Roaches In a Very Clean Home?

June 19, 2005

Cockroach on a ToothbrushHelp! I'm petrified! I have never had a roach in my home, ever, in fact I sanitize counters, mop and vacuum floors constantly, yet this morning there was a huge (an inch or so) tan roach sitting on my sink. I absolutely freaked out. It's dead. Then I read up online and tried to identify it,seems to me it might be a German roach, so I immediately went to the store, bought boric acid and some Ortho spray and combat roach baits, sprinkled the boric along the foundation outside the house, along inside and outside of windows, doorways, basement windows and cracks and crevices in my kitchen.


Tonight I snuck into my kitchen (Because I cant sleep knowing this is in my house) with a flashlight, and there was a black small thinner bug had with some tan markings on it but didn't really look like a roach. It had antennae as well as what seemed to be a single antennae out the rear part of him. I found two more within 20 minutes and they were all crawling by the base of the dishwasher.

It is very clean there, however there has been a leak lately that I need to have fixed. Bottom line, is this possible to have roaches when you have an extremely clean home?

The only thing I can think of is maybe it came from a grocery bag or from the wooded area in my yard. I have no idea what to do beyond what I've done so please write back immediately and help me, I'm very upset.

I looked in all of the crevices and under the sink and although it was a bit wet by the back of the closet under the sink, there was nothing there, but I have a roach hotel under there just in case.

Thank you so much,
Stacey From New York


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June 19, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

Contrary to popular opinion, roaches do get in clean houses! You can, as you stated, get them from grocery bags (usually the really small ones) or from trees around your house (usually large ones). I have found that Bengal Roach Spray is the best on the market for controlling them. It not only lasts a long time but has no odor to aggravate any allergies you or any of your family may have. It costs more, but it's definitely worth it.


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June 19, 20051 found this helpful
Best Answer

Many years ago when my mother was unpacking her groceries, she saw a roach crawl out of a bag of potatoes. She never went back to that store. I live in a wooded area. We have wood roaches that fly.


They live outside and do not try to get in our home. Sometimes I do find them inside but like all other insects they sometimes get "lost" and get into our house.

By Bonnie (Guest Post)
November 12, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

You cannot starve roaches no matter how clean your house--you have to kill them. They don't need your food. They will live quite well on wallpaper paste, soap, and the rotting wood from a leak.

If you get rid of those things, they may take to your beds to eat the dead skin from your sheets or worse, right off your body.

It is true that the less "food" there is, the less likely it is that they will make you home their own, but once there, you really can't starve them out in a normal home setting.

By KC (Guest Post)
November 21, 20071 found this helpful
Best Answer

I rented a house that was roach-free until the summer months came and things got hot. Although they "went away" shortly after things started to cool down, I decided to move.


Prior to setting up shop in the new home, I had an exterminator come and spray around the garage and interior of the home as a preventive method. He said that it's impossible to completely rid ourselves of ALL pests, but one preventive measure he recommended was to put a cup of bleach down each sink drain and bathtub drain on a monthly basis. The bleach will dissolve the build-up that roaches use to climb up the pipes.

November 21, 20131 found this helpful
Best Answer

Caulk all the crevices and all the baseboards in your home, cockroaches are flat and can get into everything. Put down fly sticky traps where you can't reach under the sinks etc. It will help a lot!

June 19, 20051 found this helpful

Get that leak fixed as soon as possible!! Bugs, especially roaches love moist areas. It makes no difference how clean everything is , it's the moisture. We had bug problems for many years before we discovered the culprit - a pipe had been leaking behind a wall, no evidence of the leak was ever seen.


( We did all the stuff you are doing We evenhad professional exterminators come for a year - still had bugs.) we discoveredthe leak by accident. The pipe has been fixed and so has the bug problem, ie no more bugs!

By Lauren (Guest Post)
July 4, 20050 found this helpful

I know how you feel. I grew up in the suburbs and always was afraid of roaches and I just recently purchased a condo and low and behold, I now have to deal with roaches. I have a hard time eating, I don't keep food in the house because I am afraid the bugs will contaminate it. First it was just in my kitchen, and now I see them in my bathroom. My exterminators are doing nothing for me. They bait and spray and that just usually brings more of them around for a few weeks and then it is the same roaches showing up just when I start to feel comfortable again.


I put all my money into this home and it is heart-breaking to see all my hopes and dreams be eaten up with a phobia I have and a bug that wont quit. Please post if any of the methods work, I heard mimimize clutter, keep food out of the way, sweeping and vacuuming, keep water out of the way and boric acid. Raid roach baits do nothing!! They were the first I bought and had no impact on the roaches. My exterminator diagnosed that I have not only oriental but german as well ?! Stay strong sister and let me know how these methods work for you.

