Cockroaches are one of the hardest pests to eliminate. They multiply quickly, can live in the most difficult conditions, and hide in places that are hard to reach or even see.
Regular cleaning can’t get rid of them, so what’s the best way to keep cockroaches out of your home?
In this article, we’ll look at the different pest control for cockroaches, and what you can do to prevent them from infesting your property. We’ll discuss:
- How cockroaches proliferate, and become a housekeeping problem
- Pros and cons of different pesticides for cockroaches
- When to call professional pest control services
Why do you have a cockroach problem?
Even a “clean” home can be infested with cockroaches. These hardy creatures enter a property through small cracks in walls, vents, drains, gaps in the doorways or air conditioning units, holes in screens.
Once they’re in your home, cockroaches will find a way to survive and thrive. They can live off even minimal food sources.
Even if you diligently remove crumbs and food scraps, they can eat cardboard and old books, soap, wallpaper paste, residue oil on ovens and kitchen counters, and uncapped toothpaste in your bathroom.
You can kill the cockroaches you see, but hundreds more are hiding in the shadows. They can proliferate in attics and basements, behind pictures or bookcases, trashbins, or forgotten areas of your garden.
Each of those cockroaches can lay hundreds of eggs, so killing one won’t make a dent in their population.
Types of cockroach control
Since cockroaches are a common household problem, you can find many different kinds of cockroach control products in your supermarkets or online stores. However, which product works better? Let’s dive into the pros and cons.
Your supermarket probably has an entire aisle dedicated to insecticide sprays. Some are “multi-insect killers” that can kill cockroaches as well as other insects like mosquitos and ants.
Others are dedicated “cockroach killers” that are specially formulated to target both cockroaches and their eggs.
Insecticide sprays are inexpensive, easy to find, and easy to use. You just have to spray them on areas that are most likely to attract pests.
Spraying once a week can help get rid of adult cockroaches, and thus lower the possibility that they lay eggs.
Sprays can only kill the cockroaches that you see. It does not remove the problem of eggs unless you’re able to spray the area where they nest. So, you will have to spray at least once a week to keep your home cockroach-free.
Many insecticides contain chemicals that have adverse effects on people and other pets. So, be sure to vacate a room before spraying, and cover any surfaces where you eat or things you usually touch.
Aerate the room after spraying to prevent nausea, headaches, and other side effects from exposure to toxins.
The biggest mistake is to concentrate sprays on counters and floors, since the insects are unlikely to crawl in areas that are well-lit and get a lot of foot traffic. Go for cabinets, underneath or behind furniture, and other hidden spots.
Also, look for spray insecticides may have long tubes that allow you to blast concentrated chemicals into drains or other areas where cockroaches can congregate.
Cockroach powders and dusts
Cockroach powders usually contain chemicals like boric acid and diatomaceous earth, which are clinically proven to kill these pests.
The powders cling to the cockroaches’ bodies. When it cleans itself, it ingests the powder and eventually dies.
Cockroach powders are less toxic to people and pests, because it is not easily inhaled like aerosol sprays. It can be applied to specific areas such as baseboards or cabinet doors, or other common “crawl areas”.
Powders are very concentrated, and can remain effective for several hours or days upon application. In this way, it is more ‘long-lasting” than aerosol sprays, whose chemicals will disperse unless the room is fully enclosed.
Powders have a smaller “effective radius” than aerosol sprays. You have to spot-apply them in areas where you expect cockroaches to appear, and then reapply every few days. This takes more time and effort.
Cockroaches are quite intelligent, and will smell and avoid heavy powder concentrations. So, it’s best to apply a light layer of powder using a hand duster.
Put the powder on cockroach “hot zones” such as the corners of cabinets, areas behind appliances like the stove and refrigerator, cracks and other openings in the floor and walls, hollow spaces underneath cabinet doors, or dark spaces behind sofas or book cases.
Don’t apply cockroach powders on countertops where you would normally place food, toys, or other common objects. Also make sure that it doesn’t get into the appliance, since it can damage components.
