Home » Cockroaches » Where Do Cockroaches Go During the Day?

Where Do Cockroaches Go During the Day?

Cockroaches are most commonly seen at night, scurrying away when the lights get turned on in a dark room.

But where do they go during the day?

Cockroaches spend most of the day hiding and resting. Dark, moist areas are their favorites, such as spaces under sinks and nestled in piles of clothing. They only come out during the day if they get crowded out or need to find food. 

Cockroach Behaviors

Close-up photo of a cockroach opening its wings.

Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal, meaning they’re mostly active at night. While they can adapt to environments with higher light levels, they will always prefer dark areas. 

Cockroaches generally don’t come out during the day for a variety of reasons. 

They scurry away and hide when you turn on the lights because it makes them feel exposed. Being in a well-lit area means they are easier to see and more vulnerable to predators. 

They look for food primarily at night when they feel safer.

If roaches are stuck in an area with more light, they will eventually adapt and start a new rest-scavenge cycle. 

Seeing cockroaches during the day is an indicator of a major infestation. If given the choice, they won’t come out during the day. 

Lack of food and water is one reason they may venture out of hiding spots during daylight hours. 

The other main reason is that their hiding spots get too crowded and they get forced out. 

In both cases, seeing a roach walking around in broad daylight is a sign that there are dozens or even hundreds more roaches occupying hiding spots. 

What Are They Doing During The Day?

During the day, cockroaches sleep. While it isn’t sleep in the way humans think about it, roaches go into an inactive resting state during the day. 

This state is why many roaches will remain still in one spot for long periods. 

They sit and avoid moving as much as possible to conserve energy until it’s safe to go out and look for food. 

Even though they’re inactive, they aren’t unconscious. Cockroaches still smell the air and can detect the air currents of things moving around while they’re sleeping. 

A cockroach will still react to their hiding spot being moved, like when you slide the stove they’re hiding under away from the wall. You can take a roach by surprise in this state though, and they may react slowly. 

For them to rest, they need to find a safe spot. These hiding spots are where they retreat to during the day and whenever they feel threatened. It’s also where they breed and raise their young. 

Common hiding spots for roaches include:

  • Underneath and behind appliances like refrigerators and stoves.
  • Underneath sinks and inside of cabinets.
  • In piles of clothing, cardboard, or other debris. 
  • Near exposed plumbing.
  • Inside walls or light switches. 
  • In dark areas like basements.
  • Pantries, shelves, and outdoor buildings.

These are the most likely areas for cockroaches to go during the day. 

It’s fairly normal to see a solitary cockroach now and then at night. Seeing them consistently at night can be a sign of an infestation in your home. 

If you’re seeing cockroaches during the day, you likely have a very serious cockroach infestation. 

You can try to deal with them on your own, but the best option for eliminating a large infestation is to call a professional pes expert or exterminator. 

Where Do Outdoor Cockroaches Go During The Day?

Some species of cockroaches have evolved to live inside and around humans. Others prefer to remain outside but go in and out of homes in search of food. 

Outdoor cockroaches have different hiding spots than the ones you’ll find inside your home. 

They generally prefer to spend the day nested in:

  • Compost heaps.
  • Trash cans.
  • Mulch and wood debris.
  • Sewer systems.
  • Feeding areas for domestic animals. 

How Do You Find A Cockroach Nest?

One of the key parts of getting rid of a roach infestation is finding and destroying their nests. This is because even if you kill all the adult roaches in your home, the eggs in the nest can still hatch and create a new population. 

Their nests are usually located in their favorite hiding spots. Dark, wet, and humid areas are the most likely. The harder to reach the spot is, the more likely there will be roaches hiding there. 

The best spots to look have easy access to food and water. Remember that food crumbs and condensation are enough to sustain such a small animal. 

Also, consider spots that are warmer than the rest of the house. Roaches love to get inside electronics because of the warmth they give off. 

Their nests aren’t typical nests you would think of like when you think of a bird’s nest. Cockroach nests are just the safe places they hide, lay eggs, defecate, and congregate. 

You want to look in hotspot areas like around appliances, underneath sinks, and piles of debris. 

You’ll know right away if you’ve found the spot the cockroaches are nesting. 

A few dozen (or more) cockroaches will likely be in that spot during the day. You’ll also get tipped off by the moldy smell, egg cases, and droppings that look like salt and pepper piles. 

Egg cases are usually oval-shaped, around ¼ inch long, and brown. Each egg case can hold as many as forty eggs that can become adult roaches if left alone. 

A cockroach nest is likely going to have plenty of molted exoskeletons lying around that were left behind by baby roaches as they grew. Depending on the size of the infestation, there could be hundreds of empty husks. 

Check behind and inside appliances, clean up piles of clothes or cardboard, and check inside cabinets and under sinks. 

Seeing any indicators we’ve discussed is a good sign that cockroaches are nesting in that spot. 

Severe infestations leave larger clues, like more eggs, droppings, and sheds. If you’re only seeing small amounts of these things and not many roaches, you might have caught the infestation before it got very large. 

Even if you find one nest, keep looking. 

Cockroaches usually use one hiding spot until it becomes unsafe, but there could be more populations of roaches in your home than the one you found. 

Eliminating A Cockroach Nest

Once you’ve located the cockroaches’ nesting spots, it’s time to get rid of them for good. 

Calling an exterminator is usually the fastest and easiest option. They can locate the nests for you, get rid of the roaches, and help you prevent them from coming back

If you want to give it a shot yourself, a combination of traps and poisons is your best option. 

Pesticides and roach spray kill roaches over time and roaches can spread the poison throughout their colony. Poisoned baits are also extremely efficient. 

You can purchase artificial poison baits that come in gel form or make your own. Mix borax or baking soda with sugar and water to create a dough ball that the roaches will eat and eventually die. 

Glue traps are the most common trap for roaches. You place them in high-traffic areas or use food as bait to get the roaches near them. 

Once they walk onto the trap or touch it, the roaches become stuck. Then you can dispose of the roaches and trap at any time.  

Essential oils won’t kill cockroaches, but they can help keep them away. Rosemary and lavender are repulsive to roaches and spraying them around your home will freshen up the air and help keep cockroaches away. 

After killing the roaches, you’ll need to clean and disinfect their nest. This will remove any leftover eggs that can hatch later and help you avoid spreading bacterial diseases. 


Roaches retreat to their favorite hiding spot during the day to sleep. They prefer dark, warm, and wet areas of the home where they have ready access to food and water. 

To find a roach nest, first check obvious spots like behind appliances, underneath sinks, and in piles of debris around the house. If you find a large infestation, don’t hesitate to call an exterminator.