Do Cockroaches Travel In Clothes? A Guide To Prevention

Have you ever wondered if cockroaches can travel in your clothes? Well, you’re not alone! Many wonder if they can pick up a roach by placing their jacket down or sitting in a public place.

Cockroaches are known for their exceptional survival skills and ability to adapt to various environments. They can hide in the smallest spaces, making it essential to carefully consider whether these pests can hitch a ride on your clothing.

In this article, we’ll explore the likelihood of cockroaches using clothes as a mode of transportation, as well as ways to prevent such occurrences.

Do Cockroaches Travel In Clothes?

Do Cockroaches Travel In Clothes

It turns out that, yes, cockroaches can indeed travel in your clothes. Well, the answer is yes! Cockroaches can certainly hitch a ride in your clothing and other personal belongings.

Be aware that you may not spot it climbing onto your clothes, especially if it’s a baby cockroach.

Not noticing a roach on your clothes can be particularly problematic when you accidentally bring them into your home or if you’re traveling. Let’s dive deeper into the types of clothing that might attract these insects.

What About Certain Types Of Clothing Will Attract Roaches?

Regarding clothing, cockroaches are attracted to a few specific factors. Here are some reasons why your clothes might be attractive to these pests:

Food particles:

You might not notice tiny crumbs or food stains on your clothes, but cockroaches do! Check our in-depth guide on “What do cockroaches eat” for more information.

They are always looking for potential food sources, so any clothing with bits of food on it is like a dinner invitation.


Cockroaches love wet and humid environments. If your clothing is damp – from sweat or a recent wash – it can be a very enticing place for these insects to hide and breed.

Dark colors:

Cockroaches dislike being exposed and prefer dark-colored clothes, offering better camouflage and protection from predators and other threats. Wearing lighter-colored clothes helps avoid attracting these pests.


Cockroaches have a strong sense of smell and can be attracted to various scents, including body odors. They might find your gym clothes or dirty laundry particularly alluring if it’s emitting strong odors.

It would help if you kept your belongings clean, food-free, and dry to minimize the risk of cockroaches traveling in your clothes. Regularly launder your clothes and avoid leaving dirty laundry piled up too long. 

Lastly, remember that prevention is key! Perform regular pest control measures to keep these unwelcome guests at bay.

Some Reasons For Cockroach Infestations In Clothing (Plus Places You Might Pick Up A Roach)

Shelter And Hiding Spots – Your Workplace Has Roaches

Cockroaches love hiding in dark and cozy spaces; your clothes can provide just that! They can easily crawl into the folds of your garments, seeking shelter from predators and the environment.

Be extra vigilant with your laundry. Because if you leave laundry on the floor, you’ll cause potential entry points for these unwanted visitors.

Here’s an example: if you work in a restaurant that has a roach issue and place your hoodie on a shelf in the kitchen, you may, in turn, bring home a few cockroaches.

Here’s what happened to me: In college, I worked at a restaurant where I kept my jacket under the cash register. Unfortunately, little did I know that it was crawling with roaches.

After I saw how bad the infestation was, I placed my clothing in a bag whenever I was at work.

Airplane Seat Has Roaches

Imagine boarding a flight and discovering you’re sharing your seat with roaches! Airplanes can harbor these pests since there are plenty of hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.

I saw this firsthand when taking a plane from JFK to PDX. A cockroach scurried across the seat in front of me, where my tray was. My fight or flight kicked in, and I screamed and jumped into the aisle.

Your clothes might accidentally pick up these unwanted hitchhikers during your flight, so always check your belongings before and after your trip!

Movie Theatre Seat

You’re excited to catch that movie you’ve been dying to see, but little did you know that roaches might also be enjoying the show! Since movie theatres have many food remnants on the floors and seats, they are notorious for hiding insects like cockroaches.

They can easily crawl onto your clothes while you’re engrossed in the movie, so inspect your attire thoroughly and shake it down after the show.

Can You Get roaches from a movie theatre

Uber, Cab, or Lyft Has Roaches

If you take public transportation, there is a slight risk of carrying roaches with you. Again, food particles and crumbs make great snacks for these insects, so they can quickly crawl into your things.

