If you’re wondering how to get rid of roaches, chances are you’ve already seen a roach or at least a sign of a roach in your home. This is no pleasant experience, but rest assured you are not alone.
Today, we are going to talk about how to get rid of roaches and keep them from returning using insecticides, natural products, and even home remedies. But before we begin, let’s talk a bit about what roaches are, where they come from, and why they are attracted to your home.
What Are Roaches And How Many Types Of Roaches Are There?
The first thing most of us think of when we think of roaches are cockroaches, like the ones pictured above..
Roaches are a type of insect closely related to termites. There are over 4,000 species of roaches living across the globe and up to 70 different species of roaches in the United States.
Roaches are not poisonous to people, however, they can lead to a number of serious health issues and even cause diseases when they invade homes due to their unsanitary habits.
This is why many people decide to go through a professional pest control service when researching how to get rid of roaches. Of course, you can always try your own methods when looking at how to get rid of roaches yourself.
But before you decide how to get rid of roaches and which remedies and products are right for you, it’s wise to know which kinds of roaches you are dealing with.
Let’s learn more about the most common types of roaches in the US and how to get rid of roaches you come across.
Identifying The Roaches
There are many different types of cockroaches.
As we mentioned above, there are about 70 different species of roach in the United States. It can be difficult to determine what kind of roach infestation you are dealing with, and this is where sticky traps can come in handy when trying to determine how to get rid of roaches based on species.
If you want to know how to get rid of roaches using sticky traps, skip below to the products section of this article. Please note that sticky traps are most useful in helping catch and identify the type of roaches you are dealing with and not necessarily the most effective treatment method for how to get rid of roaches.
The most common types of roaches you may come across in the United States are:
- American Cockroaches
American cockroaches are also known as palmetto bugs.
The American Cockroach, also known as a palmetto bug, is the largest of the four roaches on this list. These roaches prefer warm, wet areas like sewers and drain pipes. That said, they can still be found in homes, usually in unfinished basements.
- German Cockroaches
German roaches are smaller roaches with markings on their heads.
The German cockroach is the most common type of cockroach seen in the US and is most commonly found in homes. They are the ones most responsible for causing diseases and allergy issues, and they tend to live in our kitchen cabinets, bathrooms, storage rooms, and other tight, dark spaces.
- Brown-banded Cockroaches
Brown-banded roaches are the smallest on this list.
The Brown-banded roach is another roach that’s often found in american homes. In fact, these roaches may even infest the same homes at the same time as their German roach counterparts. They are about the same size as a German roach as well, but they do not live or hide out in the same areas. You will usually find Brown-banded roaches in ceilings, hollowed wood, hiding in electrical devices, and behind picture frames.
- Water Bugs / Oriental Cockroaches
Oriental Cockroaches are most commonly referred to as water bugs.
Also known as water bugs, these large roaches typically infest dark, damp places in the home. They are difficult to get rid of because of this and are often hard to find. They are attracted to homes with water damage or leaky pipes, and often require a professional pest control company to help remove them.
The Video Below Further Discusses The Different Types Of Roaches You May Come Across And How To Identify Them.
Pinpointing Your Roach Infestation
Pinpointing your infestation will help you eliminate the problem.
Identifying the type of roaches you have and pinpointing where your roach infestation is goes hand-in-hand. Since different roaches prefer different types of habitats, your roach infestation is going to vary depending on the species of roach you are dealing with.
That said, there are several clues you can look for in all kinds of roach infestations that will alert you to these creepy crawlies in your house.
Some early signs of a roach infestation include:
- Egg Casings
Roach egg casings, also called ootheca, are casings designed to hold multiple roach eggs at once, and once baby roaches hatch, they leave these casings behind. The casings look almost like insects themselves. They are usually elongated and a light or dark brown color.
Unfortunately, one egg casing can hold between 10 to 20 eggs, with the German Roach egg casing holding as many as 50. This means if you find a few hatched roach egg casings, you’re definitely dealing with a roach infestation.
- Roach Droppings
Along with using sticky traps to help determine what kind of roach infestation you are dealing with and further help you decide how to get rid of roaches in your home, droppings give another clue.
Roach droppings may be as small as pepper flakes or a bit larger, depending on the size of the roaches in your home.
- A Musky Odor
An oily or musky odor is not a good sign when dealing with a roach infestation because this usually means you are dealing with a big infestation. If you smell roaches and you are wondering how to get rid of roaches on your own, you may want to go ahead and contact a professional off the top.
- Dead Roaches
Dead roaches are another sign you may have a larger roach problem than you thought. Roaches typically hide during the day, so if you have enough roaches that some of them are coming out into the open to die, you may want to call in the pros.
