How To Keep Cockroaches Away At Night (While You Sleep)

A homeowner looking to keep a cockroach away at night

If you want to learn how to keep cockroaches away at night, you’ll need to understand the behavior of these insects.

This guide will teach you how to keep roaches away while you sleep so you can go back to getting a peaceful rest!

Do Cockroaches Crawl On You At Night?

For the most part, cockroaches prefer to avoid humans as much as possible. Your slumbering body is far too intimidating for most cockroaches. Your breathing, tossing, and turning are usually enough to alert them of your presence, so they’ll try to avoid you as much as possible. 

However, more daring cockroaches might climb on you as a bridge to get what they want. It’s rare, but these bugs are perfectly capable of crawling on you while you sleep!

It’s a creepy thought to consider, but it’s something you should be wary of when dealing with a cockroach infestation. This is what encourages many people to learn how to keep cockroaches away at night.

Ultimately, cockroaches don’t want anything to do with you. They spend their nights navigating your home in the shadows as they search for food. If your room is clean and free of food, you shouldn’t worry too much about these creepy crawlies invading your space.

A cockroach found in a bed

But if you enjoy a snack in bed now and again, your sleeping body could become an enticing spot for roaches to scavenge. They’re more likely to crawl on you when food is sparse elsewhere. The bugs will take the risk to survive when necessary.

Even if the cockroaches are smart enough to stay off your body as you sleep, their presence nearby can cause some trouble. Flapping wings and the sound of tiny feet slapping around can keep sensitive sleepers up.

Not only that, but the feces, shed exoskeletons, and grime they leave behind can pose some serious health problems down the line.

While it’s rare for cockroaches to crawl on you at night, it’s still a genuine possibility. Pair that with the potential problems they cause just by being in your room, and you have more than enough reasons to get rid of cockroaches as soon as you start seeing them.

How To Keep Roaches Away While You Sleep

The thought of waking up to a cockroach in your bed is enough to freak most people out! Fortunately, there are many ways to keep them away so that you can sleep with some peace of mind.

Instead of staying up with paranoia, use these tips to make your room a cockroach-free zone. As you’ll see, learning how to keep cockroaches away at night isn’t complex.

1. Clean Your Room

This tip might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget and neglect. Keeping your room tidy can make a world of difference when it comes to keeping cockroaches away at night.

Roaches prefer to stay in the shadows and move around under some protective cover. If you have a lot of clutter around your room, you’re giving the bugs tons of opportunities to navigate without being seen.

Clutter is like a haven for these insects. Not only that, but it could provide a source of food. Crumbs can accumulate on your floors. Meanwhile, paper debris serves as a last-ditch resource for hungry cockroaches!

Take some time out of your day to clean your room and keep things organized. Declutter as much as possible and vacuum every surface. That includes your floors, your bed, and anything else roaches can crawl on.

Vacuuming serves a couple of purposes. In addition to picking up dirt and debris, it can eliminate cockroach remnants and feces. Ultimately, vacuuming will make your room a lot healthier and less appealing to cockroaches.

Quick Tip: Don’t forget about those hard-to-reach places as well. We’re talking about those spots underneath or behind furniture, inside storage boxes, and unused corners.

Those are all sites where cockroaches hide and congregate. When you clean, move your furniture around to ensure that every inch of your room is spotless! You’ll be surprised by what a difference a clean room can make if you want to keep roaches away while you sleep.

2. Get Rid Of Food & Water Near Your Bed

Many people are guilty of a bit of late-night snacking or early morning breakfasts in bed. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in the comforts of your bed. But if you choose to do so, make sure that you’re cleaning up afterward!

It doesn’t take much to attract cockroaches. Difficult-to-see crumbs are perfect for bug snacking. The same goes with a bit of moisture on your sheets or carpet.

Get rid of all food and water sources near your bed if you want to keep cockroaches away at night. Clean up thoroughly and remove as many of those enticing resources as possible. For good measure, use your vacuum cleaner after every snacking session to ensure that no crumbs get left behind.

It’s a good idea to wash your face and change your clothing as well. Stray crumbs around your mouth are just asking for roaches to invade your personal space!

3. Seal Up Cracks & Openings

Cockroaches have to find a way to get into your room before they can potentially end up in your bed. Unfortunately, a bedroom door is not enough to keep these insects out.

Roaches are agile and persistent. They can get through tiny cracks and voids as if they were nothing!

