How To Keep Cockroaches Away At Night – 7 Methods (Updated 2023)

David Floyd:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. David is Quality Pro certified and is a certified Structural Pest Control Operator in the state of North Carolina, and the owner of NCPestControlExperts pest control company.

Last Updated September 1st, 2023: Anyone who has ever had a cockroach infestation in their home knows the feeling of having to sleep at night worrying about these pests crawling on them. It is inevitable, and every homeowner experiences this situation at least once in a lifetime.

If you want to know how to avoid a situation like this, you are in the right place. This guide will teach you how to keep cockroaches away at night by understanding their habits so you can get a good night’s sleep.

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What you should expect to learn:

  • Do Cockroaches crawl on you in the evening?
  • How to Keep Roaches at bay while you Sleep

How To Keep Cockroaches Away At Night:

Because cockroaches are nocturnal, you’ll often find that you spot them more often during the night time. Because of this, there are a few different steps you can take to help keep roaches away at night. Check out our guide on how to get rid of cockroaches overnight!

how to keep cockroaches away at night

How To Keep Roaches Away At Night – Quick Look

  • Clean Your House: Keep your home clean and prevent excess clutter. Roaches are looking for clutter for shelter and crumbs and garbage for food.
  • Don’t Leave Food By Your Bed: Everyone loves a midnight snack, but try to clean up your bed and bedside table from food and drink.
  • Seal Cracks and Crevices: Seal any crack and crevice which allows an easy entrance for cockroaches. Check your doors, windows and foundation.
  • Use Natural Deterrents: Use natural deterrents such as Baking Soda, Borax, Vinegar, Ammonia, and Peppermint Oil for cockroaches and more!
  • Install Bait Traps: Use roach bait traps such as Advion to lure roaches out and kill them and the rest of their colony!

In this section, you will be able to know every single method we regularly use to deter cockroaches so you can crash without a care in the world.

At the end of the day, you’re more likely to see cockroaches at night, so you need to be prepared in order to keep them away! Read our guide on why do roaches come out at night to learn more!

The advice below will get you more hours of sleep, and your cockroach problem will be a thing of the past. Once you finish reading this guide on how to keep cockroaches away at night, you will realize how easy it is and won’t ever let them intimidate you again.

#1 Cleaning Your Home

This advice seems like common sense to some, but sometimes common sense isn’t so common. From our experience, simply vacuuming and cleaning your home on a regular basis will keep at least 50% of all roach infestations away.

keeping your home clean to prevent roaches

Schedule a time at the end of every day to spruce up your room and maintain its cleanliness. It’s a game changer and will keep cockroaches away at night.

Cockroaches thrive in the darkness and hide under anything they can while traveling to remain undetected. They love people with messy homes because it gives them lots of places to take cover under and will be hard to spot with all the clutter spread out.

Clutter makes most cockroaches feel safe and protected. A little extra good news for them would be to find food under all that mess so they can eat without a care. The crumbs under your clutter add up when you take days to clean your living space.

The ideal time to clean your room is at the end of the day. You can organize all the accumulated clutter and wipe down anything that needs attention. Pay close attention to your floors, the entire bed, and any area you’ve seen roaches fraternize with other pests.

Vacuums are well-known house appliances, and there are a few reasons to use them. Primarily, their function is to clean up dust and dirt particles, but it’s also helpful in getting rid of roach skin and feces. Pair this with a good air purifier, and your room will have a cleaner feel which the roach population nearby will not like.

Important Pointer: When cleaning your home, never ignore isolated spots that are hard to access—like the area behind your couch, inside cardboard boxes in your closet, small edges, or underneath your bed frame.

The areas above are all safe havens for cockroaches and are used for storing eggs to increase their colony’s population. Don’t be afraid to be thorough by pushing your furniture to a different location while cleaning to make everything immaculate. Only by following a small tip like this you’ll be shocked at how fast your cockroach infestations will be solved.

Experts from Price Termite and Pest Control in Jupiter, FL have told us that “cockroaches are extremely simple minded, they are looking for easy to access food, water and shelter. By cleaning your home your can eliminate the majority of what they’re looking for, and you’ll see a big improvement in cockroach activity!”.

#2 Remove Food And Drinks Near Your Bed

We all know the feeling of being hungry at night and choosing to eat a meal on our bed before going to sleep. Eating on your bed is not bad and can feel great after a long day. However, ensure you take your plate or leftovers back to the kitchen. Never leave food behind.

food on bed

Triggering a cockroach problem is easy, and one small mistake will lead to an infestation. After taking everything to the kitchen, swarm the area around your bed for crumbs, and if you drank something sweet, make sure you didn’t leave any stains.

For a better guarantee, vacuum the entire bed and if you have a carpet in the area, clean it also. It will take you a couple of extra minutes, and you will lose some sleep, but it’s better than spending money on a pest control expert after you set off an invasion you can’t get rid of on your own.

After you finish, go to the bathroom and wash your hands with liquid soap to avoid getting sick, and put on a fresh pair of pajamas. Lastly, brush your teeth with care, so you don’t give a cockroach an invitation to crawl all over your mouth.

