Where do roaches hide? It’s a tougher question than it seems.
Because cockroaches aren’t like most other creatures we encounter day-to-day. They’re tiny survival machines. And a big part of what makes them so tough to control or kill – or even spot before you’ve got an infestation – is their ability to hide so well. And do it so much.
Cockroaches can actually hide just about anywhere, so long as:
- They’re near food.
- They’re near water.
- They’re sheltered from things they fear.
Add those things together and you’ve got a lot of cockroach hiding places, including some that wouldn’t necessarily occur to you.
But knowing what they need also makes finding cockroach hiding places easier. Because you know how to track them down – in bathrooms, kitchens, living spaces, and some of the less frequently used areas of your home.
Let’s take a closer look at this important first step in cockroach control…
Where Roaches Hide in Bathrooms
Where do cockroaches hide in bathrooms? With lots of water, even in places you might not guess, roaches flourish in bathrooms and find plenty of places to hide in them:
- Bathroom Sinks, Tubs and Toilets: Cockroaches love hiding under sinks, which are great sources of water. And they like drains, pipes, and the gaps in walls around pipes for the same reason. You’ll find them around tubs and toilets, which are particularly attractive not just for the water that drips, collects, and condenses around them. But for the soap residue, toilet paper lint, dead skin, and hair that accumulate nearby (and that they eat).
- Bathroom Tiles and Baseboards: If your bathroom tiles and the caulking around them are cracked, roaches may squeeze themselves into the empty space.
- Bathroom Cabinets: In bathroom cabinets, roaches may set up camp at the back, where they can snack on soap and toilet paper undisturbed.
Where Roaches Hide in Kitchens
Where do roaches hide in kitchens? With easy access to food, water, and warmth, you’ll find roaches hiding in obvious places, as well as areas you might not suspect:
- Kitchen Cupboards and Counter Tops: You’ll often find roaches hiding in kitchen cupboards, typically in the corners, or in the space between the shelves and wall where they’re difficult to see. Drawn to drips and puddled water, you’ll often find roaches hiding beneath dish mats and drying racks. And find them lurking all but invisibly in the gap between the kitchen counter and the cabinet below.
- Kitchen Appliances: You may find cockroaches hiding behind (as well as inside) every appliance in your kitchen: Refrigerators, dishwashers, dryers, washing machines, ovens, water heaters, coffee makers, microwaves, blenders, and toasters. Refrigerators are a favorite hiding place for roaches because the voids behind and underneath them are dark, warm, and full of water from condensation (thanks to the refrigerator’s motor). They’re also areas where food crumbs, spills, and bits of pet food typically collect. Likewise, the voids under and behind dishwashers provide lots of warmth, water, and spilled or forgotten food -and become roach infested quickly.
- Ovens and Stove Tops: With plenty of warmth and crumbs to eat, ovens and stove tops are a bonanza for roaches, and make prime cockroach infestation areas. If you have a stove with a top that flips up, you just might find cockroaches living there. They often set up shop inside the oven’s clock and electronics too, where the warmth and tight quarters make them feel safe.
- Pictures and Decorations: Cockroaches aren’t attracted to kitchen art, but they do like the voids behind pictures and other decorations. Even lifting a corner here or there can sometimes send them scurrying.
Where Roaches Hide in Work and Living Areas
Where do cockroaches hide where you work and live? “Everywhere” wouldn’t exactly be incorrect, but certain work and living “trouble spots” are worth a second look:
- Desk and Computer Areas: If you eat at your desk and your home is infested, there are probably cockroaches hiding out behind your computer. You may not see them during the day, but at night they’ll come out to snack on the tasty crumbs that have fallen into your keyboard.
- Furniture: Cockroaches are comfortable inside and underneath furniture. They may even lay their eggs there. On shelves, you can expect to find them behind whatever the shelf is holding, including books, pictures, and knickknacks.
- Pictures and Mirrors: Cockroaches will hide on the backsides of posters, mounted pictures, and wall mirrors. Less moisture-dependent than other species, Brown Banded cockroaches are particularly likely to be hiding behind pictures, especially those hung higher up, where the temperature is warmer.