- Seeing A Roach During The Day
Another telltale sign that you’re dealing with a big roach problem is when you see living roaches during the day. If you want to know how to get rid of roaches you see during the day, we recommend calling in a pest control expert as well as implementing some of the below methods.
Clean And Sanitize – How To Get Rid Of Roaches Fast
Cleaning and sanitizing is a quick and effective way to reduce and eliminate roach problems.
Like mice and many other pests, when roaches invade your home, they are usually looking for a water or food source. Eliminate these sources and research how to get rid of roaches by cleaning and sanitizing thoroughly.
When looking at how to get rid of roaches step by step, the first thing we recommend is you declutter your home as much as possible. Don’t leave leftover foods out, don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, and seal foods in the cabinets in airtight containers.
You can do this before you call in any experts or before you begin your roach treatment methods, as this will help you better reach certain areas as well as help you keep an eye on spaces roaches like to hang out.
Make A Treatment Plan And Get To Work
The next step to take when working on how to get rid of roaches is to make a treatment plan. Whether you decide to call in the professionals or you want to look into how to get rid of roaches on your own, it’s best to have an idea of the steps you want to take.
A basic treatment plan for how to get rid of roaches may look like:
- Cleaning and sanitizing
- Laying out lures and traps to identify the roaches
- Deciding on your treatment method (Insecticides, professional pest control, home remedies)
- Treating your home and repeating if necessary
How To Get Rid Of Roaches With Insecticides
Insecticides are a popular method and can get rid of roaches fast, however they can be dangerous for children and pets.
The sighting of just one roach can lead to serious disgust and panic, which is why many people turn to chemical insecticides like bug bombs and foggers when looking for how to get rid of roaches fast. While insecticides are a quick and effective method to roach removal in homes, they are also dangerous for our families and the environment.
That said, sometimes insecticides are necessary when dealing with a serious roach infestation. Wondering how to get rid of roaches with insecticides that work? If you are looking for some good, quality insecticides to get rid of the roaches in your home, we have listed some popular products below.
Raid Roach Gel
We like this roach gel by Raid because it is specifically designed to kill roaches at their source. This gel is meant to be applied at all entry and exit points and has a pointed applicator that makes it simple to reach small cracks and crevices.
This not only helps kill roaches already in the home, but it should also prevent them from returning in the future. We also like that this roach gel works on a number of different types of roaches, including common German and American roaches.
Combat Max Roach Killing Bait Stations
If you are looking at how to get rid of roaches using spray-free options, you may want to check out these roach killing traps by Combat. While these bait stations do contain chemicals that are harmful to children and pets, they are also made specifically to be child-safe and help prevent children from getting into to the bait.
This is an effective tool for those of you wondering how to get rid of roaches quickly as the bait stations lure the roaches in and allow them to take the bait back to their colony, effectively killing off the group.
These bait stations are specifically designed for small roaches, however, so read the instructions carefully to ensure you are able to get rid of the type of roaches you have. Once you install these traps, they should continue to keep roaches from returning for up to one year.
Advion Cockroach Pest Control Plungers
If you want to know how to get rid of roaches the professional way, take a look at Advion cockroach pest control plungers. This product uses the active ingredient indoxacarb and is a gel bait used in a number of commercial buildings, schools, hotels, and more.
This is also a safe product to use in family homes, but should be used carefully as it is an insecticide.
Hot Shot Roach Killer
Hot Shot offers a liquid bait option for those wondering how to get rid of roaches quickly and effectively without much effort.
We like that the product not only kills large and small roaches, but also kills them where they breed, helping to eliminate future roach infestations in the home. This is an easy, no-mess insecticide that allows you to place the bait throughout the home where roaches have been seen and simply wait.
Of course, this is an insecticide and should be used with caution around children and pets.
How To Get Rid of Roaches With Natural Products
Diatomaceous Earth is a popular and natural powder that helps kill roaches and other pests in the home.
Roaches can be a serious problem, especially when they begin to overrun your home and life. That said, chemicals can also be just as dangerous and lead to serious health problems in humans and pets if not applied carefully.
Furthermore, chemical insecticides are also terrible for the environment. This is why we always love recommending natural products to those looking at how to get rid of roaches safely. The below natural products are natural, safe ways you can eliminate a roach infestation in your home while keeping kids, pets, and the environment healthy and happy.
Boric Acid Roach Powder
Boric Acid sounds intense, but actually it’s a natural and effective tool when looking at how to get rid of roaches without harming the environment or humans and pets. Boric acid is a natural chemical found in plants, rocks, and water and can be used to safely treat your home both indoors and outdoors for roach infestations.
