Is There Any Cockroach Free Luggage?

By | February 26, 2019

Can cockroaches travel in luggage? Where on earth did they come from?

Is There Any Cockroach Free Luggage?

Simply because so and so went on a holiday trip abroad and returned with luggage infested with cockroaches doesn’t mean we all share the same experiences. Some travellers travel with peace of mind, carrying cockroach free luggage.

Having said that, TRAVEL is the culprit and root source of cockroaches in luggage. Let’s face it. Looking at the nature of travel, of moving from point A to point B, its quite evident travel is to blame. WHY? It is the focal point and the magnet that pulls everyone ON BOARD. These are people travelling by sea, road, air, etcetera.


Long-distance transportation of cockroaches happens on air crafts, ships and coaches. When people go on holiday or on business trips, they do not turn up empty-handed. Instead, they bring along all sorts of travel bags. Who knows what those travel bags will be carrying? No wonder why travellers get so puzzled the moment they discover cockroaches in their luggage.  Neither do they understand how on earth cockroaches got into their travel luggage in the first place?


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It is no secret for those who have travelled by sea, cockroaches are not unusual pests on steamers. The real issue which keeps travellers tossing and turning at night is how to get rid of the unwelcome guests. Once cockroaches sneak into your luggage and ultimately become permanent residents in your lovely home, getting rid of them is a complete nightmare.


Cockroaches tend to hide out in cracks and crevices, familiar features on ships. Cracks provide the perfect solution for cockroaches to hide, mingle and multiply.

Cockroaches In Customs Stations

Have you ever thought Customs Inspection Stations at the border posts are entry points for cockroaches? As part of the border officers’ routine job, they ask travellers to take out their belongings for baggage checks and passport control procedures. These checks are not done there and then and may take some time. So, you can imagine what happens during the process. I’m sure cockroaches easily shift from one travel bag to another.


The Truth Is You Are Not The Only Person Concerned About Cockroaches – They Can Completely Ruin Your Business

For example, if a ship is highly infested with cockroaches, this can lead to a serious drop in business growth. At times, it can result in the business completely collapsing. Cockroach infestation has a negative connotation and is associated with health hazards. So, its very important for the business owner to convince customers measures are in place to ensure food safety.

Myth Cockroaches Could Be Good Medicine

Have you heard about this myth which links cockroaches as “Part of an old folk remedy where you mix the roaches in some medicinal cream and put it on your skin?”

An incident covered by the BBC supports this view.  A Couple Had 200 Roaches in airport hand luggage Who knows how long similar incidences have been happening and how many cockroaches have been transported as a result?


Also, Scientists are reported to have recently discovered a ‘disgusting’ new idea for human health in grounding-up brains of cockroaches, which is said to help fight infectious diseases.

What Researchers Have Unearthed

Findings From Researchers Are Going To Shock You, To Say The Least. Old Cockroaches Learn New Tricks research conducted by Meek, F. revealed Cockroaches Have Learned To Avoid Baits!


Meek’s findings also reveal cockroaches to be one of Earth’s oldest species continuously learning new tricks to survive. These pests have survived 350 million years. Also, they have become so resilient. Since the 1990s, we see cockroaches’ increasing tendency to avoid pesticide baits commonly used in pest control. This is not because the cockroaches have become resistant to the pesticides BUT have “learned” to avoid the baits.


Isn’t it scary to know cockroaches have actually learned how to work around specific kinds of baits?

More so, a mind-blowing development for those in the hotel and the pest control industry. Meek says the resurgence in cockroaches has come about as a result of international travel. Cockroaches hitchhike on the luggage of unsuspecting travellers and get transported globally easily and quickly.


The Behavior and Natural History of Cockroaches

William J. Bell (2007)’ book, Cockroaches: Ecology, Behavior, and Natural History reveals everything one would want to know about cockroaches. William writes there are between 4,000 to 7,500 different species of cockroaches BUT only ONE PERCENT is a pest. Also, the diverse nature of these ‘amazing’ insects in their natural environments.


In a tropical rainforest, a cockroach lives on the forest floor and in tall trees including inside caves. They have diverse colours, sizes, and shapes and can move on land, water, and through the air.


Cockroaches’ mating mostly occurs in late summer and the newly hatched cockroaches are said to withstand the cold season. Cold has a negligible effect on them because they stay in their protective shelter of bark. ‎


Most roaches are nocturnal. Meaning they are most active at night after dusk and before dawn. Maybe, its instinctive defensive mechanism cockroaches have developed to avoid their most dangerous predator, humans.


The Type of Habitat Cockroaches Prefer

Cockroaches prefer to live in warm and moist places. They are more abundant in tropical areas. However, they are very adaptable and can live in almost any environment and are thought to have been around for centuries.


William J. Bell (2007) Shares The Secret Behind Cockroaches’ Survival

Cockroaches have rapid reproductive cycles and adaptability to poisons, environments, even nuclear bombs. William notes cockroaches’ ability to withstand radiation is very interesting. This is because of having a very hard outer shell or exoskeleton, which is less prone to absorbing radiation.


The only way cockroaches would eventually die is from dehydration. While cockroaches can do without food for over one month, they need water at least once a week.


What Cockroaches Feed On?

They will feed on all foods, grease, paint, wallpaper paste, and even bookbinding.


What Is The Solution?

Having read about how resilient and how indestructible cockroaches are, we are better off preventing them from gaining entry into our homes than facing a mammoth task of getting rid of them. Once they get in, it will be very difficult to get THEM OUT!

For more information on how you can achieve this, please read my previous post: How to Keep Luggage Cockroach Free


If cockroaches have mastered the art of avoiding baits what effective control measures can travellers put in place? The best way, to begin with, is Keeping Your Luggage Cockroach Free.


