Cockroaches are tricky pests that carry diseases and can trigger allergic reactions in humans even if you’re not known to have any. Unfortunately, there are no ways of getting rid of them overnight, but there are lots of easy ways you can prevent them from coming into your home.

Today, we’re going to share with you how to keep cockroaches out of your home, and some products that are known to kill these nasty guys!

These pests come from the same family as termites, and are notorious survivalists. Cockroaches can shed or molt their skin, which not only makes them bigger, but also makes them stronger.

A female cockroach can lay 100 to 200 eggs in her lifetime. They will eat anything and everything, but are known to love any dead or decaying material and other organic matter. This is why it’s important to get rid of cockroaches as soon as you start to notice the signs.

You can get rid of cockroaches in three easy steps:

  1. Recognizing an infestation
  2. Getting rid of cockroaches
  3. Preventing a future infestation

1. Recognizing an Infestation

Although there are over 50 varieties of cockroaches in America, the two most common types found in homes are the German and American cockroaches.

German cockroaches are smaller, light-brown insects with two vertical stripes down their sides.

American cockroaches are the most common type found in homes. They’re bigger, reddish-brown insects that can sometimes have wings.

They’re built to be able to hide and crawl through the smallest of cracks and crevices. Look out for cockroaches, feces, and mottled skin in:

  • Small holes and cracks in your home’s foundation
  • In bag, backpacks, suitcases, and other containers 
  • Openings in windows and doors
  • Places that can get damp, or are known to have leaks
  • Gardens, greenhouses, and wood piles
  • Places where food is commonly stored and made
  • Garbages, compost, recycling, and other waste storage inside and outside your home

If you live in an apartment building and continue to see signs of cockroaches, remember that roaches can travel easily through pipes and drains. Be sure to speak with your building manager if you find any signs of cockroaches. 

Remember that cockroaches can carry diseases in their feces, saliva, and bodies that can contain:

It’s important to immediately disinfect any affected areas you find them. Cockroaches are also known to even eat other cockroaches, so properly disposing them away from your home is also important if you kill one.  

2. Getting Rid of Cockroaches

Cockroaches love places with enough food, moisture, and heat for them to survive. This is why if you live somewhere with lots of heat, moisture, or humidity like Hawaii, you’re sure to find a few cockroaches. It’s important to always check for signs of cockroaches in places where they commonly reside. They’re particularly attracted to places with build-ups of dirt and grime. The first step in preventing and getting rid of cockroaches is by sealing entry points and eliminating anything that might attract cockroaches by:

  • Consistently keeping your home clean and free of crumbs
  • Storing food in air-tight containers
  • Using lids and sealed covers on all waste bins
  • Decluttering your home 
  • Eliminating all sources of excess moisture
  • Sealing cracks, crevices, and other entry points in your home’s foundation

Next, after you’ve eliminated any entry points and things that may attract pests, it’s time to add an extra layer of protection near former entry points and places they commonly nest. Dust a small layer of boric acid or diatomaceous earth (DE) in these areas. Be sure to take caution when using these products if you have small children or pets, as they can be harmful. If you’re worried about using these products in these entry ways, try sticky fly-traps!

3. Baiting Cockroaches

If you really want to get rid of cockroaches upon sight, attacking with bug spray won’t do much. Most experts recommend baiting roaches with a mixture of boric acid or DE with a food that will attract them like peanut butter. Combine:

  • 2 tbsp boric acid or DE
  • Peanut butter

Mix the two ingredients until it forms a paste. Spread the paste on a paper plate, piece of paper, or another container then place along places where you think cockroaches are entering. If you don’t find them dying-off from your bait, try adding more boric acid or DE to the mix. When you find out where they’re entering, thoroughly clean and inspect the area. 

Need Something a Little Stronger?

There are other retail products you can use if you find that also help kill cockroaches. Bifenthrin and permethrin products will attack the cockroach’s nervous system and will slowly kill them after ingestion. There are, however, limitations on what can be sold at the retail level and they can be dangerous to use. Always read and follow the label of any product you’re using. 

Preventing Future Infestations

Finally, remember to always keep your home as clean as possible, and free of dirt and clutter. If you really want to make sure cockroaches are killed and gone forever, call an exterminator to see what else they suggest for your infestation. Qualified exterminators also have the training and access to work with products that have higher levels of bifenthrin and permethrin. If you want to speak to an exterminator, call Pest Brigade to get hooked up with one of our partnered experts in your area at (833) 431-0401.