- Closets: Cockroaches hide readily in closets, which are kept dark for long periods, and visited less frequently than other rooms. If you don’t see them on the walls, the ceiling, or the floor when you peek inside, look on the inside of the door, especially where it meets the wall, frame, or paneling.
- Walls, Wallpaper, and Electrical Covers: Roaches frequently wedge themselves into light fixtures and find their way inside electrical outlet covers. If there’s a tear in your wallpaper, cockroaches are happy to crawl right in behind it. And if there are holes, cracks and crevices, or air vents in your walls, cockroaches will find them and climb right in.
- Ceilings: Some species, most notably the Brown Banded cockroach, like to hang out on ceilings, especially in dark rooms. They wont be hiding when it’s dark, but if you turn on the lights, they’ll scurry into the molding or into cracks behind the trim.
Where Else Do Roaches Hide?
Where do they hide where you may not encounter them as much? And what overall are some of the worst trouble spots?
- Basements: Certain cockroaches in the United States, like American and Oriental cockroaches, can withstand cooler temperatures, and like to hide in basements. They both also live in sewers which connect to the basements of commercial spaces, such as restaurants. If you find a cockroach living in your basement, it’s probably one of these.
- Attics: Some species may hide out in attics, especially if there are leaky pipes to drink from, and cardboard boxes to use for food. When they aren’t living in the ceiling itself, they wedge themselves behind baseboards. Or in the cracks where baseboards meet. Or behind door and window trim.
- Clutter: Clutter may be an eyesore to you. But for cockroaches, it means food and protection. They not only hide in it, but find things to eat in it. And if it holds any newspaper, cardboard, or paper of any kind, they’ll eat it, including the glue that holds cardboard boxes together and seals envelopes shut.
- Trash: Trash is a cockroach’s favorite thing and they’ll hide in it whenever they find it. Look for cockroaches wherever trash accumulates, and wherever it’s been, including the bottoms of trash cans, and the walls, electrical outlets, and baseboards that are behind them.
Getting Rid of Cockroach Hiding Places
Finding cockroach hiding spots is a start. But you’ll want to get rid of them and keep them from infesting those areas again. We tell you elsewhere how to find them, and how to kill them, but here’s how to begin making your home a much less comfortable place for roaches to hide:
- Get Rid of Easily-Accessed Water: Whether it’s drips, drops, or puddles, roaches need water to survive, and you’ll want to find out where they’re getting it. Find water, and if your home is infested, there are sure to be roaches hiding somewhere nearby. Seal any leaks you find, clean up standing water, then wrap and seal exposed pipes.
- Remove Food Sources: Where do roaches hide when they can’t find food? To somebody else’s house. Clean up spills and crumbs everywhere, including hard-to-reach areas under refrigerators and stoves. Then keep food sealed and stored in air-tight containers.
- Seal Up Your House: You may not be able to make your house totally inhospitable to roaches (after all, you like warmth and comfort, too). But you can do things to keep them out, like creating barriers at entry points that keep them from getting inside. Seal holes and cracks in your outside walls, and fill gaps along window sills and door frames.
Frequently Asked Questions
Typically they do not. Cockroaches prefer kitchens and bathrooms, where there’s ample food and water. The only roach that actively targets other parts of the home- the Brown-Banded cockroach- prefers to hide high up on walls or ceilings.
However, furniture often offers a safe, warm place to lay eggs, so it’s never a bad idea to double check your furniture, including your bed, if you discover you have a roach infestation. Afraid you might have bed bugs? You might want to find out here.
Cockroaches hiding in your clothes is unlikely, unless they’ve infested your dresser drawers. Most roaches prefer kitchens and bathrooms to the drier parts of your home. That being said, if you have a severe infestation, the population can spill over into other areas of the house. In a pinch, a dresser drawer might serve as a safe hiding place for cockroaches.
Yes. Finding roaches in electronics is not uncommon, including computers, TV’s, and game consoles. They like the warmth and darkness they can find within electronic devices.
Where do roaches hide? In all the places you don’t want them.
If you suspect cockroaches in your house, it’s critical to find out where they’re lurking. And take steps to get them out. It’s equally important to find out how they got in, so you can stop them from getting in again.
With just a little know-how about pest control, the next time a cockroach hides in your home, you’ll be more than ready to find it. And make that visit its last.