Cockroaches are typically less active during the day. They prefer to move about at night, and they shy away from both natural and artificial light. For example, if a person enters a darkened room that is infested with roaches and turns on the light, he is likely to see them scatter and hide. Roaches will typically hide under any available structure, including appliances, boxes, and trashcans, until the lights are turned off once more.
Though cockroaches do prefer to move about at night and under the cover of darkness, they will explore during the daylight hours if there is little activity from humans and other animals. For example, it is not unheard of for someone to enter a kitchen or bathroom during the day and find a cockroach or two exposed. Since they are attracted to water, they can often be found lurking around sinks, pipes, bathtubs, and toilets.
In an effort to get rid of cockroaches, people often try to sniff out their hiding places during daylight hours. The best places to look include under appliances, such as stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines. They may also hide under, in, and around trash cans, especially those that are used for garbage as opposed to paper trash. However, since roaches are capable of eating just about anything, including paper products, wastepaper baskets should not be overlooked as potential hiding places.
Another typical place to catch cockroaches during the day is inside a closet. It is not uncommon to find cockroaches hiding in shoes and hats. They can be found in the corners of closets, both at floor level and ceiling level. If a closet is both damp and dark, roaches are even more likely to take shelter there during the daylight hours. Even dresser drawers are used as hiding places.
Cockroaches are also known to spend time in kitchen cabinets. They can be found hiding in cracks, crevices, and corners of cabinets that contain food products as well as those that simply hold dishes and eating utensils. Another dark hiding space is a diaper pail. Roaches are often just as attracted to diaper containers as they are trash cans.
Although cockroaches are usually nocturnal, they may be seen more frequently during the day if a house has a major infestation. For some reason, cockroaches seem to feel safer venturing out when there are large numbers of them within a property. Additionally, the Asian cockroach is one species of cockroach that is attracted to light.