Preventing Roaches from Traveling Home With You?

I have been visiting a friend for a month (they have cockroaches). I'm leaving in a couple of days and traveling home, a 12 hour trip. Last week, I put 1 suitcase in the car, another suitcase is still inside the house along with a couple cloth type bags full of stuff. I didn't think about "traveling roaches" when I put the first suitcase in car. So now I'm wondering what to do about the car/suitcase and also my stuff still inside! I read about borax, but what should I do? As far as electronics, I have a laptop which I bought while visiting here. I can not stand roaches! I am also traveling with my dog.


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January 25, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

It is good that you are thinking about this before you leave and before you unpack as roaches are not a respecter of property and will hide in almost anything.

  • I would tend to think the suitcase in the car is probably okay until you reach home.
  • Closing any other suitcase would most likely be okay in your car until you reach home.
  • As for bags (of any kind) I would suggest you place these in one or two large garbage bags and seal as tightly as possible (use two bags and close one tightly and then place in the second bag and seal).
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  • If you do not wish to offend your friend when using garbage bags just tell them you do not want items to fall out and get scattered in the car.
  • Be careful with everything as roaches love traveling in cars also.
  • If you reach home in the daytime, I would suggest you find a place to unload your car and check every bag and suitcase before you take them inside. Shake everything as roaches tend to "cling" to clothing.
  • If you cannot (or do not wish to) unload outside, I would suggest you take your items in your bathroom, close the door and empty one bag at a time in your shower or bathtub.
  • Be sure you have purchased some type of bug spray to keep handy just in case you do find a bug. You need a spray as anything else would be too slow for this procedure.
  • As for a long term solution (in case you missed one) 20 Mule Team Borax is excellent and all you will need. Just sprinkle some around your baseboards (especially in the kitchen and bathrooms). Leave it down as long as possible and if you see no bugs in a week or so, then vacuum.
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  • Add a little borax to your suitcase and remove the bags from your house.
  • You can also put borax in your car just to be safe.

I would also add that it might be best to wash or clean anything that you brought from their house.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 131 Posts
January 26, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

Wow! It seems that others did a great job of answering your question! When I moved into my apartment several years ago, there were some baby roaches leftover from the previous tenant. I bought some Combat gel and placed it in the areas given in the instructions. It was mostly in crevices, corners, under the sink, over the doors, etc. A few days later and no more roaches. So, if you do happen to bring home a roach, definitely buy this gel!


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
January 24, 20180 found this helpful

Unpack as soon as you get home. Look carefully to see that there are. I roaches. Spray the suitcase after u packing just in case there are eggs in there

January 26, 20180 found this helpful

Thanks! I went through each piece of clothing and packed in a clear tote to get out of suitcase because that thing is huge!! Could be a whole family AND eggs in there and id never find them. Probably use some borax in it and spray not sure what else to do with it. If i can find a bag BIG enough i could bag it and just leave until next time i need suitcase.


Ive had it for years, still in great shape plus my mom got luggage for me and she just recently passed away so i want to keep it. I just left clothes out for trip home tomorrow nothing else.

January 26, 20180 found this helpful

Thanks so much for all the advice! I went ahead and got some bags, roach traps AND borax last night...have done just about everything you've suggested haha but im leaving tomorrow. I've gone through clothes in suitcase (in house) and put directly into a clear tote also, don't trust in suitcase. Got one set of clothes for tomorrow and that's it. Got a huge bag that seals, and putting in second bag for my laptop!! Dusted car with borax and put trap under seat. Not taking chances at all!

January 27, 20180 found this helpful

Keep your bags off the floor and closed.
Spray all around your stuff with good bug spray
Unload your stuff outside if possible.
If you see any thing after you get home, set off bug bombs. These work really well.


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