How to Prevent Cockroaches in Your Bedroom

Cockroaches are known throughout the world. In addition to being dangerous to human health, they’re a prime nuisance both inside and outside the home. So how does one deal with cockroaches inside the household?

Cockroaches are scavengers. They eat decaying plant and animal matter, but they are also drawn to grease and oils, and even dead skin and hair. For cockroaches, the home holds a plentiful bounty of food, water, warmth, and shelter. Once inside, it could be very difficult to get cockroaches out of the house for good.

How do cockroaches get into the bedroom?

Cockroaches are drawn to warm, dark, and humid places. The warmer and darker, the better. However, they can adapt to cold temperatures if given enough time. They can fit in the very smallest of cracks and in fact, they prefer to be tightly wedged between things. They are able to squeeze into incredibly tight spaces by flattening themselves and splaying out their legs. This makes it possible for cockroaches to hide inside wall outlets, and even behind baseboards.

Roaches in the bedroom are certainly possible, even though it’s not an obvious source of food and water. The bedroom is full of dead skin and hair that many people often overlook.

Underneath dressers and inside closets are popular hiding spots for roaches, as it offers shelter and food – as long as you don’t clean those places.

And if you have roaches in your bedroom it’s obviously bad news. But can roaches climb walls and beds? The answer is yes (though some, like the Oriental cockroach, don’t climb as well as others). Roaches can climb many different types of surfaces, such as walls, furniture, and yes, even beds. On top of this innate climbing ability, many roaches can also fly (though not the Oriental cockroach). Not only is this terrifying, but it makes disposing of the roach very frustrating.

Signs of roaches inside the home

The most obvious sign that you may have cockroaches living in your home is seeing a cockroach. A close second, however, is the presence of roach feces. Cockroach droppings may be concentrated on the wall behind large appliances. Its appearance will vary depending on species, but it could resemble black pepper or coffee grounds, or be deposited as oval-shaped pellets or simply brown staining. A little bit of fecal matter may be indicative of one or two roaches, while a large collection of pellets or a widespread stain may mean you have an infestation.

Additionally, roaches tend to prefer the dark; seeing a roach at night isn’t too uncommon, especially in climates where roaches thrive. However, seeing a roach during the daytime may mean trouble, roaches are primarily nocturnal and don’t like being out during the day. A daytime roach may be scurrying from other roaches or looking for a territory of its own within your home.

Another probable sign that you have roaches is a musk-like smell. Some species of roach are notorious for emitting a foul-smelling odor, described as “oily” by some professionals. This smell is especially apparent when there are large numbers of cockroaches.

How to prevent cockroaches in bedroom spaces

Roaches in bedroom spaces is a terrifying prospect, especially if you’re familiar with the large and intimidating American cockroach. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to prevent roaches from thriving in your bedroom.

The first, and possibly the easiest, is to ensure a clean bedroom.

Cockroaches will eat pretty much everything, so cut off their food source of dead skin and hair by regular cleaning. You can also help prevent roaches by not bringing food into the bedroom as well.

Cockroach eating sandwich

Gan chaonan/Shutterstock.com

Crumbs that go unseen by you are picked up by cockroaches looking for their next meal. Another preventative measure is simply to keep an eye out for signs of roaches. Move large furniture, and clean behind them once in a while to snuff out cockroaches where they may be nesting.

How to keep roaches away while you sleep

Do roaches climb beds? Absolutely, and roaches in bed while you sleep is definitely not an ideal situation. Even with a clean sleeping space, roaches may still find their way into the bedroom. So many people wonder how to keep roaches away from bed areas but often are at a loss with how to do so without chemicals and sticky traps. Thankfully, there are some household tricks that will keep the roaches at bay, without fumigating your entire room.

Ensure that holes, cracks, and entry points are sealed; cockroaches are masters at squeezing into small spaces, and even a thin crack is enough to let them gain entry. If your windows are loose, ensure you replace them as soon as possible. Cover holes in the walls, and thoroughly seal doors and windows. You can also use essential oils. Peppermint oil is an effective cockroach repellent that you can mix with water and spray around the bed to keep roaches at bay. Catnip oil has also shown promise as a German cockroach repellent and a component of thyme oil is lethal to some German cockroach life stages. American cockroaches are further repelled by turmeric, ginger, clove, cinnamon, and lemon grass.

Bedding that drags on the floor should be picked up and tucked, and bed skirts should be put away. Any sort of hold a roach can grab, they will use to get into the warmth of your bed. And that is definitely not pleasant to wake up to.

