Cockroaches can get into places you wouldn’t think they could, including your vehicles and your electronics. In this article, we’ll teach you how to get cockroaches out of your electronics.
We’ll also teach you how to know if there are roaches in your electronics and how to prevent them from getting into your appliances in the first place.
But first, we’ll briefly explain why roaches like electronics. You can use the table of contents to skip to a specific section.
If we didn’t answer a question you had, please drop us a comment below the article and we’ll answer you.
Why do roaches like electronics?
Normally cockroaches look for secluded and warm areas that are close to food and water to lay their eggs. Oddly, this is exactly the environment most electronics provide.
Game consoles, in particular, get hot and make them an ideal place for cockroaches to nest. Since Playstation, X-Boxes, or other gaming consoles that are in use are always in buildings where humans have food around, cockroaches can typically nest and shelter inside your electronics and leave your appliances at night to scavenge for food or crumbs that are left out.
It is quite common for German cockroaches to infest electronics like large TVs, desktop computers, radios, clocks, video game consoles, and other electronic appliances that are left on long enough to heat up.
These are also a common way for roaches to travel from one building to another. When people sell electronic items, they sometimes have cockroach nests in them that neither the seller nor buyer is aware of.
Because of this, buyers sometimes accidentally bring cockroaches into their homes via second-hand appliances. Roaches can also hitch a ride when someone travels with electronics, like a gaming console, for example. Roaches can even move with you when you purchase new appliances that have been stored in roach-infested areas of a store.
Can cockroaches destroy electronics?
Cockroaches can damage and even destroy electronics. If cockroaches crawl over certain parts of your electronics with higher voltages, they can cause an electrical short.
Such high-voltage electronic parts are usually the power supply itself but could be another component. The bottom line is that an electrical short on a sufficiently high voltage part can ruin your electronic device.
Another avenue of damage, though less common, is that cockroaches living in your electronics can leave droppings behind. Cockroach droppings corrode your electronic appliances.
Finally, German cockroaches can even chew through electrical cables in your devices.
So you have plenty of reasons to remove any roaches from your electronics if you find them.
How can I tell if there are cockroaches in my electronics?
Beyond seeing a cockroach scurry into your electronic device, there are several signs that roaches may be infesting your electronic devices. Here are some of the:
- Cockroach droppings inside or nearby your electronics
- Cockroach eggs inside or nearby your electronics
- Shed cockroach exoskeletons inside or nearby your electronics
Methods for getting roaches out of electronics
Next, we cover the main methods you can use to get roaches out of your electronics. You can often kill roaches in your electronics with a non-chemical method that will not hurt your appliance. Sometimes you have to wait until they leave the device and use an effective insecticide. Here are a few methods you can try to get rid of the roaches in your electronics.
Rubbing alcohol and a plastic garbage bag to get roaches out of small to medium-sized electronics
Even if you haven’t seen any evidence of cockroaches in your electronics, it is good to do the following if you buy a second-hand gaming console, desktop computer, printer, or similar-sized device that can fit inside a trash bag. You can also do this with electronics that you know are roach infested.
- Do NOT take the item inside. Instead, take it straight outside.
- Get a few large plastic trash bags, a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and some paper towels.
- Place the electronic device inside several plastic trash bags. At least double-bag it.
- Soak several large portions of paper towels with rubbing alcohol. This is easiest with a squirt bottle.
- Place the alcohol-soaked paper towels inside the garbage bag. You can lay one below the electronic device and one above it, or you can place them on the side of the device.
- Tie the garbage bag tight.
- Leave the bag and device outside for 24 hours.
- The roaches inside your electronics should be dead within a day
This method will saturate the air inside the electronic device with the isopropyl alcohol, eventually killing the cockroaches.
