Illustration of n Oriental cockroach under a magnifying glass on the floor of a cellar

How to Find Cockroaches

Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour

If you find a cockroach in your home, you'll want to act fast. Cockroaches not only hide so well you're unlikely to ever see most of them, but multiply quickly. In this printable step-by-step guide you're going to discover how to find a cockroach infestation, beginning with kitchen and bathroom areas - two hot spots for roach infestations.


  • Old clothing
  • Ziploc bag


Here's what you'll be looking for: The signs that cockroaches leave behind:

  1. Roach droppings and body parts
  2. Cockroach eggs
  3. Dead or living roaches
  4. A pungent, oily odor

In the Kitchen

  1. Use a strong, easily held flashlight to look behind and underneath the refrigerator. If possible, move the fridge to get an unobstructed view of the floor.
  2. Inspect the back of the refrigerator, especially the coils and motor area where roaches often congregate around the warmth.
  3. Look behind and underneath the stove. Lift the stove top and inspect the burner areas.
  4. Look behind, underneath, and around the microwave, coffee maker, or other counter top appliances.
  5. Look underneath the dishwasher and into any gaps on either side.
  6. Using your step stool, remove food and other contents from your cupboards. Examine the surface of each shelf, including undersides and rear corners. Before putting items back, examine them closely, too.
  7. Open all drawers and remove contents. Inspect all items and surfaces, including roller and slider fixtures.
  8. 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 kitchen sink.

In the Bathroom

  1. Open your bathroom cabinets or vanity and remove the contents. Check surfaces, especially those with drips or condensation. Check water and drain pipes, especially where they attach to the sink.
  2. Examine all other exposed pipes and gaps where they emerge from walls.
  3. Examine sink and bathtub drains.
  4. Check gaps, cracks, and holes around bathtubs, showers, and toilets.
  5. Using your step stool, check bathroom vents, vent covers, and flaps.

Around the House

  1. Check behind pictures, posters, wall hangings, and wall-mounted clocks.
  2. Examine the surfaces of electrical outlets, light switches, and electric baseboard heaters.
  3. Examine wall paper, especially areas that are loose, curled, or pulling free.
  4. Check areas that have lots of paper - saved newspapers, magazine collections, collections of books, old photographs, or cardboard boxes. Really poke around.
  5. Using your step stool, look inside overhead light fixtures and check around the motor areas of ceiling fans.


Use a paint brush to brush debris samples onto a white index card. This can help you isolate roach debris from typical dust, crumbs, or dirt. If you find a dead cockroach or a cockroach egg, place it in a Ziploc bag to either identify it later, or to show to a pest control professional.


  1. I have cockroaches in 5he dishwasher bought
    Borax , will mix it with sugar and water. Any other ideas for me?

    • Andrew

      Hi Jo Ellen, Try to examine all your dishwasher’s seals for gaps that could be letting roaches in. Also pay close attention to the gaps and voids between your dishwasher and the cabinets beside it, or between the dishwasher and the floor.

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