How to Get Rid of Roaches Without an Exterminator: The Ultimate DIY Guide

Wondering how to get rid of roaches without an exterminator? Well, you’re certainly not alone.

You see, pest control is a multibillion-dollar industry. And why wouldn’t it be? After all, pests have a way of getting to people on an emotional level.

If you go through the upsetting experience of seeing a cockroach in your home, it’s easy to understand why someone would simply pick up the phone and be willing to pay whatever it took to get these bugs out of the house.

But if you’re cheap frugal, you may find yourself with a nasty surprise when you learn what it can cost to put a hit out on cockroaches.

Exterminators are like any other contractor. They are in the business to make money. It’s not unusual to pay hundreds of dollars for cockroach treatment.

Surely there’s another way? Well, if you’ve read the title of this article, you already know that there is. Read on for exactly how to get rid of roaches without an exterminator.

Can You DIY Roach Control?

In some cases, it may be possible to get rid of cockroaches by yourself. Then you can save the money you would have spent on treatment and put it towards trip to Paris. Or a pair of giant sunglasses. We’re not here to tell you how to spend your money. We’re here to tell you how to save it.

If you’re willing to try and get rid of the cockroaches by yourself, good for you. But before you start, it’s important to know that getting rid of cockroaches requires a multi-pronged approach.

Simply spraying the harshest chemical you can get your hands on and calling it a day is not the answer. The only way to effectively get rid of this nuisance pest is to approach it like an all-out war.

Ready? Okay. Here’s how you get rid of cockroaches without an exterminator.

How to Get Rid of Roaches Without an Exterminator

As mentioned previously, it takes more than simply spraying some pesticides to get rid of roaches. Especially if you already have a full-blown roach infestation on your hands.

Also, it’s good to keep your expectations in check. Remember that a roach infestation doesn’t happen overnight. And it’s definitely going to take longer than a couple days to get rid of a roach infestation.

But it can be done and fairly cheaply at that. Here’s the full guide on how to get rid of roaches without an exterminator!

Clean Up

The first step may be both the simplest, and the most important. Yes, we’re talking about cleaning up – not only is it the first step to getting rid of roaches but it’s recommended as a must do to prevent cockroaches in the first place.

Cleaning up may be boring but it works simply because cockroaches eat an extensive variety of things. Basically, if it isn’t metal, glass, or plastic, cockroaches can probably live off it. Anything you or your pets eat can be cockroach food.

Cleaning up will take away their food source and reduce the size of the cockroach population very quickly. Don’t forget areas that don’t get a lot of attention, such as behind kitchen appliances. These are often dirt magnets, and therefore cockroach magnets.

Seal Up Cracks And Crevices

Meet your new best friend: silicone caulk. Use this stuff to seal up cracks and crevices throughout your home. Pay special attention to gaps in the kitchen countertops, behind appliances, and in cabinets. The same goes for the bathroom.

Also, don’t miss heat pipes, if you have them. These are all prime areas for cockroach infestation.

Removing the areas where cockroaches would usually hide not only makes your home less appealing for them to live in. It also makes it harder for them to hide from any treatment you do. So don’t spare the caulk.

Create Cockroach Barriers

By cockroach barriers, we don’t mean to build a big wall. That won’t stop them at all. Instead, you want to create barriers using roach killers such as diatomaceous earth or cockroach powder.

This works because cockroaches love humidity. So much so, in fact, that they are often called water bugs. A cockroach can live up to a month without food, but they won’t last more than a week without water. For this reason, they are frequently found near water pipes and other areas of high humidity.

They seek humidity because cockroaches are prone to drying out. It’s possible to use that to your advantage. Cockroach powders like this one, made from boric acid, are very useful for creating barriers that will kill any cockroaches that try to cross it.

You can also use it in areas where you know cockroaches are hiding, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom. Thanks to cockroaches’ grooming habits, boric acid is easily ingested when the cockroaches clean their antennae. From there, it poisons them from the inside.

Another option for cockroach killing is diatomaceous earth. This fine powder feels soft when you’re the size of a human, but to a cockroach, it’s a nightmare of jagged edges and sharp points.

