Home » Cockroaches » What To Do If You See A Cockroach In Your Room?

What To Do If You See A Cockroach In Your Room?

Cockroaches can live anywhere and are more than happy to set up camp if the environment is damp, dark, and close to a food source. 

If your kitchen is too clean (or dry), the roaches might branch out to other areas of your house, including your bedroom.

If you see a cockroach in your bedroom, you’ll probably want to kill it and thoroughly inspect your house for signs of an infestation. Roaches rarely live alone, and you should start an extermination process using a combination of deep cleaning, sticky traps, bait traps, and other pest control methods. You’ll also want to take precautions to prevent them from coming back. 

4 Ways To Eliminate Roaches in the Bedroom

A cockroach trapped in a glue trap.

Seeing a roach in your bedroom shouldn’t surprise you if you’re already trying to manage an infestation around the house. They might have relocated due to overpopulation or lack of resources.

If that’s the case, your problem may be bigger than you realize, and you might need to call in an exterminator who can assess the extent of the issue.

If you’re not dealing with an invasion but keep seeing the little critters in your bedroom, the problem might be localized, and there are some things you can do to eliminate them.

Use Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural, powered insecticide made from the remains of fossilized algae.

It works by scratching up the roach’s exoskeleton, leading to dehydration.

The only limitation of diatomaceous earth is that it absorbs moisture which softens it. When it’s soft, it can’t cut through the hard shell.

You’ll have to vacuum or sweep up the powder and reapply it every couple of days to ensure it’s as effective as possible.


You can use traps to either catch the roaches or as poison bait. Premade products are available in home stores, or you can make your own traps.

DIY traps include duct tape traps laced with peanut butter and bait stations made with equal parts baking soda and sugar.

Use Boric Acid

Boric acid – or Borax – is a highly effective pesticide. 

Like diatomaceous earth, all you have to do is spread it evenly on the floor and not clump large amounts in one area. 

The aim is to get the roaches to walk over it. 

Once the roaches walk through the powder, they will clean themselves and ingest the substance. It’s even more effective if you mix it with sugar, so the insects can’t resist eating it.

Consuming boric acid messes up a roach’s nervous and digestive system, and it will eventually die. Even if the insect doesn’t consume it, the chemical will seep into the internal organs through the exoskeleton. 

Borax is safe for humans (it’s primarily used as a laundry booster), but you shouldn’t leave it around for pets and kids to get into. 

You also have to clean it up and replace it often for it to be effective.

If you don’t want to deal with messy powders, you can use Borax and sugar in bait traps that you put in strategic locations around your bedroom.

Use Essential Oils

Many essential oils have been known to repel insects, including cockroaches.

The most effective are citronella, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, and/or oregano oils.

Many of these oils are actually toxic to roaches (e.g., peppermint), so they avoid areas saturated in the scent. 

To use essential oils as roach repellent, fill a spray bottle ¾ full with warm water, add white vinegar, and 15-20 drops of each oil you want to use. You can mix scents or stick to the one you like the best.

There are also many products available, such as floor cleaners or sprays, that already have citronella in them. Read the product labels to see if they’re suitable for repelling roaches.

Don’t use essential oil sprays on any fabrics (e.g., bedding or rugs), as they can stain, and spray your room every 3-5 days so the scents don’t evaporate.

Why You Have Roaches in Your Bedroom

The kitchen is the most common place to find cockroaches. Food and water are abundant, and you’re not likely to spend much time there.

Your room’s atmosphere may not resemble a kitchen, but it might have some amenities that suit their lifestyle.

Bedrooms are Dark and Humid

Unless you work at home, you’re unlikely to spend much time in your bedroom and will be out of the house for most of the day.

When you leave, you might close the blinds, creating the dark, safe atmosphere cockroaches crave.

You also likely sleep in the dark, which is ideal for roaches as they can run around without being seen.

Aside from the darkness, roaches also love damp areas.

While your room is unlikely to have a leaky faucet, you might have a bathroom next door, providing much-needed humidity. 

If you live in a warm, wet climate, your whole house might be humid regardless, and roaches don’t need much moisture to survive.

You might also leave water on your bedside table, and any condensation (or droplets) from the glass is enough hydration to sustain cockroaches.


Cockroaches love clutter because it allows them to hide and reproduce.

If you have boxes or unused objects that fill your room for no reason, get rid of them and organize the place.

The organization will expose the hiding insects, and you can deal with them as they try to escape. 

Clutter is not only what’s on your floor but also what’s in your closet. 

A lack of organization allows cockroaches to seek cover in your clothes, and no one wants a roach jumping out of their pockets in public.

General Lack of Cleanliness

If there’s one thing you should do to mitigate against cockroaches, it’s keep your room clean and tidy.

Cockroaches will literally eat anything, from nail clippings to loose hair. 

If you don’t dust and clean the floors regularly, it leads to an accumulation of these ‘tasty’ treats.

Eating in your bedroom and not cleaning up crumbs or spills is even worse, as you give them actual food.

To avoid attracting roaches to your bedroom, clean often.

Preventing Roaches in the Bedroom

A photo of a bedroom.

The most effective way to prevent roaches in the bedroom is to keep it clean and organized. 

A lack of stains and crumbs starves the insects. 

A lack of clutter reduces potential hiding spots.

You can also remove potential water sources by sealing cracks and using a dehumidifier. 

If you want an additional layer of protection, you can use essential oil sprays along windows, doors, and other entry points. 

Keep Food Out of the Bedroom

While cleaning after snacking is better than nothing, you’re better off keeping food out of the bedroom entirely. 

It’s a tough call for some, and if you don’t want to do it, at least implement it for a month or two while you’re in the process of extermination.

It ensures the cockroaches have no reason to come back.

If certain situations require you to keep food in your bedroom, ensure it’s in airtight containers. 

Also, don’t leave dirty dishes in your room.

Cover Potential Entry Points

Cockroaches only need half an inch of space to get into your home. 

Your walls might have tiny cracks that you would think are too small for anything to crawl through – they aren’t.

Your screens (either over your windows or vents) might have holes you don’t even notice. 

Cockroaches will see them and use them to their advantage, so seal everything that looks like a potential entry point.

Duct tape and caulk are incredibly useful for DIY repairs. 

You can also call a professional if a crack is too big or a screen needs replacing.

Clean Your Yard

The best way to eradicate roaches is to eliminate the source.

Your yard might be the insects’ breeding ground, and failure to clean it can result in a recurring problem. 

It might also be their water source, in which case removing food from the bedroom can only do so much.

Clear all stagnant water, remove dead leaves, and stack wood piles so that they remain dry.

As debris piles up, remove it to discourage nesting.


Cockroaches can live anywhere as long as they have food, water, and shelter. 

Your room can offer all of these things, and you should do everything you can to ensure they don’t make their way in.

Keeping your room clean and organized should be enough, but sealing potential entry points and using repellants adds an extra layer of protection.

If you don’t feel you can handle the situation by yourself, call an exterminator to deal with the problem.