How to Get Rid of Roach Nest Infestation Odor

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Whether it’s in the attic of your home or, an abandoned property that you’re hoping to renovate, discovering a cockroach infestation can be devastating.

Roaches have some terrible habits like feeding on garbage and defecating on your kitchen counters. What’s worse, a Cambridge University study found that cockroaches carry 30 different types of bacteria and pathogens that can cause illness and disease.

It’s these bad habits and hitchhiker bacteria that can lead to the undeniable smell of a roach infestation.

Learning that you are sharing your property with thousands of roaches is bad enough, let alone being reminded by that distinct smell.

Afterall, when something stinks, it’s usually ruined, right? Can the smell of a cockroach infestation ever be eliminated? Read on to learn more!

The Life Cycle And Reproduction Of A Roach

In favorable conditions, a roach population can grow quite rapidly.

According to the Entomology Department at the University of Florida, an adult female roach deposits 15 embryos within seven days of mating.

The embryos grow inside their shell and emerge within 38 days as “nymphs.”

A nymph, or juvenile roach, will molt and shed its skin 10 to 13 times over a six-month period before being considered an adult roach.

Once a roach reaches adulthood, their life expectancy is one-year. During that one-year span, a female will deposit between 90 and 200 embryos.

What Are The Causes Of Roach Infestation Odor?

For the most part, roaches are very passive and do not like to interact with humans. So, they find a spot between the walls or under the flooring to start building their nest.

By the time you discover the nest, you could be looking at thousands of roaches.

One of the causes of roach infestation odor is the oleic acid that the decomposing bodies of the dead roaches produce. This musty smelly can also come from the skin that the juvenile roaches shed during molting.

With thousands of roaches, some of them decomposing and some of them shedding skin, it’s easy to understand how the smell of a roach infestation could get out of hand.

The second cause for roach infestation odor is excrement. While the roach poop itself doesn’t have a strong smell, the mold that grows on the feces can have an overpowering and foul scent.

Since roaches tend to seek out places that are damp and hidden away, it is easy for mold to grow on the feces and the smell will get stronger the longer that the infestation is left untreated.

Is A Cockroach Infestation Dangerous?

For the most part, a roach infestation is not a severe health risk. Naturally, there are some exceptions to the rule where hazmat suites might be warranted.

But, the average American home dealing with a roach infestation is not in any immediate life-threatening danger.

However, some health concerns associated with roach infestations are worth mentioning.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology roach feces and the mold that grows on it can trigger allergies and asthma conditions in some people.

So, if you or someone in your home is immunocompromised or is highly-sensitive to allergy symptoms, a roach infestation could pose some dangers.

Also, as we mentioned before, roaches carry pathogens and several types of bacteria that can lead to illness and some diseases.

As a species, roaches are drawn to human food and can cause contamination if they crawl on the apples in your fruit bowl on the kitchen counter or inside of your breadbox.

Thankfully, the roach infestation odor is not dangerous on its own. In other words, that smell is not a harmful gas that you should be worried about smelling.

Most people do not want to share their home or any space with thousands of roaches. But, if you learn about a roach infestation in your home or property, you don’t have to be worried that the roach infestation odor is dangerous or has ruined anything.

What Can Be Done About The Smell Of A Cockroach Infestation: Cockroach odor removal

Now that you know the two causes roach infestation odor and that it’s not a dangerous or life-threatening situation, what can you do about it?

First, finding the roach nest is crucial to ridding your home or property of the smell of roach infestation.

The smell is coming from the feces and dead skin of the roaches. So, finding where they are living is essential to eliminating the odor.

To locate the nest, look in the cracks of kitchen and bathroom cupboards, behind the refrigerator, and in crawlspaces.

Look for black smears from feces and piles of dead skin. If all else fails, follow the smell. It will get stronger the closer you get to the nest.

If the nest is still active and there are live roaches, make sure to contact a licensed and bonded exterminator to treat the nest.

After the exterminator has done the deed, it’s time to clear out all of the debris. The roach infestation odor and dangerous pathogens live in the feces and decomposing skin of the little beasties.

So, it is essential that all of the roach debris is thoroughly cleaned up.

Make sure to use a mask and gloves to protect your airways and your skin from allergic reactions. Use a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner to clean out the cupboards and drawers.


While the smell of a roach infestation can be shocking and disconcerting, there is no reason to run screaming for the hills.

The smell is just a by-product of the infestation and, once the roaches have left the building, the smell will go along with them.

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