How To Get Rid of Roaches In Your Refrigerator

You’re about to grab a delicious cold beverage in your fridge when you suddenly saw something moving.

A cockroach.

You assume the worst: Could there be more roaches inside?

The good news is, roaches will not last long inside your fridge. So you don’t have to worry about them populating there.

That said, the area around your fridge is perfect shelters for roaches.

They are close to food and water, dark and perfect for hiding.

Unfortunately, your fridge is where you store your food and beverage.

And they’re the last place you want these pests to be hanging around.

So how do you keep roaches from your fridge?

The good news is there’s quite a bit you can do.

In this article, We’ll go over how you can get rid of cockroaches in your refrigerator for good.

Let’s dive in.

1.Seal Any Holes on Exterior

If you have a plastic refrigerator, look for holes and cracks or holes in the exterior.

It is unlikely that the crack or hole outside your fridge will lead to the inside.

But, the roaches could be infecting your refrigerators frame.

If there are any cracks in the frame, spray 2-3 pumps dust bait inside the holes.

Then apply several pieces of pea-sized drops of syringe gel bait.

Finally, seal the holes using caulk or putty to prevent any cockroaches from hiding in the frame of your refrigerators.

2. Fix Tears On Door Seals

Cockroaches are cold-blooded and cannot survive the low temperatures inside your fridge.

If you find them inside your fridge, they’ve likely hitched a ride on a bowl of food or snuck inside while the door was open.

They may also have slipped through a compromised door seal.

Cockroaches can slip even in the smallest tears on your seal and get inside your fridge.

Look around your door seal and check between the folds for any tears and holes.

It may help to wipe the seals first, so you quickly find any damage.

If you find any rips in your seal, make sure to fix it.

Broken seals should be easy to replace.

You can snap most right-back or apply easily with an adhesive.

You’ll also want to make sure that the door is closing correctly.

This could happen for two reasons:

  1. Damaged or broken seal. 
  2. Door hinge damaged. 

3. Apply Gel Bait To the Back of the Refrigerator

The most common location that cockroaches hide is near the motor behind your refrigerator.

Here’s how you treat this area:

  1. Pull your refrigerator out and turn it sideways.
  2. Remove the plate that covers the motor at the bottom of the fridge. You can do this by unscrewing the bolts at the corners.
  3. Apply 8, and 10 pea-sized gel bait drops to small crevices inside your refrigerator’s back compartment.
  4. Use a vacuum to remove the bugs from your refrigerator’s motor. If you have a shop vac, you can add water and detergent to the inside of the vacuum to drown any roaches that get sucked in. If you’re using a compartment style vacuum, I recommend spraying the inside with an insecticide such as raid before vacuuming.
  5. Pro Tip: Dry any water from your drip pan to prevent roaches from being drawn to it.
  6. Screw the plate back on.
  7. Wipe down the back of the refrigerators with essential oil to deter any other cockroaches from entering.
  8. Once finished, discard the dead cockroaches in your vacuum.


Do not use liquid when treating the back of your fridge, as it may damage the electrical component.

You’ll also want to avoid powders such as dust bait or borax as the fan may shoot the dust back into the air.

Like most dust, these powders can irritate your lungs when inhaled, so it’s best not to use them.

4. Clean Around Your Refridgerator

Roaches love to hide under, behind, and inside exterior casings of refrigerators.

They’re dark, warm, and close to food and water.

To keep roaches from using your fridge as a harborage, remove all food and water sources near it.

That means removing crumbs, grease, and dirt on the top, under and around your fridge.

Do not skimp on cleaning underneath your refrigerator.

This spot often gets overlooked when we clean because it’s not easily accessible.

But there’s likely plenty of food and dirt accumulated there for roaches to thrive on.

You’ll also want to wipe the exterior of your fridge clean.

Doing so is especially important if your refrigerator is near your stove.

Often the grease and oil from the stove will get stuck on the side of the refrigerator. And we know how much roaches love those.

