How To Eliminate Roaches From Your Home

A Homeowner’s Ultimate Guide

This is the only cockroach elimination guide you’d ever need for the rest of your life.

This isn’t one of those guides that tells you to use aerosol spray or boric acid to get rid of roaches. It’s much more than that.

It goes deeper into roaches’ behavior, types, whys, and how’s of roach infestation. 

When you’re through reading this post, you’ll know –

  • Types of cockroaches that infest your homes.
  • How to find out the places where roaches hide.
  • The signs of roach infestation.
  • A three-tier strategy to get rid of roaches.
  • The grave health risks that cockroaches bring.
  • And one hidden secret that only pro pest controllers know to get rid of roaches. 

Let’s get started.

Cockroach Basics – Know Your Enemy

In this section, you’d know what types of cockroaches invade your home. Knowing the type is crucial because it’ll help you determine roach behavior and, most importantly, their hiding places.

If you’ve spotted roaches in your home, your first job should be to determine the type of cockroach infesting your home. Because knowing which species of roaches have infested your home is like winning half the battle against roaches.

There are about 3500 cockroach species in the world. In the US, four species of roaches invade homes.

These four roach species are –

  • American Cockroaches
  • German Cockroaches
  • Oriental Cockroaches
  • Brown-banded cockroaches

You can’t determine which one of these is infesting in your home only based on the signs of infestation. 

It’s because all the four roaches display the same signs of infestation, which you’ll find out later.

But you can determine the type of roach based on how they look and where they hide. Expert roach exterminators can also figure out the kind of roach based on its poop. 

So, how can you identify which roach has infested your home? 

Before you get into that, you need to know a roach’s anatomy (so you don’t confuse another bug with a roach) and the roaches’ life cycle. 

Cockroach Anatomy And Life Cycle

All types of cockroaches have the same life cycle – eggs, nymphs, adults.

Cockroach Life Cycle
Cockroach Life Cycle

The difference lies in the number of times the baby roaches shed their skin before they reach adulthood.

A cockroach’s life cycle plays a critical role in the severity of infestation. The more often a roach lays eggs, the quicker they’ll spread in your home.

For example, German cockroaches produce more offspring, and hence German roach infestation grows fast. 

On the other hand, oriental roaches produce fewer babies, and the severity of oriental roach infestation is lower. 

Baby cockroaches are known as nymphs. These nymphs hatch out from the eggs laid by female roaches.

As the nymph grows, it sheds its skin. This process of shedding skin is known as molting. 

Nymphs shed their skin to accommodate their growing exoskeleton. After each molt, the subsequent nymph is larger than the previous one.

After molting the nymphs are white. When people see white roaches in their home they think it’s a different roach species.

They term it as albino roaches. The truth is that there’s no roach species that are white.

White roaches gain their original color back after a few days when the skin pigmentation starts.

The nymphs of each of the four domestic roaches molt a different number of times before they reach adulthood. 

We’ll look into it in a minute. 

But for now, let’s focus on how to identify the roaches based on their features.

There are three critical parts of a roach’s anatomy – head, thorax, and abdomen.

Cockroach Anatomy
Cockroach Anatomy

Head – Each of the four types of roaches has a different head shape and identifiers, like the spots on the side of the heads of American and German roaches.

The mouth is at the forefront of the head. The mouth has chewing parts that cockroaches use to scrape off food too large for them to swallow.

Two eyes mount the head, but roaches have poor vision. The only thing that they can do with their eyes is to figure out darkness and brightness. 

A pair of antenna mounts a roach’s head. Cockroaches use antennae for all sensory activities like detecting odors and vibrations.

Thorax – The thorax, which forms the entire upper back of the cockroach, has three pairs of legs. 

The wings of the adult roaches rest on the thorax.

Oriental cockroaches’ have poorly developed wings, so they can’t fly. To escape a predator, oriental cockroaches prefer to run rather than flying. 

However, most cockroach species can crawl on the ceilings or the walls.

A plate, known as pronotum, covers the thorax and bridges the thorax and the head. The pronotum also has color patterns that help you to determine the cockroach species.

Abdomen – The abdomen of the cockroach has reproductive and digestive systems. 

The abdomen holds the egg cases till the female roaches lay them. 

In oriental roaches, the abdomen is slightly visible because of underdeveloped wings. However, wings on the other roach species cover the abdomen. 

At the bottom end of the abdomen, there’s a pair of tiny antennae, which is known as cerci. 

Roaches use cerci to sense vibrations in the air and on the ground. Whenever roaches feel any vibration on the floor, the cerci senses it and makes the roach run. 

Now you know why roaches start to run even if you’re quite a few feet away from them. 

But roaches don’t use cerci to sense smell. Roaches can smell only through their antennae mounted on their head.

Identifying Cockroaches

Now that you’ve got an idea about roach’s anatomy, let’s find how you can identify the roach species infesting your home.

You’ll also find out the number of times nymphs of each roach species molt and their most common hiding places depending. 

Knowing their hiding places will put you miles ahead of these roaches when you’re in the process of eliminating them. 

Let’s find them out.

American Cockroaches

American Cockroach

More common in the south of the US than in the north, American cockroaches thrive in warm weather. 


American roaches are the biggest among the four types of roaches. A full-grown adult American cockroach is 1.5 inches in length.

American roaches are reddish-brown with developed wings covering their entire body, including the abdomen. 

The wings of the male American roach extend a bit beyond the abdomen. In contrast, the wings of the female American roach are the same length as the abdomen. 

The thorax and the wingtips of the American roaches are yellowish. It’s an essential distinguisher of American roaches from other roaches.

In Florida, American cockroaches are also known as Palmetto Bugs.

Life Cycle

All roaches lay eggs in cases. It means that roaches will lay egg cases, which will contain a certain number of eggs. 

The egg cases, known as ootheca, have a hard shell that protects the eggs inside.

A female American cockroach will lay one egg case every month for ten odd months. Each egg case will contain 14-16 eggs. 

She carries the eggs in her abdomen for up to six days before laying them in a safe and sheltered area.

The female American cockroach uses secretions from her mouth to glue the egg cases on a hard hidden surface.

The eggs take six weeks to hatch before the nymphs come out. These nymphs will undergo 13 molts in the next 18 months before they turn into a mature adult. 

Adult American roaches survive the longest in warm conditions. The average estimated lifespan of an adult American roach under warm conditions is 15 months. 

Common Hiding Places

American roaches prefer warm places with high humidity. 

The most unusual place where American roaches nest is the sewer drains. That’s the reason that these roaches are also known as sewer roaches

You’d also find them in commercial places like restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, and butcher shops. 

Strangely, fermented liquids attract American roaches. Many bars and restaurant owners have observed American roaches inside partially empty beer bottles.

