9 Ways to Get a Cockroach Out of Hiding (Proven Techniques)

Are you tired of seeing sneaky cockroaches scampering away when you turn on the lights in your bathroom or kitchen? You will also probably nod your head in silence when I say that cockroaches are one of the creepiest insects to exist.

No matter which aspect you choose to focus on- the way they look, their behavioral peculiarities, or the lack of hygiene surrounding their appearance, not even one aspect is positive.

Whenever a cockroach is seen at a place, there are chances that more roaches are nearby and hiding in dark obscure corners. The first thought after this is to try and eliminate the cockroaches but the question is how will you deal with creatures that do not often come out in the light?

This is why there are methods in place to lure a cockroach out of hiding which will also help in either discovering their nest or directly killing them. Whichever is the case, it is a win-win for us.

How to Get a Cockroach Out of Hiding?

How to Get a Cockroach Out of Hiding

Now here lies the crux of the matter. While we humans stay awake when it is light, the cockroaches hide in obscure corners. But when we retire for the day after switching off all the lights, the roaches emerge and start looking for food and water. That is why it is difficult to kill cockroaches.

The only way to deal with this issue is to draw out a cockroach from its nest and then eliminate it. You must be wondering how exactly one should do that.

So, here are 9 methods to attract a cockroach out of hiding places.

Spray Insecticide

Spray Insecticide
Taking Control: Woman Battles Cockroach Invasion with Insecticide Spray / Nicoleta Ionescu / Bigstockphoto.com

This is the most commonly used method to lure roaches out of hiding. It is also a pretty straightforward way of getting rid of roaches by killing them.

After you have marked out the location where the troublesome insects are hiding, use the thin nozzle of the insecticide bottle and spray a generous amount into the hole. The cockroaches that are hiding there will inhale the toxic repellent and come out of the corner in an attempt to save themselves but will turn over and die after struggling for a bit.

The insecticide will destabilize their muscle control and make the cockroach unable to move on their own, so it makes it easier for us to get rid of them.

Glue Traps

Glue Traps
A Sticky Surprise: Cockroach Caught in a Glue Trap / Garna Zarina / Bigstockphoto.com

These are essentially sticky fly papers that are infused with certain smells that attract cockroaches. Whenever the gullible cockroach tries to check out if the smell will lead them to any food source or not, they get stuck on the glue.

These are best laid out during the night and near the probable hiding spots of the roaches. However, the glue that these traps use is not very strong so adult cockroaches can free themselves after a while of struggling.

Baby cockroaches and nymphs are more susceptible to being caught in these traps until you discover and discard them.

Poisoned Bait

Poisoned Bait
Trapped in their Tracks: Cockroaches Caught by Poisoned Baits/ HONGZHI LUO / Bigstockphoto.com

The logic behind these is more or less the same as sticky traps because it uses smells and food to get a cockroach out of hiding. On top of that, it also has the added advantage of killing cockroaches as well.

The most common type of poisoned baits comes in the form of gels. These have to be applied to food and placed in a spot that is prone to cockroach infestation. The cockroaches will get attracted to the food and also consume the poison. Gel baits take some time to work and this is perfect to deal with cockroach infestation.

Roaches like to feed themselves first and then carry back food to their nest. This means that more cockroaches are poisoned and while you will not see the cockroaches come out of their hiding for a while, be assured that they are indeed dying in their hiding corners.

Use Heat

It is common knowledge that roaches like staying in sewers and drainage holes. One reason behind this is that these insects prefer cold places and heat repulses them. This is also why you will hardly spot cockroaches outdoors during the daytime when the sun is blazing.

This characteristic of theirs can be used to our advantage. Once you have figured out a probable location where the colony of cockroaches or the one runaway cockroach is hiding, it is time to heat it.

Take a hair blow dryer or space heater and supply a steady burst of hot air into the hiding corner. Cockroaches hate the heat and are bound to come out. Once it comes out, you spray it directly with insecticide or any insect repellent spray.

Shine a Bright Light

There are countless species of cockroaches in the world and the one thing that is common among most of them is that they prefer the dark to the light. Cockroaches are nocturnal insects that always emerge during the night to forage for food, water or even to shift nests from one spot to another.

