A cockroach is an insect with a reputation that precedes it. Even if you’ve never encountered one in the flesh, you probably have a pretty good idea of what cockroaches are like.
And the chances are that you haven’t heard good things.
But while cockroaches may be approaching Kardashian levels of fame, they are actually quite shy. A cockroach’s main defense against predation is its speed, but they also take great care to stay hidden.
To that end, they are active mostly at night, only coming out when the lights are out. That’s why they are notorious for scattering when the light gets turned on.
Where Do Roaches Hide?
Cockroaches aren’t the smallest insects out there. In fact, some species, like the American cockroach, are enormous by insect standards.
But despite their size, cockroaches are very good at hide and seek. They have a fear of light and of open spaces, and will squeeze themselves into small cracks and crevices wherever possible.
When you find a place where cockroaches hang out, known as an aggregation, it can be quite shocking to see just how tightly they will pack themselves into a small area.
Cockroaches don’t suffer from claustrophobia, and they love nothing more than to hang out with their extended family.
Maybe you’ve seen a cockroach in your home. Or maybe you just want to make sure that you don’t have any unwanted houseguests.
Either way, you may find yourself wondering where cockroaches hide in a home. This list is not exhaustive.
The truth is, cockroaches can hide in a great many places. And since there are a few different species that will infest human homes, there are more than a few different places to find them.
But the following list will give you locate the usual haunts of these dirty little creatures so you can get started on your seek and destroy mission.
Ready to get started? Here are the most common places roaches like to live…
Roaches Hide Behind the Fridge
This is cockroach central. German cockroaches in particular love to hide behind fridges, and it’s not hard to see why.
With a running motor for heat, pipes that sweat condensation, and darkness round-the-clock, the back of the fridge fits every need a cockroach has for its home. Being close to a drip catchment tray under fridge is a cockroach equivalent of a great school district.
Also, sometimes food gets spilled behind a fridge and doesn’t get cleaned up. If you’re on the hunt for cockroaches in your home, the first thing you should do is pull out the fridge and check behind it.
Tip: Not only should you check behind it – behind the fridge is one of the best spots to strategically place a little cockroach bait gel. The best one is Advion’s Cockroach Gel Bait, which is one of the most potent roach killers on the market.
Roaches Hide in Kitchen Cabinets
Cockroaches infest human homes in search of two things above all else: food and shelter. Kitchen cabinets can provide for all those needs.
The cracks and crevices where wooden panels and doors meet provide cockroaches with all the space they need to hide and lay eggs. And being close to food is a big plus for them.
Of course, it goes without saying that Advion’s Cockroach Gel Bait comes in very handy in kitchen cabinets as well.
Roaches Hide Under the Sink
Make sure to check under sinks in both kitchens and bathrooms. Water pipes are one of the main sources of cockroach infestation, since the bugs can follow these pipes through the house.
More importantly, condensation collects on the outside of water pipes and is an excellent source of water for cockroaches. Cockroaches can live for months without eating, but they won’t last more than a week without water.
So most species, including the common German cockroach, like to stay close to a water source at all times.
Roaches Hide Behind Baseboards
Cockroaches can fit through gaps as small as 1/16 of an inch. The space under baseboards can often be more than enough for them to squeeze underneath and hide.
German cockroaches will generally stay close to kitchens, where there’s food and water, or bathrooms, to enjoy the high humidity.
But other species, such as the brown-banded cockroach, are more likely to be found throughout the house.
Tip: Because baseboards are such a popular hiding spot and they’re generally not a very well-trafficked zone in the house (by humans and pets), they make one of the best spots to sprinkle diatomaceous earth, an all natural cockroach killer.
Roaches Hide Under Countertops
The small gap where your countertops sits on top of your cabinets may not look like much, but it’s a fine place for cockroaches to hide.
It stays dark all day long, and it’s nice and close to any food that gets left on the counter.
Roaches Hide in Electrical Outlets
Most electrical outlets and light switches should be fitted tightly enough to the wall the cockroaches can’t get behind them.
What often happens is that they will squeeze between the gap caused by something being plugged into the wall.
Multi-outlet devices are particularly prone to this, since they are large and tend to stay plugged into one outlet for long periods.
Again, in and behind electrical outlets are an ideal place to apply diatomaceous earth to kill roaches living there.
Roaches Hide Behind the Stove
Cockroaches like heat, but they are unlikely to live inside the cooking compartment of your stove. The heat of cooking would prove too much for them.
However, they commonly live behind the stove, where food spills can happen without you even knowing it.
Some old electric stoves have a flip top that hides the fuses. This is a prime cockroach habitat, since many homeowners don’t even know it’s there. It allows them to hide in darkness and yet be close to a regular source of food.
Roaches Hide Near the Dishwasher
Dishwashers provide not only water but also food particles for cockroaches to feast on. Again, they won’t actually live in the dishwasher unless it never gets used.
But they will live behind and underneath it, scavenging off the water and food it provides.
Roaches Hide in Drains
So far, we’ve focused mostly on German cockroaches, since these are by far the most commonly encountered species in homes. But they are not the only species you may run into.
American cockroaches are more likely to live in industrial facilities and in sewers. But they can and do invade residential homes, and when they do, it’s often through the drains.
Like their German cousins, these cockroaches like areas of high humidity with abundant water. So check your drains, especially in basements. These can provide entry points for some very nasty guests.
Roaches Hide in Picture Frames
Brown-banded cockroaches look like German cockroaches, but their behaviors are subtly different. These cockroaches prefer high heat and lower humidity than many other species, which leads them to some unique aggregation patterns.
Brown-banded cockroaches tend to stay up high, where the air is warmer. They are often found behind picture frames throughout the house.
They are far more likely than German cockroaches to be found outside the kitchen or bathroom and could be in any room of the house.
You can’t kill what you can’t see. Knowing where to look for cockroaches is a skill that takes time to develop, but it is key to effective cockroach control.
The truth is, cockroaches can be almost anywhere in your home. But they like to stay close to food and water, so begin your search in areas that offer both.
Follow this list, and if there are any cockroaches in your home, chances are good you’ll find them in one of these places.