Any cockroach crossing an area where diatomaceous earth has been applied will scratch its oily exoskeleton. This will cause the cockroach to dehydrate and die.

Boric acid and diatomaceous earth have the advantage that they are not toxic to people or pets. Apply them with care, though. It’s better to use a fine dust that cockroaches won’t notice until they’re right on top of it. In this case, less is definitely more.

Use Cockroach Bait

If you want to treat cockroaches the way the pros do, get your hands on the best cockroach bait you can. These substances, while non-toxic to people and other mammals, slowly poison cockroaches that consume it.

The poison is mixed with a food source that the cockroaches find irresistible, to ensure that they eat it.

While baits work slowly, they work exceptionally well. The poison will spread through the cockroach population, ultimately killing them all. Check out our reviews for the best roach bait and traps!

Note that you may need to make multiple applications to achieve this, though.

When baiting the cockroaches, it’s best to apply it as close as you can to where the cockroaches hang out. Check behind the fridge and stove, under the dishwasher, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and around water pipes.

The easier it is for the cockroaches to find, the quicker they’ll eat it, and the quicker they’ll die. It’s better to place lots of little dabs of bait than to use it all in one big glob that will end up drying out and becoming inedible.

Gel baits can be messy to use until you get the hang of them, but they really work. However, remember that you want the cockroaches to eat it and then return to the harborage areas.

Resist the urge to kill cockroaches when you see them feeding on the bait. It’s all part of the plan. And don’t spray pesticide where you’ve baited. This will only make the bait repellent to the cockroaches.

Use An IGR

That’s an insect growth regulator to you. Insect growth regulators, as the name implies, mimic naturally occurring hormones in the cockroach’s body.

They can prevent roaches from reaching maturity, thereby making it impossible for the roaches to lay eggs. When you consider that the cockroach population is usually made up of 75% juveniles, it’s easy to imagine the effect it has on the roaches to stop the juveniles from growing up.

Suddenly, the population is an order of magnitude smaller than it would otherwise be.

Note that insect growth regulators don’t kill the cockroaches. They only stop them from reproducing. Think of it as birth control for cockroaches. So by themselves, insect growth regulators won’t get rid of a cockroach infestation.

After all, the roaches that reached adulthood before you applied the IGR will still be able to reproduce. But it’s a great weapon to have in your arsenal to help you overcome the cockroach’s fearsome reproductive potential.

Spray pesticides

Often when people think of an exterminator, the first image that comes to mind is someone spraying liquid pesticides. And while this is still part of pest control, it’s better left as a last resort.

First, pesticides can be dangerous if improperly used. They can also have harmful effects on the environment. There’s a reason why these substances are often tightly controlled.

Secondly, when it comes to cockroaches, spraying pesticides may have some unwanted effects. Cockroaches are highly mobile animals, able to run at speeds that, in comparison to their small size, make them one of the fastest land animals around.

Spray pesticides usually have a repellent effect on cockroaches, driving them out of their hiding places and making them run. So immediately after spraying, your problem will actually look worse than ever, at least for a while.

More worryingly, spraying cockroaches can cause them to spread. This is especially true in apartment buildings, where you may simply push the roaches into your neighbor’s unit. And don’t think that makes them not your problem.

Once the repellent effect of the pesticide has worn off, the roaches will gladly re-infest your place. Only this time, they’ll have a grudge against you.

That’s not to say that liquid pesticides don’t have their place in cockroach control. If you have a severe cockroach problem and you live in a detached house, spraying can be the quickest way to knock their numbers down.

Pesticides like this one kill cockroaches on contact. It will also continue to kill cockroaches even after the chemical has dried, so long as they walk across where it has been sprayed.

If you’ve tried everything and need to look at the nuclear solution, this is the way to go about it.

But remember: spraying for cockroaches should only ever be a last resort. Always read and follow the directions on the pesticide label, and never combine a spray treatment with baiting for cockroaches.

Having cockroaches is nobody’s idea of a good time. But if you find these disgusting bugs in your home, don’t panic. There’s a lot you can do to get rid of the problem yourself.

And if all else fails, you can always call a professional in after you’ve tried some DIY. You wouldn’t be the first homeowner to have to wave a white flag in the face of the oncoming cockroach army.

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