If you use this method, most of the cockroaches will perish inside your electronic device. So, afterward, you’ll want to disassemble your device while wearing gloves and a face mask so you don’t breathe in debris from the roach droppings. Remove all the dead cockroaches and scrub away any cockroach droppings (they’ll look like dots from a Sharpie marker) in your electronics with rubbing alcohol.
Compressed or canned air to remove cockroaches in small electronics
If you have a smaller electronic device, you can sometimes scare it out with canned air or an air compressor, if you have one. Just make sure you do this outside.
If you’re removing roaches from something smaller like a PlayStation, a laptop, a wifi router, or a printer, you should open it up after spraying it with compressed air and check for any remaining signs of roaches (shed exoskeletons, eggs, feces). You’ll want to blow or clean those out as well.
If you find a lot of cockroach droppings inside your appliance (they look like small, dark specks from Sharpie markers), you can clean these off with rubbing alcohol or contact cleaner.
You can combine the air roach removal method with the cold method below.
Use the cold to remove cockroaches in small electronics
Cold temperatures will kill roaches. When you expose them to temperatures close to 0 degrees Fahrenheit for a period of time, it will kill them. If the appliance or device the roach has taken residence in is small, you can do this:
- Seal the electronics in a plastic bag
- Put the sealed item in your freezer for about five days. (Keep the electronic there a full five days or it may not kill all roaches and eggs)
- If the area you live in has temperatures that fall below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, you can place the sealed electronic device in an unheated garage or shed. This would allow you to place larger items like big-screen TVs in cold enough temperatures to kill cockroaches inside them.
- Condensation will also occur in the appliance or device when you bring it back into the warmth, so allow enough time (probably several days) for the item to dry out before operating.
- If you want to speed this part up, place your electronic device in a sack or bowl of rice. The rice will soak up the moisture faster than air drying.
Before implementing this method, make sure your electronic device can withstand low temperatures. Electronics with LCD screens cannot handle cold temperatures and will be damaged if exposed to them for a long period of time.
Chemicals for controlling roaches in larger appliances
If the appliance or device is too large to place in your freezer or move outside, you can kill roaches with dust or bait. They can also be used in the outlets that the roach has most likely invaded.
Dust containing boric acid, silica dioxide, or diatomaceous earth will kill roaches just by walking through it. If you apply a thin layer where the roach has been seen traveling through your home, under furniture, or behind cabinets, they will walk through it. Walking through the dust kills not only that roach but also the roaches in the nest it carries the dust back to.
There are bait stations that contain insecticidal gels that encourage roaches to mark their location when discovering it, an action they perform to alert other roaches that a food source has been located, eventually luring more cockroaches to the location.
The gel is a slow-acting roach poison, killing any cockroaches that directly eat the gel and additional roaches that eat the feces or dead bodies of their fallen comrades. Set up the types of cockroach bait stations near the appliances you suspect are housing roaches.
There are sprays on the market that are insecticidal chemicals of’; permethrin, deltamethrin, cyfluthrin, or cypermethrin that will also kill roaches but do not have the same residual effect. It is also not safe to spray an insecticide directly onto an appliance, and you shouldn’t spray these insecticides into outlets.
There is a product called, Maxforce Gel that works well for appliances. Take a few dabs of the gel and place them around the vents on your device. When the roach comes out to look for food, it will find the gel and feed on it. This will start killing the roaches, and within 3-5 weeks, most of them will be dead. Every couple of weeks, renew the gel until you don’t see any more roaches around the device. You should have the problem solved within two months.
Cleaning your electronics
When you are certain all the roaches have been evicted from your electronic appliance, you need to thoroughly clean it. You want to be certain that all the eggs and feces are removed from the appliance.
Unplug your device before you begin, and don’t use water or liquid cleaners. To clean them, you will want to use brushes and soft cloths.
Before attempting to clean the appliance or device, make sure you have read your warranty. Ensure your device’s warranty isn’t voided by opening it up.
You may want to seek professional help opening some devices because it can be easy to damage electronics with delicate wiring systems if you’re not careful.