If you want to lure American roaches out of hiding, soak a piece of bread or cookie with beer and keep it in a tight corner.

Inside your home, here are the most common places where American roaches hide –

  • Boiler rooms
  • Heated steam tunnels
  • Basements
  • Around water heaters
  • Crawl spaces
  • Sewer drains
  • Undersides of metal covers
  • Inside the plumbing area in bathroom vanities
  • Underneath the sinks of the kitchen and bathroom
  • Laundry room

Whereas outdoors, American roaches prefer to live in moist and decaying organic matter. In your yard, you’d find American roaches and wood roaches living in rotting foliage, mulch, and firewood. 

American roaches also dwell in the trash. So, finding them in sanitary landfills or inside trash bins is normal. 

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental Cockroach

Oriental cockroaches are the most common across the US. They’re very quick on the floor, and they’re smaller than American roaches.


Dark brown, to the extent of looking black, oriental roaches have a distinctive sheen on their body that differentiates them from other home-invading roaches.

A full-grown adult oriental roach measures 1 inch in length. 

The females have a pair of weakly developed wings that are barely visible. The male oriental roaches have wings that cover only three-quarters of their back. 

Both the male and female oriental roaches have visible abdomens because of their small wing size.

Because of the smaller wing size, the oriental roaches can’t fly. However, they’re fast crawlers. 

Life Cycle

A female oriental roach will lay eight egg cases. Each egg case will contain 14-16 eggs. 

When the eggs fully mature in the abdomen of the female oriental cockroach, she carries them inside her for 30 hours before laying them in a sheltered space.

Unlike American roaches, oriental roaches don’t protect their egg cases with secretion. 

That makes the eggs susceptible to fungus. Adult oriental roaches can also eat the egg cases if there’s a shortage of food.

At room temperature, the egg case will take two months to hatch. 

The oriental cockroach nymphs will molt seven to ten times in the span of 6 to 30 months before they become a full-grown adult.

The average lifespan of an adult oriental cockroach is 7 months. At this time, a female oriental roach can produce 200 nymphs. 

The oriental roach infestation hits its peak during late spring and early summer. By late summer, their numbers decline as they die on their own. 

Common Hiding Places

Oriental roaches prefer infesting places with high humidity and moistness. That’s why in many states across the US, people call them waterbugs.

The main difference between oriental roaches and the three other roach species is that oriental roaches can live outdoors in cold climates. 

Outdoors, oriental roaches hide in places where organic matters like mulch, firewood, foliage between soil and the home’s foundation, underneath patio bricks, and sidewalks.

During the summer season, when the temperature outdoors is at its peak, oriental roaches move indoors to escape the heat. 

Indoors, they hide in cool and damp locations like basements, bathrooms, and floor drains.

Brown-Banded Cockroaches

Brown-banded Cockroach

Smaller than both American and oriental roaches, and given its unique features, you can quickly identify a brown-banded cockroach. 


Only 0.5 inches long, adult brown-banded cockroaches are light brown.

You can quickly identify a brown-banded cockroach with its visible dark brown bands on its back. It has a scaly back

The female adults are shorter than the males, and their wings don’t cover their entire abdomen. 

However, they’ve well-formed wings. Brown-banded cockroaches can fly quite a distance when they’re poked or disturbed.

Life Cycle

During her lifetime of 6 months, an adult female brown-banded cockroach produces 14 egg cases, with each egg case containing 13 eggs. 

The female brown-banded cockroach carries the egg cases in her abdomen for 30 hours before laying them on dry and hard-to-reach places.

Like the American roaches, the brown-banded cockroaches use secretions to stick their eggs on the hard surfaces.

However, that gluey secretion attracts fungus infection on the eggs, contributing to a lower hatch rate.

That causes a lower infestation rate. But female brown-banded roaches lay eggs every month till they’re alive.

So, even with a low hatch rate, infestation levels can spike up if you don’t use control measures. 

The eggs take 50 days to hatch. The nymphs molt six to eight times in six months before they develop into a full-grown adult. 

Common Hiding Places

Brown-banded cockroaches’ hiding places are e different from the rest of the three types of roaches on the list.

Brown-banded roaches don’t infest moist and damp places. They infest places that are dry and warm. 

They don’t need as much water as the rest of the roaches to sustain themselves. 

That’s why their hiding places are high off the ground, on areas at your eye level. 

So, places like kitchen cabinets, closet shelves, behind picture frames, warm areas in electrical appliances, behind TV sets are common hiding places of brown-banded roaches.

You’d also find them hiding in the cracks on the ceiling than on the floor. Their preference to avoid damp places makes them hard to spot and hence, at times, hard to get rid of.

German Cockroaches

German Cockroach

Of all the roaches on the list, the biggest nuisance is the German roaches. They spread fast, breed rapidly, and when the infestation increases, they seem to be everywhere.


Adult German roaches are half an inch in length, and they’re tan to light brown. 

Fully developed wings cover the entire back of German roaches, including the abdomen. Despite having fully developed wings, both male and female German roaches can’t fly.

You can identify a German roach by its small size and by two dark parallel lines running from the back of the head to the wings.

Life Cycle

Of all the domestic roaches, German roaches breed the fastest. Infestation can easily double within months when they go unchecked.

Adult female German roaches produce six to eight egg cases in her entire lifetime of 30 weeks.

Each of these six to eight cases contains a whopping 48 eggs. 

The worst part is adult female German roaches carry the egg cases in their abdomen until 24 hours before hatching.

So, that means the egg cases don’t face the risk of a fungi infection and predators like the egg cases of other roaches do. Hence, higher hatch rates or a more significant number of nymphs.

The nymphs molt six to seven times in the span of 8 to 31 weeks before they turn into a mature adult ready to mate.

Under normal temperature and weather conditions, infestation levels in a home can grow anywhere between 10,000 and 100,000 German roaches in a year.

Common Hiding Places

German cockroaches can infest both dry and humid places.

However, they’ve a preference of hiding in dry places because they don’t need much of moisture to survive like the other roach species do.

So, that makes them more likely to infest places like storage section in kitchen like kitchen cabinets, pantry shelves, and cupboards.

German roaches in cars and garage also quite common if they’re cluttered and dirty.

Cockroaches mark these porous surfaces with an aggregation pheromone found in their feces. A pheromone is a chemical produced by one cockroach which affects the behavior of others. 

This aggregation pheromone attracts other cockroaches, especially the nymphs, which usually stay in these hidden places until they turn into adults. 

These nymphs don’t venture out for food because they feed on the feces of the adults

If German roaches don’t find porous surfaces to hide, they can hide between the cracks on hard surfaces.

Some examples of hiding places on hard surfaces are cracks and crevices on countertops, wooden cabinets, and voids in walls and ceilings. 

