Do cockroaches travel throughout a building?

Despite popular belief, cockroaches do not travel far throughout a building. The infestation on the first floor is probably not related to the one on the 5th floor.

  • Cockroaches tend to remain in an area if they can find food, water, and hiding places. (An “area” can be as small as one room, so it’s important to monitor and inspect all rooms in the home.) Most cockroaches especially like warm hiding places.
  • The number of hiding places is an important factor in whether an infestation will start once a cockroach is introduced to an area. Sealing up holes and gaps is very important. The German cockroach prefers gaps that are less than 1/2" wide.
  • Cockroaches may go to adjacent areas along plumbing chases, under doors, or through holes if food, water, or shelter become limited; if a repellent pesticide is used; or if renovation disrupts a cockroach hiding spot.