Cockroaches are one of the most annoying household pests. They are harmful to human beings as they act as carriers of different diseases and contaminate our food. When these insects come into contact with the food items, they spread the microorganisms in their saliva into the foods causing various health problems. They also cause damages to various items in homes such as books, clothes, electronic items, wires, etc. There are different species of roaches and most common among them are the American cockroaches with reddish brown color and yellow bands on the shield behind the head and German cockroaches with pale brown color and two brown stripes behind the head. There are many chemical pest control and natural roach control methods available to get rid of roaches permanently.
I. Top Chemical Methods to get rid of roaches
1. Insecticide Spray
There are many chemical insecticide sprays available in the market that contains Cyfluthrin, which is very effective in getting rid of the roaches completely. Spray the insecticide in the hiding places of roaches such as cracks in the wall, vents, drainage area, in the trash can etc. Cockroaches usually breed in warm and damp areas.
- It is important that you follow all the safety instruction while spraying the insecticide
- Keep your children and pets away from the insecticide
2. Cockroach Traps
This is another effective method to remove roaches from your home. The cockroach trap available in the market contains an adhesive material as the bait and once the cockroaches enter the trap to taste the bait they get entrapped by the adhesive.
- Properly place the trap in the commonly infested areas
- Place the trap continuously for at least one week to get rid of the roaches completely and repeat it after two week gap to check any re- infestation.
3. Cockroach Bait
The cockroach bait contains a chemical gel which works as slow poison for the roaches. The roaches will be attracted to the bait and will bring more of the family to the bait. The entire cockroaches will be killed within two weeks.
- Place the bait where the cockroaches frequent such as near the vents, trash can, cracks on the floor, under the sink, cabinets, bathrooms etc.
- Cockroaches will eat the bait and may carry it to the nest exposing other roaches to the poison in the bait.
4. Liquid Concentrates
Applying liquid concentrate, which acts as a poison or deterrent for cockroaches, keep away the cockroaches for up to 2 weeks when used once.
- Dilute the liquid concentrate with water and spray it into the crevices in the wall and potential nests and entry points of the roaches.
- Use the diluted mixture to wipe or mop the floors and other surfaces.
- Repeat the use of the remedy occasionally to prevent re-infestation.
5. Professional Pesticides
If your home or apartment is having worst roach infestations, then you may need to use strong professional pesticides that contain chemicals such as Cypermethrin. The residual effect of these chemicals will last for at least three months and will kill all sorts of bugs and insects in your home.
- This remedy should be used only as a last resort
- Do not use this remedy, if you have kids and pets at your home.
Most of the cockroach prevention or repellent methods available in the market contain harmful chemicals and many of you do not want to use them to get rid of cockroaches. There are many home remedies for cockroaches for people who think how to get rid of cockroaches without using harmful chemicals. Here are some natural or home remedies for cockroaches.
II. Natural Methods to Get Rid Of Roaches
1) Using Sugar And Baking Soda
This is an easy method to get rid of cockroaches. You can make a mixture of baking soda and sugar by taking equal parts of the items and sprinkle this mixture near the roach infested areas in your house. The roaches feeding on this mixture will die as the baking soda reacts with its stomach acid cause it to gas up.
2) Bay Leaves
This is a cheap and easily available remedy to get rid of cockroaches permanently. Bay leaves are fragrant leaves mainly used in Indian cooking. It has a pungent but nice aroma. You can place the ground bay leaf powder near the nest and other areas where the roaches frequent. The smell will make the cockroaches move out of your home. The roaches will be removed without the need to kill them.
3) Soap Solution
You can use the regular bathing soap to get rid of the cockroaches. Prepare the mixture of soap and water with a good amount of soap and sprinkle this solution directly on cockroaches. Most of them will die instantly as their breathing pores get covered by the soapy water. You can also spray the solution to the nest to make the cockroaches come out of their nest and you can kill them manually.
4) Ammonia Solution
Ammonia also has a pungent smell which will irritate and repel the roaches. Add two cups of ammonia in a bucket full of water and flush it through your kitchen sink and bathroom outlet. The smell of the ammonia will keep away the cockroaches. Repeat this remedy once in two weeks to keep your home free of roaches.
5) Boric Acid Bait
This is a homemade bait to kill the cockroaches. Mix one part of powdered boric acid with one part of white flour and one part of sugar and make dough using it. Place small dough balls in various areas in the home where roaches visit frequently to get rid of the cockroaches. The flour and sugar in the mixture will attract cockroaches and the boric acid in the mixture will kill the roaches.
- You can also make similar bait by mixing 1 part of boric acid, 1 part of cocoa and 2 parts of white flour.
- Continue using the bait for at least for two weeks to make sure that all the roaches are gone
- Keep this mixture where your kids and pets cannot access them as this mixture is toxic to humans and pets.
6) Using Pepper, Garlic And Onion Solution
- Make a mixture of one tablespoon of cayenne pepper powder, one garlic clove and one onion paste mixed in one liter of water.
- Let it stand for one hour. Add one tablespoon of liquid soap to this mixture and apply it in all places in your home where the roaches frequent.
- The smell of the mixture will make the roaches to flee.
