Cockroaches are difficult pests to get rid of because of how adaptable they are. Urban myths about their ability to survive nuclear explosions often only increase this anxiety in many homeowners’ minds. And while it’s true that they can survive for long periods of time without food or water, it is possible to eradicate them. Here are some methods that people often use to get rid of cockroaches.

How to Prevent Cockroaches

Preventative maintenance can often be considered a form of passive pest treatment. While it’s true that cockroaches will infest anywhere that has accessible water and food sources, keeping them away from your home or business isn’t that difficult. Cockroaches are called a “filth pest” because they are attracted to waste and decomposition. So they will be less likely to infest a clean and sanitary location. While there are some differences in behavior depending on what species of roach you’re dealing with, you can take measures that are generally effective for the most common varieties.

Here are some steps you can take to prevent cockroaches.

Dispose of Trash

Cockroaches love to crawl through trash, and they’re often found in dumpsters or inside large trash cans searching for food scraps. Cockroaches can pick up and transmit many harmful diseases, so avoiding an outbreak is vital. One of the best ways to prevent cockroaches from getting near or inside your home is to regularly dispose of all forms of trash and waste that can attract roaches. Keep trash cans with closable lids in your kitchen, and regularly take trash loads to the dump or to the curb for pickup. If cockroaches are allowed to get into trash, they will breed rapidly and cause bigger problems.

Clean the Kitchen

Since the kitchen is one of the most common places to find cockroaches, it’s a good idea to regularly clean off and sanitize all surfaces and regularly clean dirty dishes. With this done, no food will remain in the area to attract cockroaches, and sanitation will also repel them. Also, make sure any food in cabinets is sealed in plastic or glass containers so cockroaches can’t detect it. Keep places that are dark and out of sight (i.e. the backs of cabinets, the underpart of the kitchen sink, and behind the refrigerator) as free of debris and moisture as possible.

Protect the Pantry

Cockroaches often show up in pantries if food is improperly stored. They can get into food ingredients and dry food, and they’ll even eat pet food if it’s available. Plus, pantries are often left closed and dark, which means cockroaches will be more drawn to them as hiding places. Make sure to store food and any other vulnerable items on shelves off the ground and in properly sealed containers so cockroaches won’t be attracted to them.

Clean the Bathroom

To a cockroach, a bathroom is just as good of an infestation spot as any. Bathrooms have sinks and cabinets like kitchens do, plus an added water source in the form of bathtubs. Furthermore, since cockroaches will eat soap, shampoo, and many other substances found in bathrooms, it’s common to find them here. To prevent this, make sure your bathroom stays as clean, dry, and disinfected as possible.

Do Home Maintenance

Cockroaches can squeeze through tiny cracks and holes and are known to enter homes through tubing and piping. There are many household maintenance tasks you can do to prevent this:

  • Seal any and all gaps and crevices in foundations and pipe entrances with caulk
  • Repair any damaged or broken areas of windows and doors
  • Make sure to also keep basements and crawl spaces clean, moisture-free, and well-ventilated
  • Keep gutters and downspouts clear of twigs, leaves, debris, and standing water
  • Address any plumbing issues, including leaky pipes
  • Keep mulch and wood piles away from the foundation of your home
  • Properly dispose of yard waste and empty outdoor trash cans frequently

Beyond these tasks, regular indoor home cleaning can also play a major role in keeping your home roach-free. Regularly mop, sweep, dust, vacuum, disinfect, and declutter. Wash rugs, and keep air vents clean. The drier and cleaner your home is, the less likely cockroaches are to take up residence.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

While preventative efforts can help you keep roaches out, even your best efforts may not be enough to avoid an infestation. If you find you have a cockroach problem, a natural first step is to try to get rid of roaches yourself. But do these methods work?

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Cockroach Traps

The idea of cockroach traps is quite similar to that of any other pest trap. Cockroach traps use bait stations to attract cockroaches and then trap them with a sticky substance that prevents them from moving. Other traps use a toxic pesticide substance that kills them. Many of these kinds of sticky traps can be found in hardware and department stores. However, the problem with them is that they are not thorough. They will only catch a few cockroaches at a time and will not eradicate them at their source. They may assist in getting rid of some cockroaches, but they are unlikely to solve your cockroach issue.

Diatomaceous Earth

Many people who use DIY pest control techniques turn to different home remedies like store-bought insecticides and powders to treat a roach infestation, such as diatomaceous earth. These treatment methods work under the assumption that the substance will injure or poison cockroaches because of the powders’ sticky or abrasive properties. In some scenarios, these solutions have been shown to work. However, there are still many risks, and like store-bought traps, they only have a localized effect and may only kill roaches one or two at a time. Plus, if you have pets or children in your home, laying out a powder trap could be dangerous.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is another popular DIY solution for getting rid of cockroaches. This white, odorless powder acts as a potent insecticide that disrupts the digestive and exoskeletal systems of cockroaches. When applied strategically in areas where cockroaches frequent, such as behind appliances, in cracks and crevices, and along baseboards, boric acid can work its magic. Cockroaches unknowingly ingest the powder as they groom themselves or walk through treated areas, leading to their eventual demise. In order for boric acid to work correctly, it needs to be applied in the right locations.

Bug Bombs

Bug bombs, or foggers, are often considered a quick solution for treating cockroach infestations, but they come with significant drawbacks and potential dangers. These products release a cloud of insecticidal aerosol that is meant to disperse throughout the room. However, there are several reasons why bug bombs are generally ineffective in tackling cockroach infestations. First, cockroaches are excellent at hiding in cracks, crevices, and inaccessible areas, often escaping the fog’s reach. Second, many cockroach species have developed resistance to commonly used insecticides found in these products. Furthermore, while these gases work well on adult cockroaches, the fog may not penetrate the cockroaches’ protective egg cases, allowing them to survive and continue breeding.

Also, bug bombs can be dangerous due to their toxicity and flammability. When used incorrectly, they pose health risks to humans and pets, and their improper deployment can lead to fires or explosions. In most cases, a more targeted and professional approach to cockroach control, like baiting and sealing entry points, is a safer and more effective choice to address infestations.

How Do Pest Control Professionals Address Roaches?

Whether you have German cockroaches or brown-banded cockroaches, a professional exterminator will be equipped to address an infestation. To start, an inspector will evaluate the affected area to identify the species of cockroaches present and assess the extent of the infestation. This step is critical in determining the most effective treatment strategy. Next, they devise a customized plan, taking into account factors like the severity of the infestation, the type of cockroach, and the environment in which they are found.

From there, a technician will use a variety of cockroach baits, insecticides, and insect growth regulators, to lure and eliminate roaches. No two situations are the same, but a trained professional will know what tactics to incorporate to handle your infestation effectively and completely.

Dodson Pest Control Cockroach Solutions

At Dodson Pest Control, we are skilled at getting rid of insect pests such as cockroaches. With over 75 years of experience in the pest control business, we have the training and techniques necessary to eliminate your cockroach infestation at the source and prevent it from returning. We offer free inspections, and we will work with you to create a treatment plan that meets your needs to help you get rid of roaches.

Contact us today!