Does Keeping Lights On Keep Roaches Away [Yes, Through Light Zappers]

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Many wild pests stay awake at night and spend their day sleeping. Similar to Rats and Raccoons, cockroaches are also nocturnal even though they aren’t the same species. So, does keeping lights on keep roaches away?  

The answer to this question can be Yes and No. Cockroaches are active at night or in darkness. Their activity decreases as soon as the sun comes out. So, it can be said that roaches hide from the light. But light doesn’t affect a strong cockroach with more survival instinct.  

Cockroaches are the most common house pests, especially in dark, humid areas like the kitchen and Bathroom. Their removal is challenging but not impossible.

Will Roaches Come Out With Lights On? 

Roaches can come out with lights on. The light doesn’t scare away the Cockroaches. But they avoid sharp lights because it makes them more visible to predators. So, they don’t dare to come out of their hiding when the lights are on in your kitchen and bedroom.  

Cockroaches have a strong survival instinct. Similar to other predators, they study the behavior of their predators, which can be spiders or even humans. They are aware that with lights on, the predator can easily see it.

So they will avoid coming out when you’re roaming around your house. But as soon as your activity decreases and lights are closed, Roaches will crawl out and search for food. 

Does Light Attract Or Repel Roaches? 

Light repels Cockroaches. The most suggested and easiest method to remove cockroaches from your house is keeping your lights on even while sleeping. Roaches hate light. You can see them running away as soon as you turn on the kitchen lights. They are not allergic to light, but avoid any form of light, artificial or natural, as it is most likely to get them killed.  

They are aware that light makes them appear more clearly to the predators. So, it might not return after the food search. Most roaches will avoid coming out unless it is the largest one with a strong survival instinct.  

Roches is also a nocturnal creature. So, you will see them roaming around more at night than during the day. They have powerful olfactory receptors. So they can smell food from far away. The strong smell receptors help them locate food in pitch-black darkness. 

What Color Light Scares Roaches? 

Cockroaches hate red lights. They have many light-sensing receptors in their eyes. So they can identify the different wavelengths. The red light repels more Cockroaches. Greenlight is second for deterring cockroaches, followed by white, yellow, and blue.  

Some studies show conflicting data stating that Roaches are more attracted to Red light. According to Burhan’s 2020 research, blue light acts as a repellent on Cockroaches. But the Red light may be more attractive to them than any other wavelength. 

So, there is no factual confirmation on which lights deter more Cockroaches. But in general, they hate light, any wavelength, especially blue or yellow. You might have seen around that as soon as the lights are on, Cockroaches run towards their hideout. 

Will Cockroaches Crawl On You At Night?

Cockroaches can crawl at you at night. Multiple types of research show that they love to get inside human ears. According to Coby Schal, Entomologist in North Caroline, Roaches like the ear as it is a safe place and provides them food. 

Just like many other crawling pests, they also enjoy dark and humid environments. They are nocturnal creatures. It means they will come out at night and will go back in the morning as soon as the lights come out. 

Generally, cockroaches are afraid of humans. During the daytime hours when you are moving around, it will never come near you. But when sleeping, you are not move. So, you become an easy target.

Cockroaches can take you as a nonliving and can crawl onto your skin or into your ears or mouth. The human body radiates heat, and the moisture from your mouth attracts them. In many circumstances, Roches have crawled inside human ears or eaten the toenails of dead bodies.

What Are The Best Light Repellents For Cockroaches?

There are multiple ways out there to remove Cockroaches. Night lights are one of the best ways to get rid of them naturally. Roaches are nocturnal. So, they will come out of hiding at night when you are inactive. Sleeping with night lights is a statistic and the easiest way to remove them. Below there are some of the best night lights you can use around your home or office. 

GOOTOP Bug Zapper

The GOOTOP Bug Zapper emits blue light to attract cockroaches and other insects. You can use it indoors and outdoors. But it will give the most effective result in a dark environment or at night. It has grids that electrocute the cockroaches with high voltage.

The Zapper has no smell. So, you can place it in your house as well. Moreover, there is no need to worry that your pet will eat a dead insect as the grids around it prevent them from doing so. It covers half an acre area and is effective in camping as well. 

Katchy Indoor Insect Trap

Katchy indoor insect traps are convenient and very easy to use. It is UV light and comes with a powerful fan and sticky board. You can switch it on and off easily without any hassle. Unlike other ugly traps, it is stylish, and you can place it anywhere in your home.

For the best results, it is better to turn off the light. As a cockroach crawls inside, it will get trapped. The trap also offers an option for settings on high or low speed. The glue board remains sticky for months. You are still given refills along with the purchase.

LIGHTSMAX Ultimate Indoor Bug Zapper

LIGHTSMAX Ultimate Indoor Bug Zapper protects you from a cockroach infestation in your home. It emits high-intensity UV lights that attract cockroaches to trap them. Then it instantly kills them with the high-voltage charging metal grid. It is a great night light.

So, for better outcomes, use it at night or when the house is completely dark. Unlike traditional pesticides, it doesn’t produce fumes, smell, or sound. It is safe for pets, pregnant women, and children. You can use it to protect any part of your home, office, or restaurant.

Alternate Ways to Keep Roaches Away At Night? 

Roaches roam around freely at night when there is no light or noise. They prefer hiding during the day or when the lights are on. As soon as it is dark, Cockroaches will crawl. No one wants critters, especially Roaches, around at night. They can crawl onto your bed and onto your skin. 

Just thinking of it makes it uncomfortable. Keeping lights on is an option, but you can always look for better and more effective ways. Below are some suggestions to help you in keeping roaches away at night.

  • Throw out all the clutter from your house. Remove all the old newspapers and cardboard boxes. They are the main source of roaches.
  • Regularly clean and vacuum rooms. Keep food out of your bedroom completely. The food crumbs or food boxes attract more of them. 
  • Take a close look around your house. Search for small openings in windows, doors, chimneys, and ceilings. 
  • Seal the holes with caulking guns. Remember, Roaches can crawl into spaces as small as 3mm. 
  • You can also install weather strips on bedroom doors.
  • Wrap rubber silicone tape around the bottom of your bed posts. It prevents roaches from climbing on your beds. 
  • Use peppermint oil and coffee scent around the house. 
  • Use boric acid on room floors. Fill all the corners with acid. But it is not pet or children-friendly.

Summing Up

Cockroaches are nocturnal. They stay awake at night when you are inactive or sleeping. But will stay in their hiding during the day. They are not allergic to light but avoid going near it. Roaches know that lights make them prominent to their predators. So they come out in the darkness for food. 

Humans, when sleeping, can become easy victims of cockroaches. They are inactive and virtually not moving. So roaches can crawl onto them. Human heat and moisture attract cockroaches. So, you should use Night lights and other ways to eliminate them from your house.


Burhan, A. & Gençer, N. (2020). The effect of illumination with different light wavelengths on the orientation of Turkestan cockroach, Blatta lateralis (Walker, 1868) (Blattodea: Blattidae) . Turkish Journal of Entomology , 44 (4) , 477-486 . DOI: 10.16970/entoted.774867