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7 ways to get a cockroach out of hiding

Cockroaches are tiny and quick. They can easily escape once they notice any danger.

Cockroaches are nocturnal (active at night), so they will rarely come out if it’s lit. However, you will find them crawling in day time if you have a severe infestation.

If you have spotted a roach that is hiding somewhere, here are a few great methods to get a cockroach out of hiding

  • Method 1: Create full darkness or wait till its night. Roaches are active at night or in darkness.
  • Method 2: Use a hair dryer, as roaches will hate the hot air, and they move along the direction of blowing air.
  • Method 3: Put some essential oil on a piecie of fabric, attach it to a stick, and try poking in where it hiding. Roaches hate smells of essential oils like tea tree, perpermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Cypress, etc.
  • Method 4: Use a cockroach gel bait. Gel baits have ingredients which roaches love to feed on. This will not only bring a cockroach out of their hiding place, it will kill it as well.
  • Method 5: Use a cockroach trap. Traps contains attractive food source with the water source they need. They will get caught or die after consuming it.
  • Method 6: Use a fogger or insecticide spray. This is a direct kill method. Foggers and sprays will make roaches go crazy, and they will comeout of their hidding places.
  • Method 7: Remove all water sources. Roaches can’t survive without frequently drinking. They will comeout of their hidings in search of water.

These are a few methods to get roaches out of their hidings. So, first, let’s discuss each plan in detail and how to execute it.

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

Methods to get a cockroach out of hiding

The methods can vary depending on you knowing the exact spot where the roach is hiding vs. you are not sure.

I will keep explaining how to use the methods concerning the scenario.

Method 1: Wait till its dark & night

Since cockroaches are nocturnal, they are active at night in darkness—their internal bio-system guides cockroaches when to sleep and when to wake and hunt for food.

Waiting till it’s dark is a great way to get a cockroach out of hiding. If turning off lights in the hiding spot creates reasonable darkness, try doing so. Considering it’s now safe to be outside, the cockroach will come out of hiding.

You may need a torchlight to spot the roach, but keep it off most of the time. You may have to sit and wait for the roach to come out.

Also, note that this is a slow process, and you may still not be able to kill the cockroach after spotting it. But, you will have a clear idea of the level of infestation. If you see many cockroaches when you turn on the lights or turn on the torch, you are dommed and need to take care of them.

Try something from our list of best cockroach insecticides.

Method 2: Use a hair dryer

Using a hairdryer will only work if you know where the roach is hiding. If you are unsure about the spot, move on to the following method.

The extra heat from the dryer will make the hiding spot unbearable for the roach to stay, and it will come out of the hiding.

Roaches tend to run or move in the direction of airflow, and they avoid going to places it’s bright and lit. So make sure the room is dark enough to push the roach out of the hiding.

Extra heat from the dryer may kill the roach itself as roaches can not tolerate high temperatures. Check this article on what temperatures kill cockroaches.

Method 3: Use a smell cockroaches hate

Using a smell to get a cockroach out of hiding is tricky and may not work in every case.

Cockroaches hate smells of essential oils and a few herbs. But a hiding cockroach will be already too afraid to take the risk of running away from a bad smell.

However, spraying an essential oil like neem, lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus mixed with some water will help make the cockroach come out of the hiding after a few hours when the roach sense it to be safe.

If you know the exact hiding spot of the roach, you can apply a few drops of essential oil on a piece of fabric and tie it on the tip of a rod. Then slide in the rod inside the hiding place of the roach to deter it out of the hiding spot. Sometimes this method does not work if the roach is frightened.

Method 4: Use a cockroach gel bait

Cockroach gel baits are highly effective in getting cockroaches out of hiding. They not only bring roaches out of their nests, but they will also even kill them for you.

An experienced exterminator will always use gel baits. If you are hiring a pest control company that plans to use sprays instead of gel baits, it’s the first sign to look for someone else.

