Cartoon illustration of an angry roach being excluded from entering a window

Prevent Future Roaches Through Exclusion

Active Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours

In this Roach-Free Recipe, you’ll learn how to prevent roaches through exclusion.
We’ll show you how to seal up cracks and crevices, removing all potential cockroach entry points and hiding spots. Plus, you’ll learn how to seal foods and other items so roaches can’t get to them.

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



  • Caulk and optional caulking gun
  • Tape measure
  • Weatherstripping
  • Foam sealant
  • Copper wool
  • Wrench
  • Anti-leak tape or glue
  • Drain stops with mesh or tiny holes


A. Purchase Materials

  1. Most of the materials on this list are available at grocery stores and supermarkets. You’ll find other items at your local home improvement store or, of course, online.

B. Seal All Potential Entry Points for Cockroaches

  1. Fill all cracks, crevices and holes you find in walls and floors with caulk to eliminate cockroach entry points.
  2. If necessary, move appliances away from walls to reach the high-risk areas behind and under them.
  3. Pay close attention to cracks in outdoor, ground-level walls, where outdoor roaches tend to enter.
  4. For larger holes—especially the gaps around pipes or wiring where these utilities enter a room—use expanding foam sealant. You can also further plug entrances with copper (or steel) wool.
  5. Measure doors with a tape measure and fit them with weatherstripping or a door sweep. You can also use soft draft stoppers as long as they provide a good seal.

C. Repair Leaks and Stop Drains

  1. Use a wrench to tighten leaky pipes inside sink cabinets. Fix dripping faucets. These become easy water sources for roaches (and create ugly stains over time).
  2. To seal stubborn leaks, dry the surface thoroughly and apply anti-leak tape or glue. Add drain covers to your bathtub, shower and sink drains to keep sewer roaches out. Make sure the covers are mesh or feature very tiny holes to prevent small roaches from crawling through.

D. Seal All Pantry Food and Items in Storage

  1. Seal all pantry items in hard plastic, metal or glass containers with tight-fitting lids. Loose bags and boxes might not keep roaches out.
  2. Choose hard, sealed containers to store leftovers in the fridge or at room temperature.
  3. Attach your garbage can’s lid to seal off one of a cockroach’s favorite food sources—the trash.
  4. Make sure your outside garbage can is sealed, too. If possible, store it away from your house to stop roaches from hanging around.
  5. Replace cardboard boxes in storage areas with plastic bins that feature lids. Store documents, books and other keepsakes in these containers, as roaches feed on starchy materials like paper and love laying eggs in boxes.


Exclusion is an ongoing project. Continue to monitor your home for cracks, holes and other damage, especially as the weather changes from season to season. Regular inspections will help prevent cockroaches from returning in the future.

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