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How to Prevent Bringing Cockroaches Home From Vacation?

Going on vacation can be a dream, but getting an insect infestation from a trip is more like a nightmare. 

Therefore, you need to be cautious about bringing any bugs home with you, especially cockroaches, since they are tough to eradicate. 

To prevent bringing cockroaches home with you from vacation, you need to: 

  • Research hotels before you book
  • Inspect your hotel room for signs of roaches 
  • Protect your luggage during your trip 
  • Search your bags before bringing them back into your home 

If you follow these steps, you will significantly reduce your chances of getting cockroaches. 

4 Steps to Prevent Bringing Cockroaches Home From Vacation 

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

In the following sections, I will detail the four main steps that can help you prevent bringing roaches home with you from a vacation. 

1. Research Hotels Before You Book

Before you even leave for vacation, you should start taking steps to ensure you don’t bring home roaches or other insects. 

Thus, your first course of action should be to research possible hotels in the area you’re traveling to so that you can see if any of them have known roach infestations. 

The best way to do this is by looking at the hotel’s reviews to see if anyone has mentioned roaches. 

If they have, it may be best to stay away from that hotel. 

However, remember that all hotels get cockroaches every once in a while. 

It is inevitable because hotels allow roaches the chance to eat and stay warm, making these establishments very appealing to them. 

Also, because so many people come and go from hotels, someone will definitely end up bringing roaches into the building at some point. 

So, if a hotel you would like to stay at has a roach complaint, you should check to see if the commenter said how the staff responded to the situation. 

If the hotel refused to move the person to a new room, you should not stay there because it shows that the staff did not care about that guest’s safety. 

Yet, if they did give them another room, it may be okay to stay there as long as you check for roaches when you arrive. 

2. Inspect Your Hotel Room for Signs of Roaches 

Unfortunately, roaches can be quite hard to find since they like to hide out in dark, secluded places. 

However, there are a few locations where roaches prefer to live, and you should check these areas for the insects.

Thus, when staying in a hotel, you should use a flashlight to inspect the following spots that roaches frequent: 

  • Behind the fridge (even if the refrigerator is very small)
  • Inside appliances, such as coffee makers, microwaves, and toasters 
  • Inside drawers 
  • Near trash cans 
  • In other secluded areas like underneath the sink

And when checking for roaches, you should also look for other indications of cockroaches, which include: 

  • Roach feces (black spots that can be as large as a grain of rice)
  • An unexplainable sweet, musty odor 
  • Chewing marks on cardboard or plastic food packaging (Chew marks can also indicate rats)
  • Roach eggs or egg casings (small, brown, sack-like objects)

If you believe there may be roaches in your room, you should immediately discuss the situation with the front desk and ask for another room. 

3. Protect Your Luggage During Your Trip 

Protecting your luggage is the most important step you can take to prevent roaches from coming home with you from a vacation. 

And ensuring unwanted visitors don’t get into your bag starts before you even leave. 

First of all, you should think about buying a bag protector for your luggage. 

These sealable plastic bags make it difficult for insects to crawl inside. 

You should also be sure not to pack any food because if you do, the roaches will have more incentive to get to it. 

Then, during your travels, it’s best to refrain from putting your bags on the ground while riding on any public transportation, including planes. 

Roaches are opportunists, meaning that if they find your bag on the floor, it will be easily accessible, allowing them to climb right inside. 

Later, once you get to your hotel, you should keep your bags on a luggage rack because it is harder for insects to climb up these contraptions. 

It’s also best to ensure your bags stay zipped up or latched as often as possible and that you keep your luggage bag sealed whenever you can. 

If you follow all these precautions, it is doubtful that roaches will get into your belongings. 

4. Search Your Bags Before Bringing Them Back Into Your Home 

Before you bring your bags inside your home after a vacation, you should lay them out in your garage or front yard for inspection. 

With a magnifying glass and flashlight, search through all your belongings for indications of roaches. 

If you find a roach or one of its eggs, you can use the suction nozzle on your vacuum cleaner to suck it up. 

Then, carefully go through all your possessions, including any pockets and crevices in your luggage, at least one more time before bringing the bag inside. 

Or an alternative method is to spray or sprinkle roach-killing insecticides on the inside and outside of the bag. 

If you choose to do this, though, make sure you follow all safety instructions on the pesticide and adequately clean all your affected belongings before using them again.

Which Cities Have the Worst Cockroach Infestations?

In general, the cities with the worst cockroach problems are those near bodies of water and those that have consistently hot and humid weather.  

Thus, the majority of the most infested cities in the United States are in the country’s southern half. 

For example, the five US cities with the worst roach problems, in order, are New Orleans, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, and Phoenix. 

However, some more northerly cities have issues with roaches as well, such as New York City, Washington DC, and Philadelphia. 

Other major US cities with large cockroach infestations include: 

  • Raleigh, North Carolina 
  • Los Angeles, California 
  • Dallas, Texas 
  • Memphis, Tennessee 
  • San Bernadino, California 
  • Kansas City, Missouri 
  • Cincinnati, Ohio 

So, if you are very worried about roaches, you may want to avoid these places. 


The best way to prevent roaches from coming home with you after a vacation is to be cautious of the hotel you choose, check your hotel room for bugs, and protect and inspect your bags.