Roaches are bad news, but you can prevent them

No one wants a cockroach in bed while sleeping soundly, but thankfully, there are multiple ways to prevent them. The first step to ensuring that cockroaches stay outside the home is always prevention. Ensure that you maintain a clean space so that cockroaches don’t have a place to hide and don’t come in for an easy meal. Watch for warning signs that may point to a cockroach infestation. Remember that roaches are not only incredibly sturdy, but can also fit in unlikely places, such as behind walls, within wall outlets, and even underneath carpets and rugs.

If you suspect that you may have a roach problem, it’s important to reach out to your local pest control to dispose of the roaches in a safe but effective manner. Cockroaches can spread infection and may trigger allergic reactions.

40 Comments

Peggy

Do outlet repellants get rid of cockroaches? Once I moved into a house, I had ants really bad and I got rid of them I started getting roaches. My landlord is a slump Lord. My cat killed 4 rats but won’t touch the roaches. I’m on a limited SSI check. What household items can I use and or mix or use to get rid of roaches? Ty

    Kristiana Kripena

    Ultrasonic cockroach repellents are largely ineffective for repelling roaches. I’d suggest you check out our article on getting rid of roaches. In this post, we listed all the best methods to help you get rid of these pests and among them are also some that are efficient yet also quite inexpensive.

    Sergio M

    There are a lot of roaches all over my apartment and I haven’t told the landlord due to the fact I don’t want him to think we are dirty people.we clean and clean but they always come back

    InsectCop

    Here are some tips on getting rid of cockroaches. However, you shouldn’t be ashamed to talk to your landlord. Especially, considering there’s a chance that the problem isn’t your apartment but rather the building itself being infested. If that’s the case, it is likely that dealing with them only within the apartment simply won’t do much help!

    Jeanette counter

    We live in and apartment building but the landlord won’t spray who’s responsible for the bill us or him if he calls an extermater

    InsectCop

    You should re-read the terms of your lease. Generally, the landlord would take care of pest infestations that are beyond your control (with cockroaches, this is usually the case in apartment buildings).
    It might be useful for you to read our article about whether or not you can break the lease due to roach infestation. Even if you don’t want to break the lease, we have provided some advice on both the steps you should be taking to deal with the infestation, as well as making sure you have the whole situation documented.

Jazmine

I found a roach in my bedroom today …, can turning on my window ac unit at night keep them away when I sleep ?? … I have it cranked up I was wondering if the cold will keep them away at night

    Insectcop

    Cockroaches do prefer warmer places, so the AC might help a little bit. However, it won’t work well enough to be considered a decent prevention method. To figure out a way to deal with the problem effectively, you can start by reading this article

Dragongirl In need

I trapped a roach under a cup for a day and looked under it the next AND IT WAS STILL REALLY FAST AND ABLE TO MOVE. Also, I’m pretty sure they’re coming through the air vent. It was small but that still can`t be good, does this mean I have a horde of small baby cockroaches???!!!! Plz, Help!

    InsectCop

    Can’t tell you if those are actually baby cockroaches since I don’t know what you mean by ‘’small’’. There are several breeds, with major differences when it comes to their size, so it might have been a baby or one of the smaller-sized breeds.
    As for whether or not you have an infestation, I can’t tell you for sure. If you’re lucky, this might be a case of a single individual having found its way to your home. Unfortunately, it’s more likely that you do actually have an infestation. In this case, I suggest you check out our article about getting rid of cockroaches.

Leeci

I’m a mom of four after hurricane Harvey along came the roaches I am at a complete loss I am single by the way on a fixed income I work full-time very hard but I have to provide for all my bills and children. and I’m not sure what to do about this is there’s anyone out there that can help me with the less expensive solution I Would so greatly appreciate it.

    InsectCop

    You should check out this article, because it features many inexpensive yet efficient ways for getting rid of roaches.

Leeci

Mind you I’ve tried all of the over-the-counter remedies raiD, Bengal, hot shot (the worst) the gells, traps, boric acid, vinegar etc. nothing‍♀️ I n eed help asap

    InsectCop

    I suggest you read our article on getting rid of cockroaches. It includes plenty of ways to deal with them, there must be something you haven’t yet tried. Good luck!

Marian E. Poole

I have pin head size roaches behind my bed (babies), can you recommend something to keep their off my bed. Thanks

    InsectCop

    You should read this article to learn about various ways to deal with your problem.

