How to Keep Cockroaches from Moving With You: 13 Tips for a Roach-Free Move

Moving into a new home is a fresh start for new household memories and traditions. There’s just one problem — roaches.

No one wants to bring roaches into their brand-new home. 

In this guide, we will give you tips and information on how to avoid bringing roaches when moving, along with packing and unpacking tips if you suspect that roaches will be a problem on your moving day.

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How Do You Make Sure Roaches Don’t Move With You?

If you’re moving, the last thing you want is for cockroaches to hitch a ride in your moving van. Thanks to their slim, flat bodies, cockroaches can easily hide in your packed belongings and avoid detection at first glance.

The best way to ensure that roaches don’t move with you is to:

  1. Know the signs of roaches
  2. Create a thorough checklist of places to check for roaches; and
  3. Set up preventative measures

Let’s walk through steps on how to not transfer roaches when moving.

#1: Know the Signs of Roaches

Be on the lookout for signs of cockroach infestation as you pack, such as egg casings and droppings.

It’s also a good idea to be aware of common hiding places for cockroaches, which can vary depending on the type of roach. 

Ultimately, you’ll want to check

  • Kitchen appliances
  • Cabinets
  • Nooks and crannies
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Wall decor
  • And more

Roaches are especially drawn to electronics that produce heat. Make sure to individually seal your electronics in plastic bags as you pack to prevent cockroaches from making a home within your electronics.

#2: Wash Clothes and Linens

Although it’s not common for roaches to be found in clothes and linens, it doesn’t hurt to double-check and take precautions while packing. 

While following the manufacturer’s instructions for washing your clothes and linens, make sure that each item is cleaned and any insects or eggs that may be attached have been removed. 

To protect your clothes and linens, pack your clean items in sealed, plastic containers.

#3: Deep Clean Appliances

Appliances can offer a warm, enclosed environment, making them the perfect nesting places for cockroaches.

Make sure to deep clean appliances like

  • Refrigerators
  • Washers and dryers
  • Microwaves
  • And more

… before they are loaded onto the moving truck.

It’s also a good idea to do a final round of inspection after cleaning these items to look for any signs of roaches. For some items, you can remove outer casings to look for any dead cockroaches or inspect any large openings and crevices for critters.

#4: Heat or Freeze

If you have suspicions that cockroaches may be hiding in some of your appliances, but you cannot find any signs of roaches, try using the sun to your advantage. 

Cockroaches die at 50 °C (125 °F). So for extra security, you can leave your appliances wrapped in plastic out in the sun for a while before bringing them into your new home. If any cockroaches hitched a ride inside your appliances, they should die.

#5: Wash Kitchen Items

Cockroaches are commonly found in the kitchen. With moisture, dark cabinets to hide in, and plentiful sources of food, the kitchen can be a haven for roaches.

Before packing pots and pans, make sure to wash each item thoroughly. Similarly, you’ll want to inspect kitchen items that can attract roaches, such as:

  • Toasters
  • Coffee makers
  • Toaster ovens; and
  • Microwaves

After cleaning these items, consider wrapping them in plastic wrap to avoid cockroaches nestling into these appliances.

#6: Check Your Mattress

Mattresses are not common hiding places for roaches, but bed frames and bedside furniture are. 

When it comes time to pack your mattress and dismantle your bed frame, be on the lookout for any signs of roaches. Make sure that bedside furniture has been cleaned thoroughly and wrapped in plastic wrap before loading it onto the moving truck.

#7: Inspect Furniture

If you have children, there is a high possibility that you have crumbs stuck in between your couch cushions, which can attract cockroaches.

Make sure to inspect and clean any crevices in your furniture before loading it onto the moving truck.

#8: Examine Electronics

The warmth from electronics can be a cockroach magnet. Make sure to take a look at all of your electronics to ensure there are no roaches present, and consider packing each of your electronics in plastic wrap.

#9: Check Pet Food

Cockroaches need food sources, and open bags of pet food are often an easily accessible target. 

Do not pack open bags of pet food. Either throw out leftover pet food or pack it in airtight plastic containers.

It’s also important to carefully inspect your pets’ feeding stations. Make sure to check inside and underneath food bowls to ensure that there are no cockroaches hanging around. Thoroughly clean food bowls and feeding stations before packing them.