By (Guest Post)
July 16, 20050 found this helpful

this is so funny that I just stumbled upon this website, after this morning finding a roach under my dog's water bowl!! I am so freaked out! From time to time I would discover a dead roach (maybe 3 in 2 years) but never a live one! I too vacuum and clean like a loonatic! I live in a condo and suspect my neighbors are the culprit! I am told they travel through pipe holes and even dishwasher pipes!! ewww!

By (Guest Post)
July 16, 20050 found this helpful

Since my original post I have done lots of things, sprayed the foundation, put baits all over the place and I did searches every night. I was so freaked out at first that I searched every hour in every crack and in the basement...i saw nothing.
I didnt sleep because they freaked me out so much.
Well, its been almost a month and I now removed all labels off cans in my closet, put most food I had in baggies in the fridge and other things like sweet n low in baggies in the closet.
I removed all clutter everywhere, moved firniture vaccuumed the place a few times over and I bleach my sink every morning and every night and never leave anything in the sink and keep the sink dry.
I put the baits along the walls and corners, apparently they travel along the wall and I put down boric acid EVERYWHERE, I was frightened the dogs would get at it, but I was careful.
I have barely cooked because I dont want to draw them in, and from what I have read, if you are a clean person and have them, you need to starve them every other other words no moisture, no glue from can and jar labels and nothing to have access to. I only give the dogs cookies in my laundry room now and wipe up the floor immediately if anything should fall.
Im hoping it has paid off. I didnt have ANY bugs of any kind for awhile, I had had lots of spiders and beetles because of the woods behind my house, they are starting to get back in, but Im hoping the roach has moved on to another I am keeping my eyes wide opne and flick on switches real quick when I eneter rooms to see if i can catch one crawling around...nothing yet.
You really need to be on top of it and quickly, I think they hatch eggs every 6 weeks, so Im not out of the woods yet, so to speak.
You may want to try some of these things if you havent already and I will keep you updated if anything god forbid should appear.
Thanks to everyone for giving me tips, i really appreciate it..bugs are a huge phobia of mine and roaches is probably the worst thing for me to come in contact with, it freaks me out beyond belief.

By kitty (Guest Post)
September 11, 20060 found this helpful

I remember as a child my sister and I lived with my mother in a very infested house. We would walk in to the kitchen and turn on the light and they would be just everywhere. It was disturbing and freighting for a 6 year-old. The most freighting event was when two flying monsters came flying in and my sister I went hiding under covers screaming our heads off. Meanwhile my poor scared mother is fighting them!!! lol I am soooo freaked out by these things! I am 25 now and have been in my new home for 5 months now. Three days ago I seen a wood roach on my pretty white walls in my bathroom and like to had died while trying to kill it. lol Last night seen two more. I don't think I'm going to make it!! I am soooooo scared of these things I'm just waiting for one to come and attack me!! Everytime I walk in to a room I go with my head cocked and ready to spot and defeat any flying monsters that might appear. Soo funny, Sooo serious!!!!

By Enter your name (Guest Post)
November 25, 20070 found this helpful

I've lived in the same condo for over 2 years. I've never seen a cockroach here, ever, nor signs of cockroach infestation. About two months ago, some new people moved into the unit upstairs from me. They were a bit strange, their two car garage was PACKED with blue trash bags, multiple layers, end to end for weeks. I remember thinking what a strange way to move your stuff!

Well, apparently those bags made a dandy home for roaches or something. After they had moved a lot of their stuff upstairs, for the first time I saw some dead and live roaches in the common areas, hall and stairwell, and then they were in my house by September. >_<

I was not a super clean neatfreak. Sure I'd dust and vaccuum and scrub the bathrooms and whatever, but it was common for me to leave dishes in the sink soaking before I scrubbed them and put them in the dishwasher. Sometimes I didn't empty the clean dishes immediately and left some used ones on the counter. If crumbs fell on the floor from cooking, I didn't freak out about it, I'd get them when I did my normal sweeping and vacuuming. Now, I know anyone who has had roaches is cringing right now because those are HUGE mistakes when bugs are present. I also have a new cat I adopted during the summer whose food and water bowl was on a placemat on the floor of the breakfast nook. So, yeah, you can JUST imagine!

I had a lot to learn about dealing with roaches. And let me tell you, when I started cleaning, scrubbing, emptying the toaster, drying the sinks and sponges, cleaning the oven and even under the stovetop, vacuuming, and sweeping all the time, they started to appear all over the place. It was VERY upsetting. The more I cleaned the more I saw them. Even some of the mom roaches toting their egg case came out of hiding probably desperate for water.