Gaps in electrical appliances like at the back of the refrigerator, dishwashers, stoves, washers, and dryers also provide harborage to German roaches. 

German cockroaches have high water requirements, and you’re most likely to find them infesting kitchens and bathrooms. 

If food, water, and shelter are available, the population of German roaches increases rapidly.

How Do You Get Cockroaches?

There’s a wrong belief that cockroaches are common in dirty or cramped-up homes. Cockroaches infest homes of all ethnic groups and economic classes without any discrimination. 

The swankiest of homes with standard five-star housekeeping can have a massive roach infestation. In contrast, a 100 sq ft apartment can have no roaches at all. 

But the fact is that a clean home with appropriate hygiene levels will not sustain roaches. When food and water sources are unavailable to roaches, their population decline or the roaches quit the home.

Human activities introduce cockroaches to homes. Your new apartment or house can have roaches that you might inherit.

Or you bring them home, unknowingly, through cardboard boxes and grocery bags.

Roaches can also come from your neighbors. A heavily infested home in the street can be a source of infestation for nearby blocks. 

Roaches can move from one house to another in search of new sources of food and shelter, especially when the roach population in one house has exploded.

Alternatively, an insecticide or roach treatment in one home can make the roach flee the home and look for other homes. 

Your yard or garden can also be the source of roach infestation. Your yard with decaying organic matter harbors American and Oriental roaches. 

There are multiple sources of roach infestation. The bitter truth is that if there are human dwellings, there would be roaches.

The best approach is to make your home roach resistant by keeping it clean and making your home uninhabitable for roaches. 

How to do that? I’ll get to it in a minute. But before that, let’s look at the signs of infestation. 

8 Signs Of Cockroach Infestation

Now it’s time to determine the signals of roach presence. In other words, signs of roach infestation. 

And to find the signs of roach infestation, you need to look at places where each type of roach is more likely to hide. 

Here are the eight signs of roach infestation that you can’t ignore. 

  1. Baby Cockroaches
  2. Cockroach wings
  3. Dead cockroaches
  4. Cockroach skin
  5. Cockroach egg cases
  6. Cockroach feces and smear marks
  7. Cockroach smell 
  8. Adult roaches

These signs might be hard to spot if the infestation levels are low. Awareness of roach infestation begins with the physical sightings of roaches. 

If you’ve seen one roach in your home or a baby roach, then that’s a good enough sign of multiple roach presence inside your home. 

Cockroach smear marks, or liquified roach poop, are also signs of roach infestation that many people overlook. 

Smaller cockroaches have smaller feces, whereas bigger cockroaches like American roaches have bigger feces. The poop size of American roaches is as big as mice droppings. 

German and oriental roaches that live in moist and damp places have wet feces, which looks like smear marks.

The most disgusting part is that the nymphs, who don’t venture out of the roach nest often, feed on the feces of adult roaches. At the same time, the adult roaches will eat the baby roaches if they face a shortage of food in your home.

Secret Method Pros Use To Calculate Severity Of Roach Infestation

Till now, you’ve covered a lot of ground. You are now an expert in identifying roaches, where they hide, and the signs of roach infestation. 

Like noobs, you won’t spend time, effort, and money looking for roaches at the wrong places in your home. You won’t even spray aerosols randomly at random places in your home or running behind a cockroach with a canister in your hand. 

Now it’s time to up your game. 

Not many homeowners know what I’m about to reveal. It’s a well-kept secret only the professional pest controllers know.

This secret method determines what species of roaches are there in your home and how many are there!

And you do that by doing a roach survey. 

A Roach survey is a way of finding out how severe the roach infestation is in your home. In simple terms, it means how many roaches are there in your home. 

Why is it important to know the numbers?

It’ll help you to plan your attack by choosing what type of control strategies you’d need. 

Do you need a basic control strategy that involves using a bit of insecticide and making your home unliveable for roaches? 

Or do you need an advanced control strategy that involves the elaborate use of insecticides or hiring a pest controller?

In the next section, I’ll cover both, but for now, let’s lay the groundwork for doing the roach survey. 

Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures. They’re most active at night. 

Adult And Baby German Roach

When you’re beginning to assess the situation, ask yourself where you first saw the roaches.

Ask others living in the home the same questions. Consider past or present professional pest control efforts in your home. 

Suppose the previous pest control tactics included insecticides with a strong repellent effect (this includes most of those currently used today). In that case, the cockroach infestation might have moved from its original location. 

Spend some time exploring locations where you didn’t use insecticide, like false ceilings and other areas above your head. Before beginning a detailed examination of the area, take an overall look at the premises, inside and outside. 

Build a picture of traffic patterns for people. 

From where you bring food to your home? Where do you cook it? Where do you eat it? 

How do you deal with and dispose of trash? Do you empty trash bins daily? Perhaps the cockroaches hitchhiked into the kitchen with food supplies. 

Consider food storage and related activities, such as recycling bins and cardboard boxes. 

Does anybody living in your home go to work in roach-infested buildings? He or she can bring roaches home too!

Do you have rent-out space on your premises? Tenants can also introduce cockroaches into residences from infested buildings. 

In apartments, the cockroaches may have first entered from outside or adjoining units. 

You should check possible entry points such as around water and drain pipes under the sinks, sewer pipes, steam supply pipes.

Conduits for electricity or crevices in walls connecting with other infested areas also allow roaches to enter apartments.

Also, look for food spills or buildup of food material in or under countertops, stoves, and refrigerators. 

Look in mops and brooms, inside the rims of the floor drain, around the wheels of mobile carts, and other similar places. 

You should also check less obvious food sources, like rodent bait stations, for signs of cockroach activity. Remember that rodent baits don’t kill cockroaches.

Cockroaches need water as well as food, so check for condensation or leaks providing a water source. 

Don’t forget to consider less obvious water sources such as planters, pet water dishes, and fish tanks.

In addition to food and water, cockroaches need daytime hiding places in which to rest and breed. Once again, use your knowledge of the target pest to focus your efforts and identify these hiding places. 

For example, German cockroaches prefer dark crevices close to moisture. They like bare wooden surfaces, cardboard, or paper because they are easier to climb. 

You can find German roaches in stacks of paper, grocery bags, letters, and other paper items. Pay particular attention to fixtures made of wood, such as storage shelves, wooden tables, and cabinets. 

Also, check behind and under appliances, corners of rooms at floor or ceiling level, behind picture frames, and around the legs or wheels of carts, and appliance voids. Don’t forget to inspect suspended ceilings.

Identifying the origin of the cockroaches is valuable from the long-term viewpoint to prevent cockroaches from entering your home or a cockroach infestation.

