How to get rid of roaches forever. It seems like a straight forward question. And you want an easy answer, preferably in the form of a simple roach killer. Then you can simply go forth and wipe out the entire infestation. Right?
Almost, but not quite.
Here’s what you need to know about these creepy buggers: Cockroaches are built for survival.
Books have been written about this troublesome pest. Some people have made cockroaches their entire life’s work. And yet we keep discovering new things all the time. Hint: most of it is not good news.
For example, they can survive for a month without food. They can hold their breath underwater for up to 40 freakin’ minutes. You can even chop off their heads and they’ll still live for a week or two!
When a pest is this good at surviving, you need to bust out the big guns. And yes, we’re talking plural.
If you’ve decided to declare war on cockroaches, you need to fight it like a modern war. That means combined arms. There’s no one universal ‘best’ method to use against these pests.
Needless to say, you need a full battle plan.
How to Get Rid of Roaches Forever
If you’re dealing with a cockroach problem, there’s really only one question that seems like it matters: how do you get rid of cockroaches?
But simple questions don’t always have simple answers. Cockroaches have been around for millions of years, and they haven’t lasted so long because they are bad at what they do. Cockroaches, above all, are survivors. They seem to thrive on our attempts to get rid of them.
Lucky for us, humans are also experts at survival. And we’ve come to know a thing or two about this incessant pest that continues to plague us.
In this guide, you’re going to learn the most important things you need to know to get rid of roaches forever. That boils down to: information and weapons. And of course, we’re going to show you how to use both.
When it comes to going to war with an enemy, the most valuable arsenal at your disposal is information. Think of it as military intelligence against cockroaches.
But whereas cockroach facts are fascinating – and disturbing, you don’t want to spend your valuable time learning all about the disgusting habits of these six-legged pests.
So, we’re just going to share the most relevant information to help you get rid of roaches.
You can’t go into battle without weapons. And when it comes to fighting cockroaches, you want to make sure you choose the most effective roach killers on the market.
The good news is that you don’t need a lot of weapons – after all, you don’t have time to dilly dally with mediocre roach killers while the roach infestation grows with each new day.
You’ve got better things to do. Which is why we’re going to cover just the best roach killers and the best ways to use them.
Ready to go kill cockroaches? Let’s get started.
The Ultimate Guide to Get Rid of Roaches
Cockroaches have been with us since the very beginning of our civilization, feeding on the food we grow for ourselves like the six-legged freeloaders that they are.
But just because they’ve lasted so long as a species, it doesn’t mean that the infestation in your home is impossible to get rid of.
Here’s the entire guide to get rid of roaches – for good.
It’s worth noting that many homeowners believe that keeping a clean home is enough to keep roaches from invading. Although some species, in particular, are attracted to messy, cluttered environments – not all of them are.
But a messy home is more likely to keep roaches around, as it boasts all kinds of things that they love; but on the flipside, even clean homes have some attracting qualities, such as moisture, warmth and darkness. That’s really all it takes to provide a nice location for that first cockroach.
That said; keeping a clean home is imperative for two predominant reasons:
Firstly, cleaning up will lower your chances of letting roaches build up a network, but the only real way to combat the risk of roaches in the home is constant vigilance and regular pest control measures, which we’ll cover below.
Secondly, keeping to a regular cleaning regime will drastically lower your and your family’s risk of contracting any kind of diseases or infections from any cockroach waste or bacteria that may be lingering around problem areas.
Set Roach Traps
Cockroach Fact: Roaches are notoriously sneaky. They’re nocturnal and prefer to wait until the lights are off and you’re tucked away in bed before they come out to play.
Which is why most people don’t even know that they have a roach problem until it’s become a full-blown infestation and roaches are crawling around during all hours of the day. You don’t want it to get to that.
Enter roach traps.
Roach traps are simple, low-tech devices that do one thing: they trap cockroaches. They won’t eradicate a roach problem all by themselves but they do perform a couple very important functions:
- Alert you to the spots where roaches are most active
- Allow you to see what type of roaches you have
- Let you assess the size of the overall roach population
How to get rid of roaches with cockroach traps: By setting up roach traps in the places that roaches are most likely nesting, you’ll be able to gauge within a couple days where the majority of your roach infestation is lurking.
This is great since you can then concentrate your roach killing efforts in those areas.
