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How Do You Know if Cockroaches are Gone?

After trying to eliminate cockroaches around the home, it can be difficult to tell if you’ve been successful just by looking around.

So how can you accurately determine if the cockroaches are gone?

To tell if roaches are entirely gone, look for the same signs that told you they were around. For example, check to see if you can spot roaches, smell a bad smell, find droppings, or search for their shells. If these signs are non-existent, there’s a good chance that the cockroaches are too.

Signs Of A Roach Infestation

Close-up shot of cockroaches.

The best way to tell if you’ve eliminated your roach problem is to look at the signs that tell you there is a problem in the first place.

Seeing Live Cockroaches

One of the easiest ways to tell there are roaches around is to find cockroaches. 

They may scurry away when the lights come on, run through entry points when you walk in a room, or crawl up the wall when you least expect it. 

Usually, roaches don’t come out during the day. However, if you’re seeing them in broad daylight, it could be a sign of a large infestation. 

Darker and wetter areas of the home are the most likely places to find them, with the kitchen, bathroom, basement, and laundry room prime candidates. 

Seeing Roach Feces, Eggs, and Shell Cases

No matter where they are or if you see the roach itself, cockroaches leave behind waste and other visible signs of their presence. 

Feces is one of the most common signs. Since roaches have high metabolisms and eat a lot, they also create a lot of poop. 

This waste can look like flecks of pepper, brown stains on surfaces, or oval-shaped pellets. 

Check darker, hidden areas like behind appliances, cabinets, or your pantry. A large amount of droppings is a sign of a large infestation. 

Cockroaches also breed very quickly. So instead of singular eggs, you’ll find what is called oothecae, an egg case. The egg cases can hold over fifty roach eggs and are oblong, brown shells.

The eggs hatch and leave behind the casing that held them. This is evidence that you have a breeding population of cockroaches in your home. You can usually find the cases in the same areas you would find droppings. 

A Bad Smell

Cockroaches produce a musky smell that increases in strength with the number of roaches in the home.

The scent gets left on anything the roach crawls over and can linger for quite some time.

As the number of cockroaches in the area decreases, so does the strength of the smell. 

It can also leave a bad taste in your food if you eat off a surface the roach has crawled over. 

When the Roaches are Gone

These signs are great for telling you if you have roaches in your home and can be used to diagnose how intense the infestation is. 

They’re also the key indicators you should be used to determine if you’ve successfully gotten rid of an infestation. 

Once you’ve implemented your plan to eliminate roaches, you should remove dead roaches and clean up the areas where they have left droppings, shells, and bodies. 

As the infestation declines, you should be finding less of all of these signs. If you can’t find any roaches, their droppings, shell casings, and the musky smell are gone, there probably aren’t any roaches left. 

Cockroaches are good at hiding from people but can’t hide the signs they leave behind. 

Do Cockroaches go Away on Their Own?

It isn’t likely that cockroaches will go away on their own since something attracted them to the area in the first place. 

Despite their ravenous appetites, when there is plenty of food, cockroaches can go for over a month without a meal. Cleaning up food crumbs isn’t get cockroaches to leave immediately. 

Some cockroach infestations may clear up on their own. Cockroach species can be divided into two categories: roaches that prefer living outdoors and roaches that take up permanent residence inside. 

Outside roaches will generally seek shelter from cool weather by finding ways into your home and may vacate the premises when the temperature returns to normal. 

Indoor roaches will never leave once they get inside. In most cases, if cockroaches have plenty of food, water, and shelter, they’ll stay in the home until they are removed or killed off. 

How Do I Get Rid Of Roaches Permanently?

A man wearing a pair of slides trying to walk on a cockroach.

The easiest way to permanently eliminate a roach infestation is to call an exterminator and have them assist with keeping roaches out after they’ve been eliminated. 

Short of calling professionals, you can do plenty of things on your own to get rid of cockroaches. 

Glue traps are the easiest, safest, and most effective form of roach control. The strips attract and trap cockroaches, allowing you to dispose of them quickly without spraying toxic chemicals around the home. 

To make home-safe roach poisons, you can mix baking soda or boric acid with sugar and water. It attracts the roaches and eventually kills them after they consume it. 

Once cockroaches have been eliminated from your home, you’ll need to keep them out to prevent an infestation permanently. 

Be sure to seal any cracks in basement walls, windows, or small entry points around the door. Sealing these entry points can be as easy as pushing a little caulk into those gaps. Also, ensure you have covers on your drains to prevent roaches from coming through your pipes. 

If you don’t want to use harsh chemical repellents, natural remedies like citrus and essential oils are an excellent option. 

Lemon is a repellent for roaches, as are most essential oils like rosemary. Mixing them into the water, you use to mop your floor or spraying a diluted mixture around the house will help keep cockroaches away. 

Roach bombs will eliminate roaches in the home but are highly toxic and not recommended. 

If you’re having trouble eliminating a roach infestation or it keeps coming back despite your efforts, call a professional for help and advice to eradicate the issue. 


The best way to determine if cockroaches are gone after trying to exterminate an infestation is to look for the signs that told you roaches were there in the first place. 

Live roaches, their droppings, egg cases, and a musky smell are all indicators of cockroaches in the area, and the lack of these signs indicates that they are no longer there.