3 Ways To Get Cockroaches Out Of Electronics

Cockroaches are experts in survival methods. Partly because they live almost exclusively in dark places where they can hide from potential danger, this allows them to go undetected long enough to multiply typically.

The one place that cockroaches seem to favor is electronic devices and appliances. Once you confirm their presence, there are three ways to get cockroaches out of electronics.

  1. Baiting them then spraying them out of the designated area.
  2. Blowing and vacuuming.
  3. Freezing the roaches up.

In general, the problem with cockroaches is that once they infest a home or a device, it takes a few steps and dedication to eliminate them. The rate at which they multiply is quite alarming, and very soon, there are cockroaches of all sizes running around.

There are effective ways of dealing with a roach problem to ensure you eliminate the adults and the young and all of the eggs. If any of the eggs survive, you will have a cycle that restarts in a matter of weeks. Let us look at the three ways to get cockroaches out of electronics.

Where Do You Start?

The sight of cockroaches can be a cause for concern and most definitely some disgust. Cockroaches are usually associated with dirty living conditions, but this is not always the case. Before you hastily start spraying bug spray on everything, you need to do a proper inspection.

An inspection can help you identify all infestation areas, which can significantly help you choose an effective action method for your unique situation.

How To Do An Inspection Of Your Electronic Devices

We would recommend that you inspected your devices for any signs of infestation thoroughly. An inspection will include looking for live roaches, feces, and fresh or dried oothecae, or eggs. The presence of cockroaches means that they are happy with their habitat, they have a steady food supply, and they are, for the most part, undisturbed.

At the first sign of a sighting, you will need to do a proper inspection. Take great care with electronic devices to ensure opening them does not cancel the warranty. Use the correct tools to rule out the chance of electrocution. Please refrain from opening any devices that have an electrocution alert sticker on them for your safety.

Where To Look

Check your electronic devices’ openings and port areas, particularly the power supply port and other such sites where a cockroach could crawl their way into.

What To Look For 

You can inspect your electronics for cockroach feces. It resembles black pepper that has been ground and should be easy to locate, usually around your electronics’ wires or power supplies. You could also spot oothecae that look like brown pieces of raw peanut skin.

You might also notice an odd odor, old and musty, coming from the device. That’s a telltale sign of cockroaches being present. To specifically inspect a PC or desktop computer, here is a step by step guide to follow;

Step By Step

  1. First, turn the computer off and unplug all the connecting cables and wires.
  2. Move it to an open space or outside where there is good ventilation.
  3. Unscrew the casing screws and slowly remove the cover using electrically approved screwdrivers.
  4. You might see many cockroaches scurry in different directions so have some bug spray on hand to kill them as they come out.
  5. Once you have identified the area they are occupying, you can decide which components you need to remove to prevent damage
  6. Carefully remove the motherboard, any other drives, the fan or cooling unit, and the memory units. Inspect them for any signs of eggs, roaches, or feces.

Roaches can touch high voltage areas causing an electrical short, permanently damaging your item, or resulting in a costly repair situation. Because they sometimes feed on the wire insulation, it can cause wires to touch and cause an electrical short that could result in significant damage or even a fire hazard.

Once you have assessed the severity, you have to decide how to eliminate the cockroaches you see and what prevention method you can take.  There are three methods you can apply depending on the findings of your inspection. Let’s have a look at what you can do;


Method #1 – Bait & Spray

1. Baiting

The baiting method will most probably be the safest when it comes to a PC or desktop computer. Spraying bug spray directly into a computer can cause an electrical short. Baiting gel has been specially formulized to contain attractants that cockroaches can not resist.

Although it is a slow killing method, it is comprehensive. The cockroaches will take this bait back to their nest, and it will slowly spread throughout the colony, killing all the live roaches.

You would effectively need a pea-sized drop of the bait, place it onto a small piece of cardboard and place it either inside the PC or, if in the case of a more closed unit like a gaming console, near any vents or the power supply. This card will allow you to place it more accurately and assist in cleaning up afterward.

Avoid letting your children or pets near the bait, as the reactions can be adverse if ingested. Cockroaches will travel significant distances to get to food sources; you can therefore place the same amount of gel bait on a cardboard in the kitchen behind the fridge, under the freezer, and behind the microwave oven.

In the bathroom, you can place it under a cupboard and behind the toilet and the basin.

Although the gel bait is slow-acting, it is effective long-term as it eliminates them in totality. You should start seeing numbers reducing in around five days and much less activity.

You can begin cleaning up the dead roaches and feces with a HEPA vacuum and disinfectant. Approximately two weeks after the first application, you should replace the bait and leave it for another two weeks to be sure.

After you are certain there are no more cockroaches, you can do a thorough cleaning of all areas affected. Discard all the bait that is left in the bin.

2. Spraying

Spraying into electronics without knowing what the consequences are could be detrimental to the device. Make sure the device is unplugged and disconnected from all-electric sources and remove all the cables.

Take the box outside and spray into the openings you can see; you might find the cockroaches start running out, you can contact kill the ones trying to escape.

Leave your device outside for at least 30 minutes; if you can open the box, do so carefully, and using a HEPA vacuum and the smallest nozzle, vacuum up the dead cockroaches you see. Make sure it is not extremely hot when you do this, as it can damage your product.

By using a cloth, you can wipe away any feces and debris left behind. It would be recommended you discard the fabric after.

You can use a can of compressed air typically used to dislodge dust and blast out any remaining roaches and feces further. Remove all the components that can come out and blast air into all smell crevices.