Kelly English

I have searched tirelessly for a name to this new breed of roaches we’ve had for just over a year now… They are not resembling any of these roaches listed. I have seen pretty much most of these myself but the ones that’s breeding around our house and area are not in anyway similar to these. The roach has a complete black body and somewhat square shaped with rather longer wings than that of these ones. They also have a noticeable red looking set of eyes on their heads with tiny bodies underneath these unusual wings. I’m trying to get to figure out exactly what breed this is as it just suddenly appeared one night and has been around eversince.

    InsectCop

    You can try out this website to help yourself identify the bug. Unfortunately, based on the information you’ve given me, nothing really comes to my mind. Good luck!

    Cam

    Are you sure its a roach? it kind of sounds like a false bombarder beetle

Aly

Help!! We’ve lived in this new building for 3 years now. We never had cockroaches until our new neighbors moved in now the rest of us are all infested. We’re very fortunate that are complex will spray once a month or more if you need it as part of our rent. But it doesn’t do anything. I’ve seen Roaches on my curtains at noon in my bedroom. I was just woken up buy a roach walking across my foot Inside My Bed. So it had crawled in my sheets dot-dot-dot I had just changed my sheets 3 days ago and had a professional cleaning service come in since they would do a better job than me. The traps are always clean. They’re either German are Australian cockroaches and they’re huge. We do live in Florida and just had the outskirts of two systems just come through and the roads are always bad after hurricanes. What can I do? I’m going to go read the other articles but have you ever heard of waking up to a cockroach in your sheets when you’re pretty clean person overall?

    InsectCop

    Yes, it’s a myth roaches can only be found in dirty places. For example, they might crawl in through cracks and crevices, be attracted by damp areas. Also, is it possible the cockroaches had found this apartment appealing while it was empty and got disturbed by the new neighbors who moved in? That might possibly explain the timing. As for dealing with the problem, you can try reading our article about getting rid of cockroaches.

Libby

I just found a cockroach in my room. I google it and I am almost positive that it is the American cockroach. I have only seen one but I am not sure what to do. Can you please give advice?

    InsectCop

    If it is indeed a cockroach, here’s an article about getting rid of them.

Rosanna

I was sleeping and I heard scratching noises and saw a cockroach in my box fan. And I also saw one right when I woke up just scurrying across my floor what should I do?

    InsectCop

    Our article on getting rid of roaches has a lot of different methods and products that you can look into and use to solve your cockroach problem.

Unknownplayer

My familys rooms are way dirtier and messier than my room is. But why do cockroaches always come to my room specifically even when my rooms clean

    InsectCop

    Cockroaches often come in through different cracks and openings. Are there any cracks around your windows? Is it possible they might be getting in through vents? What about any other entry points? It is possible that the roaches choosing your room specifically have nothing to do with the room itself, but it’s simply more available from wherever they’re entering from.

    Cassy

    We just moved into a new home that is (we believe) infested with German roaches. We see them all hours of the day and night. They arent in the kitchen, but rather the bedrooms and bathrooms. We have used gel baits, boric acid, IGR, etc in every crack, crevice, door frame. It seems to keep them out of sight for a day or 2, and then they come right back-babies and all. Just today I took the sheets off our bed to wash them (in hot water as always). I came back to the room and they were on my bed frame and mattress! My husband added more chemicals and bait to our room, but we wont be sleeping in there for a while. My husband has literally lost sleep over this. He’s up checking the house, killing whatever he sees. What’s worse is this is a rental house. We informed our landlord, but he says he will just use a “chemical he has at his house”. Theres also nothing in our lease agreement that states about pest control/exterminators. We don’t know what to do anymore!

    InsectCop

    Have you read this article? If not, give it a try!
    At the same time, do a follow-up with the landlord. Ask him when exactly is he going to use the chemical, as well as what this chemical is, to make sure the proper safety measures are being taken (so none of the people and/or pets are being harmed because of it). How long have you lived in this house? Have you been there for short enough time to make a good point about the roaches having had been there before you moved in? If so, any responsible landlord would take it as their responsibility to eliminate the roaches!
    That being said, professional extermination might be needed, if all else fails. Have you thought about this option? As for who pays, unfortunately, it’s between you and your landlord. Still, just as I said before, if you’re new to the house and have a reason to believe the house was already infested, it would be decent for the landlord to cover the expenses.