Calculating Infestation Intensity By Using Cockroach Traps

Sticky Cockroach Bait

It is now time to use traps to give you a better picture of the size and location of the cockroach infestation. Use sticky traps because they are effective, easy to buy, and use. 

Both baited and unbaited sticky traps are available. 

Manufacturers use pheromones that cockroaches emit in the baited sticky traps to catch the roaches.

Pheromones, a combination of chemicals produced by roaches, are found in their secretion glands and fecal pellets.

The pheromones emit a smell that attracts roaches to each other. It’s a primary communication mechanism for roaches.

It’s a proven fact that the more roaches live in a home, the more smell roaches produce because of the higher secretion of pheromones. The more smell the roaches emit, the more attractive the home becomes for the roaches.

Makers of roach baits synthesize these pheromones by extracting them from roaches and use them on the sticky cockroach traps. When added to sticky traps, the traps catch more roaches.

When you add more pheromones to natural roach killers like boric acid and diatomaceous earth, you can kill more roaches.

If you’re using unbaited sticky traps, then add banana extract to the trap. Banana extracts attract roaches. 

In our experience, baited sticky traps work better than unbaited sticky traps.

Make sure to use the same type of traps to make your comparisons valid. Before you position each trap, label the trap, so later, you will be able to tell where and when you’ve kept them. 

Place traps near cracks and crevices, moisture, or food sources or where you’ve seen evidence of cockroaches. 

Dark corners are good locations. The more traps that you use, the better will be the survey. 

Ensure that you keep the traps at five to six feet from each other. And the closer the traps are to the infested area, the more cockroaches you’ll catch.

When placing traps, consider all possible hiding areas from floor to ceiling. If traps don’t catch any cockroaches in one night, move them to other potential hiding areas.

In addition to putting traps in known infestation areas, you must also place enough traps to cover suspected infestation areas. 

To accomplish this, first put at least one trap in each of the following locations:

  1. Beside or behind the toilet, 
  2. Under the sink in the bathroom, 
  3. Beside the shower or bathtub,
  4. Under the kitchen sink, 
  5. Behind, under, or beside the refrigerator, 
  6. Besides, under or behind the stove, 
  7. In the back of each kitchen cabinet,
  8. Beside or under the water heater (if available), 
  9. Behind or beside the washing machine, 
  10. Behind or beside the automatic dishwasher.

The length of time you should leave the traps depends on the infestation level. With high infestations, roaches will fill the traps overnight. 

Smaller infestations may require several days to a week or more to catch a significant number of cockroaches. 

If the sticky trap surface becomes wholly covered with roaches, then remove the trap and place a new trap in the same area. It’s because the old trap is no longer effective.

After you get a significant trap catch, record the traps’ dates and the collection date on the trap worksheet. 

Next, check each trap, record the type of cockroaches you have caught, and count the total number of cockroaches on each trap. 

Add counts from each trap to give a total. Divide the total by the number of traps you used. Divide this number by the number of nights the traps were out. 

This number is the average number of cockroaches caught per trap per night. 

Use the number to estimate the size of the cockroach population inside your home.

Refer to the table below. It has severity of infestations marked based on the number of roaches and the species of roaches caught on the traps.

Infestation LevelsGermanBrown-BandedOrientalAmerican
Very High100+50+25+25+

These numbers are relative. Because it depends on the size of the house.

For some homes, a high number of German roaches may only be two or three per trap per night.

For other homes, 10-20 cockroaches per trap per night would be less.

What can you learn from sticky trap data? 

First, you should be able to identify the cockroach species.

Second, comparing trap catches will tell you the locations of infestations. You’ll also get a considerably accurate idea of the size of the cockroach population in your home.

Continue Monitoring. Even after you have begun control efforts, continue to use sticky traps in the exact locations so you can compare populations over time. 

Below is an example worksheet that you can prepare on a piece of paper to keep a track on the roach infestation.

Trap NoLocationRoaches Trapped
1Beside refrigerator, against back wall, beside trash can19
2Pantry shelf, against back wall27
3Upper cupboard (above dishwasher), against back wall9
4Front of dishwasher, next to toe-plate13
5Lower cupboard, against side wall next to dishwasher15
6Under sink, against back wall, centered under pipes21
7Against side wall beside stove11
8Under and behind stove, against back wall0
9Against wall near heater penetration19
10Under bathroom sink in vanity, against back wall, centered under pipes5
11Behind toilet, near water pipe penetration, against wall17
12Beside shower in bathroom, against wall0
13Under water heater in basement11
14Against wall, near floor drain in basement3
Total 170

Cockroach Species: German Roaches

Date When Traps Are Kept: August 1

Date Traps Removed: August 5

No. of Nights: 5

No. Of Roaches Per Trap Per Night: 2.43 (170 divided by 14 divided by 5)

Infestation Level: Low

The numbers above are hypothetical. It’s meant to give you an idea how to calculate the number of roaches infesting your home.

If multiple roach species are hiding inside your home, then use the roach identifier section in the post to count the number of roaches per species.

You may find that other bugs like ants and spiders are also stuck on the traps. It’s because, like roaches, pheromones also attracts ants and spiders

3 Tier Cockroach Elimination Strategies To Get Rid Of Roaches

In this section, you’ll dive into three cockroach control strategies. These are basic control strategies, intermediate control strategies, and advanced control strategies. 

Both the strategies are dependent on the results that you got from the roach survey. 

However, the primary control strategy has one purpose: to make your home uninhabitable for roaches. 

Let’s get into it.

Basic Roach Elimination StrategyMake Your Home Roach Repellent

Whether it’s a house or apartment, every human habitat can support a certain number of roaches. This capacity of a home to sustain a definite number of roaches is known as the carrying capacity.

When you apply pesticides, many roaches die. But if you don’t implement the basic roach elimination strategies, many roaches find new hiding places.

The remaining roaches will have less competition for food and other resources to survive. 

Within a few weeks, their reproductive rate will increase, and the roach population will rebound. 

And that’s when you’ll complain that roaches come back after treatment. 

I recommend starting the process of getting rid of roaches with the primary control strategy. You’ll take care of all the elements that sustain roaches in your home. 

In other words, you’d bring the carrying capacity of your home to zero.

Let’s get into the first step of the basic strategy, which is removal of water sources.

Remove The Water Sources For Roaches

Cockroaches have a waxy coating on their body to prevent moisture loss, but they still need water. 

One drop of water per day is all a cockroach needs to be alive. 

Any water or moisture will do. Roaches can get water from condensation on pipes, small leaks, moist sponges, soaked wood, and moistened food. 

Different cockroaches have different water requirements. Of the four roach species, the German and oriental cockroaches need moisture most frequently.

Removing water sources that keep the roaches alive is the first step you must take to control roaches in your home.

