Leaving Cockroaches Behind When You Move?

How can you tell if your stuff has cockroaches in it before you move out? Do you have to get rid of your things?


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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 107 Posts
August 15, 20180 found this helpful

i once moved roaches from one house to another and when i finally found a home to buy i resolved i wouldn't bring them with me

i reseaerched and learned that rubbing alcohol and boric acid will kill them

i sprayed everything i owned, especially in the kitchen, with alcohol and things that i could not get wet i powdered with boric acid. When I unpacked every box i wiped everything in the contents in this way and disposed of the boxes.

i took extra care with electronics, to spray powder inside of them because they like to live inside of them

i also took special care of kitchen implements, to treat them in this way


i am happy to say i didnt see any roaches in the new home

one thing i recently learned about that i am interested in is roach IGR - which is basically roach birth control - it disrupts the breeding cycle and they die out

very expensive though

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
August 15, 20180 found this helpful

This is always a problem when you move from one location to another if you have roaches. I lived in one apartment that was infested with roaches. Even though they sprayed several times I still had them. I needed to get out of there quickly.


I ended up spraying all of my boxes with alcohol and packed them one at a time to ensure there were no roaches in them. After I packed one box I immediately moved it out of the house to the car. I moved several boxes at a time and did not move them into the new place until I was positive there were no more roaches in my affairs.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
August 15, 20180 found this helpful

Unpack right away and roach bomb your house after you move in.

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August 16, 20180 found this helpful

The best strategy is the most stressful, but it works...which is to never bring the moving boxes into the house and pack everything outside at the truck:


--Find clean boxes or if you have large plastic Rubbermaid tubs--clean them thoroughly with Clorox wipes or other cleaner...let air dry outside the day of the move
--Pack everything at the truck (making sure first that the truck is clean and doesn't have any critters of its own).
--Shake everything out before putting it in the box/tub, put the box/tub right into the truck and repeat.
--For things like dressers and beds and such...get them outside, go over them carefully and make sure they have no tag alongs and put them into the truck...if you find anything...clean thoroughly, air dry, then pack
--Before you move anything in to the new place, go through it carefully and make sure it is critter free
--Unpack outside...shake everything off again....and put it away


This is easiest with small moves...if you have a lot of stuff, it will be challenging...but from experience, I know this is the only way. I once rented a room in a mcmansion in the DC area and the roaches were the size of small children ...the landlord kept a clean house too...but she lived in an area that was just teeming with them as there was a lot of new was a nightmare...she had the exterminator on speed dial.

I lasted 1 month there and when I moved out, this was what I had to do as I didn't want to take these giant creatures to my new place.

This has logistical challenges, like if you are trying to pack and move over a period of time it can be challenging, but I made it to my new place pest free.

Good luck!!

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August 18, 20180 found this helpful

Usually the first thing to learn is where do roaches like to live and what do they like to eat.. Think about how to use as little of their favorite foods as possible.


  • Roaches love newspaper, paper products, corrugated cardboard (boxes) and especially if it gets even a little damp.
  • Since I would never be able to pack my boxes outside (and roaches can be hiding in the boxes already) I try to use only new boxes or plastic containers (also use large garbage cans for linens, heavy winter items, (some Walmart's have these for $10) or the special vacuum seal bags that really work..
  • You can use diatomaceous earth (DE) (FOOD GRADE ONLY) or 20 Mule Team Borax to eliminate these dirty bugs.
  • I would recommend using diatomaceous-earth (DE) over 20 Mule Team Borax if there are children or pets around (just to be safe).
  • Buy a couple of boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax and sprinkle the bottom of boxes/containers before starting to pack. Do this with every box/container. You can place a towel over the borax or just place your clean items (clothing, dishes, almost anything) in the box and close and seal with duck tape. Write what box contains on top/sides so it can go to the correct room when moved.
  • Try not to take any more food than necessary and be sure to keep those boxes where they can be removed/opened first. Borax can go in the bottom of these boxes also. DE is very good for this as it is safe to use on shelving too - use anywhere in your home.
  • Try to not use Styrofoam as this also attracts roaches. These bugs love to live in the Styrofoam that is usually in the pots of artificial plants!!
  • Borax can also be used at your new home - some people like to mix it with cornstarch but that is not necessary.
  • Sprinkle it around the inside of bottom kitchen and bathroom cabinets and on the floor close to the baseboards.
  • If using diatomaceous-earth just use it in the same manner as described for the Borax.
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