Chapter 5: How to Get Rid of Cockroaches
Discovering a cockroach infestation in your home or business can feel overwhelming and stressful. Although cockroaches are tough, there are ways to manage an infestation and prevent future invasions.
In this chapter, we’ll show you methods to get rid of cockroaches, so you can get back to business or enjoying your home. Always remember –– if it’s too much too handle, you don’t have to deal with roaches alone. The experts at Pestech Pest Solutions are ready to help.
Ways to Get Rid of Cockroaches
If you ever tried to squash a cockroach with your shoe, you may have been surprised when the little critter still gets up and runs away. Cockroaches are well-known to be seemingly indestructible creatures. Part of this is because they bend rather than break. Their exoskeleton consists of flexible but hard plates that overlap when they compress under a shoe or need to squeeze through a tight spot. The spines on their legs give them enough traction to escape even when they’re squished flat. Cockroaches are so admirable in their design that scientists are using their exoskeletons as models for robots.
Despite their resiliency, there are still ways to win a war with cockroaches. We’ll share steps for reclaiming your home or business and showing these pests that you’re in control.
1. Call a Professional
You may be able to get a small cockroach infestation under control on your own, but it’s still recommended to contact Pestech.
Cockroaches reproduce rapidly. So, while you may think you’ve caught them all, a whole new generation of roaches could be waiting to hatch in an undiscovered area. It can also be difficult locating all of their hiding spots, and it may be even more challenging to reach their dens. They are also a high-risk pest that you don’t want contaminating food and other objects in your home. It’s very important to take action as soon as you see even just one cockroach.
A pest control expert can evaluate the situation and determine the best course of action to get the infestation under control fast. They can also locate points of entry and seal up cracks and holes to help prevent future invasions. Professionals have the experience, knowledge and tools to get a pest problem under control successfully, and you won’t have to worry about using pesticides yourself.
If you suspect an infestation and don’t want to take any chances, it’s worth reaching out to a pro.
2. Locate Their Hideout
The first step to controlling an infestation is to determine where the cockroaches are hiding. Cockroaches need food and water, so you might start your investigation in the bathroom, kitchen or where you keep pet food. Make sure to consider less obvious areas too where roaches might stop for a drink such as planters and pet water bowls.
Using your knowledge of the different types of cockroaches and their habits, try to find their hiding spots. Most people will either encounter American or German cockroaches. German cockroaches like paper and dark areas next to moisture. Porous surfaces, as found on wood, paper and cardboard, retain their pheromone better. Check around wooden furniture, stacks of paper and pictures on the wall. Look for clues like live or dead cockroaches and cockroach droppings.
Once you’ve located their hiding spot, it’s time to set traps. Traps can help you control the infestation, identify the type of cockroaches in your home and confirm where they’re hiding. They’ll also give you an idea of the severity of the infestation.
Place sticky traps near food or water sources, or where you’ve actually seen cockroaches. If you have a heavy infestation, your trap may fill up overnight. With a low infestation, it could take days to catch a cockroach. If traps fill up, replace them with new traps immediately. The more cockroaches you have, the more traps you’ll need. If you don’t catch any cockroaches after a week, move the traps to a different area.
Record the type of cockroaches you find, how many there are in each trap and where you found them. Also, try to determine entry points throughout your investigation. This can help prevent future infestations.
3. Remove Food and Water
Cockroaches need water to survive, but they don’t need a lot. Sometimes a wet sponge or the condensation on a pipe can be enough to keep them going. Also, remember that cockroaches aren’t picky eaters and will happily consume anything from rotting food to pet hair. Keeping these things in mind, get rid of their food and water sources by taking the following steps:
- Clean any spilled food and crumbs.
- Store food in containers with tight lids.
- Repair leaks.
- Insulate pipes to prevent condensation.
- Cover drains with mesh screens.
- Seal sponges in sandwich bags overnight.
- Remove standing water from planter saucers.
- Cover moist houseplant soil with a layer of gravel.
- Do not leave pet food dishes out overnight.
- Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter.
- Store trash in a bin with a tight lid.
- Keep waste food in a jar with a lid until you take the trash out.
- Take the garbage out regularly.
- Clean and dry dishes immediately after use.
- Clean food preparation surfaces with a cleaning solution after each use.
- Make sure all grease splashes, spills, and food residue are removed from oven hoods and walls.
- Keep soiled clothing in sealed bags or hampers with tight-fitting lids.
- Thoroughly vacuum floors and inside drawers, cabinets and crevices.
- Clean appliance surfaces.
- Mop floors and scrub away any sticky residue.
