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9 Ways to Prevent Bringing Roaches When You Move

Roaches are gross and very hard to get rid of once they nest in your house. A roach infestation is enough to make most people move out of a rental. Some people will even sell their homes if they struggle to eradicate roach problems.

Moving when you have roaches is stressful because you never want to bring the bugs to your new house or apartment. But, unfortunately, the little critters are sneaky and try to find their way into your boxes, closet, and kitchen supplies.

The last thing you want is to bring roaches along with you when you move. Everyone who has dealt with roaches wants a fresh start when they move into a new place.

If you’re currently frustrated with cockroaches at home, here are some helpful tips for leaving them behind and preventing them from making the trip with you.

1. Avoid Using Cardboard

Cardboard boxes stacked in an empty room moving concept

Cardboard is one of the most popular packing materials because it’s cheap, easy to store, and disposable.

However, the main issue with cardboard is that the glue attracts roaches. The glue is sometimes made of starches that cockroaches love to eat, so you could be serving up a meal when you’re packing to move.

Instead, use clear containers and other packing materials that cockroaches don’t love. A clear container makes spotting roaches much more manageable, so you can kill them before they get in the truck.

Once you’ve moved, you can slowly unpack your containers one at a time to guarantee no roaches tagged along.

2. Wash Everything Before You Pack

Woman holds bottle with liquid laundry detergent before washing clothes

Please take all of your clothes, linens, and any other fabrics, and wash them before they get packed. Don’t slack on this tip because it makes a big difference in whether any roaches come with you during a move.

Wash as much as you can on high heat. Once the linens come out of the wash, pack them immediately and seal the containers one by one. Don’t put things back in your drawers or closet where roaches may be lurking.

If possible, wash the items very close to your departure date to limit the time roaches have to embed into clothes, sheets, pillowcases, and anything else you bring.

The same goes for everything in your kitchen. Wash your pans and appliances to get rid of any roaches that may be in your cabinets.

3. Don’t Bring Any Food Items

Modern kitchen countertop with food ingredients. Top view of drawers with spices organized inside.

This applies to spices, dry foods, and everything. You’re better off throwing the stuff away than trying to save food and packing roaches with you before a move. Instead, ditch all your food to reduce the risk of roaches in your new house or apartment.

Packing food will draw roaches to wherever you put it, so even if you pack sealed food items separately in sealed containers, you’re increasing the chances roaches try to get in. It’s not worth it.

4. Double Check Your Plants

Woman inspecting pot of her blooming orchid plant at home

Roaches love to hide and live in plants and pots. It’s easy for them to camouflage themselves in soil that sits in your pots.

In addition, it’s almost impossible to check every inch of a large fiddle leaf plant or something similar, so you could miss roaches hiding under leaves or blending in with brown stems.

You can either sell your plants, leave them behind, or spend a reasonable amount of time checking them for bugs. You’d hate to give roaches a spot in your new house just because they hitchhiked on a plant.

5. Pack Items in Sealed Bags

 vacuum clothing storage compressed package.

You can suffocate and kill any roaches you have in your stuff by starving them of oxygen before you move. You’ll need some advanced planning for this, but it can help eliminate any bugs that make it into your belongings.

Pack small items, clothing, and other stuff in airtight bags. Leave them to sit for at least a few days before the move. Then, leave them alone for another few days when you get to your destination.

The lack of oxygen should be enough to kill any bugs on the road, so they won’t be alive by the time you get there.

6. Unpack Slowly

Happy family unpacking their belongings at their new home.

Unfortunately, nothing you do will guarantee no roaches make the trip. Everything on this list will help, but there is still a chance some bugs will sneak past you.

After the move is over, don’t be in a rush to unpack everything all at once. Instead, move through your things methodically to eliminate missing bugs in the chaos.

If possible, unpack containers one at a time thoroughly to prevent roaches from getting into your new house.

7. Leave Behind Small Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen set with appliances on dark wood in a standard apartment

Roaches love to hide in empty spaces inside small kitchen appliances. They instinctively know that it’s very difficult for humans to reach inside the base of a blender or the back of a microwave.

There’s no chance you’ll take an appliance apart to check for roaches before a move, so if you have a severe roach problem, you should leave small appliances behind.

It will cost you some money to replace the items you throw away but knowing you don’t have roaches with you when you move is priceless. Remember, just because you can’t see roaches doesn’t mean they’re not there.

8. Consider Renting a Storage Unit

 man loading cart with cardboard boxes into self storage unit

If you have a significant cockroach problem where you live, you may want to rent a storage unit to bridge your move. Putting your things in a storage unit close to your home helps you avoid the chaos that accompanies most moves.

You don’t have to deal with stacks of boxes or clutter everywhere and can instead manage your move in a more organized way.

9. Book a Pest Control Company

Professional pest control worker in work wear spraying pesticide in the kitchen

Schedule an appointment with a pest control company to treat your house for roaches before the move. Make sure you book the service in advance so the treatment has time to work and the roaches are dead before you start packing.

A professional pest control service will know where roaches are likely hiding and how to eradicate the problem.