HOW?  You can achieve this firstly by studying cockroaches through reading books written about cockroaches such as Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Care: The Complete Guide to Caring for and Keeping Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches as Pets (Best Pet Care Practices).

By reading books of a similar nature, you learn the cockroach’s life cycle, how they breed, their habits and keeping your premises spotlessly clean.


If you have any questions related to my blog post, Cockroaches In Luggage, please leave them below. I will be more than happy to get back to you as soon as I can.



(1)  William J. Bell, et al., Cockroaches: Ecology, Behavior, and
Natural History
,  Publisher; JHU Press, 2007.

(2)  Meek, F. Old Cockroaches Learn New Tricks, October 2008.



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12 thoughts on “Is There Any Cockroach Free Luggage?

  1. Yaris

    Thank you, Femia, for this informative post which also updates travellers with new developments taking place in the struggle of controlling the spread of cockroaches.
    It’s my first time to come across information about cockroaches having mastered the skill of avoiding baits. That sounds scary to say the least! It all goes to show insecticides are no longer an effective solution.
    I agree with you,on keeping luggage cockroach free as an effective method to stop the spread cockroaches. Also, preventing cockroaches spreading by studying them to know how to stop them in their cycles before they multiply. I will definitely get hold of the book in the picture.
    Where Can I buy this book?

    1. Femia

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving some feedback.
      I’m happy to know that you have found my post useful.
      The book on cockroaches shown in the picture is available from Amazon.
      I agree with you, studying cockroaches in order to know them first as a way of preventing them really works.
      At least it doesnt inlvolve the use of insecticides. The good news you can read this book now with the free Kindle app Available on iOS, Android, Mac & PC.

  2. More

    Hey, Femia, this post is a wake-up call.
    It has come as a surprise for me to read about cockroaches having learned ways to avert baits.
    If they are this smart and also resistant to so many things put against them, we don’t have a choice except to face a very challenging task in trying to get rid of them.
    We can’t eliminate travelling either. In fact, travel is on the increase on a worldwide scale. Therefore, chances of transporting cockroaches in our travel bags and suitcases are high.
    Thank you for this post and suggesting one way which seems to work. That is, to prevent cockroaches from getting inside our homes by making sure we thoroughly clean our living corners and ensuring our luggage is cockroach free.

    1. Femia

      Hello, More, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving some comments.
      I am pleased you managed to pick one or two things you are going to persue to eliminate cockroaches from your luggage so that you enjoy a stress-free journey.

  3. Phemie

    Thank you, Femia, for this thorough and detailed post you have entitled Cockroaches – Secret Revealed which is an eye-opener for me in so many things.
    The fact you mentioned there has been some linkages between cockroaches and medicine. And they are said to be part of a medical solution is so exciting. If this is proven to be true I am sure it can go a long way not only in healing the sick but in reducing the cockroach population.
    Its too early to celebrate. Thanks anyway for an informative posts!

    1. Femia

      Hello, thank you so much for leaving invaluable comments.
      The myth about cockroaches being part of a solution to a medical condition is exciting.
      I will keep an eye on news updates to update you as well.
      Fingers crossed!

  4. asmithxu

    Hey, Femia. Thank you so much for the information concerning cockroaches. It is terrible that they can completely destroy a business and that they present such a problem.
    When we were doing remodeling on my house, it was open to the outside and we had a huge problem with cockroaches. They were very large and terrifying. I was scared to turn on the lights at night.
    Once the remodeling was done, we hired an exterminator who sealed the house off and they don’t really show up anymore.
    I don’t want for any of the places that I visited to have the same problems that I experienced so I will be sure to check out your book recommendations. Thanks again!

    1. Femia Post author

      Hello, Asmithxu, thank you so much for taking your time to leave some really useful comments.
      Thanks again for sharing your personal experiences. It really helps someone out there who maybe going through a similar problem. You have opened my eyes to the the kind of pests to be aware of during home remodeling.
      I am glad to hear that in the end you found a solution.

  5. OxyBlu2018

    Cockroaches is a house pest that most of us have learned to live with over a long period of time. But there are remedies that we can do to control them from proliferating if not totally getting rid of them. One of the most effective way, and even for other pests, is to keep our home and personal belongings like our bags and luggage, always clean and tidy. In this way, they will be prevented from occupying a certain corner of the house and stop them from multiplying. I remember during my childhood, we used wood ball camphor bug repellent on our wardrobe cabinets to help control these pests.

    1. Femia Post author

      Thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to leave some comments on this subject, ‘Cockroaches in My Luggage.’ I appreciate!
      I agree with you on the point of keeping our homes and bags clean and tidy. It certainly stops them from multiplying.After a trip, I vacuum my luggage well and clean it with soap. I then dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in a sealed container. Also having a clean kitchen and bathroom helps a lot. 
      Once again, thanks for the brilliant ideas.

  6. Thomas G

    I had a cockroach in my bag once! just once…I hope he liked the flight home, but I got him haha!. I saw a show about cockroaches as an abundant source of protein once……uggh! has anyone heard of using diatomaceous earth against roaches? I have a friend that uses it and I also read it works well against pests…that is until they adapt….

    1. Femia Post author

      Hi, Thomas, thanks so much for taking your time to stop by and share some really useful tips for getting rid of cockroaches that might have crept into our luggage during our trips.
      Thanks for mentioning Diatomaceous earth, someone once told me about it saying it works as a natural insecticide. All I need to do is to apply only a thin layer of dust and it will do its work of repelling cockroaches and other insects.
      I find the story of a cockroach that once had a flight home in someone’s bag very funny:)


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