#3 Seal Cracks and Crevices

For a cockroach to crawl on your bed, they need to find a way to get into your bedroom in the first place. Doors don’t assist you in keeping cockroaches away because most of them have small gaps on the lower end.

These insects are limber and relentless when they are hungry. Small crevices and gaps are a walk in the park for them to penetrate and get to you.

To ensure you don’t have any cracks in your room, slowly search every area for entry points, not missing a single inch. Remind yourself to focus on the edges of your door and windows if you have any that you open sometimes. Whether you paid 10 million or 100,000 dollars for your home, they eventually form cracks with time, leaving tiny holes roaches can get in.

If you find any while searching, apply caulk and a sealant to the cracks. Follow this step on all the ones you see to keep cockroaches out so you can sleep without interruptions.

Another solid tip to consider is to inspect every inch of your baseboards, ceiling corners, and anywhere you see molding. When installing these in your home, unskilled craftsmen tend to leave tiny holes they made while working, which could lead to a severe problem if ignored. Use this rule of thumb for cracks formed near your light fixtures, electrical outlets, and anything similar.

Lastly, you can buy something at home improvement stores to block the gap under your bedroom door. It’s called a felt roll, a very inexpensive accessory you can put on every door in your home. One drawback to keep in mind after installing it is that it affects ventilation in the room a bit.

#4 Experiment With Essential Oils

Cockroaches use their heightened sense of smell to find food and survive. These insects are equipped with antennas to identify available food they can use for themselves and their entire colony. Antennas also give them a sense of direction to steer them where they want to go on their voyages. Roaches can smell from one hundred meters away at night. This powerful skill makes capable scroungers that can find any food.

This gift of scent is a great advantage but something you can use in your favor to kill them. Cockroaches despise certain smells, and if you spray your bedroom with it, it will make them not want to visit you. They are essential oils and a great tool if you want a roach-free home.

Humans adore essential oils and use them to keep the environment in their home feeling relaxed with pleasant smells. But insects like cockroaches treat it as if it were burning their antennas after you spray only a few drops.

Cockroaches can’t stand these oils because of their potent scents, which makes them ideal for controlling a large infestation. No need to worry about which oil to go with as long as you buy one extracted from a fragrant herb. If you still need a specific suggestion, we recommend peppermint (Our top choice), citrus, lavender, and oil from the famous eucalyptus plant. Second string picks, if you don’t find our initial preferences are oregano, rosemary, and cypress.

Apply these essential oils correctly with a spray bottle on smooth surfaces, and you will have protection for the next 2 to 3 days before reapplying. You have a few options to consider regarding how to get this done.

The first choice is to make an organic repellent mixture. Combine 3 to 5 drops of your chosen essential oil and 4 to 6 ounces of distilled water in a spray bottle. Then shake the bottle for at least 10 seconds and start spraying.

Start by spraying every nook and cranny of the room that you can. Ensure you give extra attention to your bedsheets, predicted access points, and hiding spots you think they might like.

The second method you can try to use essential oils is with a diffuser. A diffuser makes the drops of oil tinier than a spray bottle does. When you turn it on, the liquid mixture is launched into the atmosphere in your bedroom as vapor.

We suggest you spend money on a premium-grade diffuser. To use it properly, apply a few drops of essential oil before calling it a day and hitting the sheets. After approximately 3 to 5 minutes, you will feel soothed with a relaxing smell in the air you enjoy, but roaches will avoid.

#5 Install Bait Traps

It will not be sufficient to keep cockroaches at a distance to get the most optimal sleep possible. Instead, your end game should be to kill them.

Using insecticides and other products to get rid of cockroaches can be effective, but they will require you to allow the roaches to come in before dealing with them. The good news is that quality bait will help you do the job and let you sleep in peace.

roach gel bait

Bait traps are easy to understand if you want to figure out how they work. These traps take advantage of roaches by luring them with poisoned sugar that they take back home to their colony.

There are no immediate effects after consumption. It takes 1 to 2 days of patience for the cockroach to die on its own after eating its poisonous meal. After its death, most of the nest will start to die off if they eat the poison delivered to their colony.

We recommend using Advion Roach Gel Bait because this is what professional pest control companies use!

Bait traps are handy because you can use them in various ways. The best traps to buy are the ones sold in stores like Home Depot and Amazon because they are affordable. You will have a few versions to choose from, depending on where you want to put them.

To play it safe, we buy every version because every roach has a different preference. Some like sweet flavors and others prefer something with a bit of fat, like a piece of cheese. Buying different types of traps almost guarantees that there will be something to lure every bug in your home.

If you want to save money, you can create customized bait traps. All you need is boric acid, sugar, and anything you know cockroaches prefer.

#6 Be Sure Sheets are Not Touching The Floor

The way you set up your sheets is a significant indicator of how successful a cockroach will be at climbing onto your bed.

