Do Dishwashers Attract Cockroaches? How to Get Rid of Them

cockroach dishwasher

Cockroaches thrive in dark and damp areas of the home. This makes dishwashers the perfect environment for these nasty bugs to thrive.

They are attracted to dishwashers because they provide them with a place to hide, a food supply, and water supply. They can use the dishwasher as a breeding ground.

Often they can be found inside of the dishwasher, however, they can also be found behind them.

cockroach dishwasher

Today, we are going to learn how to avoid cockroaches and keep them out of your dishwasher. If you already have an invasion on your hands, we will teach you how to get rid of them and keep them from coming back. Let’s get started, shall we?

How To Avoid Cockroaches

One of the best ways to make washing dishes easier and cockroach free is to prevent them from getting inside. You will find some tips below that will help you achieve that goal!

Eliminate Entry Points

Look for entry points in your home especially around your dishwasher. Even the smallest hole will give a cockroach an entry point. When you find them, make sure to seal them up with spray foam insulation.

Keep The Dishwasher Door Closed

In order to keep cockroaches out of the dishwasher, keep the dishwasher door closed when you are not loading it.

Clean Your Dishwasher Drain Weekly

Washing dishes in your dishwasher is very convenient. However, a dirty dish can clog up the dishwasher drain with leftover food particles. These particles can be very attractive to cockroaches. It is always a good idea to clean your drain each week to prevent them.

Sanitize Your Dishwasher Twice A Month

Over time your dishwasher can become dirty which cockroaches simply love. Make sure you sanitize your dishwasher at least twice a month to reduce the chances of a cockroach invasion.

Run Your Dishwasher As Soon As It is Full

Never leave a full dishwasher overnight. Instead, run it as soon as you put the last dish inside. This is a great way to avoid cockroaches.

Throw Out All Trash Daily

At the end of the day, take out the trash. Doing so will help keep those pesky bugs out of your house!

Remove All Food Particles From Counter Tops

Once you are done cooking for the day, clean off the countertops, and remove all food particles.

Sweep Kitchen Floors Daily

After you have cleaned off your kitchen countertops, you will need to sweep the floor. This will remove any food particles that may attract cockroaches.

How To Get Rid of Cockroaches

If you are washing dishes and notice roaches around the dishwasher, don’t freak out! Instead, do something to get rid of them. The following information will help you get rid of those nasty bugs.

Here is a good practical video on how to treat roaches in your dishwasher:

Call Your Local Pest Control Company

One of the best ways to keep avoid being creeped out while washing dishes is to hire a local pest control company. They have all the necessary tools to keep them from coming into your home.

Use Natural Pest Repellents

If you have small children or pets, you may be concerned about hiring a pest control company. Instead, you can tackle your roach issue by using natural pest repellents. We will learn more about them later.

Vacuum Them Up

To physically remove cockroaches inside and around your dishwasher, you can vacuum them up. If possible, use a vacuum that has a bag. This will allow you to remove the bag without letting any roaches escape.

How To Clean Your Dishwashers

If your dishwasher has been invaded by cockroaches, you need to clean it right away. Cockroaches can leave behind germs that can make your family sick. Below is a cleaning method that will help sanitize your dishwasher and make it safe to use again.

Remove Dirty Dishes and Clean Them By Hand

Take each dish out of the dishwasher and clean them by hand. This will remove any germs that the cockroaches have left behind.

Inspect Your Dishwasher Drain

Next, you will need to inspect your dishwasher’s drain. Remove any food particles that you find so that your dishwasher will drain properly.

Vinegar Wash

Now you will need to place a small bowl in the top rack of your dishwasher. Fill it completely with white vinegar and close the dishwasher door. Set your dishwasher to run a full cleaning cycle. This will help in removing food particles that attract cockroaches.

Baking Soda Wash

After you have completed the vinegar wash, you will need to fill the bottom of your dishwasher with baking soda. Close the door and again run it on a full-cycle. Make sure you use the hottest water setting possible during this part of the process.

Bleach Wash

Last but not least, you will need to do a bleach wash. Add 1-cup of bleach to the bottom of your dishwasher and run it through another full-cycle. Warning: Avoid the bleach wash if the inside of your dishwasher contains stainless steel. Bleach will cause discoloring which will be permanent.

Remove Dishwasher and Clean Behind It

After you are done cleaning the inside of your dishwasher, you will need to remove it and clean behind it. You will probably find a large number of roaches and you will need to kill them and remove them. Next, you should vacuum the empty space and remove any debris that you find. You will want to wear a pair of gloves and a face mask during this part of the cleaning process.

What Substances Are Safe To Use Around The Dishwasher

Cockroach poison can be harmful to both humans and pets. When possible, you should avoid using it in the kitchen and especially around your dishes. Below are a few natural substances that you can use around the dishwasher to get rid of cockroaches.

Essential Oils

A natural way to ward off cockroaches is with essential oils. Oils of rosemary and eucalyptus are offensive to roaches and will help keep them away. Put a small drop around your dishwasher and any area you have found roaches.


To kill cockroaches on the spot use hair spray. Directly spraying them with hairspray will cause them to suffocate.


You can use the herb catnip to keep roaches from getting in your dishwasher. Sprinkle a small amount around the back of your dishwasher. If you have a cat, you may want to avoid using catnip.

Fabric Softener

Find an empty spray bottle and fill it with a mixture of 3 parts fabric softener to 2 parts water. Shake up the mixture so that it combines. When you find an active roach infestation, spray it with the fabric softener solution. This will stick to them and cause them to suffocate.

Ammonia and Water

To rid your dishwasher of cockroaches, mix 2 cups of water in a three-gallon bucket of water. Use the solution to clean areas around the dishwasher. This will help you control roaches and any other bug that may come into your home.

A Coffee Ground Trap

If you drink coffee, you can use the grounds to get rid of roaches around your dishwasher. Find a large jar and fill it with part of the way with water. Next, place a small cup that will fit inside the jar with wet coffee grounds.

Roaches will be attracted to the smell of the wet grounds and try to get inside the jar. When they do, they will be trapped inside the jar and drown. Make sure to keep an eye on the jar each day and remove any dead cockroaches you find.

If you are putting a dish inside your dishwasher and notice a cockroach crawling around inside, use the above steps to get rid of them. Remember, it is best to do preventative measures before they become a problem.

If they have invaded your dishwasher, get rid of them, and properly clean your dishwasher so that it is safe to use.

The Dangers of Roaches

Cockroaches are more than just a creepy bug that can be found inside the home. They can actually cause your family harm if they are left unchecked.

One way that roaches pose a danger to humans comes in the form of food contamination. As cockroaches invade the home, they will often feed on your food supply contaminating it.

Roaches can pose a health risk to those who suffer from asthma. According to the New York Times, a cockroach infestation can bring on an allergic asthmatic reaction in some people.

Believe it or not, roaches can invade certain body parts including your ears and your nose. While you sleep, roaches can crawl inside of you which may need to be removed by a medical professional.

You may not know it but cockroaches can actually bite you. This often happens while you sleep and can be dangerous for pets and smaller children.

Sources and References:

The Health SIte
NY Times
SF Gate homeguides
Health and Natural World