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How To Pick Up A Cockroach Without Touching It?

Avoiding direct contact when picking up a cockroach is crucial as it prevents the transfer of disease-causing bacteria.

To pick up a cockroach without touching it, avoid direct contact. Wear gloves or use paper towels, alcohol wipes, or a broom and a dustpan. The insect is a health hazard to you and your family, even when dead. Safely dispose of the carcass in the trash and remove it from your home. 

If you’re finding dead roaches in your home, you would be wise to check for a potential infestation.

3 Best Ways to Pick Up a Cockroach

A person's hand holding a cockroach on a white background.


Wearing gloves is the most sanitary way to pick up cockroaches.

Disposable gloves work best since you dispose of them after usage, but the reusable ones work just as well.

If using reusable gloves, thoroughly clean them with soap and water afterward. You can also use bleach for good measure.

Paper Towels

Paper towels don’t work as well as gloves, but they’re an excellent alternative.

Ensure not to smear the insect when picking it up to avoid spreading bacteria on the surface.

The paper towels should also be thick enough not to tear up while collecting the roach – the aim is to avoid direct contact with the skin.

When done, flush away the paper towel or throw it in the trash.

You can also use wipes of any kind, such as alcohol-based or disinfectant cleaning wipes. 

The advantage is that these wipes are usually thicker and kill bacteria automatically, reducing spread.

You will still have to dispose of the wipe and thoroughly clean the surface where you found the dead roach. 

Sweep It Up

The least sanitary method of picking up a cockroach is using a broom and a dustpan. 

It’s miles better than touching the insect with your bare hands, but dragging it with a broom can stain your floor and spread bacteria.

Scrub off any floor stains using disinfectant and clean the broom bristles with at least soap and water to kill any residual bacteria.

It’s also important to wipe down your dustpan with disinfectant as well.

Disposing of Cockroaches

Like picking up dead cockroaches, there are right and wrong ways to dispose of carcasses.

Throwing a dead cockroach in your yard is not a good idea – the decomposing insect will attract more roaches, and you’ll soon have an infestation to manage.

You should also confirm the insect is dead before getting rid of it.

The exoskeleton of a cockroach can withstand impact, and the insect can ‘play dead’ as a survival instinct to avoid predators.

The best method of disposing of a dead roach ensures the insect has nowhere to escape, even if it’s not entirely dead.

Trash It

The best way to dispose of a dead roach is to throw it in the trash.

Just put it in a trash bag, and seal the bag tightly. Remove it immediately, preferably placing it in a bin far from your house.

Compost It

A dead cockroach is great for the environment.

The released nutrients enrich the ecosystem, and you can reduce the need for chemical fertilizer with compost manure.

However, a real problem with compost bins is the high chance of rat infestations.

A compost pile is a buffet for a rat, so you must ensure your bin can keep them and other roaches out.

Also, keep it closed and place it in open ground where the rats can’t hide.

Burn It

Burning is an effective way to dispose of cockroaches as it eliminates bacteria while disintegrating the insects. 

If you’ve just dealt with an infestation and have many dead roaches to dispose of, you may want to consider this option.

You can use a burn barrel, set up a bonfire, or build a fire pit. 

Just ensure you’re following all appropriate laws and safety regulations for open fires in your community.

Once the fire has died down, extinguish the embers with water to prevent reignition.

Flush It

Flushing is the least effective way of eliminating roaches.

If the cockroach isn’t completely dead, it can close its spiracles and hold its breath underwater for half an hour.

Given enough time, it can make its way back to your house or enter a different home through the drainage system.

Flushing many cockroaches at one time can also clog your toilet.

You have to make sure the insects are dead when flushing them and that your toilet can handle the process.

Precautions After Seeing a Cockroach

Close-up photo of a cockroach.

A dead roach almost always means you have an infestation on your hands. Signs that you’re hosting cockroaches include:

  • Droppings resembling coffee beans
  • Musky smell
  • Shed exoskeleton
  • Egg capsules

You can eliminate the insects using DIY extermination methods like:

  • Boric acid (e.g., Borax)
  • Diatomaceous Earth
  • Bait stations
  • Sticky traps
  • Home-made poisons (e.g., baking soda and sugar).

However, if dealing with a large infestation, none of these methods are as effective as hiring a pest control professional.

Also, remember that cockroaches tend to frequent areas where they can access food, water, and warmth. 

Regardless of how you manage the infestation, you’ll have to maintain a high level of cleanliness and keep your house as dry as possible to make the environment inhospitable.


Seeing a cockroach usually prompts immediate action

If you kill it, or it’s already dead, the next step is to pick it up safely and dispose of it in a way that doesn’t attract more roaches. 

You’ll also likely want to check your house for signs of infestation and begin a process of extermination.

DIY procedures like boric acid, diatomaceous earth, and glue traps are effective if dealing with a small population.

Fumigation is best if dealing with a large one.

Whichever method applies to you, safely dispose of the roaches afterward.