Next, clean the doors and door handles of your fridge. These areas are prone to having food residue on them.

Finally, run essential oil around your fridge to repel roaches.

Some of the best ones are:

  • Essential oils
  • Borax
  • Baking Soda
  • Cockroach traps
  • Detergent and Fabric Softener

If you want to learn more about using essential oils to kill and repel roaches, check out this article.

5. Apply Dust Bait Around You Refrigerator

Dust bait kills roaches via ingestion.

When roaches walk over the dust bait, it will get all over their bodies.

Because roaches regularly groom themselves by running their antennae and legs through their mouth, they will consume dust bait and die.

Apply a thin layer of dust bait under and on the sides of your refrigerator.

Cockroaches avoid thick layers of dust because it is hard to walk through, so make sure you apply lightly.

You can also use DE or Boric acid as an alternative to dust bait.

Diatomaceous Earth is a natural, non-toxic pesticide used to cockroaches.

DE can eliminate 60% of roaches in your home within 24 hours, 80% within 48 hours, and at one week, 100% mortality rate.

Make sure to apply DE only on dry surfaces, as it doesn’t work when wet.

If you cannot find DE or dust bait in your local store, you can also use borax.

Borax is one of the best ways to kill roaches.

It is easy to use, inexpensive, has low toxicity to humans, and effective at killing bugs.

Borax is deadly to roaches when consumed.

Apply a thin layer of DE or borax under and on the sides of your refrigerator.

Pro Tip: Treat Your Entire Kitchen

Cockroaches do not localize in one area. They typically inhabit the entire kitchen.

So, if you have roaches behind or inside your refrigerator, you likely have cockroaches in the rest of your kitchen.

To ensure that roaches will not come back to your fridge, treat your kitchen for infestation.

1. Apply Gel Bait Where Roaches Live and Travel

Gel bait is one of the most effective ways to eliminate cockroach infestations.

This control method is highly effective because it implements tertiary kills.

Here’s what I mean.

Gel baits turn cockroach feces into poison.

But, when cockroaches ingest gel bait, they don’t die right away.

Instead, they return to their homes where they defecate.

Because juvenile roaches (nymphs) rely on feces to survive, the toxic wastes will kill them.

But the termination doesn’t end there.

Once the nymphs die, they pass on the poison to the other cockroaches that eat their bodies.

Bait gel can take one of two forms.

  1. Bait Stations
  2. Syringe or Tube

When treating your kitchen, I recommend using both bait stations and syringes.

Bait stations are ideal because they are easy to move around.

You can place them on each of your kitchen cabinets.

Syringes allow you to target small crevices behind, on the bottom, and the sides of your kitchen cabinets and stove.

Apply a pea-sized drop about every two feet so that the roaches can access the bait quickly.

2. Apply Dust Bait Into Small Crevices

Dust bait is similar to gel bait, except it comes in the form of powder.

Use dust bait in locations that gel bait is unable to reach.

Dust bait comes with a small hand pump or tube, making them perfect for getting deep into small crevices and wall voids.

Dust baits are most effective when applied to small areas that are hard to reach with gel bait.

It’s also great to apply to large areas where people won’t usually go, like your attic or basement.

When using dust bait, only apply a very light layer.

One to two pumps is typically sufficient.

Cockroaches avoid thick layers of dust because it is hard to walk through.

3. Use Insect Growth Regulators (IGR’s)

Adult cockroaches, pregnant females, and nymphs don’t consume the same food.

Pregnant females and nymphs rely on the feces of other adult roaches for food.

To cover all your bases, use insect growth regulators or IGRs along with gel and dust bait.

IGRs stop infestations by making adult roaches sterile.

It also blocks the roaches’ ability to turn into an adult.

If immature roaches are unable to molt into reproductive adults, the population will eventually die out.

IGR’s also affect adult cockroaches by blocking the development of viable eggs.

For these reasons, some call IGR’s “birth control” for roaches.

