How to Keep Luggage Cockroach-Free

Some cockroaches can grow as large as your palm.
Some cockroaches can grow as large as your palm. (Image: Huge Cockroach image by fotodewan from

No traveler wants a cockroach infestation as a souvenir. It happens, however, because cockroaches live almost everywhere. According to the University of Rhode Island‘s GreenShare program, America houses about 50 different types of cockroaches, which is nothing compared to the almost 3000 species in the world. In order to prevent cockroaches from infesting your luggage, you must cut off their food supply and use diligent methods to prevent a serious cockroach infestation.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • 1 tbsp household ammonia
  • 1 quart water
  • 20 Sealable plastic bags

While Storing Luggage

Remove all items from your luggage bags when storing them.

Vacuum your luggage: inside, outside and in every compartment. Detailed vacuuming removes most, if not all, cockroaches.

Mix ammonia and water in a plastic container.

Clean any plastic surfaces on your luggage using the ammonia and water mix.

Store luggage in large, sealed plastic bags or airtight containers.

While Traveling

Unpack all travel items, so that your luggage bags are completely empty.

Vacuum every part of your luggage: inside, outside and in all compartments. If you stay at a hotel without vacuum cleaners, use the vacuum from a nearby carwash or gas station.

Shake and vacuum all clean clothes before packing. If you can, wash and dry all clothes and pack directly into the suitcase from the drier.

Seal, in plastic bags: all dirty clothes, shoes, leather items (including belts and jewelry), fur, suede and other organic material. Double bag any dirty shoes or clothes.

Shake and vacuum clothes and luggage again when you get home, if you are certain that cockroaches infested your luggage while traveling.

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