Limiting water availability will put the roaches under pressure, and it’ll make your control efforts exponentially effective. 

And how do you do that? You do it by fixing plumbing problems. 

Examine all the sinks in your home. It includes the sinks in the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, garage, and basement.

Do the faucets leak? If so, you need to repair them. 

Inspect the base of the faucet and run the water. Does the base of the faucet leak? 

If yes, then replace the gasket. Then, examine the faucet opening and see if there is a screen present. If there isn’t any, install one. 

This screen breaks up the flow of water into a steady stream. But it also helps to prevent thirsty cockroaches from getting into the faucet to get water. 

Ensure there are no leaks in the plumbing underneath the sink, especially when the water is off. Repair any leaks, no matter how small. 

Carefully look for a whitish residue at all connections. This whitish residue is a sign of slow water leakage. Clean the residue, tighten the connection, and check it daily for a week or two.

If you see any leaks, seal them. 

Coldwater pipes may sweat from condensation, especially during humid weather in the summer. There is enough moisture on sweating pipes to sustain cockroaches. 

Pipe insulation will help solve the moisture problem. 

Ensure you use non-absorbent insulation because if it absorbs water, it may grow mold and attract cockroaches. Be sure to seal the insulation thoroughly.

Be eagle-eyed on sealing all the gaps in the insulation. Else, you’ll create hiding places for roaches between the insulation materials and the pipes.

There are drains in every home. Cover all drains with a fine mesh. If there’s a catch basin in your yard, use a fine mesh there too, and make sure there’s no water logging problem in the catch basin. 

Cockroaches also enter a home, especially apartments, through drains.

This happens when organic wastes clog the drains. The organic wastes inside the drains are damp. The damp organic waste provides roaches a feeding and nesting place. 

If you’ve such clogged drains in your home, clean the drains before using sink strainers or mesh. 

It’s because most sink mesh will not stop roaches from getting inside your home.

Use a strainer with small round holes instead of slits. Also, keep the bathroom sink and tub overflow holes clean. 

Other Water Sources That Keep The Roaches Alive

Cockroach in a bathroom drain

Believe it or not, you do certain things in the day that keep the roaches happy alive. 

One of them is storing wet moist sponges or dish rags overnight. That not only provides water to the roaches but also it’s an excellent food supply. 

So, starting today, rinse the sponges and dishrags with an ammonia-water solution. Roaches hate ammonia, and ammonia repels roaches.

Using ammonia will stop the cockroaches from using this source of moisture. It’d be best if you keep the sponges and dishrags in a sealed sandwich bag overnight. 

Check plant pot dishes, and make sure there is no standing water in the dishes. Also, place a layer of gravel over the soil in plant pots to cover exposed moist soil. 

Roaches can also hide in the sides of the toilet bowls. To stop them from hiding there or in any other tight wet places inside your home, mix petroleum jelly and mineral oil.

Apply the mixture to the inside rim of the toilet bowl and around the toilet water bowl. That will not only prevent roaches from hiding there but also, it’ll prevent them from using the toilet tank as a source of water. 

Apply the mixture once a week to make your toilet free from roaches. 

Always clean and dry dishes, pots, and pans immediately after each use. Never leave dishes in the sink with water in them. Remove pet water dishes overnight and replace them each morning.

If your home has excessive humidity, consider purchasing and using a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity.

And finally, at least once in two weeks, check the drip pan under the refrigerator. Add a bit of vinegar to the drip pan to repel the roaches. 

If the drip pan is old and has a sticky layer on it, then you might consider replacing it.

Remove The Roaches’ Food Supply

Cockroach on Toilet Bowl

Cockroaches eat anything: food crumbs, hair, nails, spots of grease and oil, dirty clothes and fabric, pet fur, dead insects, pet feces, and even dead roaches.

Cockroaches are cannibals, and they can even eat their eggs.

Food high in protein or is moist is very attractive and delicious to cockroaches. If you are leaving pet food in the dish overnight, you are feeding the cockroaches well.

To stop the food supply from roaches, the first thing you should do is keep your food items in a sealed container. 

Cockroaches can easily chew through paper, cardboard, or thin plastic containers. So, it’d be best if you use thick-walled cockroach-proof, airtight containers to store food. 

Cockroaches and pantry pests can easily chew through the thin-walled containers and lay eggs on the stored food.

Do not leave food open overnight. Even dry foods like candies, popcorns, cookies, and pet food should be in airtight thick sealed containers.

Remember, it is hard to completely deprive cockroaches of food, but limiting food makes it easier for other control methods to work effectively.

But more than fresh food, it’s the food waste that keeps them alive. 

Ensure no food waste and organic waste like hair and nails are lying in the trash bins. Dispose of food waste from trash bins daily and clean the trash bin by using a disinfectant. 

Don’t keep unwashed utensils, dishes, pots, and pans in the kitchen sink. The stink from the food attracts roaches and provides them the nourishment they need to stay alive. 

Clean them immediately before going to bed or leaving home.

Grease is a special problem and can be hard to clean. Cockroaches feed on the film of grease on oven hoods and walls next to where you use frying pans. Clean all the spills. 

Spilled food residue will attract cockroaches. So, thoroughly clean sponges, cleaning pads, and brushes after use. 

Do not ever keep soiled clothing in an area that roaches can easily access. To deny them access, keep them in a sealed plastic bag or a tight-fitting hamper without ventilation holes.

But there’s one more method that you can’t afford to skip when you’re using the primary control strategy.

And it’s deep cleaning. 

Most of us tend to put off deep cleaning jobs (like ovens, behind stoves, and refrigerators) until we have a good reason to do them. If you have cockroaches, there should be an incentive to make this extra effort.

There is a good possibility that those difficult-to-clean areas are contributing to cockroach infestation. 

When you clean, you may see cockroaches. Have the vacuum cleaner handy and vac ’em up.

You may want to squish the roaches when you see them running helter-skelter while vacuuming. 

But squish them at your peril. It’s because the sticky stuff that comes out of squished roaches can attract other roaches. 

Why? As you know by now, roaches are cannibals.

Coming back to cleaning, pull out refrigerators, stoves, freezers, dishwashers, and clean behind and beside them. Wash the outside of the appliance. 

Remove the back of the electronic appliances and vacuum the dusty areas around motors. (Be sure to unplug appliances when doing this.) 

Remove items from cupboards, vacuum, and clean thoroughly. Wash the floors. 

Clean the under burners and the stovetop. Be sure not to forget the inside and outside the oven and the broiler area if you have a gas stove. 

It is important to remove grease because cockroaches eat grease with gusto!

Deny Roaches Shelter By Clearing The Clutter In Your Home

Cockroach Hiding

Cockroaches live in cracks and crevices during the day. They prefer wood and paper in their living quarters rather than metal surfaces. 

