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How to get rid of roaches?

Cockroaches are gross, and we want to get rid of them as soon as possible. We even want to get rid of them overnight, but that’s not possible.

So you need to be very patient and need a proper strategy to get rid of roaches.

NOTE: This is a long-form article explaining all aspects of getting rid of cockroaches and preventing them in the future. Estimated Read Time: 12 mins.

Is knowing the type of roach important to get rid of them?

Generally speaking, there are a handful of roaches that will infest your homes, and knowing the type of roach is not super important.

To get rid of all types of cockroaches, you will need the same strategy. However, I will still summarize the main types of roaches here.

1. German Cockroach

The German roach is the most common roach you will encounter across homes in the USA and globally. These roaches love to infest homes. Everything inside a home makes it perfect for german roaches to breed and grow.

German roaches hide in tight spaces. Warm temperatures, ample supply of water/humidity, and food. They will eat anything, including decaying food, starch, glue, paper, etc.

German roach infestation typically starts from a kitchen and will lead to other parts of a home. They will infest electronic appliances like microwave oven, dishwasher, fridge, etc.

German roaches are tan-brown in color and small in size. Below are images of german roaches.

How to get rid of german roaches

2. Brown Banded Cockroach

Brown Banded cockroaches are pretty related to german roaches. They look identical, with the exception of two bands on their back.

These roaches also love to infest homes and are very hard to eliminate. These can be grown into big colonies if left unchecked.

Both German roach and Brown Banded roach have similar sizes and appearances. Below are images of the Brown-banded roach.

How to get rid of brown banded roaches

3. American Cockroach

American roaches are also known as palmetto bugs. These roaches typically do not infest homes but in bathrooms or kitchens via drain pipes.

They will infest homes in ideal conditions. You will encounter them in any part of your home as they come from the outside via unsealed entry points.

These roaches are pretty giant and can grow 2-3 inches long. Below are images of American roach for comparison.

How to get rid of american roaches

Other types of roaches you may encounter but won’t infest homes

Here are images of a few other roaches you may encounter but won’t infest homes. If they find shelter inside your home, you can get rid of them via the same measures.

Also, make sure you are not confusing some other type of an insect for roaches. Learn more: Bugs That Look Like Cockroaches

How to get rid of roaches

Why Natural Remedies Is not the Solution?

When you look out for getting rid of roaches, you will get many recommendations on using natural remedies to get rid of roaches.

However, the ultimate way to get rid of roaches is not to use these remedies.

The problem with these methods is that you will always be left with a few roaches here and there, which will restart an infestation after 6-8 months.

Yes, roaches need a lot of time to grow, lay eggs and start a colony. However, once a certain number is reached, they will start to grow exponentially.

So you will think that these roaches have re-appeared from somewhere else. But, instead, they are the offsprings of the same roaches you killed. Hmmm, they are back to take the revenge.

So, you will return back to the remedies and will be roach free for another few months. But, to completely get rid of roaches, you need to do it the way experts do!

The natural remedies are as follows with affectiveness.

MethodDuration to ActAdvantagesLimitations
Boric Acid Mix with Sugar or starch4-10 Days– Always works
– Easy homemade remedy
– Natural ingredients
Our Score: 7/10
– Time-consuming
– Need extra effort to make the mix
– A little messy
– Not 100% efficient
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)4-6 Days– Natural safe method to kill and repel roaches and insects
Our Score: 6/10
– Very time consuming
– A roach has to touch or bath in DE for effective results
Baking Soda2-4 Days– Safe method to kill roaches
Our Score: 3/10
– Not effective
Essential OilsAlmost Never kills a roach– Good to repel roaches
Our Score: 5/10
– Costly
– Messy
– Cockroaches get used to the smell of oils
– Never work on the already infected area
Borax Mix with Sugar or starch3-5 Days– Easy homemade remedy
– Natural ingredients
Our Score: 6/10
– Time-consuming
– Need extra effort to make the mix
– A little messy
– Unrefined form of boric acid
Vinegar3-5 Days– Natural ingredients
Our Score: 3/10
– Does not work alone
– Not a good killer, but a repellent
Bay & Eucalyptus Leaves, GarlicNever kills a roach– Good repellents
Our Score: 3/10
– Can not kill roaches
How to Get Rid of Roaches

How do exterminators get rid of roaches?

