How to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!

Learn what causes roach infestation, the best ways to get rid of cockroaches and how to prevent the infestation from happening again
By
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
reviewed
Reviewed By
Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: January 23, 2023
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Nobody ever wants to find out they have a cockroach problem, but unfortunately, it does happen. When cockroaches find their way in, they can sometimes be very challenging to get rid of. The good news is that there are home remedies that tell us how to get rid of cockroaches, as well as professionals that can help when we can’t quite tackle it.

In this guide, we will share with you some ideas for trying to get rid of cockroaches from your home, how to tell when you have a possible infestation, and when to know it’s time to call a professional. Use these tips and information to get rid of cockroaches in a house or business.

Read on for more information!

Common Types of Cockroaches

One of the things that makes fighting a cockroach infestation challenging is the fact that there is more than one type of roach out there. You will find that there are either domestic or peridomestic roaches. Domestic cockroaches make your home (or anyone’s home) their home, while peridomestic live outdoors but will find places to cozy up inside when it gets cold outside.

Within those two categories, there are nearly 4,000 species in the world today. That being said, there are very few species that live in North America. When you look at just this region, there are only 5 common species, which is slightly less scary than the number above, right?

Here are those 5.

  • American cockroach
  • German cockroach
  • Smoky brown cockroach
  • Oriental cockroach
  • Brown banded cockroach

And here is a little more information about each of these species.

American Cockroach

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!The American cockroach is a peridomestic variety. These tend to be pretty large in size and have been known to grow to up to 2 inches in length. They don’t really fly but they can glide so you might think you need to get rid of flying cockroaches but it’s really just these gliding pests instead. The American cockroach can be identified by their brown bodies and a head that looks similar to a raccoon mask with golden tones and some dark spots.

German Cockroach

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!The German cockroach is domestic. They have a tan coloring to their bodies and two dark stripes down their backs. These cockroaches actually smell very bad so if they are the problem, you very well might be able to smell them. Since they live indoors, you will need to get rid of cockroaches in the kitchen by being extremely careful about providing a food source for them. This is the most common roach fought in the US.

You might also have to fight dirty with one of these best roach killer options we could find.

Smoky Brown Cockroach

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!Smoky browns are peridomestic and they have a very dark color that is comparable to mahogany. They also have shiny shields protecting their heads. These roaches also get pretty large, but not quite as big as the American roach. They do fly, though so that may be a detail to remember. They are most likely to find their way into your home on plants and other types of vegetation.

Oriental CockroachHow to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!

Oriental cockroaches are also peridomestic. They are slightly smaller than some of the other types out there but can still grow to be an inch long. These pests don’t move quickly and don’t fly. They crawl slowly to get where they need to go. Because of this, they tend to stay in places that are easy to get to. You’re most likely to find them near sewage so these may be a type of cockroach in the bathroom.

Brown Banded Cockroaches

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!The last common type is the brown banded cockroach. They really prefer warmth and dryness so you are more likely to find them in Texas and states with similar climates. If you need to get rid of cockroaches in Texas like these, many of the solutions we share below will be helpful to do so.

This type of cockroach only gets about 1/2 an inch in size and they are flyers. They are dark brown but have light brown bands around their bodies, which is where their name comes from.

Dangers of a Cockroach Infestation

There are certainly insects and bugs out there that serve a purpose. Some of them can have benefits but cockroaches are really not good for your homes. If you have an infestation, you really need to get it taken care of as quickly as possible.

Just because you see a cockroach or two doesn’t necessarily mean you have an infestation. This could just be a few stray cockroaches that are seeking refuge from the outdoors. However, you may want to take action if you do notice the random roaches in order to prevent an infestation.

An infestation occurs when there is a family of cockroaches that have made themselves at home and are laying eggs or completing life cycles in your home. When they are cozy like this, they won’t leave on their own. You’ve got to get rid of them.

While a cockroach probably won’t bite you, they are dangerous in other ways. They defecate wherever they please, which means they can easily contaminate surfaces and even your food. They carry illness and bacteria around so they could cause sickness and infection to your household if not removed.

Why Do You Have Cockroaches in Your House?

What is it exactly that brings cockroaches into your home? They find their way in through different means but there also may be things in your home that are attracting them. If you welcome them, they are going to set up shop.

These are some of the reasons you might find cockroaches in your home.

  • Food left out, or crumbs
  • Dirty dishes
  • Readily-available garbage
  • Shelter or hiding spaces
  • Cold outside drives them in
  • Nearby water or standing water
  • Outdoor attractants like water, birdseed, and fruit plants
  • Cracks or crevices to enter through
  • Riding in on old furniture, plants, or vegetation

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

When you need to know how to get rid of cockroaches in an apartment, a house, or a business, there are multiple options. You can use home remedies to get rid of cockroaches, as well as natural solutions. In addition, there are things like sprays, traps, or foggers that might help too.

Check out some of these methods:

Eliminate Attraction Factors

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!One of the best things that you can do is keep your home clean and tidy. Avoid dishes and trash piling up or piles of crumbs left anywhere throughout the home. All of these things attract cockroaches. If you take steps to help eliminate the things that attract roaches, you will be better able to get rid of them, or never let them in to begin with.

