How Common Are Roaches in Apartments – Things To Know!

If you live in an apartment, the idea of seeing roaches skittering around likely makes your skin crawl. These troublesome pests are equal parts revolting and irritating.

Not to mention they can pose a health hazard.

This creepy crawlies infest apartments at an alarmingly high rate. In some U.S. regions, up to 30% of complexes have a roach problem.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get rid of these critters and prevent them from returning.

This article will dive into the following points:

  • Cockroaches infest an alarming percentage of apartments.
  • Apartments make perfect homes for roaches for several reasons.
  • Cockroaches prefer hiding in dark, damp places.
  • Roaches are unhygienic and pose a health hazard.
  • Baits and other pesticides are effective at exterminating roaches.
  • Keeping your home clean helps prevent infestations.

How Common Are Roaches in Apartments?

Roaches are one of the most common pests found in apartments worldwide.

Estimates vary, but anywhere from 10% to 30% of U.S. apartment complexes have cockroach infestations. And your chances of a roach problem go up in urban centers like cities.

They also thrive in warm, humid regions. So if you live in the South or a city with heavy rainfall, that can further increase the risk of infestation.

One study evaluating New Jersey complexes found that 30% had roaches. Even more striking is that many of those tenants didn’t notice the pests. Which is part of the reason why these bugs spread so rapidly.

Additionally, a 2019 U.S. census survey found that 14 million housing units in America had roaches. 

That means that around 11% of Americans are living near these critters. As far as pests go, they’re second only to rodents in how often they’re reported.

Because of their prevalence, roaches have a reputation for infesting apartments. Even if you keep your place tidy, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter them eventually.

Why Are Roaches Attracted to Apartments?

Roaches are surprisingly like us regarding what they seek out: food, water, and shelter

Inhabited apartments provide all of these things. Roaches can eat left-out food, collect moisture from sink drains, and live in the crevices of walls and baseboards.

And if a tenant doesn’t keep their apartment clean, that can worsen the problem. Because roaches see piles of trash in the same way we see a luxurious resort. 

The design of apartments also offers some advantages to roaches.

Complexes usually consist of multiple units stacked on top of and next to each other. If roaches can’t find what they need in one home, they can crawl through walls to the next.

In contrast, roaches only have so many places to go in a single-family home. It‘s part of why exterminating them is much easier in houses than apartments.

Furthermore, roaches can infest an entire complex from a single colony in a housing unit or wall. 

This means even if you do an excellent job of preventing them, they can keep coming back. 

How Roaches Get In Your Apartment

Roaches are very mobile and sneaky creatures. There are numerous ways they can find their way into your home, such as:

  • Moving in from next door – If someone in your complex has an infestation, roaches can spread through floors and walls.
  • Sneaking through windows and doors – If you have cracks around your window or keep it open, roaches can take advantage of that. They can also travel through carpet under doors.
  • Drains and pipes – Since the plumbing in apartments often intersects and connects, it can be like a highway for roaches. 
  • Hitching a ride on humans – Roaches can invade your home by hiding in things like clothes and backpacks.

Where Do Roaches Hide In Apartments?

Roaches gravitate to dark and tight spaces. Particularly those that offer a steady supply of food and water.

One of the most common locations they make a home is the kitchen. These bugs gladly feast off dirty dishes and leftover crumbs. Plus, they can collect moisture from your sink drain. 

You might see them hiding in the back of cabinets or behind appliances. They’re also attracted to fridges since they can drink condensation off the back of them.

The bathroom is another place they often infest. Like the kitchen, bathroom sinks and drains offer plenty of moisture for the bugs.

However, part of what makes roaches so pesky is that they’re not picky.

You can find these critters practically anywhere in your apartment. They’ll even invade bedrooms, especially if you eat in yours often or leave out any trash.

Plus, they may nest in places out of sight. Such as in walls, baseboards, or beneath your carpet.

