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Will Cockroaches Crawl on You in Your Sleep?

The idea of a cockroach running around in your bed when you’re asleep is enough to make just about anyone’s skin crawl. 

But will they actually climb on you when you’re sleeping? 

Cockroaches occasionally crawl on people when they’re sleeping. However, roaches do not really like to be around people, even when they’re asleep, for fear of getting smashed. Thus, you probably won’t get a roach in your bed unless you have a large infestation. 

Why Would a Roach Crawl on a Sleeping Person?

A woman is sleeping on the bed in a dimly lit room.

Roaches typically do not like to be near people, even when they’re asleep, because cockroaches understand that humans often kill them. 

Yet, a roach may choose to enter a person’s bed and crawl on them if they are looking for food. 

You see, for the most part, roaches can always find something to eat in our homes since they have such a broad diet. 

But, if there truly is nothing for them to eat, they may climb into your bed in search of a snack. 

Roaches may even be attracted to your bed because people’s beds almost always contain something a cockroach can eat, such as food crumbs, hair, and dead skin cells. 

However, as I said, roaches usually only enter a person’s bed as a last resort, especially if that person snores, moves around a lot, or gives any other indication they may be awake. 

Will Roaches Bite a Sleeping Person?

Roaches do not usually bite people, but they might if they are starving. 

Normally, if a roach has entered your bed, it is already pretty hungry. 

And if it doesn’t find anything to munch on around you, it may try to take a bite out of you. 

However, roach bites are not common, so if you have a roach infestation, it is doubtful that you will ever get bit. 

Do Cockroach Bites Hurt?

How painful a roach bite will feel to you depends on your pain tolerance and how your body reacts. 

Typically, though, I can say that cockroach bites are more painful than the bites of many other common pests. 

But, the pain doesn’t usually last that long. 

Can Roach Bites Cause an Allergic Reaction?

Roach bites may cause an allergic reaction if you are allergic to them. 

You see, when a person is allergic to roaches, they are specifically allergic to the enzymes in roach saliva, feces, and body parts. 

And since a roach bite might cause some saliva to enter your body, it definitely could result in an allergic reaction. 

You should also note that even just having a roach in your bed or your room may be enough to cause allergy symptoms. 

7 Methods to Prevent Roaches From Crawling Into Your Bed 

A cockroach on the bed and a blurred photo of a man sleeping.

Unfortunately, there really is no way to guarantee that roaches won’t crawl into your bed when you are sleeping. 

The only true way to ensure roaches stay away from you at night is to eliminate your roach problem. 

However, there are a few ways to reduce the chances that roaches will want to crawl into your bed while you’re trying to get rid of your infestation. 

1) Keep Your Bedroom Clean 

If you have roaches in your bedroom, there is a higher chance that they will crawl on you when you are sleeping. 

And since roaches like to stay near food sources, the best way to get cockroaches out of your bedroom is to get rid of any food they can eat. 

In a macro sense, this means not leaving dirty dishes in your room. 

You also shouldn’t keep food in your bedroom even if it has a seal because roaches can chew through many types of packages. 

Furthermore, you should remember that roaches are small and don’t need to consume much to survive. 

Plus, they can eat things you may not suspect, such as cardboard, newspaper, and hair. 

Therefore, you should perform a deep clean of your bedroom, including vacuuming the floors, washing your bedclothes, and scrubbing hard surfaces. 

You also should never let your trash can pile up because garbage cans can be heaven for a roach. 

2) Declutter Your Bedroom

Another way to get roaches out of your bedroom is to declutter. 

Decluttering gives roaches fewer places to hide, and if they can’t hide in your room, they won’t want to be there. 

So, go through everything in your bedroom and determine what you can get rid of and what you can move to a different room. 

3) Get a Metal Bed Frame 

Now, this option isn’t the best for most people because the majority of homes only get roaches on occasion. 

But, if you live in a place where roaches are common, and you get infestations frequently, you may want to buy a metal bed frame. 

You see, it is quite challenging for roaches to climb metal bed frames because they have smooth legs that the cockroaches can’t grab. 

If you are going to try this method, though, you will want to make sure your bed is not next to the wall. 

Otherwise, the roaches can just climb the wall to get to you. 

You also shouldn’t leave any fabric, such as a bed skirt, hanging down towards the floor because cockroaches can scale these too. 

4) Try Essential Oils 

Although not the most effective method, certain essential oils can help repel roaches away from your bed. 

The scents that work the best at deterring roaches are: 

  • Peppermint 
  • Catnip 
  • Oregano 
  • Tea tree 
  • Rosemary 

5) Try Pesticides 

Most people who have roaches use pesticides to try to get rid of them. 

And you, too, can use pesticides in your bedroom to kill cockroaches. 

Yet, remember that most pesticides do not work immediately. 

It can take several days after the roach comes into contact with the poison before it will die. 

In general, pesticides work well in the long run, but if you want to get roaches out of your room quickly, you should pair a pesticide treatment with another method. 

6) Patch Holes and Cracks in Your Bedroom Walls 

Having holes and cracks in your walls allow insects to use your home’s framework to travel quickly from room to room. 

So, if roaches are, say, in your kitchen (where they are most likely to be), they can easily make their way into your bedroom using the pathways in the walls. 

Therefore, you should repair any holes or cracks in your bedroom walls to prevent roaches from traveling from another place in the house to your room. 

Patching holes is especially effective if you live in an apartment since it helps stop roaches and other insects from getting into your unit from someone else’s. 

7) Keep Your Windows Sealed 

Keeping your bedroom windows sealed is especially important if you live in an area where roaches are common, such as New Orleans or Houston. 

Doing so will help prevent roaches from using your windows to get into your bedroom. 

Do Roaches Hide in Mattresses?

Now that you know roaches can hide out in your bedroom, you may be wondering if they will live inside your mattress the way bed bugs do. 

And I’m glad to say that roaches hardly ever live or hide in mattresses. 

As I said above, cockroaches do not like to be around people, so they won’t want to get into your mattress. 

However, there is technically nothing preventing them from making a home out of your mattress, and they may do so if they wish. 

Generally, though, they only get into mattresses if a home has a large roach infestation and other bugs have already taken all the other hiding spots. 


Typically, cockroaches will not crawl on you when you’re sleeping. 

But, if they are hungry, they may come into your bed to look for a snack.