Make sure to check for food behind appliances and furniture. If you find cockroaches in any of the areas you’re cleaning, grab them with a vacuum cleaner. A narrow vacuum attachment can help you remove roaches from hard-to-reach places. If you have a small infestation in one area, you may be able to use a vacuum to get it under control. Otherwise, vacuuming is a necessary step in preparing for other pest control methods because it helps remove fecal matter and egg cases.
Afterward, take the vacuum cleaner outside, remove the bag and make sure it’s sealed. Toss the bag in the garbage right away and wipe down the vacuum cleaner with a damp cloth before bringing it back inside. You can also seal the bag in a cockroach-proof container and stick it in the freezer. Leave the bag in the freezer for five days. If it’s winter, you can place the bag outside if temperatures get near 0 F.
A clean home removes the things cockroaches need to survive, and it tempts them to use bait traps.
4. Eliminate Hiding Spots
After removing their food and water, focus on eliminating their hiding spots.
If cockroaches have limited places to hide, they won’t feel safe in your home, and you can find them easier to remove them. Take these steps:
- Clean up clutter like boxes and paper.
- Replace porous surfaces like wood and cardboard with metal or plastic.
- Store portable hiding areas in airtight plastic bags or containers.
- Seal up gaps and cracks in walls, doors, around outlets and windows with caulk.
- Replace cracked or damaged appliance gaskets.
5. Use Bait and Traps
You’ve identified and cleaned up their hiding areas and removed their food and water –– what’s the next step? You’ll want to capture and kill the cockroaches using sticky traps or bait. Here are the different tools to use:
- Glue board traps: You can find a range of glue board traps available in supermarkets. These traps are open at both ends and contain a sticky material where cockroaches get stuck. Place them in the kitchen and bathroom or where you know there’s an infestation. Try to set down at least six traps at once.
- Gel baits: Gel baits come in a syringe. With a gel bait, you’ll apply small dabs in hiding areas or highly active locations. Gel baits are a convenient way to apply insecticide to small areas like cracks and crevices. For larger infestations, you’ll need to apply more dabs. Either way, the more gel bait you put out, the more likely it’ll get eaten. You’ll need to apply gel bait frequently as it can dry out in about three days.
- Bait stations: A bait station contains a gel, paste or dust in a plastic housing. The cockroach will take the poisonous bait, consume it, crawl to their hiding spot and die. Other cockroaches in the area may eat the feces or body of the dead cockroach and also ingest the poison. Using bait stations can be an effective method for long-term control if other food sources remain unavailable.
Baits are typically slow-acting, and it may take a week or longer to see results. Keep in mind that baits will not attract cockroaches if they are placed out of the way. They must be placed strategically along busy cockroach routes. It’s also important to realize that cockroaches with egg cases won’t be out foraging for food as much as other roaches, so they are less likely to take the bait.
After you’ve got an infestation under control, you’re still not in the clear. Infestations must be monitored regularly.
Continue monitoring your home or business, and focus on prevention by keeping areas clean and free of food. Traps are an excellent way to keep an eye on cockroach populations and ensure control methods are working. Inspect traps regularly to determine if you need further treatment or different techniques. If an infestation persists, call an expert for help.
What Is the Best Home Remedy to Get Rid of Roaches?
According to a Rutgers study, the most effective home remedy for getting rid of roaches is to use traps and baits and keep the kitchen clean. There really is no home remedy that’s as effective as using traps and cleaning or calling professionals for help.
What Smells Keep Roaches Away?
Peppermint oil may repel roaches, but it won’t kill them.
How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Cockroaches?
The amount of time it takes to get rid of cockroaches depends on the severity of the infestation and the methods used to control the problem. When you work with us at Pestech Pest Solutions, we control the issue quickly and effectively. We will inspect your home or business regularly to prevent future infestations.
Contact Pestech Pest Solutions
When you think about it, cockroaches are pretty amazing creatures. American cockroaches can squeeze through a space that’s only 3 millimeters high, not to mention they’ve been around for millions of years. But, that doesn’t mean we need to welcome these creepy crawlers into our homes and businesses. Cockroaches can carry diseases and cause allergic reactions, and they don’t make the loveliest guests in a restaurant or at the dinner table.
If you have a cockroach infestation, you’re not alone. Nor do you need to panic over these common pests. Whether you just saw a cockroach in the bathroom or found one scurrying across the floor in your restaurant, help is available.
At Pestech Pest Solutions, we’ve been solving pest problems for homes and businesses since 1989. Our technicians will work with you on your schedule to find the best solution for your unique situation. We understand how stressful a pest infestation can be, and we aim to make all of our customers feel listened to and satisfied with our services. We guarantee your satisfaction with even the most difficult pest issues and will work with you until the problem is solved. To learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, contact us today!