Picture this: You’ve just wrapped up a long evening of binging your favorite show. You’re walking down the hall to brush your teeth before hitting the sack. You flick on the bathroom light and as your eyes adjust you witness a horrifying sight: cockroaches scattering across your sink and bathtub.


What is it about cockroaches and the nighttime? Are cockroaches attracted to light or repelled by it? And most importantly, how can you help get rid of cockroaches and keep them away?

Cockroach Behavior

Almost all cockroaches are nocturnal, which means they’re active only at night. So are cockroaches attracted to light? Nope. Most don’t like it one bit. That’s why they tend to scatter when you walk in a room and flick that switch.

And it’s not just artificial light that cockroaches dislike. They’re not fond of natural light either. Because of this, you’re unlikely to see them during the daytime. If you do notice one during the day, it may be because the roach got crowded out of its home or was forced out of hiding due to a lack of food. In fact, spotting a roach when the sun is still up is a good indicator that you may have an infestation. However, after a while, cockroaches can adapt to their environment and become acclimated to light. 

What if you just see one cockroach at night? Does that mean it was just a rogue roach that wandered in? It’s possible, but probably not likely. Cockroaches are aggressive breeders, so their populations can grow quickly. As a general rule of thumb, where there is one cockroach, there are likely many others.

Cockroach Prevention

Roaches are like people in that they have three basic needs: food, water and shelter. Knowing that, here are some things you can do to help keep cockroaches from setting up camp in your home:

  • Don’t leave out pet food or water
  • Fix leaky faucets, inside and out
  • Wipe down sinks before going to bed
  • Keep surfaces wiped down and free of food particles
  • Clean under appliances, including toasters, refrigerators and stoves
  • Regularly vacuum
  • Inspect your home for cracks and crevices and have those properly sealed
  • Have wire mesh properly placed over appropriate vents
  • Install weather stripping on doors
  • Trim ivy and trailing vines from your home
  • Have a professional cut back branches hanging over your home
  • Properly store firewood and debris piles far from your home
  • Keep mulch and pine straw at least 1 foot from your house
  • Clean any fallen fruit or vegetables in your yard
  • Seal your compost bin
  • Secure trash can lids

How to Help Get Rid of Cockroaches

Prevention methods like the ones mentioned above only go so far. They won’t guarantee that roaches stay out of your home, and once they get in your home, what can you do?

Overall, your best means of cockroach control is to use a professional pest control service like Terminix®. A trained technician can examine your situation and knows the effective ways to control it, as well as how to help prevent cockroaches from coming back.

Have you spotted a cockroach in your home? Waiting to get the matter under control may lead to more roaches. Remember, they reproduce quickly. Enlist the help of a trained Terminix technician who can help remove roaches and work with you to set up a cockroach prevention and control plan.