It would be best to do maintenance checks every week or two afterward to ensure no re-infestation occurs. Repeat the process if needed.


Method # 2 – Blowing & Vacuuming

Using a can of compressed air is also an effective method of cleaning out your infested electronic devices. Your local hardware store or computer store should sell these cans as they are frequently used for removing dust and debris from the inside of PCs and other devices.

An excellent place to start would be to unplug your device from the electrical supply and disconnect all cables and screens. Carefully take the PC or device outside and open the side panel using approved anti-shock screwdrivers. You can follow the instructions on the can of compressed air and insert the thin nozzle that accompanies it. This will allow you to spray into hard-to-reach areas.

Give the can a couple of good blasts and see if it removes any roaches hiding inside the PC or device. You can contact spray them as they try to escape using a store-bought bug spray. You can sprinkle the bug spray into areas with no wires or circuits, like the PC floor and the side panel.

Once you have left the device for about 30 minutes, you can vacuum it with a HEPA filter vacuum. Firstly remove the motherboard and all other removable components to prevent any damage. Use the smallest nozzle and make sure you do not vacuum against the power supply or circuits.


Method # 3 – Freezing

Like most insects, cockroaches do not like cold temperatures. They prefer heat and the darker areas in a house. A slightly unconventional method of getting rid of cockroaches is the freezing method. Being what it sounds like, you put the device inside the freezer. Let us look at exactly what to do;

  • Firstly, determine if the device can indeed go into the freezer. Items with an LCD screen like a TV, a phone, or a pad should never be placed inside a freezer.
  • Once you are confident the device can withstand the freeze, seal it inside a plastic bag. Make sure the bag is nice and tightly sealed.
  • Place the device inside the freezer and ensure it is stable.
  • Leave the device inside the freezer for three to five days and remove it.
  • Take the device out of the bag, open it up if possible, and vacuum out all dead roaches and debris like feces and oothecae. Let dry.

In an area with sub-zero temperatures, you do not have to place the device inside the freezer physically. Following the same step, you tightly seal the appliance or device and place it inside the garage for a few days, and it should have the same result.

Cockroaches will die pretty quickly when exposed to freezing temperatures. This way, you will also ensure the young nymphs and eggs are also eliminated.

In both scenarios, make sure that the device has dried out properly before you attempt to use it again; it is advisable to let it stand for a few days. Keep your device in the driest part of the house for a day or two before connecting it.  

Why Do Cockroaches Like Hiding In Electronics?

Firstly, let us look at the reason cockroaches love to hide inside electronic devices. Any appliance can become a target for infestation. The ones most commonly infested by cockroaches tend to be:

  • Television sets
  • Gaming consoles and controllers
  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Personal computers and laptops
  • Internet routers
  • Stoves and toasters
  • Power supply units
  • Radios and electronic clocks

These everyday appliances can become riddled with cockroaches, their eggs, and their feces. They prefer electronics that are either on all day or that are frequently used is firstly the heat; secondly, the concealment, and thirdly access to food.

Cockroaches are not limited to just older devices, and they will move into new machines if they have the chance. The type of cockroach that prefers electronics is usually the German cockroach. They are small enough to crawl into very tight spaces, especially when they are still young.

Can Cockroaches Ruin Electronics?

Cockroaches are masters of survival. They can eat almost anything from other insects, all types of food, and any natural material they can find to snack on, like paper, newspapers, cardboard boxes, and even furniture items clothing. Nothing is exempted when you have a cockroach infestation.

This results in the cockroaches walking over various objects searching for food, and by doing so, they are spreading feces and potential diseases.

Because cockroaches will nest together in heated dark areas like electronic devices, they tend to multiply at such a rate that your device can become damaged very quickly. A single female German cockroach can carry up to 50 eggs inside an ootheca, a pouch-like casing. The eggs develop into adults within around sixty days. That is alarming and easy to see how it can quickly escalate into a full-blown infestation.

When they clump together inside an electronic device, they start defecating all over the inside. Having roaches clumped together can begin to damage open circuits and small wires.

How To Prevent Re-Infestation

Once you have treated the device for the apparent infestation, the next thing you need to do is to prevent any chance of re-infestation. This is a critical part of making sure you keep your device and home cockroach-free permanently. It is advisable that you open and thoroughly clean all electronic devices using the correct tools.

Begin by using an old toothbrush to gently scrub off any sticky parts, then using a soft cloth and cleaner to wipe away any remaining feces and debris.

When doing a thorough cleaning, always ensure you do not break any warranty seals that the manufacturers have placed inside the device. If possible, place a small piece of gel bait inside the machine as prevention. You can do a thorough cleaning underneath appliances like fridges, freezers, and microwave ovens.

Leave cardboards with gel bait after you cleaned to make sure there are no re-infestations possible. Always use a HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner when possible.

Once you have tried all these methods and still have no success, call a professional pest control company to assist you.


It is effortless to overlook cockroaches inside devices. Usually, the first time you notice them is once they have already made a significant nest inside an instrument or appliance. Few insects can repulse humans like cockroaches, and rightfully so, they are nasty little critters.

Cockroaches can spread a variety of diseases from dysentery, cholera, leprosy, and even typhoid fever. These are excellent reasons to want to rid your home of them as fast as possible.

The bait and bug sprays currently available are very fast-acting and will significantly help you get cockroaches out of your electronics effectively.

The most crucial thing after elimination is the prevention of re-infestation. Do a regular maintenance check on all electronics to ensure the health of the device and your household.

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Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.
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