Homeowners who struggle with roaches are constantly on the lookout for products and strategies that will quickly eliminate cockroach infestations with lasting results. Unfortunately, roaches are among some of the most resilient insects in the world. Complicating your efforts, cockroaches are also excellent hiders and rapid breeders. For every roach that you see crawling across your floor and climbing through your pantry, there could be hundreds more roaches hidding. For these and other reasons, you’ll need a multi-pronged approach to get rid of roaches in your home.
It’s important to start taking steps toward removing roaches as you see them because cockroaches reproduce fast. The quicker you act, the better handle you’ll get on the infestation.
People often spot cockroaches during the night when they get up to grab some food or use the bathroom. This is because most roaches are nocturnal, sleeping and hiding during the day and scavenging for food at night.
Understandably, when people see roaches in their homes at night, they’ll resort to extreme measures to keep cockroaches away. For example, sleeping with their lights on or sleeping in their vehicle for the night. Sleeping with your lights on can keep roaches away for a little while (probably no more than a few days), but is a very short-term solution. Roaches adapt and eventually learn that the light you left on at night doesn’t actually represent danger.
You’ll need to start your cockroach treatment by interfering with their habits.
Start by cleaning up for roaches (cut off their food supply)
The best way to kick these efforts off is by cutting off cockroaches most likely food and water sources. Roaches need food and water to survive, but water is by far more important.
A roach can live for a full month without food, but cockroaches won’t survive more than a week without access to water.
If you keep seeing cockroaches after attempting the techniques we recommend, consider scheduling a whole-house plumbing inspection in order to check your home for hidden or slow leaks.
Taking care of leaks behind baseboards, drywall, or appliances will not only prevent extensive water damage, but it could be the most effective step that you take in your efforts to curb your cockroach infestation (assuming steps below don’t work). Also, unaddressed leaks can attract other pests like subterranean termites.
When it comes to eliminating food sources, make sure to:
- Store all food in airtight canisters.
- Sweep under all major kitchen appliances.
- Clean out grease traps.
- Use only indoor wastebaskets that have tight-sealing lids.
- Clear out the clutter in storage areas such as old newspapers, magazines, and unused clothing.
- Clean under all furnishings and inside of their folds.
- Vacuum or sweep your floors thoroughly.
Having a clean home will not create an abode that is absolutely roach-free. One large part of being a resilient insect is a willingness to eat just about anything. Roaches will feast on the organic debris found in dirty laundry, the insides of your electronics, and other surprising, non-edible items throughout the home. This is why your pest elimination plan should also include baited traps, poisons, or roach powders.
Long-term roach removal steps
Baited cockroach traps and cockroach poison
Baited traps work by luring random roaches in with the promise of food. Once roaches step into these contraptions, they are literally covered in toxins and growth regulators that they will invariably bring back to their homes.
Not only will you kill the roaches that have actually entered the traps, but you’ll also kill all of the insects that these roaches come in contact with. This is a very effective way to decimate the population, but it also takes time and a willingness to practice diligent housekeeping. Roaches will not be tempted to enter your traps if they have an endless supply of food just beneath your stove.
Poison can be disbursed by licensed pest control professionals or by using roach bombs that are purchased at a local drug or hardware store. Be mindful of the fact that most poisons are not designed to kill all generations of bugs. More commonly, these products kill off adult roaches and leave newly hatched larvae and eggs unharmed.
Some products may be able to render younger roaches incapable of breeding, but most have only a very nominal impact on the eggs—if any at all.
Due to this fact, when you use poisons as part of your pest control plan, you will have to repeat treatments in order to effectively break the breeding cycles.
Roach bombs should be used two to three times, with each treatment being spaced just two weeks apart. Products used by pest control professionals, however, have their own level of efficacy and come with their own specific recommendations.
Your pest control provider can tell you how many cockroach treatments are necessary for resolving a widespread infestation.
You can add another leg to your plan of attack by investing in roach powders. These are dry, store-bought products that are sold in plastic bottles or metal cans.
You place these powders along baseboards, behind and under appliances, and in other areas in which roaches might be hiding.
They function similarly to the poisons that are found in roach traps given that they can be traced back to the colony and spread for exponential benefits.
These products can be very helpful in instances in which infestations are severe and longstanding.
Why a multi-pronged approach is essential for effective roach removal
There are two major challenges that homeowners must overcome when fighting roach infestations. Foremost among these is the impressive resiliency of cockroaches and the ability of roach populations to withstand the treatment.
The second challenge is simply learning how to break the breeding cycle of these insects while dealing with the likelihood of a gradual immunity to any chemicals that are used.
Due to this fact, no single treatment is going to provide superior and long-lasting results all on its own. With a battery of coordinated efforts, however, you can reclaim your living space and eradicate these bugs for good.