I've been using natural bug spray to stop the ones I see, it's called Ecosmart, because I don't want any bug spray that will hurt my cat or be harmful for me to breathe.

I've put a dozen raid double control baits in my kitchen, nook, and bathrooms. I've put my cat's bowls in tupperware containers of soapy water moats. I spray the entry to my house every few days with the Ecosmart because I've found them under the weather stripping before, and I honestly think they got in through my front door. I wash all surfaces with soapy water and dry my sinks at night and then mist them with windex. The old owners were not very careful cleaners, I've found piles of wood shavings in the cabinets and several old spills, which I'm sure was very attractive to pests. So, not only am I cleaning for me and my cat, but I'm having to search out and find old owner's mistakes to clean up after. Also, I've thrown out a LOT of old papers and clutter. I continue to sort out and toss anything that doesn't need to be filed and put my books away. I've also stored my guest candy in a sealed tin until I actually have guests instead of just leaving it in the candy bowl on the coffee table. Every little change should help.

I just put the baits in on the 11th of Nov. At first I didn't notice anything, but the appearances finally seem to be lessening. I don't see them during the day anymore, and every night it's fewer. Somehow young roaches still mystically appear in the middle of a wall during the night, and I don't know where they crawled from.

I'm planning to use borax dust behind the outlet plates. The old owners of this place seemed to like running cables under the carpet, and those have become like subway transportation systems for bugs, so I will dust them with borax and then seal them off with tape for now. I've been spackling and sealing holes and cracks.

I've ordered some baits that uses feed bait and diatomaceous soil with pheromones, and also some combat bait stations since my local store only had raid brand. So that should help. I figure since I'm removing my food and my cat's food from them, I should give them lots of baits to choose from so they don't start living on my soap or wood glue in dressers, my books, or whatever. They'll eat, somehow, so I figure let it be some kind of poison.

Also, my cat has been a help in this. Her litter consists of dehydrating crystals as part of the scoopfree litterbox system. So, any roaches that try to get in her litter to nest in the storage boxes or in her litter box itself gets dehydrating crystal dust abrading them, in them, and on them. I've seen a few dried out roaches as a result. Also, she doesn't eat the bugs, but she will meow when she sees them and she pounces them repeatedly if she can reach them until I get to it to spray it and flush it.

I try to always spray knock-down and then flush the roaches to make sure they're OUT of the house. This isn't a success story yet, but hopefully I'm on the right track.

By (Guest Post)
November 25, 20070 found this helpful

Small update to my 11/25/07 post:

The bait stations were placed on 11/18 not the 11th. That was a typo, and the box did say to give the bait 1-2 weeks, so it's still within that time frame. Also, I did some more research and found out that catnip repels German roaches, which is the kind I have.

I noticed there were never any roaches, thankfully, in my cat's sleeping areas or scratching areas even though they're corrugated cardboard scratchers, which I was afraid the roaches would want to crawl into and nest in. Probably one of the reasons they're roach-free, other than there's activity there, is there's catnip all over them. I always rub her scratch areas with catnip, and catnip leaf bits and scent gets on her resting areas and on my furniture all the time because she rolls in catnip. Who knew it was a good thing to have a catnip around?!

I've now scattered some catnip and used catnip sachets in the backs of my utensil drawers, in the trashcans and laundry hamper, my bed linens and bedroom, and in my linen closet, under my keyboard and mouse pad, under my toaster, on the pantry shelves, etc. I'm going to try the catnip spray, too.

So, that's another idea for natural help for repelling roaches that is safe for people and pets.

By bean (Guest Post)
June 14, 20080 found this helpful

I hate to have to be here reading these posts and myself submitting one, but in recent months the ongoing occaisional visitation of roaches being discovered enroute to the potty or to get a drink late at night has escalated.

First I will describe the situation. For the longest time since living on this street and coming into contact with them, we were referring to them as "water bugs", something very similar to but not quite roaches. The whole neighbourhood seems to have them, though most of the people on our block claim they don't see anything in their houses, yeah right, every few months the exterminator is parked at either end of the block nearest my house. Even so far as five or so blocks away, when taking a late night walk last week during the heatwave, there they were wondering around on the sidewalks at that end of town too the same as they do on our street at night.

In the past we would only see maybe one or two a week late at night if we had just gotten home and turned the lights on when it was hot out or during rainy wet weather, but gradually they have been making themselves more at home here and have been coming around most nights, usually in multiples.

