, dishes, and other items from cupboards, and examine exterior and interior surfaces, including undersides and corners. Also use the opportunity to inspect and throw away any infested food.
  9. Open drawers and remove contents. Inspect surfaces, including slider mechanisms, fixtures, and undersides. Pay special attention to corners and deep recesses.
  10. Examine the area around the sink, especially the gaps at the top and along the sides of the back splash
  11. Open up under-sink cabinets and remove any items stored there. Examine interior surfaces, pipes, the holes where pipes enter, and the underside of your sink. Crouch down and examine where the kick plate meets the floor.
  12. Check the undersides of kitchen chairs and furniture.
  13. Look behind any wall clocks, behind wall calendars, and behind any other paper on the walls,
  14. Check the inside and underside of pet food bowls and under any mats beneath them.
  15. Look inside kitchen garbage cans, beneath, and behind them.
  16. Check storage areas where you keep mops, buckets,and things made of cardboard.
  17. In the Bathroom
  18. Check inside cupboards, medicine cabinets and vanity and inspect visible surfaces, especially where there are drips or condensation. Check pipes, mounting hardware, and the areas around them.
  19. Check any areas where paper goods such as toilet paper are stored.
  20. Check door hinges.
  21. Look under the bathroom scale.
  22. Scan the bathroom for exposed pipes, especially where they emerge from walls.
  23. Examine sinks, counter tops, shower heads, bathtubs, and toilets. Not only obvious surfaces, but undersides, lips, edges, recesses, and caulking, then using your flashlight, peer into the sink and bathtub drain. Check underneath the lid of the toilet reservoir and around the water intake valve.
  24. Using your step stool and flashlight, check bathroom vents, vent covers, flaps, fans, and light fixtures.
  25. Check the floor for loose or damaged tile or flooring, especially where it meets the wall or fixtures.
  26. In the Basement and Laundry Room
  27. Look for cracks in the foundation and holes or cracks in walls. Peer inside the cracks themselves and immediately around them.
  28. Check corners of walls, especially down low.
  29. Examine washers, dryers, hot water tanks, and the areas around, underneath, and behind them.
  30. Examine floor drains and grates.
  31. Check dryer exhaust vents and any other holes in the walls,
  32. Examine pipes as they enter and exit walls, and look beneath insulation wrapping them.
  33. Around the House
  34. Check behind pictures, posters, wall hangings, mirrors, and wall-mounted clocks. Look under and on top of picture moldings.
  35. Examine electrical outlets, light switches, circuit breaker boxes, baseboards, and electric baseboard heaters.
  36. Check spaces where radiator pipes enter the wall.
  37. Remove books from bookshelves and examine both books and shelves.
  38. Examine the interiors of closets, cabinets, and linen closets, particularly those with cardboard boxes.
  39. Shine your flashlight inside televisions, radios, computers, air conditioners, and video game consoles.
  40. Examine the seams of upholstered furniture where crumbs and spills accumulate.
  41. Examine live plants, including the pots, soil, and the plant itself.
  42. Check around door frames and hinges.
  43. Look behind curtains and inside pleats.
  44. Examine wallpaper and paneling, especially areas that are loose, curled, or pulling free.
  45. Check areas that have lots of paper such as saved newspapers, magazine collections, books, photographs, and cardboard boxes. Open filing cabinets and poke around.
  46. Look around the fireplace, especially around cracks, gaps, and loose mortar. Move loose firewood, then examine the bark and wood debris underneath it.
  47. Using your step stool, look inside overhead light fixtures and check around the motor areas of ceiling fans.
  48. Using your knee pads and flashlight, check the voids beneath stairs.
  49. Outside
  50. Using your flashlight, look inside gaps where gas and water lines come into the house.
  51. Check behind, in gaps underneath, and around air conditioning units and garbage receptacles.
  52. Poke mulch and wood piles with a stick.

Double-Check Your Traps

  1. If you forgot to place any traps, go ahead and do it now. If you forgot to note locations in your notebook, or mark locations with a piece of chalk, do that now, too.
  2. Suggested next step: Killing Roaches with Insecticidal Dust


Put on some old work clothes before you begin. You may get a little dirty.

Don't place traps near areas like stove tops where they could combust.

Write A Comment

Skip to Instructions