When I took an Uber cab from the airport once, I noticed several cockroaches on the floor and seats. Luckily, I had my belongings on my lap and kept it off the ground at all times.

Then as an extra precaution, I changed my clothing when I got home and carefully inspected my travel bags. Check out our article to learn more about roaches in cars.

Exposure to Roaches at a Hotel

Staying at a hotel can expose your clothes to cockroach infestation. Any hotel may have a hidden roach infestation.

Always inspect your room thoroughly (look for roach droppings on the walls) and keep your clothes in sealed bags to avoid any roaches hitchhiking their way back to your home.

Food Delivery Bags

If you get food delivered from your favorite restaurant, the brown bag could be hiding a roach nymph or egg case.

Restaurants often have these brown bags stacked on a shelf, and if they have a roach issue, one can easily hitch a ride to your place. So, roaches can climb walls and have no trouble navigating vertically.

Unbeknownst to you, a roach may crawl out of the bag and end up in your closet. It’s essential to check the bag thoroughly and recycle it right after you remove your food.

Moving Truck

If you are moving and using a moving truck service, many times they will provide you with cardboard boxes. These can harbor roaches, so check them before you pack your clothing. It’s possible to get roaches from moving, so take precautions and inspect your clothing, before unpacking it.

Food Sources – Stains on Clothes Can Cause Roaches to Gravitate Towards Your Clothing

Cockroaches are always looking for food; your clothes might provide their next meal or shelter! Food stains or spills on your clothing can attract these pests, and they might stick around for more.

To prevent this, always clean up food-related messes on your garments and store your clothes away from potential food sources.

Awareness of these potential infestation risks can help you keep your clothes roach-free!

Prevention Methods for Making Sure Roaches Don’t Get On Your Clothes

Proper Storage

Congratulations! You’re taking the first step to prevent cockroaches from hitching a ride in your clothes. Start by using sealed plastic containers or vacuum-sealed bags to store your clothes. Creating a barrier that cockroaches can’t penetrate is essential.

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Make sure to:

  • Opt for transparent containers to easily see the content.
  • Choose containers with airtight lids.
  • Always store clean clothes, as cockroaches are attracted to food particles and stains.

Housekeeping Practices: Do Cockroaches Travel In Clothes? 

Now, let’s talk about housekeeping practices! Maintaining a clean and clutter-free home is essential for keeping those cockroaches away from your clothes.

It will be easier to spot a roach if there are fewer hiding spots. But here, you can learn more about what causes roaches.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Clean regularly: Wipe down surfaces and vacuum your floors often. Focus on spaces where crumbs and spills are likely, such as the kitchen and dining areas.

  • Declutter: Get rid of piles of paper, cardboard boxes, and other clutter that could serve as hiding places for cockroaches.

  • Seal entry points: Close any cracks and gaps in walls, windows, and doors that could allow cockroaches to enter.

  • Eliminate food sources: Store food in cockroach-proof containers, clean up spills immediately and don’t leave dirty dishes out overnight.

Following these prevention methods, you can stop cockroaches from invading your personal space and keep your clothes bug-free.

Remember, being proactive can save you from the distress of discovering these unwelcome visitors in your wardrobe. Keep up the excellent work!

Final Thoughts for Do Cockroaches Travel In Clothes? and

Eliminating Cockroach Infestations

Cockroaches are a nightmare to deal with, but don’t worry! You can effectively eliminate these insects from your home. Let’s explore strategies to tackle these creatures and prevent them from traveling on your clothes.

Traps And Pesticides

Get excited about traps! Various types of traps available in the market can help you trap these intruders. Sticky traps are an excellent option for catching roaches without using any chemicals.

Place them strategically where you suspect cockroach activity, such as near your kitchen, bathroom, wardrobe, or bed. Traps will help you monitor and determine how bad your roach infestation is.

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Baits/Pesticides Might Be Necessary! If you prefer a more aggressive approach, contact a licensed pest management professional to help devise an attack plan.

Professional Pest Control

If you’re still struggling to eliminate cockroaches after trying traps and pesticides, it’s time to call professional pest control services. Experts have access to powerful treatments that are not available over the counter.

A pest control professional will assess your situation, identify the best course of action, and ensure that every last cockroach is removed from your home. They’ll also provide valuable education/information on maintaining a roach-free environment.

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