How To Keep Roaches Out Of Cardboard Boxes

Maybe you’re moving. Or you’ve got some clothes packed up in cardboard boxes for storage. You open the box and find cockroaches everywhere. This is fairly common. But you need to be able to store stuff!

That’s why we’ve put together this article on how to keep roaches out of cardboard boxes.

  • Cardboard boxes are a source of shelter for cockroaches
  • Keep your cardboard boxes fully sealed shut with high quality packing tape
  • Use bait traps near any cardboard boxes to cut cockroaches at the source

Now that we know the ways that we can keep cockroaches out of boxes, let’s expand a bit further.

How to Keep Roaches Out of Cardboard Boxes

Finding cockroaches filling a cardboard storage box is a major nuisance. However, we can keep these sneaky pests out of our cardboard boxes through a few precautions.

Keep Your Storage Area Clean and Dry

The most important precautionary measure against cockroach infestation is to keep the surroundings clean and of little interest to roaches, and dry. Cockroaches love wet, moldy cardboard, so don’t let your boxes get soaked (and regardless, your stuff will get ruined, anyway!).

It’s time to make your storage area cockroach-resistant.

What is cockroach-resistant, you might ask? Let’s gain some insight into that.

Any area with light, activity, noise, lack of food and water, and course, cleanliness, is cockroach-proof. To further add to the mix, adding sticky traps and insecticide acts as the ideal cherry on top.

Any area with light, activity, noise, lack of food and water, and course, cleanliness is cockroach-proof.

But who puts their cardboard boxes in well-lit, active places? No, they land in the basement, a dark closet, the attic, etc.

It’s a good idea to frequently check on your basement and attic spaces and make sure that there are no holes and cracks for insects and pests to get through. Check door and window seals, anywhere roaches might enter.

After that, it’s time for a thorough cleaning and vacuuming. Make sure no food is around, as food is the primary motivation for these intelligent creatures.

Fully Seal Your Boxes

Since cockroaches are particularly attracted to cardboard due to the glue within, we recommend keeping them sealed fully shut. Roaches are too weak to eat through cardboard boxes if they’re properly constructed and closed up with high-quality packing tape.

Run fully sealed lines of packing tape along all of the cardboard edges that meet, and turn it up at the corners. Don’t just run a zip of tape along the top and bottom center and call it “good enough”, that’s not going to do it.

Roaches will be able to get in through the small cracks on the sides.

Roaches are too weak to eat through cardboard boxes if they’re properly constructed and closed up with high-quality packing tape.

Use Repellents and Sprays

You’d want to use other cockroach repellents around these cardboard boxes. For example, spraying peppermint or tea tree oil mixed with water may do the trick. However, remember to do this often.

As soon as the smell of these natural repellents wears off, these cockroaches are likely to walk back in.

Sticky traps or bait traps may help you capture these sneaky pests and keep them from entering your cardboard boxes. And they also provide visual evidence of an infestation. They also give you clues as to the location of your infestation).

A Little Bit Of Light

Cockroaches don’t like light and will flee from well-lit areas. You may be tempted to leave a light on all the time, but that’s not very environmentally conscious. Instead, have a light on a timer, or regularly turn on a light for a period of time.

Check Your Boxes

Lastly, although we all tend to leave our cardboard boxes and forget them, it’s best to check your boxes often (this works well in combination with light. Cleaning them out for any cockroaches, droppings, eggs, or left-over signs of their presence.

Remember: cleanliness is a cockroach’s enemy.

If you visit your attic or basement often and check your boxes, chances are you won’t have to deal with cockroaches much because their sense of safety goes away.

Why Do Cockroaches Like Cardboard Boxes?

Well, interestingly, cockroaches consider cardboard boxes among their favorite areas to reside. We know these creepy crawlies prefer to stay in areas with minimal activity.

Cockroaches know these boxes mainly remain in areas with minimal human activity, such as basements or attics.

Therefore, these secluded areas give cockroaches enough leeway to remain hidden while enjoying the perks of shelter. These areas also provide access to food sources and water such as your washing machine or kitchen.

Worst comes to worst, the glue used within cardboard is a food source for these pesky creatures.

Worst comes to worst, the glue used within cardboard is a food source for these pesky creatures.

However, the important point is that cockroaches are not strong enough to eat through cardboard. Therefore, their main source is cardboard that tears up, is old, or gets wet over time.

Moreover, these are usually made using glue with animal derivates, allowing cockroaches to enjoy nutrients by eating away.

Essentially, cardboard boxes give access to four things cockroaches need to survive and be at the top of their game. 

These include:

1. Seclusion

As mentioned above, we humans tend to keep our cardboard boxes in places we don’t often visit. That makes these boxes roach heaven!

2. Nutrition

Even if your cardboard boxes don’t contain food crumbs, the paper product itself is a source of nutrition for these sneaky pests. In the absence of food, roaches are likely to eat the material. The glues within these boxes sometimes consists of animal-derived bone and fat byproducts.

Other than the paper product itself, common items within cardboard include books, clothes, food, paint, and magazines, all of which may be food sources for these cockroaches.

A small tip to keep these cockroaches out of these boxes would be to add a cockroach repellent inside the box e.g. peppermint oil.

3. Dampness

Cardboard boxes often get wet over time due to random leaks and water exposure. When this happens, the water breaks down and softens the cardboard, making it easier for cockroaches to consume.

4. Darkness

Since cockroaches are nocturnal, they prefer to remain in dark and secluded areas. Therefore, a tucked-away cardboard box does the trick.

Conclusion: Clean Up and Use Repellents!

The most important things you can do to keep cockroaches out of your cardboard boxes are to seal them fully and store them in dry areas. If you visit the areas where your boxes are from time to time, turn on a light, and use pest repellents, that will all help as well.

If you’re not checking on the stuff in your cardboard boxes very often… why do you still have it?