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Killing Cockroaches For Good

How To Get Rid of Cockroaches Forever

Cockroaches have been around practically since the beginning of civilization. While the majority of cockroach species prefer to live out in the wilderness and away from humans, there remains a number of cockroach species that have adapted to have a preference of living amongst us. They get into our homes, rest in our belongings and eat the food we leave behind.

Recommended Reads: Cockroaches the Ultimate Guide

The frustrating part about cockroaches is that once they have targeted an area (your home) to set up their nest, they can be extremely hard to get rid of. This is because they are constantly reproducing and multiplying in number to where their population is among hundreds and thousands. There are tons of products and roach killers out there that claim to get rid of cockroaches forever, but more often than not, they just keep coming back! So is there a way to get rid of cockroaches forever? Being that they were here long before dinosaurs and will be here long after us, that may be impossible. However, if you carry out a solid cockroach control program to exterminate the population and then keep up with solid proven preventative measures, it is possible to get rid of cockroaches from your dwelling place and keep them gone. The process starts with a little bit of education about cockroaches to learn their tendencies, strengths and weaknesses.

The Most Common Cockroach Species

As mentioned earlier, the majority of cockroach species—of which there are over 4,500 discovered species found worldwide—prefer to live in the wild as their natural habitat. They have everything they need to live and survive in jungles, forests and fields far, far, away from humans. Only about 24 of these species are considered a pest to humans. An even smaller number of four are the biggest pests because over the years of human civilization, these pests have adapted to enjoy being close to humans and living in our man-made dwellings. These species are:
  • German cockroach
  • American cockroach
  • Brown-banded cockroach
  • Oriental cockroach

Why Do They Love Us? These most common cockroaches love us humans and where we live because we provide them the essentials they need for survival. Cockroaches live very simple lives; all they need is food, water and shelter. Unfortunately for us, our homes deliver to them plenty of warm cozy resting places and with our kitchens and pantries full of food and the plumbing, toilets, showers, and sinks, we give them easy access to water. We supply instant gratification for them with little work. Cockroaches are smarter than we tend to give them credit for because these cockroach species decided, “Why fend for ourselves out in the wild when we can live a life of luxury with these humans?” And so that is exactly what they do.

Identifying the Cockroach Species Plaguing You

Knowing which cockroach species is scurrying around in your home is helpful in your quest to get rid of them. Different species of roach have their own special food preferences, dwelling preferences and habits. This information cannot be known unless you do your homework on the different types of cockroach and then closely observe a cockroach you find to determine their species. One of the easiest ways to figure out what species you may be dealing with is by laying out insect monitoring glue traps. These are tiny traps made from cardboard and carry a strong glue that will capture a roach and make it so they won’t be able to wriggle free. Depending on the trap you purchase, they may even contain cockroach pheromones or attractants that will lure the roach so they are captured quickly. Otherwise, you could sprinkle some food crumbs onto the trap to try to lure the cockroach over.

Recommended Read: What are the Different Types of Cockroaches?

Placement of your glue trap is crucial as you shouldn’t just choose any random spot to place the trap down and hope cockroaches crawl over it. You need to identify areas where your have seen roach activity and place them there such as in cabinets, near appliances or along baseboards.

Recommended Read: German Cockroach: How to Identify Them

Once a few roaches have been captured, you can pick up the monitor and closely observe the roach and its features. Compare the roach’s physical traits with images of the common cockroach species we have discussed and then educate yourself about the specific cockroach species (there’s a plethora of detailed information found online) and then you will know what cockroach you are up against and are better equipped with the right knowledge to get rid of them.

Eliminating Cockroaches Starts with Sanitation

You may be tempted once you have identified your specific cockroach problem to hastily move ahead with buying cockroach killing chemicals and sprays. This is not wise to do because the most important preliminary action is to do a thorough, deep cleaning of your home. No amount of cockroach pesticides will eliminate an infestation for long if your home is unclean. This is important because you need to cut off the cockroaches access to food and water in your home as much as you possibly can. With no food or water to consume, cockroaches will become desperate and eat just about anything (and that’s when bait comes into play). To-dos to eliminate food sources:
  • Wash and dry dirty dishes every night (don’t let them stack up or stay uncleaned overnight).
  • Keep all food covered in sealed containers and reducing clutter in your cabinets and pantries.
  • Sweep and vacuum daily and wipe down counters of crumbs, grease and oils.
  • Clean out appliances that accumulate food (microwaves, toasters, ovens etc).
  • Keep garbage in sealed containers that close tightly.
  • Take out the trash every day.
To-dos to eliminate water sources:
  • Address all plumbing leaks around the home (drips, fixtures etc.)
  • Dry off wet sinks, kitchen counters, bathroom areas nightly before bed.
  • Empty and dry out any pet bowls before bed.
  • Clean up any moisture spills and dry thoroughly.