The problem with gel baits is that you don’t see the results overnight. Gel baits take a few days to show to kill all cockroaches. However, sprays will kill roaches that are visible and on the spot, and gel baits will destroy cockroach colonies.

Gel baits have ingredients that cockroaches love to consume. The aroma out of gel baits will attract roaches out of their hiding. Once they eat it, they will die in 2-3 days. While they die, the affected cockroaches will carry the poison inside their nests and will kill other roaches and nymphs.

This is a closed-loop and very effective method of killing roaches in apartments and homes.

Method 5: Use a cockroach trap

Cockroach traps work the same way as cockroach gel bait. The difference is the mess created by gel baits.

Gel baits are not safe for kids and pets. You will have to apply them at open reachable places. On the other hand, cockroach traps are premade traps made with a plastic enclosure with an entry point for roaches.

All you have to do is place the trap at a suitable place. Roaches will get attracted by the aroma from the food and water source inside the trap and will die in a day or two after consuming it.

The affected roaches will take the poison back to their nests and help kill more roaches and baby palmetto bugs.

Method 6: Use a fogger or insecticide spray

Using a fogger or spray is a direct kill method than luring a cockroach out of its hiding place. However, if you have a severe infestation, you should consider using a fogger or ordinary spray.

A fogger will spread across the room and will kill most of the roaches hiding in tight corners and places. The insecticide spread by foggers will keep killing roaches for many days. You will see more than usual roaches after the bombing, but that is normal, as the spray makes the roaches go crazy.

Method 7: Remove water source to kill a roach with thirst

Eliminating all water and moisture sources is also an excellent way to get a cockroach out of hiding. Cockroaches can not survive without consuming water frequently. This is why cockroaches like to be in a hot, humid environment with plenty of water.

Removing all water sources will make cockroaches get out of their nests. This step will also help you avoid having reinfestation.

However, cockroaches can survive for around a week without drinking, but ultimately, they will either die or come out in search of water.

To remove water sources, check all for leaks around all plumbing. Make sure to dry out your bathroom after use. Dry your cutlery before placing it on shelves. Make sure there is no seeping across all walls.

Common hiding spots for cockroaches

Below is a comprehensive table showing where cockroaches can hide inside your house.

Learn more: Where do cockroaches hide?

PlaceHiding SpotRemedy
Kitchen1. Under Sinks due to moisture
2. Inside Cabinets due to darkness
3. Behind or under electrical appliances due to heat
4. Inside pantry due to food crumbs & darkness
Gel Baits, Traps, Boric acid mixed with sugar and Natural Repellents
Bathroom1. Bathroom tower due to humidity
2. Medicine cabinet due to darkness
3. Flush sink above the toilet seat as it’s a nice place to sneak in
4. Vanity and toilet sink due to a lot of free unused space, generally out of our reach
5. Bathroom drains as it has hairs, nails, and other items for roaches to consume
Gel Baits and Traps.
You can put bleach, vinegar & ammonia inside drains.
Bedroom1. In drawers due to darkness
2. Inside closets due to ample space
3. Bookshelves due to space behind books
4. Under beds and couches due to ample space
5. Under table due to hiding spots
Cockroach traps. They are clean and safe for pets and children.
Living Room1. Underside couches due to darkness and perfect spot to lay eggs
2. Under carpets near the edge due to accumulated moisture
3. Under accent chairs, sofas, and ottomans 
Cockroach traps. They are clean and safe for pets and children.
Storeroom1. Behind and under storage boxes due to moisture and hiding spots
2. Corners
3. Under shelves due to darkness
4. Inside cardboard boxes due cellulose and fibers to feed on
Gel Baits, Traps, Boric acid mixed with sugar and Natural Repellents
Hallways1. Door hinges as they are dark and tight spots when closed
2. Near and underplant trays due to moisture
3. Behind hanging picture frames on walls as no one comes to check those
Cockroach traps. They are clean and safe for pets and children.