Here is how exterminators get rid of roaches, and you can do the same.

So there are two types of exterminators: the bad cheap ones and the good ones. But, first, I will tell you what an experienced exterminator will do to get rid of roaches.

Good Exterminator

So, a good exterminator will do the following in your home or apartment to get rid of roaches.

  1. Will analyse the level of infestation
  2. They may start with using traps to catch the free roaming roaches to clear the area
  3. Will apply Gel Baits in very small quantities in every possible hiding place
  4. Will apply powder baits behind appliances which are hard to reach
  5. Will use harmone regulator to limit roach growth
  6. Will analyse every possible entry point of roaches into your appartment or home and will seal it in next visit
  7. Will schedule a visit after 15-30 days to see the results

Bad Exterminator

An inexperienced exterminator will never be able to get rid of roaches. Following are the signs:

  1. Will ask you to take out everything from your kicthen, drawers etc.
  2. Will come with a cannister spray to contaminate every corner of your home, spraying on floors (where no roach will even come to visit)
  3. Will ask you to put everything back; which you must remove the after a few days when they revist
  4. You will find MANY dead roaches after the visit. You are happy, the exterminator is happy. You don’t see roaches anymore
  5. The roaches appear back after a few days, you call them again, and it goes on.

A Professional Roach Extermination Kit

  1. Max Force Glue Traps (Amazon Link)
  2. Advion Gel Baits (Amazon Link)
  3. Harris Powder Bait (Amazon Link)
  4. Gentrol Growth Regulator (Amazon Link)
  5. Loctite Foam Sealent (Amazon Link)

Optional Items

  1. Gel Bait Professional Gun (Amazon Link)
  2. Torch (Amazon Link)
  3. Powder Bait Puffer (Amazon Link)
  4. Insecticide Spray to kill a reveled colony in a single shot (Amazon Link)

Exterminators get rid of roaches by (With Pictures):

The steps a roach exterminator will use can depend on the level of infestation and where the infestation is. However, the overall process will be almost the same, which you can also follow to get rid of roaches without even using services from an exterminator or pest control company.

Step 1: An Exterminator will Identify the level of infestation

A roach exterminator will start with the identification of the level of infestation. The analysis will be carried out by looking at every bit of the property.

An exterminator will start with analyzing the level of infestation

Step 2: An Exterminator will use glue traps as an immediate remedy

If the level of infestation is high, an exterminator will use a glue trap to take care of the free-roaming roaches to clear the battlefield.

Recommended Glue Trap: Max Force Glue Traps (Amazon Link)

Sticky glue traps will remove all distractions to focus on the nests and hidden roaches. It’s easy to kill free-roaming roaches, but the trouble makers are already hiding.

An exterminator will place gel baits to take care of free moving roaches

Step 3: An Exterminator will apply Gel Baits – The ultimate way to get rid of roaches

Using baits is the most crucial step an exterminator will perform.

Gel baits are incredibly effective in eradicating roaches. A gel bait will attract a roach as a food source. Once the roach consumes it, it will die due to mixed insecticide.

Recommended Gel Bait: Advion Gel Baits (Amazon Link)

Once the roach goes back to its nest and dies due to the bait, other roaches will eat it as roaches are cannibalistic. The bait will cause a secondary kill. High-quality baits are effective till tertiary kill.

You can remove gel bait when it dries. It won’t stick where it’s applied. Usually, you should reapply after every three months.

Bait Rotation:

Expert exterminators use another concept is bait rotation. Bait rotation helps avoid roaches getting used to a single type of bait, so it’s a good idea to use gel bait from a different company.

Gel Bait from Maxforce is extremely popular and effective. (Amazon Link)

An exterminator will use gel baits for a long term remedy
An exterminator get rid of roaches with powder and gel baits

Step 4: An Exterminator will use powder bait in places where its hard to reach

Powder baits have the same chemistry as Gel baits. However, it’s in powder form. These baits come in handy for are places that are hard to reach.

Recommended Powder Bait: Harris Powder Bait (Amazon Link)

For example, behind wall panels, behind electrical appliances, etc., where roaches can hide.

