How to Find a Cockroach Nest + What to Do

Roach nests can be traced by trails of feces and shed skins that they always drop around their habitats. Other signs that cockroaches nest in an area include old egg capsules, dead bugs, dark spots, droppings, and smear marks. 

Roaches make their nests in dark hidden areas that are warm and moist. Bathrooms and kitchens are their main areas because all they need to survive is easily available. Cockroaches always nest in hidden areas that are close to food and water.

In some cases, roaches leave behind brown smears as they move around searching for food. A significant presence of those signs indicates that there is a serious infestation that should be eradicated.

Common areas where roaches nest 

Cockroaches are highly capable of surviving since they can effectively go into hiding. The insects can fit into the smallest cracks and crevices between walls and wallpapers because their bodies can flatten. 

Subsequently, below are the potential locations where roaches may make their nests:

1. Bathrooms

It is possible to assume there is no food for roaches in the bathroom, so they cannot invade that space. However, the bathroom may be a suitable nesting location as it supplies a warm and moist environment without constant disruptions throughout the day and night.

Your bathroom offers a lot of food you may not think roaches can eat. The insects can eat toilet paper, hair, algae, fungi, and soap residue.

Cockroaches rely on the drainage system for moving around your home. Look for roach nests under your bathtub, behind the tiles, and inside plumbing fixtures.

2. Kitchens

Your kitchen is a favorite hiding and nesting spot for roaches due to the frequent availability of food and water. The insects can find and eat rotting leftovers, crumbs, and other organic matter in dirty dishes in the kitchen.

Potential nesting areas in the kitchen include sinks, drains, cupboards, and drawers. Roaches hide behind refrigerators because they are rarely shifted, even while cleaning. Kitchen appliances like microwaves contain roaches because food particles are always dropped in there.

A nest can be under or in large devices that you do not frequently use, such as dishwashers and coffeemakers. Coffee attracts roaches since they like the smell. This explains why they love nesting around those machines.

3. Laundry rooms

Laundry rooms have enough moisture and warmth that promotes the existence of roaches. The environment is also ideal for hiding.

You may think there are no food sources in laundry rooms but remember that bugs can eat anything, including cloth fibers, glue, and cardboard boxes, or go for long without eating. 

In the laundry rooms, you may find roach nests underneath or in washing machines, in the wall’s cracks and crevices, and along or inside plumbing fixtures and pipes.

4. Basement

Because your basements usually remain undisturbed, they are suitable grounds for finding roach infestations and nests. Almost every basement will have cardboard, books, papers, and many other things roaches can eat.

Search for roach nests in the floor or wall cracks, boxes, and underneath or behind furniture without much use for months or years.

5. Outside the house

Some cockroaches only like to live and nest outdoors while only going inside the house to search for water and food sources.

Oriental roaches do not like the warmth found inside the house and thus prefer living in a cooler outdoor environment. Check for nests of the insects below stones, underneath piles of leaves, and next to garbage cans.

6. Unused drains

Cockroaches mainly use drains for moving in and out of different places, especially in search of what to eat. But if a drain has remained unused for a long time, the bugs will settle there and create nests.

Always cover your drains to limit the movement of cockroaches if you suspect an infestation.

Furthermore, roach nests can be found in the car and on furniture. It may surprise you, but the insects can find themselves in the car and stay there as long as there is a food supply. You can take roaches inside your vehicle without knowing using a suitcase, box, or shopping bag.

Try finding nests inside a spare tire well or compartment, under mats, in the trunk, and below the back seats.

What does a cockroach nest smell like?

A cockroach nest has a very strong, greasy, and stingy smell. The odor is more intense if the roach infestation is severe. Unfortunately, it is tough to explain what compares to the roach smell.

Cockroaches release a smelly substance from their glands when they are alive or about to die. The chemical may help keep potential predators away or communicate between roaches, especially for alerting others if there is a threat.

The roaches’ feces are also smelly due to the rotting of fatty acids.

Knowing what a cockroach nest smells like will enable you to locate these hard-to-find bugs quickly. Getting rid of the insects eliminates the strong smell. As long as the nest smells inside your space, prepare to get more roaches as they attract each other.

Where do roaches nest outside?

Roaches nest outside in fallen logs, mulch, storage spaces, leaf litter, garbage cans, dumpsites, trash piles, flowerbeds, woodpiles, and open compost piles.

Once you have identified where to find nests outdoors, apply any pest control and prevention methods recommended by an expert exterminator. That will prevent roaches from getting inside your property and causing more destruction.

How do you kill a roach nest?

Kill a roach nest by spraying it with powerful insecticides and pesticides, setting up sticky traps and baits, or applying a natural insecticide like Diatomaceous earth or boric acid. 

Mix boric acid with sugar and water to attract roaches for elimination. However, because boric acid is dangerous to your health, apply it while wearing gloves and a mask. Do not use the method if you keep pets like cats and dogs or have kids in your home.

For killing roach infestations, use different treatment methods. Relying on only one solution may not work. For instance, some roaches have adapted to block and not be affected by the effects of chemical sprays.

Once you have finished eliminating an infestation, clean up the dead bugs, feces, larvae, and egg coverings.

How to get rid of roach nest odor

Any odor of a roach nest that is left behind can be cleaned up with dish soap and hot water. Soapy water can kill roaches that might be left behind in the cracks and gaps, especially on wooden floors. Without the odor, other bugs consider your space not welcoming.

Block all the openings roaches may have been using to enter your home. 

Keep in mind that there will not be a need to deal with nests if there is no infestation. So, discourage cockroaches and other bugs from attacking your space.

Regularly clean the house, eliminate food sources, organize your living space, dispose of your trash, and fix leaking pipes. In addition, utilize the power of essential oils in repelling these pesky insects. Essential oils have a strong scent that roaches hate. 

Apply essential oils such as tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, or peppermint oil on locations frequented by cockroaches. You can place spices, herbs, and fruits like cinnamon, garlic, and lemon in bowls to deter roaches and get rid of their odor.

In conclusion, when you do not have time to find and kill roach nests or cannot eliminate an infestation, seek the help of a pest control expert. A professional will confirm whether you are dealing with a roach problem or another type of bug. Hiring an expert may be less expensive than dealing with an attack yourself.



  • Felix Odi

    Hi, I’m an experienced author and content creator with over 18 years of experience as a publisher. Growing up in rural areas of Bristol, FL, I developed an interest in pest control, fish farming, and poultry keeping. Farming is a main activity in the area, and pests are always part of our major setbacks. I had to learn how to get rid of them with simple DIYs.