Doing all the following above is no easy task and keeping up with it can take a lot of time but if you want no more roaches to deal with, this is what needs to be done so try to be as consistent as you can.

The Best Options To Get Rid Of Cockroach Infestations

Once you have done a detailed cleanup, you can then apply cockroach killing products. Now, there are a lot of options out there for killing cockroaches. Some are effective while others are home remedies that can lead to disappointing results. Below we will share with you what will deliver the most satisfying outcome of dead cockroaches.

Professional Quality Cockroach Pesticides

If you have ever hired a pest control exterminator in the past, have you ever wondered what they use to conduct an extermination? You may be surprised to find out that most of the products they use are readily available to the public and don’t require any license or certification to apply in your home.

Recommended Read: How to Kill Cockroaches

Professional pesticide concentrates are much stronger than what you would find in the pest control aisle of your local department store. All you need to do is dilute the product in water inside a sprayer and apply to the areas where the cockroaches have been active. The cockroaches which ingest or come into contact with these insecticides die shortly thereafter. Spray all the areas of cockroach activity, making sure not to skip any over and follow the safety directions carefully and you could see a significant dent to the cockroach population.

Dust Cockroaches with Boric Acid or Diatomaceous Earth

While liquid concentrates are effective, there are places where cockroaches hide that applying liquid sprays will not be safe or will not reach the pests. This is where Boric Acid and Diatomaceous Earth comes into play. Boric Acid and Diatomaceous Earth come is dust or powder form and thus they can be safely applied in areas where liquids cannot go and where cockroaches hide such as around electronics, in cracks and voids in the walls or cabinets and other hard-to-reach areas. Best of all, Boric Acid are natural and non-toxic. They are only dangerous to pests, not to us. Dust powders like Boric Acid or Diatomaceous Earth work like shards of glass, cutting open the cockroaches exoskeleton so they dry out or die from dehydration. Using a handheld duster, you can lightly puff the dust in those hard to reach areas and as long as the product doesn’t get wet, it can remain effective for a long time and kill cockroaches that come into contact with it.

Cockroach Baiting

Among the most effective methods of cockroach control after sanitation has occurred is the use of cockroach baits. Cockroach baits usually come in the form of gels that contain food grade attractants (sugars, protein etc.) that cockroaches enjoy eating as well as a slow-killing poison that the cockroach will not suspect when consuming the bait. With food sources all depleted from a good cleanup and the little beads of bait being all they find, cockroaches will desperately eat the bait and alert others in their nest to do the same. Cockroaches that eat the bait will leave droppings that contain the bait in their feces (which baby roaches eat!) Cockroaches eat their own feces and will even eat other dead roaches. So ideally this consumption of poisoned poop and poisoned roach carcasses that they’ll eat will lead to a domino effect and a lot of cockroaches dying as a result of the bait.

Insect Growth Regulators (IGR)

While the products mentioned so far deal with adult roaches and young nymph roaches, what about the many cockroach eggs that are waiting to hatch? You can kill roaches with pesticides but you’ll just have another generation to tackle because of how quickly and often roaches reproduce. Insect Growth Regulators address the awaiting generation of cockroaches by making it so the infestation doesn’t continue to grow and develop. IGRs are hormones that serve as a sort of birth control for roaches. Wherever applied, the IGR makes it so cockroach eggs do not hatch and that juvenile cockroaches don’t develop into adults and start making babies of their own. Using IGRs is highly encouraged to use alongside adult roach killing pesticides in order to eliminate the entire life cycle of cockroaches on your property. 

The End of Roaches

While getting rid of cockroaches forever is not realistic in this world, it can be attainable in your home at least if you make sure to keep your home clean and use effective cockroach control products that are proven to work. Consistency and diligence is key for long-time cockroach control however as you can not expect for roaches to be all gone just from one application. If you have a serious infestation, regular cleanups combined with repeated applications of cockroach pesticides, baits and insect growth regulators will need to happen for the cockroach population to be totally wiped out. Once that is done, you can use the same products and continue to regularly clean up to remove food and water sources as a preventative measure to keep cockroaches from reestablishing.