#10: Inspect Indoor Plants & Outdoor Garden Supplies

Roaches naturally gravitate towards plants and garden supplies.

Soil provides a moist, dark environment for roaches to hide and nest in. When packing indoor and outdoor plants, carefully inspect the soil for any signs of roaches. 

If your plant does have roaches, it is best to part ways with it instead of risking contaminating your other belongings on the moving truck.

Similarly, packing opened soil bags is not worth the risk. Even if the bag of soil does not have roaches in it prior to packing, it can become the perfect roach magnet.

If you are packing empty pots and gardening supplies, make sure to give everything a thorough washing before packing to remove any leftover soil that could attract roaches.

#11: Vacuum as You Pack

As you pack your belongings, it doesn’t hurt to make sure items are cleaned thoroughly first. 

Make sure to vacuum items like

  • Rugs
  • Fabric-covered chairs
  • Couches
  • And more

… before packing, especially concentrating on places like in between couch cushions where cockroaches could be hiding.

#12: Beware of Cardboard

If you’re moving out of a cockroach-infested environment, you’ll want to be wary of using cardboard boxes, especially boxes that have already been used. All of your packing supplies should be new and not second-hand.

Because the adhesive used to glue cardboard boxes together contains starches, they can actually attract nearby cockroaches. Their slim, flat bodies allow them to easily maneuver between corrugation and cracks in cardboard boxes to avoid detection.

Instead of cardboard boxes, plastic bins with lids are your next best bet. Packing your items in plastic bins can not only prevent roaches from getting inside but can also trap possible infestations inside, so your other belongings are not affected.

#13: Be Selective About Storage

When considering storing your belongings in a storage unit, it is important to properly vet your storage company options. Poorly-maintained units can be a haven for cockroaches, putting all of your belongings at risk for infestation. 

At Next Moving, we ensure that your items are safe and pest-free by only partnering with storage companies that:

  • Provide clean, well-maintained storage units that keep out pests and rodents
  • Prevent water and fire damage from destroying your items; and
  • Have security cameras to provide extra protection from intruders or thieves

For moving and storage unit quotes near you, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Next Moving team.

#14: Unpack Carefully

If you are concerned that cockroaches may have hitched a ride in your moving boxes and containers, make sure to keep an eye out for any stowaways as you unpack.

Unpacking your boxes outside and carefully inspecting items before bringing them into your new house is a great way to avoid bringing any cockroaches inside with you.

Additional Tips on How to Avoid Bringing Roaches When Moving

Are you still worried about transferring cockroaches into your new home? 

Here are some additional tips that can help you avoid contaminating your new residence.

Avoid Foggers

Before packing for your move, it may be tempting to use a cockroach bomb instead of inspecting each item individually. 

Cockroach bombs, or foggers, release a mist of pesticides into the air to kill cockroaches. However, this tactic is not always safe, or effective. 

Using a cockroach bomb can cause cockroaches to scatter and only burrow deeper into their hiding places in your belongings. Not only can this method be ineffective, but it can expose your belongings to harsh chemicals that can be harmful to people and pets.

When it comes to effectively getting rid of cockroaches, so you don’t transfer them to your new home, there is simply no easy way out. The best method is to follow the advice above and carefully inspect each item that you need to pack for signs of cockroaches.

Use Glue Boards

Before unpacking at your new home, placing glue boards down around entryways can be a great preventative measure as people are coming in and out of the home and unpacking on moving day.

Glue boards can help detect any roaches that try to make their way into the residence. If you find evidence of cockroaches, then you’ll know right away to slow down and be extra cautious when unpacking.

Consider Hiring Professional Pest Control

If your cockroach infestation feels like more than you can handle, it may be time to involve the professionals.

Professional pest control can help take care of problem areas safely and effectively to lighten your load prior to packing.

Note: Even if you hire professional pest control, it is still a good idea to follow the advice above when it comes to packing and unpacking on your moving day.

Next Moving Can Help Make Your Next Move Hassle-Free

If you are stressing about your upcoming move, let us help. 

Our professional team of movers has seen and done it all and are well-equipped to assist with your move. 

Call us today for a free quote.


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