Cockroach traps and baits
You can buy cockroach traps from hardware stores, supermarkets, and online stores. These usually contain something that attracts cockroaches (like a strong-scented food) and a slow-acting insecticide.
The cockroaches eat the bait, and crawl away. Since the insecticide takes a longer time to take effect, the infected pests may transfer the toxin to other pests, or expel contaminated feces.
Cockroach baits can be placed in specific areas where there are a lot of cockroaches. They can be kept out of reach of children and other pets, and are unlikely to cause respiratory or allergic reactions.
You don’t have to empty the cabinet or boxes before placing cockroach baits or traps. They also don’t emit strong odors and pose no health dangers unless directly ingested.
If you are pregnant, or have respiratory problems like asthma, this is one of the safest methods of cockroach control.
Cockroach baits are a long-term solution that is best for preventing cockroach populations from growing.
It is unlikely to kill large cockroach populations at a time, especially since you can only place them in specific areas of the home.
And while baits and traps may seem inexpensive, bear in mind that you’ll have to buy several and place them in many areas of your home.
Install cockroach baits or traps in areas that inspect sprays or other fast-acting methods that can’t reach them.
For example, you can place them behind stoves and refrigerators, on bathroom counters, or behind a pile of boxes in a storage area.
You may also want to place them in attics, basements, guest rooms, garages and sheds, or any rooms get very little sunlight, and cockroaches love dark, moist places!
You can also strategically place them in cracks or areas that have a lot of fecal droppings.
Many traps have syringe applicators. Try to apply smaller, evenly placed dots instead of large, concentrated blobs.
The idea is to get the cockroaches to accidentally come in contact with the bait while it forages, so you want to achieve a large surface area and a thin layer that cockroaches won’t avoid.
Also, don’t mix baits with chemical sprays. Cockroaches will avoid the strong scent of cleansers or pesticides. Apply in areas where you can’t spray, or alternate baits with sprays.
Cockroach bombs and foggers
Nowadays, you can find pesticide foggers online or in home stores. These are essentially cans filled with concentrated pesticides. You press the tab to release a big burst of aerosol droplets that disperse into the air.
It has a fast (and rather dramatic) initial effect on cockroaches in the immediate area. You can use this in drains and small and enclosed places like attics or garages, or homes that have been empty for a long period of time.
Household foggers are dangerous and ineffective. The droplets don’t get into cracks or crevices where cockroaches are more likely to reside.
The high chemical concentrations can cause health problems and may stick to counters and other objects.
Furthermore, foggers have a very strong scent that insects will naturally avoid and cause them to scatter. You will only kill the pests that are in the immediate radius—and any pests that escape will return once the fog disperses.
Foggers use strong chemicals that can cause respiratory and skin problems. Only use foggers with the proper safety equipment.
Professional cockroach control services
Pest control professionals use industrial-grade insect repellants that can kill large cockroach populations and the eggs.
Some companies also offer subscription services, so new pest generations are killed off before they can propagate.
Professionals can also take the proper safety measures so people and pets are not unduly exposed to the chemicals.
They can also do property checks to identify problem spots where cockroaches are more likely to thrive.
By combining pest control services with preventative measures, you can prevent cockroaches from infesting your home.
Once the infestation is controlled, you can decrease the number of sessions while knowing that your home is cockroach-free.
Pest control professionals can also help prepare homes for a thorough cleaning before you move in or sell to a new owner.
With one just treatment, the property can be ready for occupancy—and guaranteed to be pest-free.
Alright, that’s it for this article, here are a few hand-selected articles that you might also find interesting reads:Cockroach in My Room Can’t Sleep – 7 Actions for Immediate Results
How to Identify a Cockroach (Easy Checklist)
11 Tips to Prevent American Cockroaches
Caterpillars are surely among the most fascinating members of the bug world, at least when it comes to the looks. They are so diverse, colorful, and pretty that it’s hard to believe. But...
Keeping insects as pets can be incredibly fun! While most bugs aren’t exactly cuddly, keeping them as pets lets us learn so much and get closer to the insect world. So why not give it a...