Roach traps will also allow you to examine what type of cockroaches you’re dealing with. Of course, you may personally not care if the darn things are German or American – you just want them dead! – but it can help you choose the most lethal weapons for the particular roach variety you have.
Last but not least, roach traps are useful throughout your entire war with roaches as it’ll let you monitor the hopefully dwindling population. Once you go a week or two without finding any roaches in your traps, you can pop open the champagne.
What’s the best roach trap to use? Our favorite is Black Flag’s Roach Motels. They’re sticky, effective and will get the job done. Set them up in the roaches’ favorite hiding spots and monitor frequently.
Poison Roaches with Bait
Cockroach Fact: Roaches will eat pretty much anything. Cockroaches are omnivores and will feed on a huge variety of different foods, and it’s this that makes them a pest in human homes. They enter our dwellings for the food, and very little is off the menu.
They will eat anything that humans eat, and a lot of things we won’t, including other insects, hair, books, sewage – basically, anything organic. So if it’s not metal or plastic, chances are cockroaches will eat it.
Gross, we know. But also very useful since we can use their indiscriminate appetites against them.
The best way to do it? Cockroach bait.
Roach baits are simply cockroach food laced with poison. They’re designed to attract cockroaches to eat the bait and when they do, their fate is sealed.
The best part about roach bait is that just one dose of this insecticide can kill several generations of cockroaches. Remember the roach’s penchant to eat disgusting things, including other dead roaches and even poop? Therein lies the brilliance of roach baits.
Here’s how it works: Cockroach #1 eats the gel, poops and dies. Other roaches come and eat Cockroach #1’s poop and body and then get poisoned themselves, providing more poisonous poops and bodies for even more roaches to die from.
Each roach that comes in contact with this gel bait can contaminate up to 40 other roaches in this way, which gets rid of the roach problem fast. All without you having to do any work.
What’s the best roach bait to use?
Why not go with what the professionals use? Advion Cockroach Gel Bait has been widely used in the pest control industry for years. That’s because it works.
This gel bait is easy to apply to the cracks and crevices where roaches like to hide, thanks to the disposable syringes it comes in. You can even strategically place little dabs underneath countertops, inside cabinets and anywhere else roaches may roam.
The gel contains food ingredients that are very attractive to cockroaches, along with poison that the cockroaches will ingest along with the bait.
How to get rid of roaches with Advion’s Gel Bait: Apply the gel as per instructions. Be prepared for some pretty gruesome scenes ’cause all the roaches you didn’t know were living in your house will crawl out to die. It’s disgusting but try not to sweep away the dead roaches – leave them out so other roaches can eat them and spread the poison.
Keep reapplying the gel when they’re all eaten until you see the roach carcass population declining and the gel you’ve left out completely untouched.
Note: If you want a completely pet-safe option, you may want to opt for Hot Shot Liquid Roach Bait instead. It’s the same concept but inside a tidy, tamper-proof container so your pets can’t lick it up.
Last but not least, want a natural option? Try making DIY roach bait with boric acid.
This stuff is cheap, easy to get your hands on and very effective natural roach killer. It works by poisoning roaches once ingested, destroying their stomach lining and causing them to die of starvation.
Both boric acid and borax work since they both have boron in it, which is what kills these buggers. Get whichever one you can find.
How to kill roaches with boric acid: Mix the boric acid with sugar, honey, jelly, peanut butter, bacon grease, or anything else appealing for roaches and leave it in roach-infested areas. Mix really, really well so the roaches can’t eat around it. And go for a high concentration of the poison (i.e. 3 parts borax to 1 part sugar).
Stash All Food Away
Cockroach fact: Cockroaches love dirty, crumb-laden, and cluttered places. Not because they’re attracted to filth but because it offers them plenty of things to eat and places to hide.
You already know that cockroaches will eat anything and everything. But when you’ve gone through the trouble of setting up roach bait, you really want to make sure that the roaches will eat that.
The best way to ensure that your poisonous roach bait is the only option is to stash away all other food sources. Take out the trash regularly. Make sure your countertops and floors are crumb-free.
And for the love of God, stash your food away into air-tight storage containers.
Put an End to the Roach Cycle
Cockroach Fact: A female cockroach can produce hundreds of offspring in her lifetime.
Remember how good cockroaches are at surviving? If you unleash the full force of the above roach killers, there’s a good chance you will wipe out your adult roach infestation.
But there’s also the chance that there might be a few pesky survivors. Not to mention unhatched roach eggs that managed to escape the carnage. The last thing you want is for these survivors to breed and create another roach infestation.