A cockroach is an expert climber because it has little hook-shaped legs that allow them to scale up sofas, walls, and storage boxes. Greasy surfaces that most would slip off of are a cakewalk for these pests.

If you have long sheets that make contact with your floor while you are getting some shut-eye, cockroaches will effortlessly climb and reach the bed in seconds. You need to fix this situation because it can become a serious problem for you if you don’t. The first step is to figure out a way to ensure your sheets don’t touch the ground so they can’t use it as their path onto your bed.

We recommend you get rid of those larger sheets and buy a smaller size. You can still get the same body coverage by downgrading in size, and it will solve your problem instantly since the new sheets don’t droop to the floor.

Another thing to consider is the bed frame you have in your room. Does it have any legs, or if it does have legs, are they too low and close to the floor? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, we recommend you consider buying a frame with taller legs to solve this issue.

The goal will always be to make it as difficult as possible for cockroaches to climb their way up to your bed, and the tips above will help you accomplish this goal so you can be fast asleep without a care in the world.

#7 Try Ultraviolet lights

Ultraviolet light lamps terrify your average cockroach. Radiation harms their skin and hurts egg production, so using this kind of light can help you with your roach problem. An easy way to test this statement would be to shine this light on any cockroach you see, and you will see how quickly they scurry away.

Try this method by putting an ultraviolet lamp on a stand next to your bed to use it as a night light. The objective is to make the light cover as much territory around your bed as possible. Some people go the extra mile and buy two lamps, but it isn’t necessary in most cases.

Please note an ultraviolet light lamp will not take on a massive swarm of cockroaches, but it is helpful to steer away a few.

#8 Inspect Other Areas In Your Home for an Infestation

Most pest control specialists will tell you that cockroaches are the most common insects they deal with when customers call for help. If they are not dealt with swiftly, infestations multiply by the day, and many homeowners don’t take it seriously until it’s a severe issue.

If you spot a cockroach anywhere in your home, that should let you know there might be a problem. This is especially the case if these night pests come out in the daytime because it signifies desperation. They need food resources to keep the nest thriving.

Start by searching every room in your dwelling and think of places like inside storage boxes where cockroaches love to hide. Also, go through areas that tend to be dark, like attics, basements, and tight spaces most humans can’t reach.

Always remember that exterminating the cockroaches in your room is not enough. Every room should be fumigated to end this problem once and for all. Once you do this, your roach problem should be a thing of the past, and all you have to do is to practice prevention tactics to keep the home spotless.  

Will Cockroaches Crawl On You At Night?

The good news is the average cockroach fears you more than you fear them, so they do their best to stay away from you. You lying in bed nearby is enough for them to keep their distance. The sound of you snoring and moving around in your sleep puts them in red alert mode, thinking you might wake up at any moment to try and kill them.

Depending on the species, some fearless roaches will crawl on your body as a means to an end to reach the other side. Scenarios like this don’t occur regularly, but these pests are more than physically able to do this while you are sleeping.

cockroach on bed

We feel your pain and are aware it’s the last thing you want on your mind, but accepting it and preparing is critical when faced with a cockroach infestation. This yearning to be proactive pushes homeowners to educate themselves and study how to keep cockroaches away at night.

For the most part, cockroaches have no desire to interact with you. The biggest reason they emerge in the dark evenings is that they know you will be asleep by this point, so they can hunt for a meal safely. As long as you clean up after yourself and don’t leave any food out, you don’t need to worry about an invasion, and they go away eventually. Take a look at our guide on why cockroaches come out at night.

A terrible habit some people have is eating in bed. Eating in bed while avoiding crumbs falling all over the place is difficult, and cockroaches are attracted to them. You become a target and increase your chances of invasion if these nocturnal insects don’t find food in another room. When in survival mode, they will do whatever it takes to live, including searching for crumbs near you when you sleep.

Most of the time, they crawl around your body and don’t physically contact you, but that is not the only problem to worry about. The real concern is the sound of their wings flapping and their eight legs tapping the sheets because sensitive sleepers will be unable to rest.

There have been reports of cockroaches crawling in someones mouth when they sleep, but it doesn’t seem like a very likely situation.

To top it off, they leave a mess behind after invading your bed. You can expect cockroach feces shed skin, and dirt particles left in their wake, which are hazardous to your health when you breathe it in or get some on your food.

The odds are low that a cockroach ends up scurrying on your chest and other body parts, but it can happen. Even if they don’t crawl on you, sharing the same room is enough motivation to figure out how to eliminate roaches the minute you set eyes on one.

Will Sleeping With The Light On Keep Cockroaches Away?

No, sleeping with the lights on will not deter and keep cockroaches away. Although they are nocturnal, they aren’t afraid of the light and it won’t keep them away from an area of your home.

Final Thoughts On Cockroaches At Night

We hope this guide is helpful but to get the most out of it, you should take action immediately. Cockroaches are unrelenting bugs and will keep multiplying until you get on the offensive to get rid of them. 

Use the methods above, and you will sleep soundly soon, but it won’t be instant. Patience and persistence are two huge factors, so don’t give up until they are gone and never come back. 


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