Skip to content

Why Do I See Cockroaches Outside My House at Night?

If you see cockroaches outside your house at night, you are not alone. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty common occurrence.

Garden roaches are nothing new, and you will come across them crawling on your porch, patio, and sidewalks pretty often.

However, roaches lurking in your yard should not be taken lightly at any cost because soon, they might be infesting your house.

If you see cockroaches outside your house at night, the reasons might be,

  1. Bright porch lights that attract roaches
  2. Sewerage holes with loose covers surrounding your garden
  3. Uncovered garbage bins sitting outside the house
  4. Your neighbors might be having a heavy roach infestation
  5. Your garden might have plenty of stacked rotting leaves and clutter that attract roaches
  6. Your garden might be damp

Cockroaches are nocturnal species, and that is why cockroaches come out at night in search of food and water.

Therefore, seeing cockroaches outside the house at night might not be serious.

However, there might be some reasons that warrant quick action to prevent your garden from turning into a roach breeding hub.

Before you read further, just a quick question. Tired of cockroaches and looking for a permanent solution?

Stop wasting your time, invest in these products and follow this guide: How to get rid of roaches? You will be roach-free in 10-20 days.

1. Max Force Glue Traps
2. Advion Gel Baits
3. Harris Powder Bait
4. Gentrol Insect Growth Regulator
5. Loctite Foam Sealent


Optional Items
1. Gel Bait Professional Gun
2. Torch
3. Powder Bait Puffer
4. Insecticide Spray to kill a reveled colony in a single shot

Reasons you see Cockroaches outside the house at night!

Cockroaches are most active during warm, humid summers when they mate and breed young roaches.

During the late summer months, it’s pretty common to encounter a large number of insects, including beetles, butterflies, and roaches roaming around the house, especially at night.

However, seeing cockroaches outside the house at night might have other reasons. If you carefully work on these causes, you will successfully overcome these garden roaches.

Reason 1: Bright lights on Porch or Yard

Bright lights attract several insects, including mosquitoes, beetles, and certain garden roaches, including Wood cockroaches and the Asian cockroach.

If your porch or yard is lightened with extra bright lights, this might be the only reason you see cockroaches outside the house at night.

Moreover, bright light also makes the roaches fly towards them and move indoors via windows.

Reason 2: Lose Sewrage holes Surrounding the Garden

The infamous American and Australian cockroaches live inside sewerage holes and feed on filth and feces.

If your garden or yard has a sewerage hole near it, look for loose covers because roaches might be escaping through them into your garden.

This might sometimes be the sole reason for roaches in the yard.

Reason 3: Uncovered Garbage Bins

Uncovered garbage bins emit a strong smell that attracts many roaches, including American, Smokey Brown, and Wood roaches.

If you have garbage bins near your garden or yard, cover them adequately to prevent garden roaches from getting attracted.

Reason 4: Infestation from Neighbors

Sometimes the only reason you see roaches on the porch at night is because of a heavy infestation in your neighborhood.

In case of heavy infestation, roaches can’t find enough food and water, so they usually move outwards at night from a nearby house and may linger around your garden or yard in search of food and water.

Reason 5: Stacks of rotting leaves and Clutter

Stacks of rotting leaves and clutter are no less than heaven for garden roaches and attract them. Unfortunately, therefore, you might encounter them outside the house at night.

Properly cleaning the leaves and clutter might help you get rid of yard roaches.

Reason 6: Dampness

Cockroaches can live without food for months, but they can’t live without water for more than a week.

Therefore, dampness inside your garden might attract roaches during extreme summer when it’s mostly dry.

Roaches come out at night in search of dampness and hideaway during the day; that is why you only see cockroaches outside your house at night.

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth for Roaches and Bugs: Does it Work?

Types of roaches on the porch at night

Based on the place you live, you may have different types of cockroaches outside your house at night but a few of them are the most commonly encountered roaches in the yard.

This is because these roaches mostly live outdoors.

Following are types of roaches mostly encountered on the porch at night,

American Cockroach

The American cockroach is found mainly inside gutters and sheds but can also move indoors when conditions are suitable.