In summary, the concept is to take the bait to the roach and not expect them to find it in the other corner of the room.

Interesting Read: Why do bugs die on their back?

An exterminator will use powder baits where its hard to reach

In reality, there is a competition going on, between the bait, and the other food sources availble to the roach. We have to increase the probability of a roach consuimg the bait.

Step 5: An exterminator will place a roach growth regulator

Now, this is a particular hormone releaser that controls the growth of roaches by messing up the molting cycle of a roach.

The regulator works for 3-4 months by releasing a hormone in the air that does not affect humans and pets but sends a signal to baby roaches NOT to shed their exoskeleton.

You should place the regulator somewhere hidden so no one would mess with it.

You can buy the regulator from Amazon here.

An exterminator will always use Gentrol insect regulator

Here is a fantastic success story of how effective this regulator is.

I am doing to try to make this short and to the point. So buy this product it will not disappoint. I had a brother and his family stay with me for a year, 2009 to be exact, and with their bedroom furniture, they brought roaches.

He moved out in 2010, but I spent years buying every roach spray, gel, fogger, fumigator, you name it. Nothing worked. I even moved out of the house for three days and fumigated once every day. But the roaches always came back.

I tried a pest control company for a year. I did not see a difference, so I let them go.

Then I found this product. In combination with the Gentrol Insect Growth Regulator liquid, I noticed deformed roaches within a week, noticed that roaches were no longer seen in bedrooms within 2 months.

Then six months later, during our covid isolation, my wife mentioned that she hadn’t seen a roach in a while. I confirmed. I found none in all the cabinets and usual roach hiding spaces. This was back in June. It is now almost November, and we have not seen a single roach in our house. Now 11 years later, my house is finally roach-free. I vouch for this product if you can’t tell by now.

An Amazon Review

Step 6: An exterminator will close all gaps

Closing all entry points which can bring in roaches is extremely important. Apartments typically share plumbing & electrical wiring conduits.

Those conduits are mostly left unsealed as they are hidden. The plumbing conduits are often shared between kitchens, and the gaps can reintroduce roaches from the next-door apartment if left open.

A good exterminator company will identify these openings and seal them to avoid reinfestation. An exterminator will use foam insulation to close the gaps.

You can buy multiple easy-to-use foam sealants from Amazon; however, Loctite TITE FOAM Insulating Foam Sealant is my favorite.

An exterminator will seal all gaps from where you are getting roaches

Step 7: An exterminator will schedule a re-vist

All of the steps discussed above will only take care of live roaches, won’t cater to those in eggs, and hatch for 50 days.

A good exterminator will schedule a visit after 30 days to look at newly hatched baby roaches and see progress.

It would help if you also take notes on what you see till the date of the next visit.

If you plan to do the extermination yourself, schedule a full-day event on your calendar to check on the situation after 30 days.

Step 8: An exterminator will provide consultancy on how to avoid re-infestation

A good exterminator will always guide you. They will be transparent about what they did and how you can do the same.

According to your situation, they will also tell you the do’s and don’ts to avoid a reinfestation.

Roaches are typically introduced from the outside. They can come with the packaging boxes you use when you move in, so always throw them away quickly.

You can have roaches from a used piece of furniture. You can also have roaches from the boxes you receive with your food from restaurants.

So you must be extra careful to avoid reinfestation of your home.

How to get rid of roaches without an exterminator?

So the steps mentioned above are what you need to do to get rid of roaches yourself. I have explained all these steps in detail in this article, and if you do accordingly, you won’t need an exterminator to do this. You can get rid of roaches without an exterminator and save a good amount of professional fees.

Other than saving money, you will learn a lot in eliminating the roaches, and these learnings will help avoid a reinfestation.

Signs roaches are dying

It’s normal to anxiously wait for quick results after you have completed treatment for roaches, but keep in mind roaches can not be removed overnight.

Roaches take months to infest a home, so it’s normal to take a few days to eliminate them.

Here are a few signs you should look for to ensure your treatment is working and roaches are dying.