Do yourself a favor and inspect the area for all potential access points. Pay close attention to the trim around your doors and windows. Cracks tend to form as your home settles, leaving behind voids that have more than enough room to let a roach through.

Use caulk and sealant to eliminate all potential entryways. This will help keep cockroaches away at night and allow you to sleep undisturbed.

It’s a good idea to look around baseboards, ceiling trim, and molding, too. Small holes formed during installation can let smaller bugs through. The same goes for cracks around outlets, light fixtures, and more.

Finally, take a look at your bedroom door. Is there a large gap underneath? While that gap is essential for ventilation, it may be worth it to close things up.

Quick Tip: You can install weatherstripping or simple foam door seals. That should keep any stray cockroaches from getting in as you sleep.

4. Use Essential Oils

Cockroaches are very scent-driven. They use those creepy-looking antennae to detect food and navigate the world around them. Their sense of smell is robust, making them excellent scavengers that can locate even the tiniest morsel of food.

While that’s all good and well, it’s also something you can use against them! One way to keep roaches away while you sleep is to infuse your room with scents they hate. That’s where essential oils come in.

Essential oils are aromatic and pleasant to us humans. But to a sensitive cockroach? They might as well be napalm!

Roaches hate strong smells, so the intense aromas that essential oils give off are perfect. Any extracted oils from an aromatic herb will do. But, they’re particularly disgusted by peppermint, lavender, citrus, and eucalyptus. Rosemary, oregano, and cypress work well, too.

Use these essential oils to create an invisible barrier around your room (and bed). There are a couple of ways to do this.

One option is to create an all-natural repellent solution. All you have to do is mix several drops of your favorite essential oil with some water. Pop the solution in a spray bottle, give it a good shake, and start spraying!

Apply the essential oil spray to every corner of the area. Spend some extra time hitting your sheets, known entry points, and potential hiding spots. The oil should last for several days even after the carrier water evaporates.

Another way to use essential oils is through a diffuser. Diffusers break the essential oils down into even smaller molecules. Then, they disperse them into the air as vapor.

Invest in a high-quality diffuser and add a few drops of your favorite oil before going to bed. In only a few minutes, the area will fill with pleasant smells that any nearby cockroach will do their best to avoid. 

Quick Tip: If you want to go the extra mile, add some lavender oil into the mix! It’s known to induce calm and relaxation, which will only help you sleep deeper as those cockroaches are kept away from your bed.

5. Set Up Bait

If you’re trying to sleep soundly without having to worry about keeping cockroaches away at night, you’ll need to do more than just repel these insects. You need to do your best to eradicate them!

Insecticide sprays and roach killers can do a fine job of exterminating pests on the spot, but most of these bugs are going to make the rounds while you’re sleeping. Luckily, bait can do the killing for you as you get some shut-eye.

Bait traps work on a straightforward principle. They use attractive foods laced with slow-acting poison to kill cockroaches. 

The bait food draws the roach in. The cockroaches will come across the bait and bring it back to the nest to share with others. 

The poison doesn’t affect the roaches immediately. Instead, it takes upwards of 48 hours to slowly exterminate any cockroach that ate it. By that point, the bait has already spread throughout the nest to affect others and keep them away at night too!

Bait traps are a fantastic way to kill entire colonies at the source. Even if you don’t know where the nest is, the bait can still work its magic!

There are countless ways to use bait traps. If you want to keep things easy, buy some commercial traps at the store. They come in many forms, which is always a good thing.

It’s a good idea to buy a few different forms. Some roach species prefer sugary foods while others stick to fats and proteins. Setting up several kinds of traps ensures that you’re affecting as many insects as possible.

Those who prefer a DIY approach can also make their own bait traps using borax, sugar, and peanut butter.

Quick Tip: Whatever you use, successful deployment is all about location. Set the traps up around entry points, scent trails, and prime hiding spots. You want to make the traps accessible, but make sure to keep them out of reach if you have kids or pets in the room!

6. Make Sure Sheets Aren’t Touching The Floor

Have you ever considered how your bed and sheets affect cockroach movement?  

Think about it, cockroaches can scale vertical walls without a problem. They have tiny hooks that latch onto walls, furniture, and upholstery. Even smooth surfaces are no match for these insects.

If you have low-hanging sheets that drape over your bed, roaches can easily climb them and end up crawling on you at night! Your sheets can quickly become an established pathway that the entire colony can use to navigate your mattress. Talk about a nightmare!

