Roaches in the kitchen at night

Why Do Cockroaches Come Out At Night? – Pest Reaction

Cockroaches are nocturnal insects that are most active at night. Roaches are constantly on the prowl for food throughout the day—from a few crumbs in your kitchen to the glue on the backside of some stamps in your junk drawer. Roaches prefer to stay hidden during the day.

The presence of a roach during the day is an indication of a significant infestation.

What Do Roaches Do At Night?

Roaches are nocturnal insects that are generally quiet when you are awake. If they’re out during the day, they avoid the sun and prefer to lurk in dark, damp nooks of your home.

Cockroaches will begin their relentless search for food the second they wake up. Cockroaches can go anywhere and eat just about everything, so keep your kitchen as dark as possible. According to research, cockroach activity peaks around midnight just before, not after, that hour.

Roaches feed upon any organic substance they can find, including human and pet food, filthy clothing, leather, and book binding glue. During the day, these pests hide in the tiniest gaps and corners of our homes, frequently eluding detection until you have an infestation on your hands. When that happens, you’re more likely to spot roaches during the daytime.

Why Do Cockroaches Run From Light?

Cockroaches have no fear of light. Cockroach species that live in the wild and haven’t been exposed to human hunters have been observed migrating towards light. Even common house cockroaches have been observed going towards, for example, a bright TV set at night.

So, why do they flee when you switch on a light?

Cockroaches are aware that a light being switched on signals the presence of a human. And this discovery usually has negative outcomes. When you switch on a light, cockroaches aren’t diving into gaps and other hiding spots in order to avoid being discovered. Instead, evolution has ingrained into them the idea that they must act quickly if they don’t want to be killed.

Do Cockroaches Sleep?

Cockroaches, like most animals, have a circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is a sleep-wake cycle that alternates between periods of activity and rest.

During the day, most animals are awake and seeking for food, mates, or water. Cockroaches, on the other hand, are nocturnal and busy early in the night after the lights go out.

This is why the few hours after dark are the most active time for cockroaches. They are usually able to feed and mate during this time. However, if you have a lot of cockroaches, they may not be able to find food as easily. This will cause them to spend more time hunting for food.

That means that if you see cockroaches in the early morning, it is likely a bigger problem than you first thought.

Signs Of A Cockroach Infestation

Cockroaches are quick to detect, but there are several signs that they may be infesting your home that you may not necessarily notice.

There are a few warning signs that you have an infestation on your hands:

  • In the home, there is an unusual, musty odor.
  • Cockroach droppings (these look a lot like coffee grounds).
  • Cockroaches’ exuviae, or “skins,” that have been shed.
  • Casings of cockroach eggs.

Cockroaches are drawn to humid, warm locations. As a result, cockroach infestations typically occur in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, basement (if you have one) and drainage systems.

While these are the most frequent trouble spots, in most situations it is best to call in the experts. Finding the cockroach nesting area might be distressing, and identifying a problem might take more time for a novice.

How To Keep Cockroaches Away At Night

One of the most important things to remember is that for every roach you see there are dozens more that you aren’t seeing. Cockroaches are a serious issue, since they can spread roach droppings into your residence and create an infestation.

Worse, cockroaches are strong breeders that reproduce fast, so you could soon have roach eggs all over the place. Unless appropriate control measures are taken, these pests will overrun your area rapidly.

Here are some guidelines that we frequently give to homeowners who are attempting to combat roaches on their own:

Limit Their Access To Food & Water

Cockroaches can survive an entire week just off of the oil from a fingerprint. This is why our cleaning needs to be meticulous when living with cockroaches.

  • All food should be kept in airtight containers with tight-fitting lids, or in the refrigerator.
  • After using cooking equipment, clean all utensils, dishes, and pans right away.
  • Clean any food or drink that falls or leaks onto counters, tables, sinks, floors, and other surfaces.
  • Before going to sleep, clean all counters and remove any food particles.
  • Do not leave food or water in pet feeding bowls overnight.
  • To remove any remaining food debris from the floor, vacuum them.
  • Clean under all major kitchen appliances such as toasters, refrigerators, microwave ovens, and your stove.
  • Keep your trash cans clean and take the trash out every day.
  • Repair any leaking pipes and faucets.

Eliminate Hiding & Breeding Places

  • Remove any unnecessary items, such as newspapers, bags, corrugated cardboard boxes, and other objects that accumulate.
  • Silicone caulking can be used to seal off any gaps or cracks that may be lead to the cockroaches home.
  • To seal gaps where electrical wiring and plumbing enter walls, use steel wool or another similarly coarse object.


  • Keep firewood and rubbish heaps well away from the home.
  • Secure trash can and compost lids.
  • Overlaying the vents with mesh is another technique to prevent pests from entering your home.
  • Remove any fallen nuts, fruit, and vegetables from your yard.
  • Install weatherstripping on the doors of your home.


While it is impossible to keep cockroaches from entering your home completely, you can take steps to make it difficult for them to get in and reduce their access to food and water. Additionally, by taking away their hiding and breeding places, you are making it more difficult for them to proliferate.

If you are seeing even a single roach, it is likely that an infestation is already underway, so it is important to take action quickly. For more information or for help with a cockroach problem, please contact your local pest control professional.

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