Eleanor

Waking to find at least 10 bites on my neck and chest . Now wonder if this was a Cockroach as I found one on the bedroom blind the same morning. Bites are painful, itchy and quite swollen. GP gave me Cortisone cream. My rooms are very clean and have only ever seen one roach before. I would like to buy the tablets to get rid of them but seem to only be available in USA. Have a Budgie so need to beware of sprays etc.

    InsectCop

    Is there any way that might have been something else? Fleas or bed bugs, perhaps? Sometimes roaches will bite, however, it is not very likely to happen. Also, if they do bite, it’s more likely for them to leave a single bite rather than clusters of them. If I had to make a guess, I’d say the bug that bit you was something unrelated to the roach you found.
    Also, it’s hard to tell where your infestation might be coming from, but it’s a myth that they only happen in dirty environments. Plenty of clean houses have roach problems.
    As for the bird, is there a chance you might relocate him to another room if you choose to opt for a solution that can harm it? You can also read our article on how to get rid of cockroaches, as it will provide you with options on dealing with your problem.

    Tonya

    I live in an apartment building and they’re has always been an roach infestation issue, however, the last straw for me was when I saw one this morning crawling on my bed!
    It was chunky too, now I do not know what to do.
    I’m afraid to sleep tonight.
    I will try the peppermint oil technique, and dab it on all four corners of my bed.smh.

Anonymous

I have a couple of questions, bear with me. I moved into my apartment 6 months ago. Very old multi-unit apartment. The first morning after I slept here I woke with a strange cough and I’ve had it ever since. Fast forward, I know why and that I’m at a dead end (along with everyone else living here). My apartment has been treated twice this month and my neighbors has been treated three times and they’re still seeing roaches. I know this building clearly has a long term infestation going on but shouldn’t these treatments at least keep the roaches at bay? My landlord and the exterminator are blaming this on the tenants, clearly it’s the building and they knew there was an infestation all along!

Also what’s your best advice in locking down a cockroach free apartment? I’m assume a low capacity, modern building would improve my chances greatly? I understand now to look for droppings during a walkthrough and to see if I smell this nauseating musty odor. But what thing will improve my chances and what should I ask?
I’m out of here as soon as my lease is up and I NEVER want to deal with this again. I’m coughing and developing asthma symptoms from all the droppings and shedding skin. I’ve done so much deep cleans and have completely cockroach proofed my apartment. They literally have no source of food or water anymore! Will the migrate to another apartment?

    InsectCop

    They might migrate to another apartment, but it’s possible they’ve already spread through other apartments as well. Depending on how well the roach-proofing went, that might have helped to at least some extent. Realistically speaking, if you want to be absolutely sure they won’t come back, you’d have to seal all the physical entry points.

    As for the new apartment, even though it’s hard to come up with a completely safe system of choosing the place, you most will likely better off with a new building (obviously, not all the old buildings will be infested, just like not all the new buildings are safe from infestations). You can also try asking the landlord about any existing signs of an infestation, as well as you can try looking for sings yourself, such as smell, droppings, etc.

kennedy

i have a water bug in my house right now , its close to the bedrooms and my bathroom and , im very scared when it comes to killing any bugs , help :c

    InsectCop

    If you don’t want to have to deal with catching or killing the insect in any other way, you can try out Catchmaster Insect Trap to catch the insect and dispose of it later on. You can also look into some sprays.

Alfred

I found a small round roach in my room it was like a big size only just minimize it a bit and killed it.Later that day,my brother found a baby but before that i saw something running in the corner of my eye.Im begining to think theres a larger one reproducing in my bedroom.

    InsectCop

    Sounds like you might have an ongoing infestation. We have made an article about getting rid of roaches. You can either try some of the solutions mentioned here or call professionals.

Emily

My roommate and I have been dealing with roaches for two years now. We’re on the ground floor of a Brooklyn apartment building and have tried everything to rid them. Our landlord has an exterminator come every other month, we’ve put traps out, dusted our base boards with diatomaceous earth, and tried to keep as tidy as humanly possible. No matter what we still seem to have the buggers around. Is there a more effective, potent (Cat friendly) way to get rid of them, or could this just be the circumstances of living in a shared building? Either way, I’m sick and tired of dealing with them!

    InsectCop

    Is the landlord treating only your apartment or the whole building? In the first case, the problem might be an infestation within the whole building, in which case treating only the apartment won’t eliminate the problem. The best you can do in this case is just trying to seal all the entry points to prevent as many bugs from entering your territory as possible. Obviously, you won’t be able to seal them off completely, so a whole-building extermination is still required. It should help a bit, though. You can also read our article about getting rid of roaches to see all the options you have on your own.

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