Cockroach’s flat body allows them to squeeze into places where they can touch the surfaces above and below at the same time. 

Cockroaches can squeeze into cracks 1/16 inch or larger. Cockroaches like the warmth produced by electric motors, condensers, and ovens. That makes them live inside appliances, especially if there is water nearby.

Also, cockroaches prefer porous surfaces like wood, paper, cardboard, insulation, and cloth. 

But cockroaches don’t prefer stainless steel, aluminum, plastic laminates, ceramic tiles, or baked enamel surfaces.

If you change the habitat, try to use materials cockroaches dislike. When you layer soft, porous materials over each other (such as corrugated cardboard), it forms a cockroach breeding area where they can even make a nest

So, refrain from doing that.

Do not keep stacks of paper bags, sacks, cardboard boxes, rags, or pieces of wood in locations where cockroaches may be present. 

One of the biggest mistakes is the practice of storing paper bags between an appliance and the wall because it establishes a layering effect next to a warm area. This paper bag storage practice is an excellent cockroach breeding site.

Examine all areas in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundries, basement, and storage closets, especially those places where you found roaches on the traps.

Re-organize and eliminate any clutter. Put every portable item providing harborage in a sealed cockroach-proof container or heavy plastic bags.

Once you eliminate the clutter, it’s time to get into sealing. 

Look for any cracks, gaps, crevices larger than 1/16th of an inch inside your home. Keep a special eye for those cracks around your home’s foundation on the exterior walls. 

It’s from these cracks on the home’s foundation cockroaches sneak in from the yard or garden. 

Do not overlook cabinets and furniture. Seal any cracks in the furniture and cabinets. Cockroaches hide in the gaps of furniture and, it’s a safe place for them to lay eggs.

There are some areas that you can easily neglect, but you shouldn’t.

These areas are behind molding, small holes in cabinet doors, rubber gaskets, water pipes, hollow tube legs of kitchen tables, junctions between cabinets and walls that meet each other, and gaps around built-in appliances.

Caulking is an easy, economical way to seal most of these cockroach hiding places. There are three types of caulk: 

  • Latex caulk is usually cheap, but latex eventually will crack and shrink. 
  • Acrylic caulks are better than latex, but they still shrink over time. In addition, cockroaches may chew into latex or acrylic caulks. 
  • Silicone caulks are the best. These caulks are more flexible, waterproof, and cockroaches and other pests can’t chew through. The disadvantage of silicone caulk is that paint will not adhere to the surface like the other caulk. 

Before you caulk or seal those cracks, ensure that the edges and surfaces between the gaps are clean and dry before sealing.

Smooth the caulk, so it forms a tight seal. Also, use enough sealant to fill the width of the space and about 1/4-inch deep. You will need to use enough sealant so it will last. 

For spaces greater than ½”, consider using foam fillers and caulk over the foam. 

If caulking the entire home is overwhelming to you, then consider hiring someone to do the job. 

Or caulk only those areas where you’ve found roaches while you did the roach survey. But that won’t be comprehensive as you’d be leaving behind many unsealed gaps in your home. 

If cockroaches are infesting the cracks or seams, apply a cleaning solution or desiccation dust like food-grade diatomaceous earth to these areas before caulking. 

After you completely seal this area, cockroaches can no longer use it as a hiding place. 

Word Of Caution – Do Not Overlook Electrical Appliances.

Cockroaches, especially brown-banded cockroaches, love warm and dry areas. And electrical appliances provide them both.

So, here are the most common appliances that roaches can use to hide in and around them.


  • Check door gaskets and replace them if they’re hard, stiff, or cracked. (Yes, roaches can live under refrigerator gaskets.) 
  • Vacuum the coil and compressor; wash and dry the bottom drip tray. 
  • Check insulation around motors and clean or replace as needed. 


  • Check and repair all leaks. 
  • Remove the bottom panel and clean regularly. 
  • Check insulation for cleanliness and replace it if needed. 
  • Check door gaskets and seals; replace them if they leak. 
  • Make sure you remove the food residue from inside the dishwasher daily. 


  • Clean the stove regularly and thoroughly. Don’t forget to clean under the burners. 
  • Use heat-proof sealants to caulk cracks. 
  • Check insulation for possible infestations. You may need to replace it. (Cockroaches can live and breed in the insulation if they can gain access inside the stove walls).

Electrical Locations: 

• Examine and caulk around electrical fixtures, outlets, and switches. For your safety, turn off the electricity. 

• Use a foam sealant if an infestation exists inside the electrical conduit.

Metal Cabinets: 

Even though cockroaches do not prefer metal, they will live in metal cabinets if they have no other options. 

Metal cabinets have small openings which allow cockroaches to get inside through the doors. 

Sift through cabinets. Seal hinges, latches, seams, and holes in the bottom and/or top of the doors.


Pull out each kitchen drawer and examine the cavity. When you close the drawer, you create small void areas which provide the cockroaches a nice hiding place.

Other Small Electrical Appliances: 

Again, electrical appliances emit heat, and when turned off, they produce enough warmth to attract brown-banded roaches. 

The most common small appliances that attract roaches are toasters and microwave ovens. 

Brown-banded roaches hide in the fissures of these appliances and feed on the left-over food crumbs. 

Cleaning these appliances often and placing Listerine or cinnamon powder in a cup nearby will prevent roaches from hiding inside.

Pro Tip: Keeping small electrical appliances inside the freezer for a few hours kills all the roaches hidden inside the appliances.

Intermediate Roach Elimination Strategies

Low Risk Cockroach Control

Low-risk control strategies pose minimum to no hazard to you, children, and pets, while at the same time get rids of roaches in your home.

In this section, you’ll find a detailed list of items and ways of using those items to kill roaches in your home. 

Usage of insecticides and pesticides is very little or non-existent in the low-risk roach control approach. However, please follow the safety regulations on the labels of the items you’ll find in this section. 

Remember, low-risk control strategies work when cockroach infestation in your home is not heavy or severe.

Cockroach Traps

Cockroach traps lure the roaches out of hiding and help in eliminating roaches from your home. But cockroach traps work under the following conditions:

  • You’ve got a small cockroach infestation.
  • You’ve sealed all the cracks and hiding places inside your home. The fewer the hiding places, the more likely you’ll be able to trap the roaches.
  • You don’t provide water, food, and shelter to roaches, which means you follow good sanitation practices.
  • You know where the infestation centers are. (I’ve mentioned earlier in the post how to use traps to find where roaches hide)
  • You place enough traps at an appropriate distance from the infestation centers.

As I’ve said earlier, you can use baited sticky traps next to the walls, under appliances, near the cracks and gaps inside your home. 

