What Kills Cockroaches Instantly? (And Why Quick is Not Always Best)

Knowing what kills cockroaches instantly is a surefire way to get immediate gratification for the rage and frustration you feel at being burdened with a roach infestation.

Plus, killing cockroaches when you see them is one of those things, like ducking out of work early or taking a trip to Paris, that seems like it would always be a good idea.

After all, every moment a cockroach exists inside your house is a moment you’re not going to feel very comfortable there yourself. And given the staggering breeding rate of these disgusting creatures, it’s understandable that people want quick solutions.

And quick solutions are available. Cockroaches have a reputation for toughness that is in some ways deserved, but in other ways is exaggerated.

They’re not as hard to kill as you may have been led to believe – at least individually. But as a group? As a thriving, healthy population? Then they can be extremely difficult to get rid of.

What Kills Cockroaches Instantly?

There are actually plenty of ways to kill a cockroach. After all, they are just bugs. Dirty, disgusting, extremely widespread, and successful bugs. But bugs nonetheless. The bottom of your shoe makes a perfectly useful cockroach killing weapon. Any blunt object will do to smash a cockroach.

But that involves touching them, and that is something a lot of people aren’t willing to do. So there are other ways to kill roaches from a distance. You can also spray them with roach spray. Most commercially available bug sprays will kill cockroaches quite quickly on contact.

And if you want to go a little bit more evil genius with it, you could use a roach fogger. These cans of pesticide release their entire contents in one go, filling your home with chemicals that are deadly to cockroaches. Any cockroach that comes into contact with the drifting cloud of poison will die.

You’re bound to kill a lot of cockroaches this way, and if that’s all you want, a fogger can be useful.

But personally, if I had cockroaches in my house, I wouldn’t want to kill a lot of them. I’d want to kill all of them. And for that, you need to be a little bit smarter.

You see, cockroaches are very good at two things: hiding and breeding. The cockroaches you see out and about will only ever be a tiny fraction of the entire population.

Typically, in a healthy population, the cockroaches will be 75% juveniles to 25% adults. And the juveniles usually stay hidden, hiding in tiny cracks and crevices where they can’t be seen and where sprays and shoes can’t reach them.

Because cockroaches reproduce so quickly, with a single female capable of producing 200 offspring in a year, getting rid of a percentage of the cockroaches is never going to solve the problem.

They will just keep on breeding and producing more cockroaches, replacing the ones you killed in no time at all.

Best Instant Cockroach Killers

You’re skeptical, aren’t you? It’s all very well to take the long-term approach, you may be saying. But these bugs are disgusting, and I want them dead now.

Well, that’s an understandable reaction. And there’s no reason you can’t take both the short-term and long-term view.

If you want to knock down a cockroach population quickly, here are the best products to get immediate results.

Bengal Roach Spray

Bengal is one of the best roach sprays on the market. Spray a cockroach with this stuff, and you’re signing its death warrant. They may not die instantly, but they’ll barely have time to get their affairs in order.

You can expect a cockroach sprayed with this stuff to be dead within 10 to 15 minutes of contact.

But makes this one of the best roach sprays out there is that it’s not just about the quick kill. This product also contains an insect growth regulator or IGR, which is a chemical that impacts a cockroach’s ability to reproduce.

It sterilizes adults and prevents juveniles from reaching sexual maturity. Now, this won’t matter to the cockroach just sprayed. It’s going to die anyway before it has the chance to have any more children.

But once an IGR is in the environment, it will start to affect other cockroaches in the population. As a result, Bengal has both short and long-term effects on cockroaches that can help to reduce the population.

Taurus SC Roach Insecticide

Another useful product for instantly killing cockroaches is Taurus SC. This professional-grade product kills cockroaches on contact. After being sprayed, most cockroaches will be dead in just a few minutes. It’s therefore perfect for quickly knocking down a large population.

Start spraying the stuff around, and you can expect to see cockroaches on their backs almost immediately. However, this is a product that needs to be heavily diluted and applied using a dedicated sprayer.