This includes food, leaks, hiding places, and some of the other things we shared above.

Glue StripsHow to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!

Glue strips are little traps that you can buy that have some sort of housing or case around it and has sticky residue on the inside. When a cockroach walks through the trap, the sticky adhesive holds them and traps them so they can’t get out. You can find these at most hardware and home goods stores, or even online.

Once the roaches get into the glue strips, you can simply discard them and be done with it. It likely won’t take care of a full nest but will definitely catch a few here and there to help you out.

Bait Stations

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!Another option is a bait station that has bait and poison inside of it. One option that reviewers highly recommend is this ant bait station from Terro. You place them in the ground on the outside of your home and the bait and poison mixture drip out of the station. Roaches will be attracted to it, consume it, share it, and die.

Liquid Roach Deterrent Concentrate

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!One way to get rid of baby cockroaches, adults, and eggs is to use a concentrated deterrent. These are going to be your insecticides. You can mix up your own but it might be easier to find one in stores that is specifically rated for cockroaches. This will need to be applied throughout your residence, including these areas.

  • In any cracks or holes
  • Around all doors and windows
  • Along your baseboards
  • Under all large appliances
  • Near utility pipes and sewage pipes
  • In corners of your basement
  • Miscellaneous hiding spaces

If you want a pre-made solution like these but don’t want to worry about spraying, you could also try some of these best roach bombs and foggers for similar results.

Boric AcidHow to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!

Boric acid will kill roaches if they consume it. The trick is that they have to actually eat the boric acid for it to work. For that reason, you may need to set something up as bait so they will consume it. Boric acid is another type of poison but it can sometimes be challenging to make effective.

In terms of how long does it take to get rid of cockroaches, using boric acid will not be a quick solution. Once they consume it, there will likely still be several days before the roach actually dies. But they will die if you are patient.

The best way to get roaches to consume this toxic substance is to mix it with some sugar and water and leave it in a jar or bowl that they will definitely notice. They will be attracted to the sweet sugar and the boric acid can work its magic from there.

Diatomaceous Earth

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!Diatomaceous Earth can be used for a lot of things, particularly as a poison or repellent to pests like these. It’s best to use this outside as it can easily blend in with the dirt and the roaches will never know they’ve walked right into a toxic substance that will basically dry them out until they die.

This is another solution that will take some time to work but it is effective and may be a good barrier to surround your home with.

Baking Soda

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!Much like Boric acid, you can mix baking soda with sugar to kill roaches. The baking soda will mix with water in the roach’s system and cause them to expand and die. In fact, you can combine baking soda with boric acid to make the process slightly faster. This might only take a few hours to kill the roaches.

Borax

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!Borax contains a mixture of sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, and disodium tetraborate. The combination is lethal to a cockroach so this makes another good home remedy to get rid of cockroaches. Simply mix with sugar and water like you did with some of the other remedies.

Citrus

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!There is just something about citrus that pests like these simply don’t like. Citrus may not kill roaches but it can definitely be a deterrent. It’s pungent to them and they won’t come near if they can help it. You can use citrus sprays around the home as a natural deterrent.

Essential Oils

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches: Eliminate the Problem At Once!Finally, essential oils can be deterrents too, particularly anything with citrus, kaffir lime, oregano, or rosemary. Some of these deter while others are toxic. It’s a great way to get rid of cockroaches naturally.

If you don’t want to mix your own solution, you can use something like this option from Wondercide that is already mixed, diluted, and ready for your use.

When Is It Time to Call a Professional?

If you fear that you have an infestation, you can try some of these remedies yourself to get rid of those nasty roaches. However, if you are unsure about any of them, you can bring in a professional. If you try some of these solutions and still have a problem, definitely call a professional to get it taken care of.

Professionals will can inspect and find the problem and then use a safe pesticide to help eliminate them throughout your entire home. This is often much longer lasting than home remedies.

How to Prevent the Roach Problem

The true best way to get rid of cockroaches forever is to prevent them from ever coming in. Here are a few things you can do.

  • Keep things cleaned up outside and inside
  • Store food away properly
  • Clean kitchen appliances, particularly underneath
  • Don’t keep piles of things like boxes or paper
  • Set traps and bait
  • Take steps to seal entry areas

FAQ

How much does it cost to get rid of cockroaches?

The cost will vary depending on the solution that you choose. Hiring a professional typically costs anywhere from $100-$500 but in severe cases could cost much more. Many home remedies use things you might already have or solutions that are less than $50.

How do I get rid of cockroaches outside?

Outside, you could use an insecticide and spray it around. You can also use solutions like diatomaceous earth or bait stations to help here.

Final Thoughts

Cockroaches might seem harmless because they aren’t poisonous and don’t bite. But the truth is they can be very dirty and carry all sorts of contamination that might affect your health and your home. You don’t want to invite them in or give them any reason to come in if you can help it.

It’s not always your fault when they do come in but you should take action right away to try to remedy the situation. These tips are designed to help you get rid of cockroaches. Remember that if you struggle for a good remedy, you can call in the professionals too. Do you best to eliminate them and prevent infestations as well.

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