How To Avoid Cockroaches When Moving

how to avoid cockroaches when moving

Moving out of a cockroach-infested home and wanting to leave the past behind? Roaches can travel from house to house and to avoid bringing them into your new home, you’ll need a strategy.

Remember every spy film you’ve ever seen? If you want to avoid cockroaches when moving, you can’t miss a single detail. Careful, every wrong move has the potential to turn your fresh start into a nightmare on an endless loop!

Before giving thought to your new place, consider the one you’re currently in. Find out where cockroaches hide and pay special attention to these items when moving.

Where Do Cockroaches Hide

You probably have suspicions that cockroaches hide in ceilings, bathrooms and pipes, but aren’t too worried because you don’t plan on taking any of those with you. What about the stuff you are bringing with you? Now, a fair warning to those with weak stomachs, you may wish you’d never heard the answer to “Where do cockroaches hide?”:

  •  Furniture 

Not only do roaches hide in furniture, they will even lay their eggs in it. This makes it a high risk to consider when thinking how to avoid cockroaches when moving. Apart from couches and fabrics, they lay their egg cases (yellow and whitish in colour) on tables, table legs and chairs made of plastic and wood as well.

  •  Ovens and Microwaves 

We are sorry to report that cockroaches can get into ovens and microwaves. What’s more, these are some of their favourite hiding spots, because they offer warmth, water and isolation.

  •  Appliances 

Kitchen appliances attract cockroaches more than you’d ever like to know. Roaches hide in toasters, coffee makers, blenders and firdges. This doesn’t necessarily mean they will use these appliances as life-saver boats when you’re moving, but it’s still important to keep a good eye on these.

  •  Electronics 

Cockroaches hide in computers, telephones and even clocks. You know how we mentioned that roaches like privacy? Well, sometimes warmth is enough.

  •  Cardboard and Paper 

Now, this is a big one. Cardboard boxes and stacks of paper are the perfect place for cockroaches to hide in. They love everything about it – the texture, the smell, even the taste. You need to be very careful when moving piles of magazines, newspapers or documents, in order to avoid cockroaches.

The list goes on to include brooms, mops, picture and mirror frames, book cases. A favourite question for cockroach-victims to ask is “Do cockroaches hide in clothes?“. The truth is roaches love to hide in closets so your clothes should be on the list of things you need to check well before packing.

How to Avoid Cockroaches When Moving

To avoid bringing cockroaches to your new home, not only should you not grant them access to enter, but also not give them a reason to. “Bombing” your current place of residence will have the exact opposite effect of what you’d expect. You may hope that it will limit the existing infestation, but instead it will only cause the surviving cockroaches to scatter to new places. Quite possibly places you didn’t even have them before!

Before packing for your move:

  • Inspect your belongings for cockroaches

The items on the “where do cockroaches hide” list should be your highest priority. Take them outside of the apartment or house, inspect them and shake them, including electronics, shoes, book cases, etc.

  • Launder all your clothes, sheets, pillow cases, rugs
  • Wash and dry all cooking utensils, pots and pans
  • Treat dressers and cabinets with an insecticide, after emptying them out

Now, unfortunately, this one is a must. You may want to avoid chemical treatment or think it’s senseless to pay an exterminator to treat the place you won’t even live in. However, if you skip this step, you are taking a huge risk. The tops, bottoms and insides of drawers and dressers are among the most common places for cockroaches to hide and lay eggs in.


  • Vacuum everything as you pack it
  • Pack everything into plastic containers, not cardboard boxes

Rule number one to avoid cockroaches when moving is not to pack in used boxes. That includes ones that you already had in your house and those taken from grocery shops. Do yourself a favour and don’t use cardboard boxes – as we mentioned earlier, they are cockroach heaven and actually attract the pests.

When moving out of a cockroach-infested property, plastic is your best friend. Pack every kitchen appliance in its own clear plastic bag and put all your belongings in sealed plastic bins with lids. Your computer and all electronics need to go in plastic bags as well. The idea is to seal the infestation as much as possible and not let it spread through to your other items.


  • Heat infested appliances by leaving them in the sun for a day, wrapped in black plastic bags

Cockroaches die at 50°C (125°F) so for extra security, you could use the sun to your advantage. Leave small appliances in black plastic bags in the hot sun for a day or two, if you have doubts about them.

  • Leave your belongings in a cold storage unit, garage or van if the temperatures are below -17°C (0°F)

“Appliances or furniture can be left in a garage when temperatures are below 0°F for several days. If moving, leaving possessions in a truck or van will do the same thing. “

Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, “Cockroach Control Manual

  • Unpack outside
  • Place glueboards around the property to detect any cockroaches
  • Avoid bombing, for the same reason as before: It will only cause the cockroaches to scatter and hide.

And that’s how to avoid cockroaches when moving! Finally, when the stress of the moving has passed, relax and enjoy your clean new home!

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