How to Tell If You Have Roaches

If you suspect that you have a roach infestation, here are some ways to check:

  • Talk to other tenants – Apartment infestations are rarely limited to a single room. If your neighbors have roaches, your chances increase significantly.
  • Spot live cockroaches – Roaches are social insects that live in colonies. Seeing one bug means others are likely nearby.
  • Scan for droppings – Roaches leave behind tiny droppings that resemble coffee grounds or pepper flakes. You’ll usually find them near baseboards or in dark corners.
  • Check your furniture for damage – Roaches can damage furniture, especially natural materials like leather. Look for tiny holes or tears along seams and corners.
  • Unusual odors – These critters are surprisingly smelly when in groups. If you notice a sudden musky odor with seemingly no source, roaches might be the cause.
  • Look for eggs – Cockroaches lay tiny brown eggs that resemble pills. You can typically find them around fridges, baseboards, and crevices. 

Are Roaches In Apartments Dangerous?

While cockroaches aren’t necessarily deadly, they pose numerous risks to your health and hygiene.

For one, cockroaches spread disease via their droppings and saliva. They can carry microorganisms that cause diarrhea, salmonella, and even staph infections.

Many people are also allergic to cockroaches. 

For those who are, roach droppings and skins can significantly worsen asthma and breathing issues. Not to mention causing rashes and hives.

The hazards of roaches aren’t strictly physical either. Having a severe infestation may also adversely affect mental health

For example, you might feel stressed and lose appetite if you find droppings near your food. And seeing them by your bed can make it difficult to sleep peacefully.

What If You Find Roaches In Your Apartment?

Once you confirm that you have roaches, contact your landlord

If your apartment has a pest control service, they may handle the issue for you. And since professionals are trained on roach behavior and removal, they‘re your best bet for getting rid of the bugs.

Your landlord may also contact other tenants to see if they have roaches as well. Exterminators can then use that information to ascertain where the critters come from and stop them.

In the meantime, you should declutter your rooms and securely seal any food. Doing so reduces the shelter and food roaches have access to in your home.

How Do You Get Rid of Roaches In Apartments?

Exterminating roaches from an apartment is challenging. Generally, multiple strategies in tandem are necessary to kick these pests to the curb.

Here are the most effective ways of dealing with these insects:

  • Gel bait – You can spread gel bait along crevices, baseboards, and walls. Roaches eat the gel and then return to their colony, where other bugs get poisoned too. 
  • Traps – Often shaped like boxes or tubes, these sticky devices trap roaches that walk through them. They’re excellent for placing in areas that see high bug traffic.
  • Chemical treatment – Pesticide sprays for killing roaches are widely available. You can use them directly on bugs to kill them. Or to coat areas where they hide.
  • Sealing and caulking – If you have an infestation, the colony might be lurking in your baseboards or walls. So make sure to seal any crevices or openings that they might use.

You can also go old-school and crush any creepy crawlies that you see. But since roaches multiply so quickly, it likely won’t do anything to stop your infestation. 

Plus, make sure to remove any dead roaches. Otherwise, they can serve as food for other ones in your home.

How Do You Prevent Roaches In Apartments?

When dealing with pests, it’s always best to be proactive. After all, it’s easier to keep roaches out than it is to get rid of a colony.

Below are some tips for preventing an infestation:

  • Never leave out dirty dishes – the combination of food and moisture on dirty dishes is a roach’s paradise. 
  • Clean up trash and clutter – Roaches seek out filth and trash for food and shelter. So make sure you’re keeping your house hygienic and clutter-free.
  • Use a dehumidifier – Like other pests, roaches gravitate towards moisture. If your home is humid, using a dehumidifier will make it much less appealing to them.
  • Securely seal and store all food – Try not to leave bags or boxes holding food open. Ideally, everything in your pantry should be in a sealed container. 
  • Vacuum frequently – Roaches are attracted to crumbs and bits of food in your carpet. Regularly vacuuming your home can mitigate this problem.
  • Dry any moist areas – Roaches thrive in bathrooms and kitchens thanks to the moisture around drains. You can help mitigate this by patting away excess water in sinks and showers.


Roaches are a surprisingly common pest in apartments. They can form colonies that infest entire complexes and are often tricky to exterminate.

These creepy crawlies are attracted to filth and moisture. So by keeping your home clean, you can help prevent them from staying.

Alright, that’s it for this article, here are a few hand-selected articles that you might also find interesting reads:

11 Tips to Prevent American Cockroaches

How To Get Rid Of CockRoaches FOREVER – YES SERIOUSLY!!

I Saw One Cockroach, Should I Be Worried?

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Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page

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