How to Know if Roaches Are in Your Walls?

We know that roaches are a constant threat, and if you live in an area where they are common, keeping them out can become infuriating.

Key Points:

  • Roaches living in walls can be difficult to spot due to dark spaces and minimal activity during daylight hours.
  • Signs of roaches in walls include dead roaches, nesting materials, stains and droppings, rustling noises, and smearing marks.
  • Professional cockroach control services can eradicate the infestation, but observing the situation and putting together a comprehensive pest control program is needed to find and remove roaches from inside walls.

No matter how much you clean and what cockroach baits you deploy, it seems like they can always find a way inside. Once inside, you may only see one or two, but when there’s one, there’s a ton, so finding that elusive nest is crucial to eradicating these pests.

But just because you so a scurrying roach in the middle of the floor doesn’t mean you have any idea where the rest are hiding.

Chances are, if you see the signs of cockroaches out in the open, you can follow them to where the rest are staying. If roaches in walls are the culprit, then this article will show you how to find and remove them.

What Are Common Signs Roaches Are in Your Walls?

If you have discovered dead roaches, cockroach droppings, cockroach smear marks, or any obvious sign of roaches, then you may want to investigate further.

Professional cockroach control services can find and remove any cockroach species from inside your walls, but they are not always needed to take care of the situation.

Unless you constantly see roaches on walls coming in and out of cracks, chances are you can manage the infestation as long as you know what you are looking for. 

Dead Roaches

Accumulating roach corpses appearing at the base of the wall can be a sign roaches have moved in. Since roaches live in a society, they may choose to remove or prevent a roach from entering the nest, and the result will be dead roaches near the nest but not inside.

Sometimes roaches have ingested poison from borax or an anti-roach spray and will be exiled to prevent contaminating or killing baby roaches. 

Nesting Material

Shreds of toilet paper, cardboard, dust balls, and animal dander can all be used to build roach nests in wall cracks and other tight spaces. Food packaging and other trash in odd places can be an indicator that a cockroach nest is present in your walls. 

Stains and Droppings

Off colors on the wall, although hard to identify at first, can also be a sign that cockroaches are in your walls. Cockroach smear marks from the oils on their bodies as they crawl in and out of wall cracks are another hard-to-notice but an immediate indicator of American cockroaches or other roach species being present in your home.

Extremely noticeable cockroach smear marks and cockroach stains could be a sign of a heavy roach infestation. Droppings can look like black pepper and also indicate roaches are around. 

Roach Activity

Chirping sounds and the noise of rustling can be heard when roaches live in wall cracks or between false walls in your home.

These annoying creatures tend to move at night and under the cover of darkness, so observing them coming and going from nests can be difficult. If you do catch roaches out and about at night, watch to see where they run to hide often; it will be in the direction of their nest.

Later investigate the area for signs of cockroach activity. 

Why Do Roaches Go Inside Walls?


 Walls provide shelter for roaches and offer stable surfaces for them to build nests and lay eggs on. The interior of our walls often stays dark, and there are ample food sources that can keep roaches alive for months.

If there are instances of water leakage, cracks in pipe ducts, or any other situation that would attract pests, then roaches are sure to show up at the party. An older property will have a much higher likelihood of being full of roaches than newer and better-maintained homes. 

How to Remove Roaches From Inside Your Walls?

If you suspect roaches are in your walls, then you will want to observe the situation to determine the level of infestation and the exact area the main body of roaches is located.

Knowing these details will help you put together a more comprehensive pest control program to kill the roaches and get as many out of your walls as possible. Killing roaches inside the walls may result in worse infestations as the corpses can become food sources for other harder-to-eradicate pests.  

Using techniques like roach bait to draw them out of the walls and into traps can help wipe out a large portion of the adult population. Poisons and powders can create disturbances in colonies resulting in all of the infected bugs being pushed out, and this also lets you quickly clean up roach carcasses.

If you know the location of the nest and wipe out the roaches quickly with insecticide, you can use a shop vacuum to suck up the corpses if you have any access to the area or by creating a little punch out. Repairing the small hole is better than allowing more pests to come and live inside your walls. 

Common Roach Nesting Areas

 It is common to find roaches in areas where there is organic waste. Although adult roaches can live for months without food, they want to have access to a steady supply of food waste to grow the colony and eat well.

Food storage is important, but any leftover food is fair game for these pests, and they surround the areas that provide. Warm, safe shelter and ample water round out the requirements that lead roaches to occupy the locations below. 

Crawl SpaceUnderfloors with easy access to multiple areas for food and waterBait traps and poisons can be used in the crawlspace to keep pests from populating and surviving unchecked 
Attics The musty smell and safe conditions if an attic attract roaches and can lead to food sources on the roof and outside of the building if gaps existSeal all cracks and gaps around the exterior of your attic and place traps or employ pest control treatments to keep roaches at bay 
WallsA cockroach infestation in a wall gives roaches access to many areas of the home and, in the case of apartments, multiple units where water sources and food sources are abundantMost roach species can survive fine in cramped spaces like the wall, and overpopulation can lead to roaches spilling out treatment is needed to kill all lifecycle stages and prevent reinfestation
BasementsA likely place for a heavy roach infestation, the subterranean quality of a basement, with its stable temperatures and humidity, can attract both German roaches and the oriental roach in large numbersTry to finish and completely seal your basement to prevent areas where roaches can bury and dig into, then continue to treat areas where signs of roaches are noticed until you are free of pests 
Kitchen WallsIt is common to find roaches in deteriorated places in kitchen walls and cupboards due to a large amount of food and water available and the smells and sounds associated with foodRepair any leaking plumbing or cracked and damaged wall to prevent a roach nest from forming inside, and use repellents and chemicals to kill and remove any lingering roaches 
Bathroom WallsSigns of roaches near bathrooms are common as the drains and pipes found in homes are a source of transit for many bugs and pests and can be the source of invasionsClean drains to remove built-up sources of food and use covers or other exclusion methods to prevent pests from coming into your home

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