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5 Reasons Why Roaches Like Cardboard

Why Do Roaches Like Cardboard?

Roaches love the strangest things, and you can never send them out permanently from the kitchen to the basement or bathroom.

You would think they love trash today. Next, you see them in the wardrobe.

Surprisingly, another common place you’d find them lying around is on cardboard. Why is this so?

Is there a special ingredient that draws them to cardboard? We will answer these and more in this guide.


Cardboards are one of the many strange things roaches like to infest. If you wonder why this is so, we give you some possibilities to consider below:

  • The cardboard material contains food
  • The cardboard provides shelter and privacy for them
  • They want to use the cardboard to get into other places in the house

The factors above and more to be discussed in the guide are possible reasons you may find roaches in cardboard materials.

5 Reasons Why Roaches Like Cardboard

Reasons Why Roaches Like Cardboard

There are several reasons roaches love to stay inside cardboard boxes.

Below, we consider five of them:

1. They Enjoy Food

They Enjoy Food

Though there are substances that repel roaches, they can eat almost anything. Soap, hair, cardboards, clothes, cereals, paper, etc., are food options for insects.

Any food item in the cardboard automatically becomes a food option for them. Interestingly, roaches also have a thing for the glue in binding cardboard.

They may find it challenging to chew strong materials like corrugated cardboard. But they can easily chew softer cardboard materials like paper boxes and cereal cartons.

2. They Enjoy Shelter

They Enjoy Shelter

Roaches also consider cardboard a perfect place to live. As wandering insects looking for where to lay their heads after the daily struggles of the day, cardboards make a good home.

While serving as an excellent living spot, roaches use cardboard to do many things.

Firstly, they breed. Bugs will reproduce, remember? So they need an ideal place to mate without disturbance.

After breeding comes conception and delivery; roach eggs are littered around in most cardboard materials.

These roaches need a place to lay eggs and monitor the process without problems. The eggs eventually turn into more bugs, and that’s how they increase in number.

Another activity roaches do in their newly-found shelter(cardboard) is molting. After their eggs hatch, they become nymphs. They lose about 10-14 times from the spirit to the maturity stage.

This process involves the shedding of their outer skeleton until it becomes the brown surface you see. Before the exoskeleton becomes brown, it starts as white.

Molting takes a few hours, and cardboard/cartons are comfortable enough for the roaches to molt.

3. They Enjoy Privacy

They Enjoy Privacy

You’d notice that roaches are nocturnal insects that love your privacy to your detriment.

Cardboard-related materials are usually enclosed, especially ones you don’t often open.

As long as roaches have all they need inside the boxes, they can stay there and do all they want.

They’d still be back even if you evaded the cardboard and left. They would only leave when you leave the boxes open for a while.

4. The Cardboard Is Wet

The Cardboard Is Wet

Roaches are happier when the boxes or cardboard are soaked with water or soaked with the substances inside.

Say you buy some fruits like bananas or apples that come in a box.

If you leave the box without using the fruits for a while, roaches may come in their numbers.

Imagine the fruits rotten inside the carton and fermenting, oozing out some liquid. More bugs will go and relax for a long time.

Spilled drinks like coffee or juice could be a green flag for roaches to come around.

A leakage close by could soak the cartons around, making them easily chewable for the bugs, causing further damage.

5. The Bigger Picture

The Bigger Picture

Cardboards could be the means to an end. Roaches can use cardboard to get into other areas of the house.

If there is soft cardboard in the basement, they will chew through them, raise more roaches, and raid your kitchen.

This process promulgates roach infestation because you would soon see them all over the place and wonder where they came from.

Roaches may not be too clever, but they sure find their way. Through cardboard, they can get into the bathroom, wardrobe, living room, etc.

Now that you’ve got the hang of why roaches like cardboard, let’s look at three quick ways to get them out.

3 Ways To Get Roaches Out of Cardboards

Ways To Get Roaches Out Of Cardboards

There are many ways to deter roaches. However, not all strategies work for roach infestations on boxes and cardboard materials.

So, what roach-deterring methods are effective on cardboard?

Find out below!

1. Look Out for Leakages

Look Out For Leakages

It would be best if you kept your paper boxes out of areas with leakages.

Before considering the possibility of roach infestation, your files and important documents may also be at risk.

You may want to repair leakages immediately.

2. Declutter


Some homeowners are habitually stacking up boxes that are no longer in use.

Such action is an involuntary way of inviting roaches to your home.

You’re telling the message that you’ve built an estate for them, and they are welcome.

Take out any unnecessary cardboard. Repair or replace damaged cardboard to prevent roach infestation and promote tidiness.

The fact remains that roaches hate neat environments.

3. Use Roach Repellents

Use Roach Repellents

There are a lot of effective roach repellents out there, like; insecticides, peppers, etc.

Since we’re dealing with cardboard, essential oils will help you best.

Cedarwood, lavender, and peppermint oils permanently deter roaches from your boxes or any other cardboard material.

All you need to do is to sprinkle these oils around the box areas.


Roaches can become so much to deal with, mainly when you use a lot of boxes to keep your stuff.

As discussed above, these crawling insects love hiding in cardboard for many reasons. These include the search for food, shelter, privacy, and moisture. They could also infest your cardboard materials to enter other parts of your house.

Regardless of why they hide in your cardboard materials, you can’t afford to share your home with them. Although small, roaches carry a lot of bacteria around, and you can’t afford to have germs on your food items.

You can employ any of the methods above to deter them and have a healthier and more peaceful home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Squish the Roaches on My Cardboards?

Safe you can. Squishing roaches may kill them, but it’s not the best way to exterminate them permanently. Squishing them can also spread harmful bacteria, foul smell, and cause stains on your boxes.

Can Roaches Bite?

Roaches rarely bite but can fly into your face, causing allergies and irritations. The dirt and the bacteria they carry are toxic to the skin and the body.

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