7) Using Listerine
Listerine acts as a good cockroach repellent.
- Mix equal parts of water and Listerine to make a solution and add two drops of dish washing liquid to it.
- Put this mixture in a spray can and sprinkle it on areas where the roaches make regular visits and on top of the roaches directly if possible.
- They will surely escape from your house.
8) Pinesol And Bleach
Pinesol and bleach mix has a very strong smell which will help you to get rid of the cockroaches from their hiding places.
- Mix 2 cups of Pinesol, 2 cups of bleach and one cup of boiling water.
- Pour this mixture to the roach infested areas in the building.
- Keep the windows of the rooms open as this mixture has a very strong smell. Clean up the place after 20-30 minutes.
9) Petroleum Jelly Trap
This trap for cockroaches is easy to set.
- To set this trap, get a wide mouthed bottle or jar and apply some petroleum jelly on the inner rim of the jar.
- Put some fruit peels such as apple, banana or mango inside the bottle. Keep this jar overnight without closing it in your kitchen and bathroom area, which is frequented by the roaches.
- The smell of the fruit peels will attract the roaches to the jar and they get trapped inside the jar due to the petroleum jelly on the rim of the jar.
- Next morning, empty the cockroaches inside the jar to a bucket filled with soapy water to kill the roaches.
10) Cucumber Trap
- Take an aluminum can and place some cucumber peels or pieces inside it. Leave it overnight.
- The cucumber juices will react with aluminum can and will produce a smell which the cockroaches cannot withstand. This is a great solution to avoid roaches.
11) Water Jar As Trap
Another simple method for how to get rid of roaches is the water trap.
- Take a jar and half-fill it with water. Place this jar close to the walls.
- The roaches will get into the jar and they will not be able to escape from the water trap. Only adult roaches can be caught with this method.
Once you get rid of the cockroaches using home remedies for cockroaches, it is necessary that you take appropriate measures to prevent the re-infestation. Here are the methods to prevent cockroach re-infestation in your home or office.
a. Remove Yard Waste
The hiding places of cockroach includes the yard waste such as decaying wood, straw, plant clippings, etc. make sure that the wood piles are kept as far as possible from the home. It is necessary to clean the yard periodically to prevent the breeding of cockroaches outside the building. During cold weather the cockroaches on the outside area will migrate to the interior of the building in search of warm conditions.
b. Find The Nest And Destroy
If you spot any cockroach find out where it hides and the nest will be most probably in any cracks or holes in the area. Once you are able to locate the nest, use insecticides or any home remedies to destroy the entire population.
c. Seal The Cracks
If you want to avoid the nests of cockroaches in your house, you should seal all the cracks and crevices in the floor and walls. You need to seal the exterior as well as interior walls to prevent the entry of these insects in the house. Cracks will be present inside the cabinet, window moldings, near doors, under the sinks, and the openings in the kitchen and bathrooms.
d. Setting Preventive Traps
Even if you are successful in getting rid of the cockroaches once, you need to set preventive traps to avoid further infestation. You need to kill the cockroaches before they become difficult to control. They breed quickly and will be a menace, if quick action is not taken.
- Spray insecticides in areas where the roaches will possibly build their nest. Areas near drainage pipes, dark and damp areas under the kitchen or bathroom sink should be the main targets.
- Repeat some of the home remedies for roaches once in a while to ensure that your house is free of roaches.
- Keep the bath plugs in position to avoid the entry of roaches from the drains
e. Keep The House Clean
Keep your home clean to keep away the roaches. Food should not be kept open in the kitchen or dining. Always wash your dishes after meals and put away the leftover food promptly. Clean any food crumbs or spills immediately. Always keep a trash can with lid in the house any empty its contents daily.
Tips To Keep In Mind While Attempting Roach Hunt
The above given home remedies for cockroaches are highly useful in eliminating roaches from your home, however you need to take care of certain things while attempting to get rid of cockroaches.
- If you are using insecticides and chemicals to get rid of roaches care should be taken to prevent the inhalation of chemicals as these chemicals may cause breathing problems and lung irritation in humans.
- The baits and chemicals used for terminating the roaches may contain certain ingredients harmful for pets and children. Always keep the baits and chemicals in places not accessible to pets or children but accessible to roaches.
- Try to keep the kitchen area and bathroom, damp free to prevent them from being the breeding area of roaches.
- Cleaning the kitchen counters and floors using disinfectant liquids will keep away the roaches
- Deny access to food by keeping the food containers sealed. Make sure that dirty dishes are not kept outside overnight.
- Cockroaches cannot live without water for more than one week. Deny access to water by fixing any water leaks.
- Always store your cooking vessels and pots upside down so that there will not be any cockroach eggs or droppings in them
- If you kill cockroaches manually, clean up the place immediately.
- Keeping naphthalene balls in different parts of the house and inside the cabinets will prevent cockroaches as they hate the smell of naphthalene.
- Do not allow clutter to accumulate in your home. Anything from old paper to clothing can be their breeding house.
If you cannot eliminate the cockroaches using the above methods, you may get the help of professional pest controllers. They will be well equipped to do the job using chemicals and they will have the know how to use it safely even when your children and pets are around.