Discovering a cockroach or waterbug in your living space is every homeowner’s worst nightmare, especially if you have never encountered one before. It can come as a total shock to discover that you have been unknowingly living among these creepy pests, not to mention all of the diseases and bacteria cockroaches carry. 

Below we’ve listed a few common cockroach infestation signs to look out for, as well as tips to prevent cockroaches from entering or returning to your home. 

Signs of a Cockroach Infestation

1. Droppings

A telltale sign of a cockroach infestation is the presence of droppings around your home. Cockroach droppings can be identified by their ground coffee or black pepper-like appearance, while larger cockroaches will leave behind dark, cylindrical droppings that are about an inch long. 

Unfortunately, cockroach droppings can be easy to overlook, as they can easily be mistaken for dirt or other debris, which is why many cockroach infestations go unnoticed for a while. 

2. Cockroach Spotting

Cockroaches are social creatures meaning one cockroach tends to indicate the presence of many in your home. 

It is said that seeing a cockroach during the day could indicate a larger infestation, as these pests prefer to move around at night and may be overcrowded. 

3. Eggs

Seeing cockroach eggs in your home is another sign that you are likely dealing with an infestation. Cockroach eggs are typically dark brown in color and measure about one-third of an inch long. Cockroaches usually lay their eggs in damp and hidden places that are still close enough to food sources. 

4. Smear Marks

In areas with high moisture, cockroaches will often leave smear marks as they crawl around. These smear marks can be found in places where cockroaches are most active, along the walls or on horizontal surfaces. 

5. Shedding

Cockroaches shed their skin 5-8 times throughout their different lifecycle stages, so spotting cockroach skins around your home will indicate an infestation. These sheddings are typically white in color and can take the shape of a cockroach, making them easy to spot. 

6. Chew Marks

Cockroaches will often chew on household items, such as food containers, books, and leather goods. If you notice any unusual damage to your belongings, it may mean that there are cockroaches present in your home. 

Cockroaches can also leave red, raised bite marks on humans they come into contact with, so keep an eye out for any unusual bite marks on you or your loved ones. 

7. Foul Odors

Cockroaches tend to give off a foul smell, often described as a musty, oily scent that can be offensive to humans. Cockroaches use this odor to communicate with each other, and this foul scent is often the first indicator for many homeowners that they may be dealing with a roach infestation. 

Cockroaches prefer to hide in dark, damp places

Why Are There Cockroaches in My House?

While many people believe that having cockroaches indicates having a dirty house, these pests can make their way into even the cleanest of homes. For example, a leaking sink or appliance can attract cockroaches, as these insects thrive in places with a lot of moisture. 

Cockroaches can also enter your home if your neighbor hasn’t been keeping a clean house, especially if you share a wall with them. Roaches can also make their way into your home by hiding in cardboard boxes or paper grocery bags, so it is imperative that you carefully inspect these items before bringing them indoors.  

Where Do Cockroaches Tend to Hide?

Cockroaches prefer to hide in dark, damp places and can often be found underneath sinks, behind refrigerators, and in dark drawers and cabinets. They are most often found in the kitchen or bathroom but can easily enter other parts of the house through cracks and crevices. 

Cockroach Prevention Tips

There are several steps you can take to prevent cockroaches from entering your home, including: 

  • Limiting dining to one room of the house
  • Properly storing food
  • Regularly cleaning your home
  • Eliminating possible food sources (garbage, grease, water, etc.)
  • Carefully inspecting items before bringing them indoors

Read more about how to get rid of cockroaches if you want a more detailed explanation. 

When Should You Call an Exterminator for a Cockroach Infestation?

You should call an exterminator at the first sign of a cockroach infestation. 

Due to the invasive nature of these pests, a cockroach infestation can quickly get out of control if it is not dealt with appropriately. Unfortunately, DIY pest control is incapable of handling infestations as severe as cockroaches, which tend to multiply quickly. 

A trusted pest control company will be able to inspect your home to determine the severity of the infestation and come up with a treatment plan to take care of the problem. 

Anchor Pest Control offers cockroach control services that are safe, effective, and affordable. Call us at one of the numbers listed in the header to schedule an appointment or do it online!


What does a cockroach infestation smell like?

Cockroaches often give off a musty, oily scent that can smell unpleasant to humans. A larger infestation will likely smell even stronger, so be sure to act promptly if you smell anything unusual in your home. 

Can you have cockroaches and not know it?

Many homeowners do not realize they have cockroaches until they actually see one. Cockroaches are excellent at hiding and prefer to be most active at night, so it is possible to live among them for quite some time without knowing it. 

What causes cockroaches in a clean house?

Cockroaches can end up in even the cleanest homes, as they are attracted to moist areas. Something as seemingly benign as a leaky faucet can attract these pests to your home, and it can be extremely difficult to get rid of them once they establish themselves.