Also, keep the traps near the common hiding places of roaches, depending on their species. 

Don’t forget to put traps up high, in cabinets, above false ceilings, as well as on the floor. You will need to move traps often and replace traps as needed.

There are certain cockroach baits with microbes on them.

These microbes are a natural toxin soil-inhabiting fungi produce. 

One such microbe-based bait is Avert® which has a microbe named Abamectin. That bait is like dry dust. 

Abamectin baits work very slowly, but you can use them to reduce small to medium-sized infestations. Abamectin acts as both a stomach poison if ingested and a contact insecticide when it becomes attached to the cockroach body.

Abamectin sticks with roaches’ bodies, and it’s passed on to other roaches and nymphs. 

Heat Or Freeze The Roaches

Because cockroaches are cold-blooded, they do not survive very well in extreme cold or hot temperatures. 

Roaches have a certain temperature and humidity threshold till which they can survive and thrive. 

Domestic roaches are more inclined to survive in our home temperatures. 

Roaches do not develop or reproduce when temperatures are too cold (below 45° F) or too hot (above 115° F). Hot and cold temperatures can be very effective in killing cockroaches. Still, you must maintain the adverse temperatures for a while. 

Hot and cold treatments are most effective when they “shock” the cockroaches’ system. Cockroaches have physiological mechanisms that allow them to survive a gradual decrease or increase in temperature. 

But, if you take a jar of cockroaches from room temperature and put it into a sub-zero freezer, the insects will be dead within a half-hour. They just cannot adapt that quickly. 

Because cockroaches cannot survive temperatures above 115° F to 120° F, it is possible to use heat to eradicate cockroaches from commercial establishments like restaurants and bars. 

To do it, you first remove the heat-sensitive equipment from the building. Then you increase the temperature to 140-150° F for five to six hours.

For you as a homeowner, this approach might not be possible.

But suppose a small, infested appliance has many small crevices and can withstand 150° F heat. In that case, you can use this procedure by putting the appliance in an oven. 

Keep the appliance at 150° F for a few hours, and the roaches will be dead.

You can also use cold to kill roaches, but it takes a prolonged exposure to low temperatures to kill egg cases. 

You can leave appliances or furniture in a garage when temperatures are below 0° F for several days. If moving, leaving possessions in a truck or van will do the same thing. 

You can also use cold to remove roach infestation in wall voids or indoor cavities. All you need to do is spray CO2 gas from a CO2 gas canister. That will freeze the roaches hiding in those areas.

You can also use CO2 to fumigate infested small electrical appliances. Place the small appliance in a plastic bag or other airtight container and inject carbon dioxide gas. Allow freezing to occur. 

You can also keep a small item with roach infestation inside the freezer for several hours (or overnight) to kill the cockroaches.


A vacuum cleaner is the most reliable appliance in your home that you can use right away to remove roaches. 

Place a narrow tube on the end of the vacuum hose to extract cockroaches from cracks and crevices. When an infestation is in a small area, you would be able to eliminate adults, nymphs, and egg cases with your vacuum cleaner. 

Even if the infestation is large, vacuuming helps in preparation for other control methods. It cleans out old and new egg cases, loose fecal materials, and living and dead cockroaches.

But here’s the spoiler.

Vacuuming will not kill live cockroaches, so you will need to dispose of the bag far away from your home. 

If you dump it in a nearby trash bin, then cockroaches in the bag will chew through the bag and re-enter your home.

However, there’s one approach that solves the problem. Burn the vacuum bag in a bin. The roaches will burn along with the bag too!

Or you can place the bag inside the freezer. The roaches will freeze to death. 

Point to keep in mind – Never leave a vacuum that you’ve used for cockroach control unattended without properly disposing of the bag because cockroaches will quickly escape.

Use Desiccants To Kill The Roaches In Your Home

Desiccants, in simple terms, are dry substances that kill roaches and many other insects on contact. 

And how do they do it? 

There are liquid substances inside the body of roaches, like blood and digestive secretion. 

There’s a waxy protective coating on the outside of the insect’s bodies that prevents the loss of moisture and these liquid substances. 

Desiccants kill cockroaches by destroying this waxy layer. In other words, desiccants dehydrate the roaches by absorbing all the liquid masses inside their body.

There are three most effective desiccants in the market that you can use right now on roaches.

These are diatomaceous earth, silica aerogel, and boric acid. 

Let’s have a look at each of them briefly. 

Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized form of silica shell remains of diatoms, microscopic sea animals. Diatomaceous earth is virtually non-toxic to humans.

Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth

However, avoid inhaling diatomaceous earth. Inhaling it will irritate the eyes and lungs. 

Because it has an abrasive quality, diatomaceous earth destroys the waxy layer of the cuticle, causing the roaches and other insects to dehydrate and die.

Keep in mind, though, that some grades of diatomaceous earth contain small amounts of crystalline silica.

Crystalline silica causes silicosis (the respiratory disease caused by breathing silica dust) and cancer. The risk of cancer depends upon duration and level of exposure.

That’s why I always buy food-grade diatomaceous earth, which is safe both for humans and pets. But, as I mentioned, avoid inhaling diatomaceous earth.

Silica aerogel is a non-abrasive, chemically inert substance used as a dehydrating agent because the small particles absorb moisture and oils. 

Many companies insert small bags of silica aerogel in electrical equipment packages to prevent moisture accumulation during shipping or storage.

Just like the diatomaceous earth, avoid inhaling silica aerogel. 

And how does silica aerogel work to kill roaches?

The silica aerogel particle has a static charge that enables it to stick tightly to the cockroach body. Once on the body, the aerogel absorbs the waxy protective coating, desiccating and killing the cockroach. 

Many insecticides use silica aerogel. One formulation, Drione®, contains silica aerogel, pyrethrins, and piperonyl butoxide, an additive that increases the impact of the pyrethrins.

Boric acid is made from borax, and an anti-caking agent is mixed with it. Cockroaches ingest boric acid when they preen themselves after they have walked through the powder. 

Cockroaches die because boric acid is a slow-acting stomach poison. Because boric acid also absorbs the cockroach cuticle wax, they may also die from dehydration.

Boric acid is not only effective in killing roaches. Boric acid is also an effective termite killer.

You and your pets have no risk from boric acid. However, never ingest it. And always keep it away from children and pets so that they don’t accidentally ingest it.

Also, refrain from breathing the dust of boric acid while applying it on places where roaches are hiding. 

It’d be best if you wear a mask while using any one of the three desiccants.

Boric acid is also available as an aerosol spray, a liquid (which dries and leaves a film), and a cockroach bait.

How To Use Desiccants?

Place the desiccant in a duster or a flexible bottle with a small, narrow nozzle (less than 1/4-inch) and apply a very thin coating of the material. 

