What Does a Cockroach Nest Look Like?

Cockroaches are one of the world’s oldest and most despised insects. These filthy creatures have lived alongside humans for millennia, inhabiting our sewers and feasting on our food waste. That is why they are one of the most common household pests worldwide, invading homes and businesses around the globe.

Finding a nest of cockroaches on your property can be deeply disturbing because no one wants to live side-by-side with cockroaches. Finding a nest means that you could be dealing with a full-blown infestation.

But what does a cockroach nest look like and how can you recognize one on your property? Getting an idea of what exactly you are looking for can help determine the scale of the problem. That, in turn, will help you decide the best way to address it.

Why are cockroaches problematic?

Cockroaches pose a big problem for those people living in close contact with them as they can be extremely harmful to human health. Thanks to their preference for sewers and drains, their bodies are coated with all kinds of harmful bacteria. They can then transfer this bacteria to any food, furniture or work surfaces they may come in contact with.

Roaches also spell trouble for people with allergies. Cockroach allergens can trigger and even cause asthma attacks. Molted skin and feces cover everything in an infested house and can cause health problems in those who suffer prolonged exposure to these conditions.

Aside from the health implications, these nasty critters can also kick up a stink in your home. While unnoticeable at first, roaches release an unpleasant, musty odor which can increase as their numbers do.

What does a cockroach nest look like?

Cockroaches do not actually build nests. In roach terminology, the word “nest” actually refers to a large number of the insects living in one place. So, a cockroach nest actually looks like a huge congregation of these creatures hanging out together. This usually happens in a protected space. The presence of discarded skins and feces is also an identifying feature of a nest. Some other telltale signs of a roach nest include dark spots, smears, egg cases, and a large number of dead cockroaches.

If you find even one cockroach in your house, this could be a sign of an infestation. You will have to look around carefully for a nest. Check behind refrigerators, under furniture, and in cracks and crevices around your home. You will need to determine exactly where the roaches are coming from.

Where do roaches live?

Cockroaches like warm and humid conditions. They also prefer protected areas with ready access to food and water. For this reason, the most common place to find a nest is in the kitchen or in the bathroom. Here they hide, lurking beneath bathtubs, refrigerators, and other furniture items.

German cockroaches are the biggest home invaders. These critters can frequently be found around food preparation areas. But, be aware that it is not uncommon for them to invade other parts of the house as well. They may even make their way into the bedroom, to take over your wardrobe and lay eggs among your clothes and shoes.

But what about outdoor roaches?

Unlike German cockroaches, American roaches are less common to find inside the home. Instead, they prefer to inhabit sewers, basements, boiler rooms, and steam tunnels.

Even though American roaches favor the great outdoors, they will come inside if the temperature drops. They are, therefore, most likely to be found inside during wintertime. If you suspect American roaches have moved into your home, get searching. Inspect any cracks and crevices in the kitchen, bathroom, and attic to work out where they are coming from. Like their German counterparts, American roaches enjoy warm, humid environments and will usually hang out close to food and water sources.

How many roaches count as an infestation?

If you have established that there are cockroaches in your house, the next step is to determine the scale of the problem. Is this something that you can deal with alone or will you need to bring in professional help?

The first thing to do is to work out how many insects you are going to have to deal with. Finding just one or two cockroaches around the house is not that big a deal. As long as you act quickly, you should be able to eradicate the insects before the situation gets out of hand. Ensuring your kitchen and bathrooms are kept clean and free from food waste can ensure that they will not return once you have gotten rid of them.

Finding hundreds of cockroaches, however, is another matter. An actively breeding roach population can boom in no time at all. What was once a small infestation can quickly become a living nightmare. German cockroaches – the species most commonly found in homes – can breed faster than almost any other type of roach. So, a population of hundreds can become tens of thousands in a matter of months!

What do I do if I find a roach nest?

A heavy infestation of roaches will require chemical control measures. Depending on how dire the situation is, you may be able to carry this out yourself. But, if you are facing thousands of cockroaches, it is a good idea to get professional help!

Spotting even one cockroach in your house should cause concern. This is because for every roach you see, there could be a hundred more. You may be sitting on top of an infestation without even realizing it!

If you suspect there are cockroaches on your property, it is very important to hunt down the nest and eradicate it. As we said above, in the case of roaches, the word “nest” refers to large numbers of the insects living in the same small area. Nests usually contain many live and dead cockroaches, egg cases, molted skin, and fecal matter.

Depending on the size of your infestation, you may need to recruit some professional help to get rid of your roach problem. If you think that you may be dealing with thousands of these bugs, strong measures must be taken to eliminate them!


Debra Henson

About 6 weeks ago we saw 3 German Cockroaches within a week and 1 egg caseing.
So I put sugar and backing soda in the areas where I saw them,. 2 bathrooms and the kitchen, I have not seen anymore.Should I do anything else.

This blog is great and very helpful. I look forward to seeing more.

Thank you so much. Debbie



    Hello, Debbie!
    I’m glad it worked well for you! I think you should be good, at least for a while! But, just in case you see them again, this article might come in handy! Good luck!


    I found about 40 cockroaches inside the underneath layer of my couch. Turns out brings made a nest in there. I dumped my couch and the ingestion is gone. I still see some here and there. Should I do something


    We suggest dealing with them as well. You can read our article about getting rid of cockraches to help yourself decide which method would be a better fit for you.


