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Roach Nests: How to Find and Destroy Them

With more than 4,600 different species of roach in the world and the belief they could withstand a nuclear apocalypse, roaches send shivers down the spines of any number of people. If you see roaches around, then it’s more than likely a nest is nearby. Once you know what a roach nest looks like, the surest way to rid your house of roaches is to seek and destroy their nest.


Technically roaches don’t build nests, so when the term roach nest is used, it refers to a large congregation of roaches living together, usually in a protected space with ready access to a food source and water. 

Cockroach nest behind furniture

Generally, the presence of discarded skins and feces are indicative of a nest, with other telltale features including a large number of dead roaches, egg cases, dark spots, and smears. Egg cases are usually brown and less than a quarter of an inch long. Each case can house 40 or more baby roaches. 


If you spot even one roach in your house, it could be a sign there’s an infestation, and hundreds of roaches may be hidden within the walls. For this reason, if you see a roach in the house, you must look for any signs of a roach nest. 
One of the most obvious signs of roaches is their feces. Roach feces are tiny, and they look like black pepper or ground coffee. If there’s an infestation, roach feces will become more evident in areas of high activity, which suggests the nest may be nearby.


The most common places for a roach nest in the house are in kitchens or bathrooms, particularly behind refrigerators, in cracks and crevices, and under furniture. Roaches prefer a warm, humid environment, so these places should be considered first, especially if they are close to a food source and water supply.

When searching the house for a roach nest, it is important to realize that one of their most effective adaptions is hiding, and they can fit into the smallest of places. It’s not unusual to find them living beneath mats and carpets or even behind ripped wallpaper.


The brown-banded roach is the most likely to be found in furniture. When roaches move into furniture, it’s most often because crumbs and food scraps are hidden within its folds. The brown-banded roach only stays in one spot when an abundance of food and a water supply are immediately available. For this reason, it’s important to vacuum furniture regularly and ensure it’s free from moisture.


While roaches living in cars is not often talked about, it’s not unusual for them to call a car home. That said, roaches rarely end up in cars without some assistance from humans. Usually, they hitch a lift into the car on a shopping bag, a box from a yard sale, a suitcase, or another similar item, and once there, they’re quite content as long as there’s a ready supply of food. If these requirements are met, roaches will happily settle in for the long haul and begin to breed.
The most common places to find roaches in cars are down the back or under seats, under the floor mats, in the trunk, and in the spare tire compartment.


Outside of the house, the American roach is the most common species. They’re likely to be found in the yard, but, a word of warning, if the weather turns cold, they’re quite happy to pack their bags and move into the house.
American roaches can instill fear in the hearts of the toughest among us as they are huge, growing up to 2 inches in length. The yard haunts where nests are typically located include mulch piles, dumpsters, woodpiles, and storm drains.


There are no rules regarding how many nests a roach may make. They don’t create a physical nest like some other pests; instead, they congregate in colonies around a food supply. It would seem likely that if the food supply dries up, they will move on to another location, possibly in close proximity.

German Roach Nest

German Cockroach

The German roach is the species that is most commonly found in the home. Unfortunately, the German roach is also the most prolific breeder, producing offspring faster than any other roach species, so it’s not unusual for a population of hundreds to become a population of tens of thousands in the space of just a few months.

German roach nests are most commonly found around food preparation areas, but this doesn’t mean they won’t invade other areas of the house, including bedrooms, where they have been known to make their nests among the clothes and shoes in a wardrobe. 

Common locations for the German roach nest are around appliances, cabinets, dishwashers, and stoves. Basically, they are happy anywhere it’s warm and humid, especially if they can remain hidden from humans.


In most instances, it’s relatively easy to get rid of a couple of roaches if there’s no sign that a nest is nearby and the roaches are dealt with before the situation gets out of hand. Once you’ve dispatched the offending roaches, you must keep the kitchen and bathroom clean and free of food waste to ensure other roaches don’t take up residence.

If there are more than a couple of roaches, it’s probably best to call in the professionals, as chemical control measures will likely be required. The bigger the infestation, the stronger the measures needed to eradicate it. A professional pest control program, coupled with ensuring the environment remains clean, is usually sufficient to stop reinfestation.

Other preventative measures include limiting access points and places they might hide. This could consist of trimming bushes back from air vents and removing plant debris.
Another measure could involve the use of gel baits, which roaches view as a food source. When the roaches take the bait back to the nest and share it among the other inhabitants, it will kill off any group of roaches trying to establish themselves in a given location.

Roaches are unhygienic scavengers that carry bacteria that can cause illness if left on food that is later consumed. They’re also a dangerous allergen source and can trigger asthma attacks. If roaches are living in your home, you must address the issue promptly. While there are a number of do-it-yourself options on the market, the surest way to banish the roaches for good is to call in the professionals.

Clegg’s Pest Control

Clegg’s can help you locate any roach nests and provide advice on how to rid your house and property of them. If you are having trouble with cockroaches in your home, yard, or even your car, we are here to help. Visit our cockroach control page to learn more about the habits of cockroaches and how we will help you solve your cockroach infestation problem.


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