The American cockroach is the most common roach you will see outside the house at night. These cockroaches love to hide under the rocks and stacks of wood and come out at night in search of food and water.

American cockroaches measure one and a half to 2 inches in size and have light brown color with a flat body. They have flight-capable wings and reproduce quickly. American cockroaches have a life span of up to 2 years.

Wood Cockroach

If you are living in a suburban town with a lot of greenery surrounding you, wood roaches might be the most common garden roaches you will see outside the house at night.

Wood roaches live in timberland and are accidentally carried inside the house with firewood. They infest homes made of wood but are easy to exterminate because they are less shy than other roaches and roam freely.

Wood roaches are attracted to bright light and may fly inwards via open windows and ventilators; therefore, covering them with mesh is important to prevent infestation.

Asian Cockroach

Asian cockroaches resemble German roaches but prefer to live in shady green areas and come out at night. If your garden or yard is damp and shady, you might see them roaming around at night outside your house.

Asian roaches are most active in August but can be found throughout the year infesting your grass.

They are attracted to bright white light on the patio or porch. However, they can enter houses via windows and ventilators and live happily in damp basements and attics.

Other Grass Roaches

Other grass roaches that you might see outside the house at night include Oriental and Brown Banded roaches. They also roam around in search of food and water at night.

Where do roaches come from? Read this article to get your answer.

What to do with outside roaches?

If you see roaches outside the house at night, do not take them lightly because they can soon enter your house and cause an infestation. Therefore, you must get rid of the outside roaches.

Follow these steps to get rid of outside roaches,

Step 1: Analyze the type and level of infestation in your yard

Before you get rid of roaches from the yard, you must analyze the level of infestation and the type of cockroaches present.

This will help you select the most appropriate method needed for killing roaches.

Moreover, it will also help you know why you see many roaches outside the house at night. For example, the presence of wood cockroaches means you are using bright lights.

Likewise, seeing an American cockroach infesting your grass means you have an open pothole somewhere near you.

Step 2: Remove the factors that attract roaches outside your house

The next step is to remove the factors that attract roaches outside your house including,

  1. Change bright lights inside your porch with dim lights
  2. Seal sewerage holes properly (Check 5 Best Anti Cockroach Drain Covers)
  3. Regularly clean leaves and rotting matter
  4. Cover garbage bins adequately
  5. Remove sources of dampness in your yard like leaking pipes
  6. Talk with your neighbors if you feel that roaches are coming from them

Step 3: Kill the roaches in the grass

Now that you have successfully removed the factors, the next step is to kill the remaining roaches in the yard. Use any of the following methods to get rid of grass roaches,

Method 1: Using roach killing spray

You can effectively kill roaches outside your house using an insecticide spray.

However, every spray will not work out for you because it requires a large amount of insecticide solution that needs to be thoroughly applied.

Therefore, I recommend you to use Ortho Home Defense Insects Killer because it is a 1.1-gallon solution and comes with a pre-packed electric spraying device. It will also keep killing roaches for up to 3 months.

All you need to do is spray around the house’s whole border, including the grass.

Additional Read: 3 Best Outdoor Roach Killers

Method 2: Using Baits

Although baits do not instantaneously kill roaches outside the house, they are the more effective long-term remedy.

Once the roaches consume the bait, they will share it with the whole colony and kill them.

To use bait, apply small amounts around multiple locations outside the house including,

  1. Around the pavements and corners of the house
  2. Near the garbage bins
  3. Around the sewerage holes
  4. Around the lights

Best Baits:

Method 3: Using Roach Killing pellets

Outside roaches are susceptible to many pesticides, and toxic pelletized baits scattered outdoors provide the most reliable control.

Therefore set up pellet baits around the green area surrounding your houses at multiple locations and wait for a few days. You will definitely get rid of cockroaches outside your house.

Step 4: Use natural roach repellents

The last step to get rid of roaches outside the house is to use natural roach repellents such as peppermint oil. Not only will it prevent roaches from entering the house, but it will also ward them off your garden.

All you need to do is mix 20 drops of peppermint oil or other essential oil in water and spray it around and outside the house.

Additional Read!