Your goal is to make it as difficult as possible for these insects to climb on you. The first step should be to keep your sheets off the floor as much as possible. 

Consider buying sheets that are slightly smaller than your bed. More compact blankets provide just as much warmth as the bigger designs. However, they don’t hang low and provide easy access to hungry cockroaches.

While you’re at it, take a look at the bed itself. Are you sleeping on a modern piece of furniture that sits nearly flush to the floor? What about a low platform bed that’s only a few inches tall?

If you want to keep cockroaches away at night, furniture that’s lower to the floor might not be the best idea. These bugs are more likely to crawl on you at night if that’s the case.

It may be time to upgrade to a taller bed! At the very least, you can buy some bed risers. Riders will make it a lot more challenging to climb up your bed than before.

7. Try An Ultraviolet Light

Did you know that ultraviolet light deters cockroaches? The radiation that ultraviolet rays give off is what repels them most. That could explain why cockroaches immediately scurry away when exposed to sunlight.

The radiation forces adult roaches to flee for safety. Not only that, but studies show that ultraviolet light impacts egg production and development.

That nugget of information can come in handy when trying to keep these bugs away from your bed while you sleep.

Now, the chances of driving off an entire colony are pretty slim. You’d need a lot of concentrated UV radiation to do that. However, you can use ultraviolet lamps to keep cockroaches away at night.

Place a lamp near your bed. The empty space underneath your bed is the perfect spot to place one.

Shine the light to cover as much area as possible. It should help keep the cockroaches out and direct them to other areas of the room.

Quick Tip: You can even get super strategic with your light and use it to guide cockroaches to bait trap locations!

8. Consider Sleeping Somewhere Else

Here’s one of the more obvious solutions. If your cockroach problem seriously impacts your ability to get a whole night of sleep, there’s no shame in going elsewhere to get some rest. You need to be fully rested to combat an infestation, so it pays to sleep somewhere else until the problem is dealt with.

If the infestation is bad, try sleeping over at a friend or family member’s house. You can even go to a hotel! Whatever the case may be, it will probably be best to sleep off your property.

You might be tempted to go to another room like the attic or basement. Even though you haven’t seen cockroaches in those areas, that doesn’t mean they’re roach-free. In fact, there’s a good chance that bugs exist in other parts of your house as well.

Sleeping in other rooms in your house could be just as bad (depending on the severity of the infestation), so don’t be afraid to go to a completely different property.

Get all the sleep you need! Then, spend your days actively trying to get rid of the cockroaches that are plaguing your home and bothering you while you sleep. 

Quick Tip: Keep in mind that cockroach infestations take time to eradicate. It may take several days or weeks until the problem is taken care of entirely. Be prepared for a long-term visit if you have serious roach issues.

9. Check For An Infestation Somewhere Else In Your Home

Cockroaches are one of the most widespread pests to invade homes. They’re a serious problem that can quickly get out of hand. Most homeowners don’t even realize the extent of the issue until things reach a breaking point.

These insects proliferate quickly. They stay in the shadows to lay eggs and grow their numbers. As the nest gets bigger and bigger, so do the needs of the colony!

In many cases, seeing cockroaches out and about is a huge red flag. If you see bugs during the daytime, it probably means that the resources are scarce. The insects have to venture out when they usually rest to keep the population alive.

The same goes for any roaches that are crawling on your bed or bothering you at night. If the cockroach is daring enough to get close to you, it could mean that there’s a massive nest somewhere in your home that’s in dire need of food.

Look for infestations in other rooms. Examine any space that seems enticing to roaches. That includes secure areas like basements, attics, and crawl spaces. Resource-rich rooms like kitchens and bathrooms are likely hiding some cockroaches, too.

Once you find other cockroaches, exterminate them. 

You can’t expect to get long-term results if you only get rid of the roaches near your bed. The cockroaches in other rooms can easily migrate back into your resting space! 

To tackle the problem head-on, you have to exterminate the cockroaches in your entire home! If there’s an infestation anywhere else, get rid of it as quickly as possible to prevent future spread. Only then can you rest easy knowing that your home is truly cockroach-free.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know how to keep cockroaches away at night, you should start using these methods as soon as possible! These insects are notorious for being persistent and hard to get rid of, but you’ll be able to keep roaches away while you sleep if you use the tactics above.

Let us know if you have questions about anything we mentioned in the guide above. We’re more than happy to clarify and provide pointers.

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