How To Get Rid of Cockroaches

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Jan 01, 2011
dead cockroaches

Cockroaches are both annoying and dangerous. Cockroach killing is important to avoid the transmission of diseases and bacteria in the home. Of course, professional fumigators know how to kill cockroaches, but the process can be expensive and some chemicals raise as many health worries as the cockroaches. Learn how to kill cockroaches, and keep them fromreturning, with a few simple DIY tactics.


Many homeowners launch their cockroach operations with commercial or homemade traps. Simple homemade traps consist of empty food jars with a thin film of petroleum jelly around the inside lip, and a piece of beer-soaked bread or other smelly food morsel in the bottom. Traps should be placed in dark spaces under cabinets and refrigerators, and around trash cans or other food sources.

These traps may be effective for cockroach killing on a small scale. However, if you need to know how to kill cockroaches that are already mounting a serious infestation, you probably cannot avoid chemical pesticides.


Baits also lure the bugs with food, but they are mixed with poisons for more efficient cockroach killing, making the cockroaches less likely to escape. Baits are available as pastes, gels and dusts. Bait stations are easy to use and popular among parents and pet owners who know how to kill cockroaches safely but effectively.


Another tip for how to kill cockroaches safely is to consider newer hormonal insect growth regulators, which are not toxic to humans or other mammals. They sterilize the insects but do not immediately kill them, so they are a long-term solution typically used in conjunction with other cockroach-killing methods.


Of course, starvation is another method of cockroach killing that can prevent the return of the roaches. Some cockroaches can live for 42 days with only water, and they only need tiny amounts of food residue to thrive. The most important step is removing water sources. Tighten loose pipes, stop leaks and wipe out standing water in bathtubs or sinks.

Keep all dining room and kitchen surfaces clean, and keep all trash sealed and regularly emptied. Also keep in mind that an adult cockroach can squeeze through a 1/16th-inch crack. Seal all cracks and gaps around the home, and remove boxes, paper bags and other bits of clutter that make nice, dark cockroach homes.

Finally, skip the expensive ultrasonic devices that "scream away" bugs. They have been proven ineffective in cockroach killing.

Author Steve Graham is an expert on green building who writes for several homeimprovement publications. He's full of great, practical home improvement answers, and incidentally, he's pretty funny — so send him a message.

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