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How to Get Rid of Roach Smell in Your House?

Cockroaches have a unique misty and oily smell which is very easy to notice if you have an ongoing infestation. This smell can stay for a while even after a roach treatment.

If you are wondering how to get rid of the roach smell in your house during an ongoing infestation or after a treatment, you need to follow these simple steps:

– Get rid of roaches; until then, all remedies won’t last for long.
– Remove the source of the smell (Roach droppings, dead roaches, broken eggs, skins & shells, etc.) with a thorough cleaning.
– Wash all fabrics & linens with a good quality detergent.
– Open doors and windows for a while to let fresh air come in.
– Use Febreze Odor Remover (unperfumed – Link).

It’s a little hard to get the smell completely out in a single go, but the remedies will help reduce the smell significantly.

If you can get rid of roaches, the smell will automatically be gone after a month or so. So the main problem is getting rid of roaches.

Why roaches smell so bad?

A roach infestation will lead to a misty foul stench, easily distinguished from other smells. This smell can occur due to the following reasons:

  1. Smell from a unique secreations, also known as pheramons. Roaches need these smell to communicate to find nests, food, and mate.
  2. Roach Droppings will add in to the overall smell. These droppings dryout quickly and the smell will be gone unless they remain damped due to moisture. These droppings can also grow molds, adding to the foul smell.
  3. A dead roach will also produce a unique smell, also known as “Death Stench”. The smell can keep coming till its completely decayed.

If the roaches somehow go away, the smell will naturally fade after some time.

Steps to get rid of roach smell in your house

So follow this guide to get rid of the roach smell in your house. The process can vary depending on your situation, but the overall concept is the same.

Step 1: Get Rid of Roaches

So the first step is to get rid of the roaches themselves, else every remedy will fall short.

To get rid of roaches the way expert exterminators do, then follow this guide and invest in these products. You will be roach-free in 10-20 days. The guide is more about how exterminators use these products and what the benefits are of each of them.

The most crucial part is making sure you are not getting a constant supply of roaches from your neighbors.

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

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

Step 2: Thorough Cleaning and Disinfecting

Once you are done with the above-said treatment, you should carry a thorough cleaning to remove all dead roaches and their droppings to quickly get relief from the roach smell.

Follow these steps while cleaning your home for roach smell:


  1. Start with your kicthen or where you have found the roaches mostly.
  2. Thorughly clean every drawer by removing everything inside. Remove the drawers if possible. Use a damped cloth in a water mixed with boric acid + viniger to avoid reinfestation. Don’t forget to apply small quanity of gel baits as explained in the guide mentioned in Step 1.
  3. Move all electric applicances forward, and clean behind it. You will mostly find roach nests behind or under electric appliances. You can learn more on how to find a roach nest here.
  4. Use a disinfectant spray to kill the bacteria producing the smell around dead roaches and its droppings.
  5. Use a degreaser to remove the smear marks produced by roach droppings.
  6. Wash all cutlury (used or unused) as there can be roach pheramons on them.
  7. Thoroughly clean the floor with a disinfectant and a floor cleaner at the end.

Bedrooms & Living Rooms

  1. If you can locate roach infestation spreading to your rooms, you will have to identify the nests first.
  2. Once the nests are insight, clean the area with as per need. Just do a generic cleaning, nothing fancy.
  3. You can use a damped cloth in Boic Acid + Viniger + Water solution and disinfect the nesting place to avoid reinfestation. Use gel baits and roach traps for better results as mentioned in step 1.


  1. Start with cleaning all drawers after removing everything out.
  2. Wash all bottles and containers with soapy water.
  3. Wash entire bathroom with disinfectant and floor cleaner.


  1. If you don’t go inside your store often, I will recommend just using gel baits to kill roach nests. The smell will be automatically gone in a few months. It won’t stay forever.
  2. If the storeroom is frequently used, you will have to take out everything before cleaning it.
  3. Once everything is out, thorugly clean every item before placing it again.
  4. Clean all shelves, drawers etc.
  5. Use a disinfectant spray and cleaner to clean the floor.

Step 3: Vaccum all around in your house

You can vacuum your place before or during thoroughly cleaning your house, as explained in the above step.

Vacuuming will make your job a lot easier. Follow these steps while vacuuming:

  1. Vaccum for dead roaches, skins, droppings & feces etc.
  2. Vaccum from top to bottom
  3. Don’t forget cupboard tops, inside drawers, behind appliances and sinks
  4. Seal the bag and dispose it of after vaccuming

Additional Read: How to dispose off a cockroach?

Step 4: Wash All Clothing & Linens

Once you are done with a thorough cleaning and vacuuming, it’s time to wash all fabrics and linens near heavily infested places. Like, wash your beddings if your furniture is infested.

Wash table mattes if you used to dine in your kitchen. You will have to make the call yourself on what to wash and what to leave.

You can also just smell it to get an idea if it needs a quick wash or not. Regular standard washing will be enough to get the smell out. Use a fabric conditioner for better results.

Additional Read: How to remove roaches from electronics, fabrics, cars and furniture when moving out?

Step 5: Change the Air

Sometimes, just letting in new air by opening your doors and windows can help reduce the smell significantly.

Leaving your exhaust on for the entire night can also help. The way you need to do it depends on where and how you live.

Just make sure that leaving your doors and windows open won’t let new roaches come in.

Step 6: Use Odor Remover

Using an odor remover at the end is a crucial step in getting rid of the roach smell out of your house. Once you are done cleaning and vacuuming, use a Febreze Odor Remover. Make sure it’s unscented, else the new smell from the odor remover will be a problem of its own. If you are sensitive to roach smell, I am sure you won’t like any smell coming from an odor remover.

Odor remover will suppress the roach smell significantly and can help till all sources of the roach smell dry out. Keep using the odor remover every 2-3 days for better results.

Avoid using AIR FRESHENERS. Air fresheners will only add a new smell to the overall mess.