As a result, it’s not the kind of thing you’re going to have lying around when you see a single cockroach crawling on the floor. Instead, this is a product to bring with you when you go hunting for where the cockroaches live.

The nice thing about Taurus is that it has a residual effect. Once the chemical has been sprayed, it will continue to kill roaches that come into contact with it long after it’s dry.

The length of this residual effect depends on environmental conditions, but it can last for weeks. This makes it useful for long-term control of cockroaches.

Will Roach Spray Wipe Out an Infestation?

Before you go filling that Amazon shopping cart with products to kill roaches instantly, there’s something about spraying for roaches you need to know.

Cockroaches are very mobile and fast-moving, and they know what pesticide smells like. If you start spraying for cockroaches, there’s a high chance that the roaches you don’t get to with the spray will run.

And while it may feel good for a moment to think of the enemy retreating, this can actually make the problem worse by forcing cockroaches from a single area into many different areas in the house.

This is especially problematic in apartments. Cockroaches travel easily from one unit to the next. By spraying for cockroaches, you may force them into your neighbor’s unit. And once the spray has worn off, the same roaches – or their descendants – can easily come back into your place.

How to Really Get Rid of Roaches

Okay, so if sprays aren’t all that effective long-term, what’s the best way to get rid of cockroaches? Well, it’s a process. But here are the most effective methods that are tried-and-true for getting rid of roaches permanently.

Vacuum the Crumbs

That’s right; good old-fashioned elbow grease. Cockroaches feed on the scraps of food we leave behind. Even the smallest crumb or slightest spill can provide food for these creatures. The less they have to eat, the smaller their population will remain.

The first step in any cockroach control attempt is to clean up. Pay special attention to the kitchen, since this is where the food is. But if you eat in other rooms of the house, make sure you clean there too. Vacuum up every crumb and wipe down surfaces. A clean house is an un-cockroachy house.

How long this takes is going to depend on the size of your house and how dirty it was to begin with. It could take anywhere from half an hour to multiple hours to get really clean. But it’s worth it. Not only is this one of the most effective ways to reduce a cockroach population, but it’s also much cheaper than buying pesticides. And it’s better for your health, too.

Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs)

As mentioned above, IGR’s are an excellent weapon to use against cockroaches. By disrupting their ability to breed, it takes away one of the major factors that make cockroaches so tricky to control.

If no new baby cockroaches are born, the population is many times easier to get rid of. So if you can get your hands on a good insect growth regulator, use it. We highly recommend Gentrol Point Source IGR – it’s easy to use and so effective, it’s practically magic.

And not only are these chemicals extremely effective at sterilizing cockroaches, but they are completely harmless to people and pets. You can use these throughout your home without any concern for your own health. 

About the only downside of using an IGR is that they don’t actually kill cockroaches. They prevent new roaches from being born, but do nothing about the ones that are already there.

That’s why IGRs are best used in conjunction with other pesticides, such as cockroach bait.

Cockroach Bait

Cockroach baits use a food substance – or even a liquid bait – that is attractive to cockroaches to get roaches to ingest the poison.

Baits are designed to work slowly. And whereas that may seem like a design flaw, the idea is that the poisoned cockroaches will live long enough to spread the bait to the rest of the population.

Surprisingly, you don’t necessarily want a bait that works too fast. However, for long-term control, roach baits are one of the best solutions available. And while it’s more difficult to apply bait properly than it is to reach for a can of spray, it’s also more effective.

You can expect to start seeing results from cockroach bait in a week or two. Gradually, the numbers of cockroaches you see should diminish until eventually, there are none left.

There are plenty of ways to kill a cockroach. There are also many ways to kill many cockroaches. But in terms of actually solving a cockroach problem, i.e. killing each and every individual cockroach – you need to use a variety of different approaches.

Cleaning your home, using an IGR, and using cockroach bait will take longer than simply spraying the cockroaches. But ultimately, it will solve the problem for good.

Why do a quick spray that you’ll have to do again and again indefinitely when you can do a more targeted treatment that, if done right, you may only need to do once? Exactly.

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