  • Seeing more roaches after treatment is the first sign of roaches are dying. Roaches will become insane when they eat the gel baits and will loose their senses to come out of their nests.
  • You will encounter dead roaches quite frequently. The intensity of spotting dead roaches will increase and then fade out.
  • You will start seeing fewer roaches in the day time.
  • You will then start seeing very fewer roaches at night time.
  • The adult roaches will be gone after 10-15 days of treatment.
  • The misty roach smell will be gone after 20-30 days.
  • Baby roaches will appear after 10-20 days. You will be able to see them in day or night time. It’s normal to see them after treatment as the unhatched eggs will hatch out. You will be able to see the baby roaches for another 3-5 months. The IGR will not let them grow and they will eventually die.
  • You will be totally roach free after that, but it is advised to apply the gel bait again after 3 months and change the IGR patch.

How to get rid of cockroaches in kitchen cabinets?

Kitchen cabinets provide an excellent hiding place, a lot of food, warmth, and humidity for roaches to breed, thrive and reproduce. Therefore, finding cockroaches in kitchen cabinets is not uncommon.

However, roaches in kitchen cabinets should never be taken lightly because this is the key link between bacteria, allergen, and disease transmission from roaches to humans via utensils and foods.

Here is how to get rid of cockroaches in kitchen cabinets,

Step 1: Fix loose cabinet hinges or door closers

Before you try to get rid of roaches in kitchen cabinets, it’s important to fix any loose cabinet hinges or door closers. This will automatically prevent roaches from easily getting inside.

A cabinet with a loose hinge or door closers is 10x more likely to be infested with roaches than the one that remains closed.

Step 2: Close the gaps between doors of kitchen cabinets

After you fix the cabinet hinges, there will still be a gap between the cabinet door because of the hinge. Closing this gap with a masking tap will close all possible entry points.

You need to open the kitchen cabinet door and apply masking tape covering the door and side wood panel or wall.

Step 3: Cover the loose food items and factors that attract roaches

Kitchen cabinets are designed to keep food and other items that attract roaches. Therefore, if someone says to remove food items from kitchen cabinets, he is stupid.

However, you must cover the food item adequately in an air-tight container to prevent access of roaches to it. This will prevent roaches from thriving inside the kitchen.

Step 4: Kill roaches inside the Cabinets

After successfully closing all roach entry points, the next step is to kill roaches inside the cabinets. Use any of the following methods,

Method 1: Using cockroach killing insecticide sprays

This is the easiest and fastest method to get rid of cockroaches in kitchen cabinets. First, however, you need to remove utensils and food items from the cabinets to prevent poisoning.

The next step is to spray insecticide spray inside the cabinets generously and keep the cabinets closed for 20 minutes.

Ventilate the kitchen cabinets after 30 minutes and put back the items.

Method 2: Using roach gel baits

Roach gel bait is a more effective, long-lasting, and safe method to get rid of roaches inside the kitchen cabinets.

All you need to do is apply roach gel inside the corners, between the gaps of cabinet hinges and wait for the gel to work wonders.

The roach gel will effectively kill roaches within a few days and also prevent further infestation inside the cabinets for the next six months.

Method 3: Using Soapy Water to kill roaches inside kitchen cabinets

This method is easy and safe but has the drawback of reinfestation after a few days.

However, a mixture of 3 parts water and 2 parts dish soap or washing powder will kill the roaches by plugging the respiratory opening and choking them to death. All you need to do is spray the soapy water onto the roaches and wait for a few minutes.

Step 5: Destroy cockroach eggs inside the cabinets

Killing the cockroaches inside the kitchen cabinets does not necessarily mean that you have destroyed the roach eggs too. Therefore, it is possible to see roaches inside the kitchen cabinets after a few months or days.

It means that you must destroy cockroach eggs by sprinkling a few pints of boric acid inside the cabinets to destroy cockroach eggs. Alternatively, you can also use IGR devices to prevent baby roaches from maturing into adults.

Step 6: Use Natural roach repellents

After you are done with getting rid of roaches inside kitchen cabinets, use natural roach repellents such as peppermint oil, bay leaves, or neem oil to keep roaches at bay.

Mix a few drops of essential oil in water and regularly spray it inside the cabinets to get the best results.

Additional Read:

  1. Cockroaches Smear Marks
  2. How to find a cockroach Nest?
  3. How long does a palmetto bug live?

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