Are Cockroaches Active During the Day?

N. Madison

Cockroaches are typically less active during the day. They prefer to move about at night, and they shy away from both natural and artificial light. For example, if a person enters a darkened room that is infested with roaches and turns on the light, he is likely to see them scatter and hide. Roaches will typically hide under any available structure, including appliances, boxes, and trashcans, until the lights are turned off once more.

Cockroaches are most active at night.
Cockroaches are most active at night.

Though cockroaches do prefer to move about at night and under the cover of darkness, they will explore during the daylight hours if there is little activity from humans and other animals. For example, it is not unheard of for someone to enter a kitchen or bathroom during the day and find a cockroach or two exposed. Since they are attracted to water, they can often be found lurking around sinks, pipes, bathtubs, and toilets.

Popular spots for cockroaches may include trash cans.
Popular spots for cockroaches may include trash cans.

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In an effort to get rid of cockroaches, people often try to sniff out their hiding places during daylight hours. The best places to look include under appliances, such as stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines. They may also hide under, in, and around trash cans, especially those that are used for garbage as opposed to paper trash. However, since roaches are capable of eating just about anything, including paper products, wastepaper baskets should not be overlooked as potential hiding places.

Cockroaches may be found in closets during daytime hours.
Cockroaches may be found in closets during daytime hours.

Another typical place to catch cockroaches during the day is inside a closet. It is not uncommon to find cockroaches hiding in shoes and hats. They can be found in the corners of closets, both at floor level and ceiling level. If a closet is both damp and dark, roaches are even more likely to take shelter there during the daylight hours. Even dresser drawers are used as hiding places.

Kitchen cabinets are popular places for cockroaches.
Kitchen cabinets are popular places for cockroaches.

Cockroaches are also known to spend time in kitchen cabinets. They can be found hiding in cracks, crevices, and corners of cabinets that contain food products as well as those that simply hold dishes and eating utensils. Another dark hiding space is a diaper pail. Roaches are often just as attracted to diaper containers as they are trash cans.

An American cockroach, which is sometimes called a palmetto bug.
An American cockroach, which is sometimes called a palmetto bug.

Although cockroaches are usually nocturnal, they may be seen more frequently during the day if a house has a major infestation. For some reason, cockroaches seem to feel safer venturing out when there are large numbers of them within a property. Additionally, the Asian cockroach is one species of cockroach that is attracted to light.

Cockroaches may be found lurking behind toilets.
Cockroaches may be found lurking behind toilets.

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Discussion Comments


Can Asian cockroaches climb a vertical pipe with little moisture?


Actually, are Asian cockroaches afraid of daylight? If they're not afraid of daylight, then what color of light are they afraid of ? Is it yellow light?


I struggled with a cockroach problem for months before I finally decided to perform an attack on all fronts. I did everything I possibly could to kill cockroaches in my house.

I caulked up any cracks I could find in cabinets, baseboards and appliances.

I put glue traps around my baseboards where cockroaches like to run.

I put down a different kind of trap that poisons the roach as it runs across. The roach is then supposed to carry the poison back to the nest.

Finally I fogged my house with a substance that promised to kill roaches and other pests.

I'm glad to say it worked! It was a lot of money and work, but I haven't seen a roach since. I've got my fingers crossed that I never will.


I used to live in an apartment with a terrible cockroach problem and let me tell you, cockroaches are active during the day.

I would see a lot more at night of course, but even during the day it was not uncommon to see at least a few scurrying around. And if I picked up a piece of furniture I could bet on finding at least a few lurking in the dark.

Its a creepy idea, but they really were harmless. I did everything I could to get rid of those cockroaches but they really never caused me any problems.


Some states have a large population of cockroaches. They may not live long, but the females lay many eggs and life goes on.

What is the best way to control cockroaches? Over use of pesticides in the home is not healthy for humans. What safer methods can be used?

There are some things you can do to keep cockroaches out of your house - seal all openings like around pipes going into the house, check anything like groceries, to make sure there are no cockroaches.

Inside your house, get rid of moisture and standing water, keep the bathroom and kitchen clean, and get rid of any food out in the open.

You will probably still have to use some pesticides and baits to control cockroaches. But, using non-toxic methods is a good thing.


I can chuckle about the menace of cockroaches in the house. That's because I live in a part of the country where they don't usually hang out.

I know that, at times, they are out during the day. Once when our family was in Florida on vacation, we had just arrived at our motel. I gave my eight year old daughter an ice bucket and asked her to go down and get some ice.

The next thing I knew, she came breathlessly running back and said there was a six inch cockroach in the tray of the ice machine. She was ready to leave Florida anytime.

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