I have lived in the same house for over 25 years and I’ve never heard of roaches in our neighborhood, but I found an oriental roach (dying) on the tile in my front room. Then about 3 weeks later I found one in the garage. I think it may have been dying too since it didn’t run before I smashed it. These 2 locations are not close to each other and I haven’t seen any other evidence. At first I thought one came home with my daughter, but 2 seems very unlikely. I’m freaking out! Where are they coming from and why after all these years is this happening?


    Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly where they’re comings from, however, it does sound like you might be dealing with an infestation. It is possible that the infestation started somewhat recently. That being said, you can’t know for sure when it started, since cockroaches aren’t always easy to spot (spotting one during daylight also on some occasions mean that the infestation might be getting pretty bad). I suggest you either contacting professionals to inspect your home, or you can read our article about getting rid of cockroaches to maybe find an answer to your problem. Good luck!


Im not 100% sure if it was a roach or not… But I had let my dishes sit in the sink for over a week (I know… I shouldnt have done it) but when i went to go clean it at like 11pm and I thought fruit flies were in there… Then two days later I came home late at night and saw what I had thought was two big fruit flies again but they ran instead of flying… They didn’t run and hide though they just kinda moved around. I looked up pictures and possibly German Roach Nymphs? I killed them and then the past few nights have seen nothing… Is it possible they werent roaches? Or is it possible its the begining of a roach infestation?

Extra note i have OCD and can start to obsess over things and have tried to become knowledgeable but my friends keep telling me Western WA doesn’t get german roaches easily and im over reacting… I moved my oven only saw a spider, moved my fridge and didnt really see any movement… And I tried to look under my sink, I don’t think I saw anything. But im still obsessing over it and freaking out.


    Is it possible you were looking at Phorid flies? They are very likely to run, once disturbed.

Brenda Badillo

I live in this apartment for 12 years now, recently Im starting seeing roaches in my bathroom, I went to thr store and bought and spray It work for almost a month but then I star see them again in the Bathroom and kitchen, I call my landlord and exterminator came August 31 after that my son saw a few, anyways the exterminator came back on october 5 and fumigate the whole house, this morning I kill 7 of them in the same room, whats going on if they fumigate twice, why I still seeing roaches? Im worried


    It’s actually normal to see roaches even weeks after the treatment. For more information on what to expect after a cockroach treatment, you can check out our article on the topic. However, sadly, even the most thorough treatment can’t guarantee that cockroaches won’t be back. If they do return, you should talk to your exterminator again and see if maybe your apartment needs a third treatment or if possibly there is another way you can manage the cockroach infestation.

Jane Reise

Occasionally I find one or two roaches crawling on the wall at night, I can’t kill things so I catch them and biff them over the fence hoping they’ll move in with the neighbours..I just want to know if they have any kind of homing instinct that would lead them back to their original home in my house!


    If you want to get rid of roaches, you will have to find their nest and get rid of it. Chances are, there are a lot more roaches where those few came from. Especially if you keep seeing them every now and then, it’s most likely that you’re dealing with an actual infestation.

Mariapia Annarilli

Moving into an apartment. I went to paint, found 2 dead belly up in same bedroom, than later went to the kitchen, and when leaving found a roach belly up but very much alive. I flushed all down the toilet. I am going this sunday to finish cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. I bought ALOT of cocking to seal everything, and I’m getting a foam sealer to seal up all the entry points of kitchen sink and bathroom. Want to use the boric acid/earthmeal stuff to use inside my walls(removing outlet faceplates and putting inside small and putting back on faceplates). Whatelse should I do? I hate the fact that our door has a mail slot… they can get in there!!! Ugh! I also found tips to use peppermint oil for cupboards and countertops, and cucumber peels around the cat dish, and baking soda in a clean litter box… am I forgetting anything? Is there a mail slot protector to put on my door? I have to get the runner for the front door, so nothing comes in under my door… HELP! I feel so itchy and sick just thinking about an issue I was not told that i was potentially moving into….


    First of all, make sure to thoroughly check for all the possible entry points and nesting areas (throughout the whole apartment), to make absolutely sure you haven’t left any unnoticed! If you seal all the cracks and crevices, the chances of having to deal with these roaches are already reduced significantly. Pest-proofing the mail slot is also a very good idea!
    You should read our article about getting rid of roaches to see what your options are for dealing with the ones that are already inside your home. Also, as for the things you might have forgotten, I couldn’t determine whether or not you’ve considerer drains specifically. If you haven’t then keep in mind that those can also be an entry point.
    If you get rid of the roaches you have already and seal all the entry points so other bugs can’t crawl back in, you shouldn’t be in a big need for repellents.
    However, it would be suggested for the landlord to figure out how to deal with the infestation in the building itself. To prevent any further problems for any of the inhabitants.


I’ve found 4 roaches in my room in the past 2 days, i have a lot of boxes and clutter in my closet. Is that a possible place they can be nesting ?


    Cockroaches do love clutter! And, yes, there is a possibility they might be nesting in those boxes.

Ada Medvedz

Hello! I have found about one or two cockroaches in my trash can every night for a month. After spraying it down with rubbing alcohol we were cockroach-free until one crawled out of our pantry a week later. After bleaching the entire cabinet and applying tea-tree oil in every crevice, we scared out two more. If we have an Infestation, what can we do?


    Here’s our article about getting rid of roaches, you should read it and try the tips that seem the best fit for you.

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