Where do cockroaches come from in apartments? (An expert’s perspective)

Live in an apartment and still have a cockroach problem?

Well, your cockroach problem can be history!

I know that dealing with a cockroach infestation is frustrating and, sometimes, costly. I recently replaced some books destroyed by roaches during a severe infestation some months ago.

So, I understand how much of a headache roaches are to apartment dwellers. And I also know how much you want to get rid of them. But there’s no getting rid of cockroaches in your apartment if you can’t locate their nests/hideouts.

Like me, you may have tried locating cockroaches’ nests in your apartment through various means — all to no avail. Which makes you wonder, “Where do these cockroaches come from in my apartment?”

Well, look no further. This article contains the answers you seek. And these answers are key to getting rid of roaches in your apartment once and for all.

Are you ready? Let’s get started.

Where do cockroaches come from in apartments

3 major reasons for cockroach infestation in apartments

cockroach on bread

To locate roaches in your apartment easily, you need to understand why they come into your house in the first place. And that’s what we’re discussing here.

Although cockroaches are destructive pests and scavengers, they are also among the most interesting insects. “How so?” you ask. Because roaches can not only reach speeds of as high as 3 miles per hour, but they can also live for a week without their heads.

Essentially, roaches are survivalists, and they infest apartments for various reasons. Some of these reasons include the following:

Water and food.

Cockroaches have a voracious appetite and can digest cellulose, so their menu accommodates a wide range of food options. And the food is chief among the reasons why roaches may enter your apartment.

However, these pests need water more than they need food! Cockroaches can only survive a few days (seven to ten days, depending on the species) without water, while they can survive for weeks (four to six weeks) without food.

Thus, if your apartment promises to provide food and water for cockroaches, their survival instincts make them enter without hesitation.


The next reason why roaches may invade your apartment is the humidity level. Humidity is essential for their survival because very low humidity makes them prone to desiccation.

Cockroaches have a sensory organ (called hygroreceptors) that detects humidity.

So if the humidity level in your apartment is medium or high (60-75%), it increases the chances of a cockroach infestation.


You are more likely to see cockroaches in your apartment during harsh weather conditions (excess heat or cold).

Here’s the thing: despite their adaptability, cockroaches do not thrive in excessively hot or cold environments. This is because they are cold-blooded insects, so roaches cannot regulate their internal temperatures.

Where else can they wait out the harsh weather than in the cozy corners of your apartment (basements, attics, etc.)? Now, you know where the cockroaches are coming from in your apartment. However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves; that’s a subject for the next section.

Common places where roaches come from in apartments

cockroach near plates

Cockroaches are nocturnal insects; therefore, it is unlikely that you’ll find them around your apartment during the day. Nevertheless, they don’t just come out of nowhere.

Roaches enjoy dark, humid corners in the house, where they lurk during the day and come out to forage at night. Here are some of the places where roaches come from in your apartment:


Cockroaches want a moist and dark place, and drains fit the bill. It’s common for apartment owners to see roaches in their kitchen or bathroom drain.

Moreover, cockroaches thrive in sewer systems and often climb into apartments through the drains. Also, drains (especially kitchen drains) serve as perfect breeding grounds for cockroaches because of their closeness to food sources.

So, if you see roaches’ antennas waving at you from your kitchen sink or bathroom drains, they must have come up from the sewers.

This is particularly disturbing. Because cockroaches from sewer systems can contaminate your food items with bacteria or pathogens, they pick up from the sewers.


Roaches thrive undisturbed in furniture. And it is no surprise that cockroaches love infesting furniture like drawers, bookshelves, cabinets, wardrobes, etc.

Most furniture in apartments has dark and undisturbed corners, making them comfortable for cockroaches and good spots for them to lay eggs. And a female cockroach can produce about 400 baby roaches in one year.

So, if a cockroach infestation is not addressed immediately, you may soon have hundreds of cockroaches to deal with.


