I have a indoor basil potted plant in an office environment and over the weekend holes appeared on the surface of the soil, as if something dug them. The pots are next to a window, but it's closed at the weekends.

A few times I've I noticed cockroaches in the bathroom, but it's 10-20 feet away and the office is locked and the door is well sealed. It's an old building, I can see some holes in the ceiling, where the pipes are.

Do cockroaches like to dig holes in potted planets, or could it be something else?

How do I get rid of them?

Click below images to enlarge...

Holes dug in indoor pot

Holes dug in indoor pot

Holes dug in indoor pot

  • Can you please post a photo or two that shows the holes that have been dug... Approximately what size are the holes? Have you tried moving away the top couple of inches (50mm) or so of the soil to see if you can see anything in there? Also out of interest, what does Health & Safety &/or your company have to say about working in a building that is known to have cockroaches?
    – Mike Perry
    Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 14:21
  • that's a good question about the cockroaches. i'll speak to the super about it. i added some photos of the plants
    – aporat
    Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 14:29
  • Do you have pets?
    – Ed Staub
    Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 18:22
  • no, it's an office environment. the one thing resembles a pet is my Rovio. wowwee.com/en/products/tech/telepresence/rovio.
    – aporat
    Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 20:42
  • 2
    Mike's probably right, but another thing that'll burrow in plants are toads. My mom put a basil plant out on her porch last year and brought it in in the Fall and she found a gross pale white toad attempting to hibernate in her pot. Just about gave her a heart attack. Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


Having looked at the photos you kindly uploaded, I honest don't think cockroaches are the pest digging holes in your indoor pots.

If I had to guess (and at best it's an "educated guess"), I would say the digging pest in your indoor environment is a mouse.

"Educated guess" = If you're aware of a cockroach problem in the building, then without much doubt the building would also have a mouse problem...

Q. And how do i get rid of it / them?

I suggest speaking with the boss and make them aware of the cockroach (and most likely mouse) problem. Under "Health & Safety" I don't believe it's something they can ignore ie They will have to get in a pest control "professional" to deal with the problems (cockroaches, mice, etc). It isn't a problem you or your co-workers should have to tackle, or an environment you should have to work in (IMHO).

  • 1
    thanks. i really appreciate the answer. it puzzled us for awhile. i'll talk about the super about those issues and concerns, see what he can do about the cockroaches (and apparently mice problem as well)
    – aporat
    Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 14:51
  • 1
    @aporat No worries & good luck speaking with your boss, hopefully they will be totally understanding & do the right thing... If you do find out it's another type of pest doing the damage, please come back & let us know (so we can learn from your experience). Good luck!
    – Mike Perry
    Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 15:08

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.