This information comes in handy when you want to force cockroaches out of their hiding places. Just use a bright flashlight, or just your mobile torch and shine it into the tiny crevice that they are hiding inside. Remember, the brighter, the better. The sudden inflow of light in their otherwise dark corner will make all the hiding cockroaches come out of the obscure corner.

A Turkish study conducted to determine the sensitivity of native cockroaches to different wavelengths of light concluded that cockroaches may be more tolerant of red lights than blue. So, if you want the best result out of this hack then consider covering the head of your flashlight with blue cellophane paper and then shining it on the hiding cockroaches. 

Cockroach Repellent Odor

Thankfully for us, roaches not only seem to hate the heat but also certain smells and like to steer clear of them. This includes peppermint, bay leaves, rosemary lavender, cypress, etc. The smell of bleach is also detested by cockroaches but since it is quite pungent, think twice about using it.

Now, all you have to do is dab a cloth with the odored item you want to use and stuff it in the hole that the cockroach has run away into. For most of the listed items, you can get essential oils which are also used in diffusers or just mixed with water to keep rooms smelling fresh.

Bay leaves and bleach can be directly stuffed into the hiding place of the cockroach. Since roaches have a very keen sense of smell, they will be overwhelmed by the sudden onslaught of the smells that hate and that is sure to make a roach come out of their corner.

DIY Sticky Trap

If you want to trap adult cockroaches using sticky traps but feel that the traps are not strong enough, then here is a DIY alternative for you.

Take duct tape with strong adhesion and sprinkle bits of food on it. You can use cookies or biscuit crumbs for this. The cockroaches will smell the food which will make them come out of their hiding spots. When they step on the duct tape, they’ll get stuck.

You can add some gel baits on the tape to kill the cockroaches as well.

Water and Baking Soda

This hack to get a roach out of hiding can only be applied to certain places where it is okay to use water. The combination of water and baking soda is a potent solution to cockroach infestation.

Since baking soda expands in water, when it is consumed by cockroaches, their organs collapse under the pressure of the expanding baking soda.

Moreover, the insects are also repulsed by the faint smell of baking soda, so pouring this solution into corners where the roaches are hiding is a good way to chase them out.

To get rid of roaches in your house, gather half a cup of baking soda and sugar, as well as a quarter cup of water.

Combine all three ingredients well and pour the mixture onto a piece of cardboard or a regular dish.

Now, simply put this setup in areas where you frequently spot roaches and wait for them to enjoy their meal

The Jar Hack

Another simple yet efficient hack to lure cockroaches out. We all know that these insects are attracted to sweet-smelling foods. So if you have a jar of finished jelly or peanut butter and you’re planning to throw it out then here is how to use it to trap cockroaches.

Slather a generous amount of petroleum jelly-like vaseline on the mouth of the jar from the inside and place it upright on the ground. Better if you place it on the probable spot where the roaches are hiding.

The sweet smell of the jelly will attract the roaches and they will scale the jar to get inside and have a taste of it. But once they fall in, it will be hard for them to get out because they will not be able to grip a solid surface to climb out as the vaseline will cause them to slip.

Sometimes they may escape but to prevent that you can add some gel baits inside the jar along with the remnants of the jelly. The cockroach will be trapped there and die overnight.

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Final Words

While these tricks and hacks are pretty straightforward, there are still some things that you should keep in mind. Such as if you have pets or small children in your house, using gel baits is not recommended. Because they can unsuspectingly see the food crumbs and try to eat them.

There will be no mortal danger but the poor child or animal is sure to suffer from a bad case of diarrhea.

Also, you might wonder why not simply try to scare the cockroaches out of their hiding spot by banging the floor or clapping loudly. After all, this seems to work on most tiny creatures.

However, cockroaches can’t hear like we can and only use the sensors on their posterior to detect movement in their immediate environment.

They will simply run off before you have a chance to catch and kill them. Using these tricks not only helps to traps them but also eliminate cockroaches, allowing you to remove them easily afterwards.

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