If you spot roaches around your home, it is likely that a nest is nearby. Roaches can nest throughout your house and contaminate your food and water. Knowing where these bugs nest and how the nests look like can help you get rid of them.
Roaches nest in the kitchen, bathroom, behind the refrigerator, in tiny cracks and crevices, under furniture- generally in dark, humid, and out-of-reach areas where they have access to food and water.
Cockroaches spend most of their time hiding, so they can fit in the tiniest of places.
Technically, roaches do not build actual nests. So, the term “nest” refers to a huge congregation of cockroaches living together in a protected space where they have access to food and water.
Below are common telltale features of a roach nest.
- Presence of roaches. The first sign of a roach nest is live roaches themselves. You may also find a few dead cockroaches lying around.
- Baby roaches. If the nest is huge, you may notice roach nymphs as well. Nymphs may look different because they usually appear white after they have molted.
- Roach droppings. High activity areas such as kitchen drawers, inside appliances, and bathrooms will have plenty of roach feces. Dark spots and smears may also be seen in an active roach nest.
- Egg casings. Roach ootheca is usually brown and about ¼ to ½ inches long. Each egg case may be carrying between 16 to 48 baby roaches depending on the roach species.
- Old skins. Roach nymph shed their skin 6 times or more during their development. So, a roach nest is likely to have old exoskeletons that the nymphs have molted.
- Strong, musty odor. You will also notice a strong, pungent smell coming from enclosed areas and kitchen shelves.
As the roaches continue to populate, they will start coming out in the open as they look for more food and water.
Where Do Roaches Live?
Roaches like warm humid near food and water sources. So, these insects are likely to live in the kitchen, bathroom, basement, dumpsters, etc. Roaches can also live behind loose wallpaper, carpets, and floor mats.
Finding roach nests is quite challenging because these insects are masters in hiding. They can fit in the tiniest of spaces that you may never think of. Even larger species like the American and Oriental roaches can fit into small cracks and crevices.
Whenever you discover even one live or dead roach, it is a warning sign that there could be dozens living in your home.
How To Find Roach Nests
As aforementioned, it is quite tricky to find roach nests because of the insects’ hiding skills. The only way is to start thinking like the pests. Start looking for areas that are hard to reach. Do not dismiss even the tiniest cracks because roaches can fit in those too!
You might want to put on old work clothes, a face mask, and a pair of gloves because the journey you are about to embark on may leave you a little dirty.
Below are common places where you may find roach nests.
Inside Your House
Roaches will build nests in warm, humid areas where they can have easy access to food and water sources. These include:
- In the kitchen. Kitchen drawers, cupboards, pantries, cabinets, and shelves are dark and enclosed, providing the perfect hiding place for roaches.
- Behind refrigerators. This area is dark, warm, and close to water and food sources.
- Your bathroom( near plumbing and drains). Roaches like living near a constant source of water, which makes your bathroom an ideal place for them to hide.
- In and under the furniture. Food crumbs and droppings hidden in furniture folds may attract roaches. Also, if you rarely clean under your couches or sofas, cockroaches may find these areas attractive because of the unending supply of food.
- Crawl spaces. These are areas that tend to miss the human eye. They are usually untouched, making them an ideal hiding spot for roach nests.
- Bookshelves. Bookshelves stocked with numerous books are also great nesting areas for roaches.
Inside Your Car
Your car is another excellent nesting space for roaches. These bugs get access to the car with some assistance from you. Your shopping bag, second-hand items from a yard sale, suitcases, and even clothes are some of the means through which roaches get transported into your car.
And if you like snacking inside your vehicle, the roaches will find plenty of food and water.
In the Yard
Your yard is also another nesting place for roaches. The American cockroach is mostly found in the yard, but they may crawl back to the house if the weather is not favorable.
Mulch piles, woodpiles, storm drains, and trash cans are the most common areas where roaches build their nests outside your home.
How Many Nests Do Roaches Make?
Since roaches do not build actual nests, there is no rule regarding how many nests they should make. These pests will gather in areas with an endless supply of water and food. And when the supply can no longer sustain them, the pests move to another suitable site.
How Many Roaches Nest at One Time?
A roach nest can contain a few cockroaches to several hundred. If you find what looks like a roach nest, treat it as a serious infestation. Roaches multiply very quickly. Their eggs take between 24 to 38 days to hatch, and a single ootheca carries between 13 to 50 eggs.
So a few female roaches can produce hundreds of baby roaches a year.
How To Destroy Roach Nests
Roaches will continue inhabiting your home as long as they find the environment suitable for them. So, the only way to get rid of these pests is to destroy their nests as soon as you spot them.
A Couple of Roaches
Mostly, roach nests are easy to destroy, especially if there are only a few of the pests. You can set up sticky traps and baits to kill the pests and ensure you make your home inhabitable for them.
A Large Infestation
If you find a large roach nest, it is best to call professional exterminators as chemical control measures may be required to combat a severe roach infestation. A professional exterminator will stop the infestation and, at the same time, leave the environment clean.
Other Control Measures
Once you remove the roach nests, you should limit access points where the pests may hide. Keeping your space clean and organized will help eliminate the pests and prevent them from coming back.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Do not leave any food crumbs or spills out
- Clean your kitchen surfaces immediately if there is a spill
- Clean your house regularly
- Organize your home, especially the bedroom and basement, to reduce clutter
- Take out the trash regularly
- Create more open space
- Trim vegetation near your house regularly
Cockroaches are unhygienic and can spread bacteria to food that may have been left uncovered, which may later cause illnesses if consumed. These pests can also trigger allergic reactions in people with upper respiratory problems.
While there are several home remedies for roaches, it is best to call professionals to get rid of them for good.
What To Do if You Find a Roach Nest
Once you find a roach nest, the first instinct is to destroy it. Depending on the size of the infestation, you may be able to get rid of it yourself or call a professional. A huge infestation will need chemical control measures, so you will have to hire a professional exterminator.
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Roaches do not build real nests like ants. In roach terminology, a nest is simply a spot where the cockroaches gather. The spot is usually dark, enclosed, warm, and near water and food sources.
The first sign of a roach nest is a live cockroach itself. You will also notice egg casings, old molted exoskeletons, rock feces ( usually look like black pepper or coffee pellets), dead roaches, and a musty odor.
If you see any of these signs, you could be dealing with a roach infestation.
German roaches don’t usually build nests. They tend to congregate in warm, humid areas where they can easily access water and food. You will find these roaches around kitchen appliances like dishwashers, stoves, refrigerators, or any other dark place hidden from humans.