If you use only the dust form of the desiccants, then they’re most effective. Many small puffs of dust are better than one large application. 

Even in dry locations, the material will eventually absorb moisture from the air. Use small amounts and reapply often. 

This dust can harm motors and electrical equipment, so avoid using them near or in the appliances.

Insect Growth Regulators (IGR)

Insect growth regulators are a revolutionary invention in the field of pest control. They remove pests by totally altering their biology.

IGRs alter the growth and development of cockroaches and are much less toxic to humans and pets.

But remember, they don’t kill roaches on contact. They take their own time. 

IGRs destroy the growth and development of nymphs and the fertility of the roaches. 

Because IGR’s don’t directly kill cockroaches, pest controllers mix it with insecticides, killing some of the cockroach adults and nymphs. 

IGR affects the surviving nymphs and adult roaches by making them incapable of reproducing or stilting their growth. Both result in eventual death. 

We highly recommend the following two IGRs for roach control:

Gentrol® is a hydroprene based IGR that is perfect for roach control in houses and apartments. 

It’s available in concentrated liquid, which the roaches’ bodies easily absorb. 

As I’ve mentioned earlier, it won’t kill the roaches on contact. However, over time, it maims and deforms the cockroaches’ bodies. 

And it also acts as birth control for roaches as on application it makes the adult roaches infertile. 

It’s non-toxic to humans and pets, but you and your pets should never ingest it. 

One application of Gentrol® lasts for 100-120 days before you reapply it again in the infested places.

Archer® and/or Nylar® are pyriproxyfen-based IGRs, and both work like Gentrol®. It doesn’t kill the roaches on contact. But either of them is most effective against nymphs. 

Non-toxic to humans and animals, both are available as a concentrated liquid. To use IGRs, pour a bit of liquid in a spray bottle and spray it on the roach-infested places.

Important Note – Always read and follow the instructions on the IGR bottle labels.

Natural Enemies Of Cockroaches

Certain insects are natural enemies of roaches. They eat roaches. 

You’ll not allow these insects to live and thrive in your home. That’s obvious. 

But some insects like centipedes and spiders play a key role in keeping your home roach-free. 

And the best part is that both centipedes and spiders don’t pose any infestation threat to your home like the roaches do.

Your home is not a habitat for both centipedes and spiders. They sneak in when the weather outside is inclement and in search of food. 

They’ll eventually leave. So, next time when you see a centipede or a spider inside your home, be sure that they’re doing you a little bit of favor. 

Think twice before killing either of them. 

However, you can refer to our guides here and here to know more about getting rid of centipedes and spiders without killing them.

Some tiny parasitic wasps lay their eggs in egg cases of some cockroaches, including the American, oriental, and brown-banded species. 

These parasitic wasps attack brown-banded cockroach eggs the most. When the wasp eggs hatch, the wasp larva eats the embryonic cockroaches and destroys them so no cockroaches will hatch. 

If you see an egg case with a small hole in the end, it means the tiny wasps have parasitized the eggs. 

Scientists have shown that releasing thousands of these tiny wasps in a cockroach-infested dwelling can destroy many egg cases. 

But letting tiny wasps enter your home and let them infect the roach eggs is not a feasible approach. 

Both the basic and intermediate roach elimination strategies can form the part of DIY roach control.

But remember, if you don’t do implement the basic roach control thoroughly, the intermediate strategies would be ineffective and futile. Roaches will come back again.

Advanced Roach Elimination Strategies – High Risk!

There’s one roach control approach that I’d never recommend you undertake. And that’s handling and using insecticides.

Using insecticides and pesticides is a high risk control strategy which you should avoid.

It’s because handling insecticides needs special skills and protective clothing, and they pose a massive threat to the health of children, pets, and the elderly.

Many homeowners use insecticides only to put their families and pets at risk. You shouldn’t be one of those homeowners.

Now using an insecticide is different from using aerosol sprays and foggers. You can use canned sprays on roaches and other pests. 

But an elaborate insecticide treatment needs the expertise of a professional pest controller. Don’t do it by yourself.

Cockroach control with insecticide treatment is a part of IPM (Integrated Pest Management Approach) that covers the interiors of your home and the outdoors.

Plus, it also entails deep cleaning of your home with professional grade cleaners that removes roach smell.

You’d definitely need IPM if your home has heavy roach infestation.

One of the best ways to keep a check on roach, and other pest infestation in your home, is quarterly pest control. It’s a quarterly pest check up for your home that pest controllers do at a very minimal cost.

The best part is, that if a pest infestation is detected, pest controllers remove it at no extra cost!

But, if you want to get rid of roaches on your own, then, for the sake of your and your family’s safety, limit yourself only to primary and low-risk control strategies. 

Health Risks Because Of Roach Infestation In Your Home

Roaches don’t carry any lethal venom that will kill you if they bite you. 

But roaches carry pathogens in their bodies that can cause severe health issues. It’s because they live in dirty places and roaches eat just about anything. 

Roaches eat discarded food in kitchen trash bins, cat feces in the cat litter box, and wastes in the sewer drain. After eating, the pathogens stick on their bodies, and they remain in the roaches’ digestive systems.

And when the roaches walk or feed on your food, they transfer those pathogens in your meals. Eating contaminated food will cause food poisoning. 

The dangerous pathogens that roaches carry are Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus. These pathogens are proven to cause food poisoning in humans.

You can also get allergies and asthma if roaches are living in your home. 

Children and the elderly are more prone to get asthma and allergic attacks because of cockroaches. It’s not only the cockroaches that are alive but also cockroach feces, cockroach skin, and even dead cockroaches that can cause these diseases.

In roach-infested homes, proteins in crushed cockroaches, feces, and shed skin of roaches mix up with the house dust. After inhaling the dust, both children and adults develop allergic symptoms like runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing.

The worst affected by roach infestation are people who already have asthma.

Studies have shown most asthmatics are allergic to cockroach allergens. And they can have a life-threatening asthma attack after a single inhalation of allergens. 

Also, insecticide usage in homes can cause asthma to become severe. So, it’s always safe for children and asthma patients to get out of the home when you use insecticide treatment to get rid of pests.


Wherever there’s a human habitat, there are roaches. The key to get rid of roaches is to make your home uninhabitable and impenetrable for them. 

To eliminate roaches from your home, you need to remove the factors that sustain roaches. These are food, water, and hiding places.

In this post, you’ve found out a step-by-step plan to do it. And you’ve also found out that most of the times it’s the basic control strategies that goes a long way to make your home roach-free forever.

So, go ahead and implement these steps. But, always take safety precautions mentioned in the post while you’re getting rid of roaches.


University Of Nebraska

The Pennsylvania State University