This is why the best way to kill roaches for good is to make sure they can’t reproduce. You can do this by using an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR), which is effectively birth control for insects. It doesn’t kill roaches – use the above for that – but it prevents roaches from reproducing. The result? No more roaches being born.
How to kill roaches with IGRs: Get Gentrol Point Source and the squeeze the raised end of the plastic to release the Gentrol IGR onto a filter paper. The stuff will move up to 75 square feet, damaging adult roaches so they can’t reproduce.
Use this in combination with the above roach killers to completely wipe out a roach infestation once and for all.
Kill and Seal Roaches
Cockroach Fact: Cockroaches are thigmotactic, which is a fancy word for saying that they like the comfort of a tight fit. This is why they’re going to seek out the tiniest cracks and crevices to feel that snugness they so desire.
On top of that, roaches prefer it dark. Combine both of these roach preferences and you understand why it can be so difficult to find and kill every last cockroach.
But whereas you may not be able to actively seek out and personally kill every roach infesting your home, you can wipe out a huge percentage of the population immediately. How? Start by finding every crack and crevice where roaches are likely to hide.
And then use a pesticide spray to kill off the roaches living in even the tiniest nooks and crannies. Our favorite spray for this is Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer.
How to kill roaches with Ortho Home Defense: This spray is super easy to use and will allow you to reach into even the smallest cracks where roaches can hide. Once you spray it, the foam expands and disappears to create a protective barrier that will continue to kill roaches for up to 18 months.
And if you want to take it the extra step, we highly recommend sealing any holes, cracks and crevices in your home with caulk. That will further prevent roaches from entering your home through those entryways.
Erect Cockroach Barriers
Cockroach Fact: Cockroaches can squeeze through the tiniest of cracks. Even the large American cockroach can fit through a space smaller than 2 mm and the much smaller German cockroach can jostle its way through a crevice less than 1.5 mm.
That means you can kill all the cockroaches currently living in your home but another one may easily sneak in and cause a re-infestation all over again.
This is why we highly recommend you set up some cockroach barriers. So how do you do this? One option is diatomaceous earth.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is an all natural roach killer that will kill any bug with an exoskeleton but is safe enough for any mammal to eat, including pets and kids.
When this soft powder comes into contact with roaches, puncture their bodies, causing them to dehydrate to death.
How to kill roaches with diatomaceous earth: Sprinkle a thin, even layer of DE anywhere you’ve seen roaches hang out (the surface must first be dry). Use a dust dispenser to make sure you distribute it evenly – roaches can avoid stepping on it if the dusting is too heavy.
Also, use DE anywhere roaches can hide as well as to line any entryways into your house so that roaches have to crawl through it in order to get into your house.
The only downside to using diatomaceous earth for roaches is that while it makes a great, natural indoor roach killer, it doesn’t hold up well for outdoor use simply because it is not waterproof.
If the DE you laid out gets wet, it will no longer to be effective against roaches. That’s why we suggest using diatomaceous earth to create roach barriers indoors but opting for a pesticide perimeter spray around your home.
This is an especially good idea if you have construction going on near your home or your neighbors are also grappling with cockroach problems.
Our favorite easy-to-use perimeter spray? It’s Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter. You can spray it in areas that roaches are likely to enter your home, such as windows, doors, patios and decks, effectively creating a perimeter that repels and kills roaches for up to 3 months after the initial spray.
Kill Remaining Roaches Quick
The above roach killers are fantastic – but they don’t work immediately. So what do you do if you see a live roach crawling around and you want it dead asap?
Your best option? Bengal Gold Roach Spray.
This stuff has permethin and it works incredibly well. It won’t kill the roach on contact but it’s even better – all you do is spray it in short bursts where you saw the roach and then walk away. In about 15 minutes, that roach (and any other roaches in the vicinity) will be totally, completely dead.
But the best part about this spray is that it also contains an ingredient called pyriproxyfen, which is an insect growth regulator. This means that you’re getting the quick killing power of a conventional roach spray combined with the more long-term effect of an IGR. As a result, this is one of the best roach sprays out there.
Okay, we’ve reached the end of our battle plan.
If you’ve done all of the above, you’re already winning the war against cockroaches. If during this time, you still see some of these pesky buggers alive and well, scrambling through your home like they own the place – just rest assured in the certainty that their fate is already sealed.