We live in a row house also, very old homes. At Christmas time our tree had fallen in the night and I was awakened at dawn when it was found that way to fix it and my ornaments. There I was in the cold, half asleep, at the crack of dawn, on my hands and knees trying to adjust the tree when what to my eyes did appear! But a black "waterbug" crawling down the trunk. Between the smell from the water logged piece of plywood the tree had been resting on and the bug in it, I lost my taste for the tree somewhat after that.

This week I have been sleeping mostly in the morning, as I have been staying up all night with the lights on, obsessively inspecting all around me for them. There is a large opening in our ceiling from when a gut job had been started but stopped and patched up, and the other night dust from up there started landing on me.

Initially I worried it was caused by something stirring above me but decided gravity is bound to take it's toll sooner or later and ignored the fact until I got up to get a drink in the bathroom and noticed for the first time, a pile of the same on the floor and looked up to the exhaust vent to see a large black one clinging to it! There were a few downstairs at that point and the panic began.

We moved the bed as far from under the opening as possible, tried seal it off with plastic drop cloth and tape but it kept falling. I read a barrier method is best used for these, to protect them from getting into the house, but that's virtually impossible being that the top two floors and part of the bottom floor are in semi-renovated condition and also in great disrepair. The opportunities are endless for them and caulking just coudn't work. I've been cleaning the kitchen like a maniac and cleaned the bathroom. I fear most for the bedroom, because I sat up the night after, after we bought ortho home defense spray and boric powder, just watching and waiting and just like that, there was one sitting on my baseboard heater in the bedroom. Boy did I slam a book down on that creep, but now I really cannot sleep.

It's very unlikely that they have just never been in here, only I either never looked for them or it happened when we were asleep, though now I'm more conscious of it. I have been sleeping with the light on and praise dawn. So far they disappear after day break and I don't worry so much but cannot rest worrying that one will fall from the ceiling or climb up onto the bed in the dark. I can't monitor things if I'm asleep! I've sprayed all around the bed and tucked the dust ruffle and blankets up away from the floor. The type we are plagued with are not noted for climbing smooth surfaces, and at least so far, have never seen them on the sofa or anything, which is really where they come and go most in the living room. They'll go into my fiance's slippers, but so far I've never seen them on the sofa. It's the kind that sits right down on the floor too.

These things could very well drive me to insanity and not seeing them helps very much. When we do work here, from now on I am making sure all openings, cracks, crevices, cooby holes, etc are completely and entirely sealed off first.

I've been closing the drains at night after cleaning the sink out with bleach and spraying bug spray down into the drain and keeping them covered and dried. Somehow I think the bleach MAY possibly deter them, since they won't smell water or food. Where there is none, I don't imagine they'd be much interested and would just go elsewhere. The object of the game I still think, is giving them no reason to hang around and get comfortable in this situation, since they just migrate back and forth around the block. I think in conjunction with the thorough house proofing and at least sanitizing (for piece of mind while having to function here since these are listed as the most unsanitary and for a few days was not eating or doing anything as I felt so imprisoned here) creating no way for them to actually enter the home and little reason for them to bother may be the best solution.
You can't kill them, for every one roach you know is there, there are billions everywhere else that you simply cannot get.

Hope my account of our personal experiences with these may be helpful, if at least in feeling comfort that you're not alone in feeling so freaked out and trapped in your own home because of them as I felt when reading these posts.

Stink bugs, lady bugs, big hairy many legged fast running furry things that come from cracks and window sills, spiders, moths, etc: These are bugs I can to an extent be more patient with and just try capture under a plastic cup or something and relocate outdoors.

Roaches: You had your time and place co-existing under my sympathetic and humane control as those who are not roaches and visit not linger but you've lost any and ALL mercy from this soft hearted nature person.

August 2, 20100 found this helpful

I just found a roach in my house. I have lived here for almost 10 yrs and this is my 3rd roach within the 9 yrs living here! I am freaking out. Must be a girl thing. Anyways I read some of the posts and some of them I didn't like necause they say the roaches pretty much thrive on anything! >.< grrrr
Thank goodness my brother owns his own pest control company! I am sure he will be happy to get a text at 1am in the morning, lol!
Peace all! Don't let the bugs bite!

October 6, 20120 found this helpful

All you have to do to prevent roaches is spray bug spray around every door and every window of your house. Its that easy. Do this every few months and there will be no bugs. There might be a couple every time someone moves in or out of the neighborhood, but no infestation. Wipe up all water, clean up all spills immediately, and vacuum regularly atop of spraying all doors and windows of your house.

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