Frequently Asked Questions about how to get roaches out of electronics
Below are some of the most common questions we get about bugs in electronics. Let us know if you have questions we didn’t answer.
Why do roaches hide in electronics?
Roaches hide in electronics because they provide two things cockroaches enjoy: heat and a dark shelter. Roaches prefer to stay in the heat and shelter of your appliances until they sense that activity in your home has declined (evenings and nights). They’ll then venture out to look for food.
How do I know if roaches are in my TV?
The only way to know for sure if you have roaches in your TV is to disassemble it and look inside for cockroach eggs, shed exoskeletons, or roach droppings (these look like speckles from a Sharpie market).
You can also find these signs of cockroaches near or around your TV. If you do, there’s a high probability that roaches are inside your TV. Finally, you can place roach baits or traps around your TV (or on the TV if there are openings you suspect they could fit through). If you catch roaches in traps right by your TV, it’s likely that they’re living in your TV.
How to get roaches out of big flat screen TV?
For larger items like big flat screen TVs, you can’t use the alcohol and plastic trash bag roach removal method. If you have a garage or shed and live in an area where the temperature gets below zero degrees Farenheit, you could place your flat screen TV in your shed or garage for about a week and the cold temperature should kill the roaches inside, and their eggs. If you can do that, you’ll need to employ a chemical cockroach extermination method.
How to get roaches out a printer?
For smaller printers, you can freeze the cockroaches or use the rubbing alcohol and garbage bag method. For larger printers that wouldn’t fit into your freezer or a plastic trash bag, you’ll have to use chemical cockroach removal methods.
How to keep roaches out of a WiFi router?
If roaches keep entering your WiFi router, that means they’re in your home and have free access to the room where you keep your router. You’ll first need to address your home’s (or apartment’s) infestation, and even if you remove roaches from your WiFi router, more will likely find their way into it again.
Once you’ve addressed the larger roach infestation, for electronics the size of a WIFI router, the alcohol and plastic trashbag method or the freezer method should eradicate the cockroaches.
How to get roaches out of my laptop?
Again, if cockroaches are getting into your laptop, that means roaches might be in your home and have free access to the room where you keep your laptop. If this is the case, you’ll first need to address your home’s (or apartment’s) infestation. Otherwise, even if you remove the cockroaches from your laptop, more can find their way in later on.
Once you’ve addressed the larger roach infestation, for electronics the size of a laptop, the alcohol and plastic trashbag method or the freezer method should eradicate the cockroaches.
If you’re confident you got roaches in your laptop while visiting someone else’s home or a hotel room and you didn’t yet bring your laptop into your home, skip straight to the alcohol and plastic trashbag method or the freezer method.
How to prevent roaches from getting into electronics?
Typically, the only way you can prevent cockroaches from entering your electronics is to ensure you keep cockroaches out of your home. If you have a cockroach infestation in your apartment or home, it’s possible for the roaches in your apartment or home to get through tiny cracks and into your electronics.
You could try taping cracks or openings in your electronic devices, but that might cause your electronics to overheat. Most electronics are engineered with cracks and openings in such a way that allows proper cooling.
How to get roach smell out of electronics?
If you removed cockroaches from your electronics but still smell roaches, disassemble your electronics (if doing so doesn’t void your warranty) and inspect to ensure there are no additional cockroach bodies left inside the device. Also, check for cockroach feces. You should remove cockroach bodies and droppings to reduce the roach smell inside your electronics.
Roaches present health problems, contaminate food, and are generally just downright repulsive to most people. Additionally, cockroaches can damage and even ruin your electronics.
You don’t want them in your house, and certainly not in your electronics. We’ve shown you how to get cockroaches out of electronics. You might have to experiment, trying a few different methods before you eliminate all the roaches and their eggs, but one of these methods should work.
Let us know in the comments if you have any other tips or methods for removing cockroaches from your electronics.