How To Get Rid of Cockroaches

dead cockroaches

Cockroaches are both annoying and dangerous. Cockroach killing is important to avoid the transmission of diseases and bacteria in the home. Learn how to kill cockroaches effectively, and keep them from returning, using a few simple DIY tactics.


Many homeowners launch their cockroach-control operations utilizing commercial or homemade traps. You can make simple cockroach traps from 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. Place traps in dark spaces under cabinets and refrigerators, and around trash cans or other food sources.

These traps may be useful 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.

If your DIY methods of cockroach killing are less than successful, hire a pest control professional for a safe, efficient solution to the problem.

Steve Graham writes for

Updated August 16, 2018.

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