For easy in-home use, use IGR packets rather than sprays.

Break the pack to activate the hormone and place them where cockroaches usually travel and live.

For most, 1 IGR packet treats 50-75 square feet, so apply them to your home accordingly.

It is important to note that IGR’s take time to take work.

Don’t expect your infestation to shrink overnight.

Keep these packets active even after treatment.

It takes over 1-2 months for nymphs to molt and grow, so apply it for around 7-8 months.

Most IGR applications last between 3 months, so you will only need to reapply 2-3 times before you eliminate your infestation.

4. Seal All Entry Points

Seal all entry points around your home to prevent roaches from getting back inside.

If you had a roach infestation, it’s not unlikely that you got it from a source near your home.

Most commonly, roaches spread from house to house.

This is especially true if you live in an apartment building or a condo.

Do your due diligence and inspect both the inside and outside of your home carefully and thoroughly.

Examine your window and door seals for gaps.

Apply door flaps and seals to your door, to prevent roaches from crawling back in.

Check under your bathroom and kitchen sink, where pipes are protruding from the wall.

Check for tiny cracks and holes around your home.

Cover even the smallest holes you can find.

5. Apply An External Barrier Using Insecticide

The last step is to apply for external protection.

Use an outdoor insecticide and apply it around your house.

It’s good to apply it to 3 feet on the surface of your house and 3 feet wide to the floor from your home.

You will need to apply this every 4-6 months, depending on the concentration of your insecticide.

This step is essential, so don’t skimp on it.

It’s much better to prevent cockroaches from getting into your house than dealing with them once they are inside your home.

Don’t stumble near the finish line.

You don’t want to go through all these steps only to have the roaches come back.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can Roaches Survive Inside My Refrigerator?

Cockroaches are cold-blooded and cannot survive the low temperatures inside your fridge.

If you find them inside your fridge, they’ve likely hitched a ride on a bowl of food or snuck inside while the door was open.

As a precautionary measure, you can lower your refrigerator’s temperature so that if they enter, they will die faster.

Where Do Cockroaches Commonly Hide in the Refrigerator?

Cockroaches like warm places.

They will not survive inside your fridge very long.

If they do infest your fridge, it’s likely to be under and behind your refrigerator.

These areas are warm, dark and typically have food and water.

Can Cockroaches Damage My Refrigerator?

Yes. Cockroaches can damage your refrigerator, especially if there is a large infestation in the motor, fan, or other electrical components.

Cockroach feces can melt and cause a short in the electrical components.

They can also put a strain on your fan and condenser and cause them to break.

If I See a Cockroach Inside My Fridge, Does That Mean Its Infested?

No, cockroaches will avoid the cold as much as possible.

It is more likely that the cockroaches entered an accident.

They probably stumbled inside your fridge through a container of food or while the door was left open.

How Do I Keep Roaches Out of My fridge?

Cleanliness is one of the best ways to keep roaches permanently out of your fridge.

Make sure that you clean behind, under, and around your fridge regularly.

You’ll also want to check if there are rips and holes in your door seals.

Roaches can fit in through the smallest tears, so make sure to get your fix if you have one.

For protection, you can apply natural repellents such as essential oils around the openings of your fridge. Apply weekly for the most effective results.

Can I Spray Insecticides in My Fridge?

Avoid spraying insecticides in your fridge as they can contaminate your food.

Insecticides contain pyrethroids, which can cause serious side effects such as extensive coughing, shortness of breath, and congestion.

Studies also suggest that high exposure to pyrethroid can increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

Other side effects include short-term headaches, allergies, and dizziness.

The best approach to getting cockroaches out of your fridge is to:

Clean inside and outside your fridge regularly

  • Keep your fridge tidy. Remove all food that you’re not going to eat. The less stuff you have, the less hiding place the roaches will have
  • Seal refrigerator door
  • Lower temp in your refrigerator to deter and kill cockroaches faster.
  • Add repellent around doors, so cockroaches stay away.

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