"I saw a cockroach!"

So we have a Condo in East Mesa,and my latest guest reported a cockroach sighting. Wants to know what I “suggest” (give me money).
I emailed back indicating nobody has ever seen one in the unit before, and the HOA is very diligent about exterminators, as well as my own service bi-monthly.
Any other suggestions?

A roach is not an infestation and bugs wander into homes all the time.

If your association does barrier spraying, it takes time after the critter strolls across for it to die.

Thank them for reporting it. Explain the HOA is diligent about treatment. Explain the barrier spray doesn’t kill immediately. Ask them to let you know if they see more so you can have the unit retreated.


I would suggest to the guest that they give consideration as to where they store their luggage when not traveling.


I’ve had this several times. One guest even knocked on my door to show me a photograph of the offending insect.

“Oh wow! You’ve seen a palmetto bug. Lucky you, a true South Florida experience. I haven’t seen one for ages. Thanks so much for showing it to me. Goodnight!”


I had the same thing happen about a year ago from Florida Guests . The exterminator told me the only way cockroaches get in is if the guests bring them. I now leave traps under sinks to show the
guests no sign of bugs in this rental.

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Love that, @jaquo.

If I had to deal with guests freaking out about insects all the time, I wouldn’t be able to host, there are so many in my part of the world.

I don’t fumigate- I don’t spray poisons around and find that regular cleaning and letting nature balance itself works quite well. I do use a cockroach gel in strategic places in the kitchen where it won’t come in contact with food, humans or pets.
And I recently found a natural insecticide made from cinnamon oil that seems to work well and smells great.

But you can’t keep those palmetto bugs from flying in an open window or door.

What I do as far as guests are concerned is just throw it into the orientation spiel casually: “So here’s the light switch for that light by the bed, but it’s a two way switch, so you can turn it off from the bed, too. Make sure to shake out your clothes and shoes before putting them on, you’re in scorpion country, although I see them quite seldom, but better safe than sorry. And leaving food or food wrappers around will result in an ant or cockroach invasion within minutes. Here’s the extra blankets and pillows…”

Much like you saying it was cool to see the palmetto bug, I think when we act so casually about it, they’d feel like silly woosies to freak out after that. At least most of them.


@Suef A confession: Many years ago when I flew up from where I live in Mexico, to stay with my daughter in Canada for a few weeks, I unzipped my suitcase in her guest room and a cockroach scurried out. I immediately tried to whack it, but it disappeared instantly.

I didn’t dare tell my daughter- she’s an OCD clean freak and I knew she wouldn’t be able to relax knowing there was a cockroach loose in her pristine house. And seeing as I was sure there were no other cockroaches there for it to breed with, I knew it wouldn’t lead to any infestation.

I finally confessed to her just a month ago. We both laughed about it, as it was so long ago- she’s moved 3 times since, and never did see that cockroach.

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Yes, but… a female full of fertilized eggs can be a real problem.

True, that. Guess we were lucky, as my daughter would most surely have been aware if an infestation occured.

I suggest asking guest if they would prefer to swap the cockroach out for a scorpion.


Great response. We live in Bermuda and getting panicked emails from guests whenever they saw a cockroach OUTSIDE, we have decided to add a questionnaire to our booking process. One of the questions is “We understand that Bermuda is semitropical and therefore inserts are a fact of life and that leaving food/crumbs left out will attract them”. They have to answer yes or no.


I had a guest message me after they checked out that they had a lovely stay and that we have baby cockroaches in our two bedrooms. Our home is immaculate and five stars across the board for cleanliness. This is essentially a 21-year old girl who saw a couple of beetles that made their way into the house and immediately thought they were cockroaches. Now I live in fear of a bad review leading to less bookings. Guests don’t realize how much stress this puts on a host when they make a presumptuous comment like that. I responded to them and told them that it’s Spring, they’re just beetles and we plan on having someone come and spray. I’m tired of people in general not thinking about how their comments effect other people.

You said she private messaged you about it, so how would it affect future bookings? Or you mean that a future guest might mention it in a public review?

In any case, living in fear of a bad review is an unnecessary self-imposed stressor.
Just relax and deal with a bad review if you ever get one. A brief professional response will clarify things for prospective guests.

And guests don’t just blindly believe every review they read. Outlier reviews are pretty evident to both hosts and guests.

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Please don’t ‘live in fear’ and please don’t stress about it. As hosts, we have to be incredibly thick skinned and to survive in any business where you have to deal with stroppy members of the public, you need be be mentally strong.

Don’t be so concerned about getting a poor review from time to time - as @muddy says, potential guests don’t believe every review they read. Guests are people too. :slight_smile: