How to Move Without Taking Roaches With You

When moving from a cockroach-infested apartment or house, the last thing you want to do is bring the pesky, unsanitary critters with you. You have to take a few precautions when packing, but the extra time and effort is worth it when you reach your new home roach-free.

Two women carrying boxes while two men sit
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Leave the cockroach problem behind when moving.

Seal Common Roach Hideouts Prior to Packing

Before you start filling the moving boxes, inspect common roach hiding spots such as small electronics and seal them in plastic zipper-sealed bags. Roaches like to live in warm places, such as items with electronic motors. Look for live roaches, roach eggs or roach feces in alarm clocks, laptops and DVD players. Shake the items to dislodge any evidence. Even if you don't see any cockroach signs, seal the belongings in the bags just in case. If anything is living inside the electronics, they should be dead by the time you get to your new home.

Pack Kitchen Items in Plastic Tubs

Roaches may be hiding out in kitchen appliances such as coffee pots, toasters, toaster ovens and microwaves. Inspect these items for any signs of cockroaches and pack them in sealed plastic storage bins rather than cardboard boxes. Doing so cuts off oxygen and food sources. Wash any utensils, pots, pans, dishes and other kitchen necessities in hot, soapy water and dry them thoroughly before packing them in plastic bins.

Wash Linens Prior to Packing

Wash all of your clothing and linens such as sheets, towels and blankets in the warmest water recommended for them to kill any roaches or egg cases before packing. Right after they are washed and dried, fold the clothing and linens and pack them in plastic bins to prevent re-infestation. Vacuum all of your rugs and couch fabric if possible right before moving. Make sure to empty your vacuum reservoir and wash it with warm, soapy water as well.

Unpack With Caution

When you reach your new home, unpack all potential roach homes such as the electronics or kitchen appliances outside. If you see any signs of the bugs, throw away the items and replace them to avoid bringing the roaches inside. Discard all cardboard boxes immediately after they're unpacked. Place a few roach traps in your new kitchen and bathrooms to check for any signs of infestation. If you see any bugs, call your landlord or an exterminator right away before the problem gets out of hand.