How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches In an RV

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Finding cockroaches inside your recreational vehicle (RV) can be a horrifying experience, casting a shadow over your adventurous road trip. These resilient creatures are drawn to food crumbs and attracted to warm, secluded areas within your RV. 

However, don’t let these unwelcome guests ruin your trip. To get rid of cockroaches in your RV, identify and eliminate all potential food and water sources by storing food in airtight containers, promptly cleaning up spills, and fixing any plumbing leaks. 

Next, remove clutter and seal any cracks or crevices where cockroaches may hide or enter. Use cockroach baits or traps in strategic locations, such as under sinks and near appliances. 

Apply residual insecticides or cockroach-specific sprays to areas where cockroaches are frequently seen. Regularly clean and vacuum the RV, paying special attention to areas where crumbs or debris accumulate.

If the infestation persists, consider seeking professional pest control services to eliminate cockroaches effectively. Remember to follow all instructions and safety precautions when using chemicals or pesticides.

This comprehensive guide explores effective methods to eliminate cockroaches in your RV, discussing everything from simple DIY tactics to potent store-bought solutions.

Are you prepared to reclaim the peace and cleanliness of your mobile home? Let’s begin the journey!

Key Takeaways

Identify and eliminate potential food and water sources in your RV by storing food in airtight containers, promptly cleaning up spills, and fixing any plumbing leaks.
Remove clutter and seal cracks or crevices where cockroaches may hide or enter the RV. Use cockroach baits or traps in strategic locations, such as under sinks and near appliances.
Apply residual insecticides or cockroach-specific sprays to areas where cockroaches are frequently seen. Regularly clean and vacuum the RV, paying special attention to areas where crumbs or debris accumulate.
If the infestation persists, consider seeking professional pest control services.
To prevent cockroach infestations, limit access to food, remove hiding spots by decluttering and sealing cracks, and use scented deterrents such as essential oils or dried herbs to repel roaches from your RV.

How Cockroaches Enter RVs

Cockroaches can find their way into RVs through common entry points such as gaps in doors and windows, vents, plumbing lines, and hitch connections.

Common Entry Points

Cockroaches find multiple ways to invade your RV, highlighting the importance of understanding common entry points. These insects are notorious for their ability to access even the most minor cracks and gaps.

Cracks in walls are a perfect gateway for these pests, making it crucial to patch them up promptly. Window frames also attract cockroaches. If not sealed properly, they provide an accessible route inside your mobile home away from home.

Further complicating matters is that cockroaches can glide through the air, turning holes or other openings into potential entrances.

Sealing doors effectively prevents roach invasion by blocking off spaces beneath them and around foundations—a frequent unnoticed hotspot for intruding insects. 

Plumbing areas become attractive sites due to accessible gaps around pipes; thus, maintaining plumbing becomes an influential preventive measure against cockroach infestation of your RV.

Lastly, it’s imperative not to overlook less obvious places like tears or gaps between furniture and flooring in RVs. Skills at accessing such hidden spots make cockroaches very successful pests.

RV Eating Area with White Seats

Reasons Why Cockroaches Are Attracted to Rvs

Cockroaches consider RVs an attractive destination primarily due to the accessibility of food and water sources. Leftovers, unsealed food items, and crumbs on the floor or countertops act as cockroach magnets.

With a penchant for starchy, sticky, or sugary sustenance readily available in your camper, these unwanted critters find it irresistible. The glue used in assembling boxes can unknowingly serve as a breeding ground, luring cockroaches into your RV.

Keeping your recreational vehicle clean is paramount, but sometimes more is needed to avoid an infestation. Certain conditions within the motorhome, such as humidity and darkness, also strike a chord with these pests, accelerating their multiplication process.

They are drawn towards warm and dark areas, making specific parts of your RV prime locations for them to inhabit. Therefore, removing cockroaches requires comprehensive knowledge about their habits and effective prevention methods.

Signs of Cockroach Infestation in an RV

Visible signs like droppings and odor can identify cockroach infestations in an RV.

Visible Signs

Cockroaches leave a trail of tell-tale signs indicating an infestation in your RV. One of the most visible evidence of cockroach presence is their droppings, often mistaken for coffee grounds or pepper due to their small size and black color.

These pests also navigate tight spaces leaving behind smear marks, another visual cue of roach presence. You may discover brownish eggs tucked away, signifying a growing population on board.


Cockroaches are not only unsightly pests, but they also bring along a distinct odor that is hard to ignore. In an RV, musty odors can often indicate a cockroach infestation. 

These odors become more pronounced as the roach population increases, and if left unaddressed, they can be challenging.

To prevent these odors from attracting cockroaches in the first place, it’s crucial to keep your RV clean and clutter-free. Removing trash and eliminating food or water sources on countertops and surfaces will discourage roaches from making themselves home in your RV.


Cockroach droppings are often small and resemble black pepper or coffee grounds. These droppings can be found where cockroaches hide, such as in dark corners, cabinets, and behind appliances.

