rental house with roach odor


I have a rental house about 960 SQFT and about a year aga we had to evict tenants and found the place full of garbage ETC. and roach infested. We had it professionally treated 3 times before we got rid of the roaches. We also cleaned agressively everywhere we could get including removing cabinets. Had all the duct work & furnace professionally cleaned & fumigated, all carpet replaced, all walls scrubbed down & painted. We still can not get rid of that terrible smell, it must be in walls & attic  (floor is a concrete slab) can you make any suggestions?  Thanks.

Roaches can cause lingering odors long after they have been removed and controlled in homes, restaurants and other structures. Their feces are easily set airborne and their body parts disintegrate into dust which many people find to be irritating when breathed. Since you’ve done a lot of cleaning in this house already, it’s apparent the lingering odor is living in the floor, the walls or the attic space. I’m inclined to initially believe the major part of the problem will be where the roaches were most concentrated when they were active. However, without seeing the initial infestation or the current condition of the house, it’s not possible for me to offer direct advice from first hand knowlege. But here is a “process” which should, through the step by step elimination resulting after each step, and in the end help you solve the problem.

If you read our ODOR CONTROL ARTICLE, you’ll learn we have a product called NNZ which we recommend for some harsh odors. That’s because this product has proven itself highly effective in many kinds of conditions. I say start with this product.

Where to treat will involve the process of elimination. For starters, I suggest wiping down an NNZ diluted formulation over the areas where you know or suspect the roaches were congregating or mostly focused. This would no doubt be the prime location of the odor. As explained in our article, certain odors are “alive” and the act of painting or cleaning won’t eliminate the odor. True it can help to reduce it and or keep it from getting worse. But once it becomes living and then after it locks onto something like wood or concrete, a true odor neutralizer is needed to completely render it gone and deceased.

If after a week you find this didn’t help much, proceed by treating the floor. Obviously this could be tough if the floor is covered with tile or hardwood. But carpeting and other furniture can be lightly misted with the NNZ formulation and tile or hardwoods can be wiped down with the same formulation.

Again, if this doesn’t solve the problem, consider wiping down the walls and ceiling paying particular attention to hot spots like crown molding or certain pieces of furniture.

Lastly, wall voids and/or attic spaces can be either foamed or misted as explained in our article. Though many people believe these areas are where all roaches want to live, in fact, it’s far away from where they much rather be residing. Remember, roaches eat what people eat so to be happy, they want to be as close to us as possible. Attics and wall spaces wouldn’t provide such close proximity and is probably why it’s rare such places ever need to be treated.

If done right, you should be able to identify which of your treatments works within a day of when you treat and when you achieve success, you can then further address that treatment area again to knock out any odors you still detect a week later. If you are able to directly treat the odor living molecules with the NNZ, you’ll no doubt eliminate the source of the problem.

Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

Odor Control Article:


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