Another place where roaches flourish is in plumbing systems (pipes). Pipes in apartments provide the moisture that cockroaches desperately seek and serve as pathways for them to move into your apartment from neighboring apartments.

Moreover, since cockroaches can squeeze themselves into tiny spaces, cracked or damaged pipes are ideal entry points for them into your apartments.

Electrical appliances

Electrical appliances make good hiding spots for smaller cockroach species like German cockroaches, Brown Banded Cockroaches, Asian Cockroaches, and other cockroaches.

Roaches hide in electrical or electronic appliances for two main reasons: warmth and safety. They are unlikely to stay in an appliance if it is in use. So, you should not be surprised to find small cockroaches on your unused laptop and television.


The kitchen is the most common of all the places mentioned so far. Firstly, it is the roaches’ best food source. You’ll likely find one nibbling at food crumbs, leftovers, and uncovered food items in your kitchen at night.

Secondly, the kitchen provides roaches with ample hiding spots. Finally, kitchen cabinets, drawers, dishwashers, and dish drainers are all good hiding places for cockroaches.

Everything roaches need for survival can be found in the kitchen. Essentially, the kitchen is a cockroaches’ paradise—especially dirty kitchens. So, to have any hope of winning this fight against cockroaches, you should eliminate them from your kitchen.

However, while it is true that a dirty or untidy apartment attracts cockroaches, it also infests clean houses in search of warmth, moisture, and food.

Four guaranteed methods for getting cockroaches out of your apartment building

pest control expert using insecticide

Cockroaches are very good at hiding. So, any attempt to get them out of your house must include ways to force them out of hiding and kill them. Here are some of the methods to kill cockroaches in your apartment:


Before you use insecticides (either sprays or roach powders), you should first locate their hiding spots and entry points. Then, you can purchase effective insecticides or roach powders from any store.

Afterward, you can spray the insecticide or sprinkle the powder at the target points. Some places that you should target are foundation cracks and crevices, pipes, window and door frames, etc.

Do not forget to spray them in places where cockroach egg sacs or baby roaches may be. That way, you will be getting rid of them completely.


Cockroach baits have various forms. They can be powder, bait stations, gel, or solid pellets. Each form, however, has its advantages.

For example, gel baits are more suitable for indoor usage because they can easily get washed away when used outdoors. On the other hand, bait stations and solid pellets are better suited for outdoor usage.

The roaches ingest the bait, and it kills them. Some baits kill cockroach eggs and cockroach nymphs, too. So, you should consider that when getting bait.

Glue/sticky traps

Glue is good for you if you have pets or kids. This is because it does not contain toxic ingredients like insecticides. However, a glue trap’s effectiveness depends on the location. You should ensure you place the glue traps where you see cockroaches often.

Also, it is advisable to use multiple glue traps to cover more ground at once and bid these nefarious pests goodbye once and for all.

Professional exterminator

If you still see cockroaches in your apartment after trying all the methods above, then it is time to call a professional exterminator/pest control company.

Since they are professionals, they are bound to locate the cockroaches’ hiding spots faster and kill them quickly.


After getting rid of the cockroaches, take the following steps to keep roaches from infesting your apartment.

Ensure good sanitation: Keeping a clean environment can make your apartment less attractive to cockroaches. Do not leave dirty dishes around in the kitchen. Also, you should store food items in airtight containers, out of reach to cockroaches.

Seal/block entry points: all cracks, holes, drains, or pipes should be blocked to ensure cockroaches can’t enter easily.

Cockroaches are attracted to dark places, so avoiding clutter or cardboard box piles as much as possible reduces their chances of finding a hiding place.

Finally, you can use natural roach repellents to make your apartment unlivable for cockroaches. Now, get to work and get rid of those six-legged pests.

Good luck!


About the author

DIY Pest Control Enthusiast Since 1996

After spending the entire night lying awake in a cockroach-infested hotel, I have driven myself to build knowledge on all things pest control. Since then, I've tested pest control techniques to see what works and what doesn't. Now, here I am giving you all the info I have learned!

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