Spotting these droppings indicates that you have unwanted guests lurking around your vehicle.

Cockroach droppings serve as evidence of their presence because they are a result of their feeding habits. Roaches consume various types of food, including crumbs and leftover meals that may be present in your RV.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in an RV

You can use several effective methods to eliminate cockroaches in an RV.

Store-Bought Methods

To effectively get rid of cockroaches in an RV, there are various store-bought methods that you can use. One option is to use baking soda, which works by dehydrating the roaches and causing them to die.

Another effective solution is boric acid, which scratches their bodies and dries them out. Mixing 2 tablespoons of boric acid per quart of water and spraying it into hard-to-reach areas can help eliminate these pesky pests.

Borax is another store-bought product that can kill roaches in an RV, while diatomaceous earth provides a natural and non-toxic alternative. Additionally, insecticide sprays designed explicitly for roach control can effectively eliminate them from your motorhome.

Homemade/Natural Methods

Several effective homemade and natural methods exist to eliminate cockroaches in your RV. 

Strong scents like peppermint, cedar, and citrus can also repel cockroaches from your RV. Essential oils such as lavender or tea tree oil can create a natural repellent spray. Another option is boric acid, which can be used in baited traps or as dust to eliminate roaches.

Diatomaceous earth is another natural powder that dehydrates and kills cockroaches when applied properly. Insecticide sprays designed for indoor use can quickly kill these pests as well. 

Mothballs can be effective in the short term as they provide a very strong odor. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to be staying the your RV while you’ve got mothballs stinking up the place so plan accordingly.

Taking a comprehensive approach using these homemade/natural methods will help you successfully combat cockroach infestations in your RV and keep them at bay in the future.

Traps and Treatments

Traps and treatments can be highly effective when removing cockroaches in an RV. There are various options available, both store-bought and homemade. 

Store-bought traps and treatments, such as roach baits or insecticide sprays designed explicitly for roaches, can help eliminate these pests from your RV.

These products contain potent ingredients that target cockroaches while safe in enclosed spaces like an RV. 

On the other hand, if you prefer natural methods, homemade remedies like boric acid or diatomaceous earth act as traps by dehydrating and killing the roaches when they come into contact with them.

Regardless of your chosen method, following the instructions carefully to ensure maximum effectiveness in eliminating cockroach infestations in your RV is essential.

Prevention Tips to Keep Cockroaches Out of an RV

To keep cockroaches out of your RV, limit access to food, remove hiding spots, and place scented deterrents. Read on to discover effective ways to prevent a roach invasion in your motorhome.

Limiting Access to Food

Preventing cockroach infestations in your RV starts with limiting their access to food. Cockroaches are attracted to available food sources, so keeping your kitchen and dining area clean and free from crumbs or spills is essential.

Regularly wipe down countertops, sweep the floors, and empty the trash promptly to eliminate potential food sources for these pesky pests. Restricting eating areas to designated spots like the kitchen or dining room can also help prevent whole-home infestations.

By taking these simple steps, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a roach problem in your RV and enjoy a pest-free camping experience.

Removing Hiding Spots

Cockroaches are attracted to dark, tight spaces where they can hide and breed undisturbed.

Start by decluttering your RV and removing any unnecessary items that can provide hiding places for these pesky pests. Pay close attention to areas such as cabinets, storage compartments, and under furniture where roaches seek shelter.

Be sure to seal any cracks or crevices where they can enter or hide, using caulk or weatherstripping if necessary. By eliminating their potential hiding spots, you’ll significantly reduce the chances of a roach infestation in your RV and keep them at bay for good.

Placing Scented Deterrents

To keep cockroaches out of your RV, consider using scented deterrents. Certain scents, like herbs and spices, are known to repel roaches and other insects. 

Place cotton balls soaked in essential oils such as peppermint or lavender oil around your RV’s entry points or common hiding spots for these unwanted pests.

Alternatively, sprinkle dried bay leaves or cinnamon sticks in cupboards and storage compartments to create a natural barrier against roaches. These scents help keep your RV smelling fresh and serve as effective deterrents for these persistent critters.

Cinnamon Powder and Sticks on a Wooden Table

By incorporating these simple prevention methods into regular maintenance routines, you can significantly reduce the risk of a cockroach infestation in your RV.


Removing cockroaches in an RV is crucial for a clean and pest-free living environment. You can successfully eliminate roaches from your RV by identifying common entry points, recognizing signs of infestation, and implementing effective methods such as natural remedies.

Additionally, practicing prevention tips like limiting access to food and removing hiding spots will help keep these pesky insects at bay and ensure a comfortable journey on the road. Stay proactive in managing cockroach invasions in your RV to enjoy a hassle-free travel experience.

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Sean is the founder of Conquer Critters. With more than 17 years of experience in dealing with various pests, he is passionate about spreading his knowledge to help everyone manage their pest problem in the fastest, most effective manor possible.

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