If you spot one cockroach in your home, chances are good that many more are nearby. Roaches can infest your food and nest throughout your home. In addition, they can cause allergic reactions and trigger and worsen asthma symptoms in some people.

Because of these factors, it's important to act quickly if you suspect a roach infestation. Learn how to spot a cockroach nest and what to do if you find one.

What Is a Cockroach Nest?

Unlike insects such as ants, which build easily noticeable mounds, roaches don't build the type of nests you'll immediately recognize. In fact, a cockroach nest is simply a spot where cockroaches congregate. This spot is often in an enclosed, dark, warm area away from people.

While roaches do group together, it's not out of a sense of community, as is the case with many other insects that have a hierarchical structure or colony (such as ants, wasps, bees and termites). Rather, cockroaches are independent creatures that are most concerned with what is best for them as individuals. The reason why cockroaches can be found in the same place as others is because dark, temperate areas away from humans is a safe hiding place for one cockroach, as much as it is for an entire group of roaches.

Roaches will create nests in places that offer shelter and which are close to food and water. Inside of a cockroach nest, you'll likely find many roaches, both alive and dead. You'll also see roach droppings, molted skin and roach egg sacs.

Examples of Roach Nests

Roaches prefer enclosed spaces near food and water sources for their nests. Here are some examples of common places where cockroaches may build their nests:

  • Behind refrigerators: This area provides ideal conditions for a roach nest, as it's dark, warm and close to food and water sources.
  • In kitchen drawers: Kitchen drawers, like refrigerators, are close to food sources and are dark and enclosed.
  • In cupboards: Cupboards, cabinets or pantries are great spots for cockroach nests because roaches can hide from people and can easily access the resources they need.
  • Around plumbing or near drains :Your bathroom may attract roaches if you have a clogged drain or leaky pipe. This is a great source of water for pests.
  • Under furniture: If you don't clean under couches, cabinets or bookshelves often, they may provide a great spot for cockroaches to congregate.
  • Crawl spaces: This is another place that doesn't get much attention from human eyes, which makes it a perfect spot for roaches.

Remember, roaches will make their nests anywhere they find habitable conditions that provide shelter and easy access to food and water, so the list isn't limited to the spots above.

How to Find Cockroach Nests

Cockroaches can reproduce quickly, so it's important to locate their nests as soon as you spot any signs of infestation. If you see even a single cockroach, alive or dead, it's a good sign that there are others. And roaches often nest far from human contact in dark spaces, so they could be expanding their colonies without you knowing.

To find a cockroach nest, it's helpful to understand the cockroach lifecycle. Cockroaches have three lifecycle stages: egg, nymph and adult. Depending on the type of cockroach, an adult female can lay between 10 and 48 eggs at a time. On their way to adulthood, cockroaches go through a molting process during the nymph stage. Their molted skin is often deposited into the cockroach nests, and knowing this can be helpful when trying to identify an infestation.

Look in the spaces listed above, and check for signs such as droppings, egg casings and discarded molts. These are all telltale signs that a cockroach nest is nearby. If you think you have an infestation but just can't locate it, it may be time to call a professional. Pest control specialists know where roaches like to hide and can help find the source of the problem.

What to Do If You Have a Roach Nest In Your Home

Like any other living creature, cockroaches need a source of food and water to survive. Cleaning up debris and clutter around your home, especially old cardboard boxes, and repairing leaky pipes is a good preventative measure, as it removes the food and water sources that may be attracting cockroaches. Keeping the outside of your home tidy is also essential. Trim bushes back from air vents and get rid of plant debris to help control the roach population and lessen their ability of suitable harborage.

Of course, it makes sense to kill any roach you see, but getting rid of a few here and there won't curb your infestation. It's necessary to locate the nest or nests within your home and eradicate them completely. For those who attempt a DIY approach, using traps and baits may eliminate some roaches, but this isn't a long-term solution. Even if you think you've located and gotten rid of a nest, roaches can quickly find another spot within your home to populate. Professional pest control services may need to be called in to help you get rid of roaches.

Contact Terminix® to help get rid of roaches

Handling a roach infestation by yourself can be ineffective, not to mention a headache. If you suspect you have roach nests in your home, it's best to leave the treatments to the professionals. A Terminix pest control professional can help with your infestation and will work with you to create a treatment plan built on your home's specific needs.

Cockroaches can be difficult to control and require regular monitoring and visual inspection. A professional pest control program, combined with controlling the environment by maintaining cleanliness throughout the home, can help prevent re-infestation.

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