So, if you are looking for how to get rid of roaches in a safe and natural way, this is definitely a product we would recommend. We also like the easy applicator that helps distribute this powder, and the fact that this product contains a lureing agent to help attract roaches to the poison.
Boric Acid Roach Tablets
Another natural product using Boric Acid are these Boric Acid tablets. They not only kill roaches but also work to kill silverfish infestations. The tablets are made with a food-grade lure that attracts roaches and encourages them to ingest the tablets, killing them.
The tablets are also effective against large roach colonies since roaches tend to take the tablets back to their nest, which eliminate the colony as well. You can order one package of these tablets and place them strategically throughout different rooms in the house.
Again, this product is a safe method when wondering how to get rid of roaches in homes and with children and pets. However, since you are laying out tablets, we recommend you read the safety instructions carefully.
Ultrasonic Pest Repeller Wall Plug-In
No products found.
I have personally used these wall plug-ins and have found them to be quite effective. What I like best about this method of how to get rid of roaches is that it is completely chemical, powder, or poison free and uses only soundwaves to help repel pests like roaches.
The frequency does not bother humans or pets and can be plugged in to different rooms for ultimate use. Each plug-in reaches up to 2,000 square feet.
Diatomaceous Earth Powder
One of our favorite pest control remedies for how to get rid of roaches naturally is Diatomaceous Earth. This powder, pictured above, is a flour-like substance that is safe to use inside and outside with pets and children. It is a natural pest control method that uses fossilized algae to help penetrate the exoskeleton of pests like roaches, dehydrating them from the inside and killing them.
Diatomaceous Earth also works against spiders, beetles, ants, termites, bedbugs, and other insects that infest homes. Best of all, it is 100% organic, environmentally friendly, and safe.
Organic Home Pest Control Spray
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When you are looking at how to get rid of roaches naturally and organically, take a look at this organic pest spray by Mdxconcepts. This all organic pest spray helps not only kill roaches but also repel them and keep them from coming back.
This product also works to eliminate other pests inside the home like spiders, ants, earwigs, mites, and more.
You can use this organic pest spray inside or outside, and rest easy knowing it’s safe to use in homes around children and pets.
Gideal Sticky Roach Traps
Sticky traps are another way to help eliminate and trap roaches in the home, but if you are looking for how to get rid of roaches completely, we would recommend using these traps along with another natural method.
While these traps do trap and kill roaches on the spot, they do not allow the roaches to carry poison back to their colony and, if you have a very large roach infestation, will only get a small amount of the roaches in your home.
That said, this is a good product to use when trying to identify roaches, and you can safely use it in homes with kids and pets. It also works to trap spiders, ants, flies, and other pests as well.
How To Get Rid Of Roaches Using Home Remedies
Sugar and baking soda can help you naturally bait and kill roaches.
Wondering how to get rid of roaches using home remedies? You may already have several useful products sitting right underneath your kitchen sink or in your cupboards or refrigerator.
Let’s take a look at some effective home remedies you can use at home when looking at how to get rid of roaches naturally.
- Baking Soda And Sugar
Mix equal parts baking soda and sugar to create a concoction that is deadly to cockroaches once ingested. Leave a dish of water beside the bait so when the roach drinks, the baking soda expands it it’s stomach and kills it.
- Boiled Catnip
Catnip is easy to access at any local pet shop and is a simple ingredient to consider when looking at how to get rid of roaches using home remedies. Simply boil the catnip in one liter of water for ten minutes, then place the mixture in a spray bottle once cooled. Spray the mixture around your home and property to kill and repel roaches, and repeat as needed.
- Use Essential Oils Like Peppermint, Lavender, Tea Tree, and Eucalyptus Oils.
Essential oils smell good to us, but their scents are strong and repulsive to roaches. There are two ways to go about using the essential oils of your choice to repel and eliminate roaches.
- Mix 15 oil drops of your choice with 10 ounces of water in a spray bottle. Spray your home and any area you have seen roach activity. Repeat as necessary.
- Soak a cotton ball with the oil of your choice and apply it to surfaces like walls, floorboards, window ledges, and entry and exit points. You may also apply it to places you have noticed the most roach activity. Repeat this process as needed.
- White Vinegar And Water
White vinegar doesn’t kill roaches, but it can help repel them. Mix two parts water with one part vinegar in a spray bottle and spray all entry and exit points of your home. You may also spray any affected areas or areas you have seen signs of roach activity. For an extra boost of roach fighting power, you can also add 10 drops of an essential oil like peppermint oil or lavender oil.
Frequently Asked Questions About Roaches
Did you know roaches can hold their breath underwater for 40 minutes?
- Do Roaches Carry Disease?
Roaches may not sting like wasps, but they can still be dangerous. As frustrating and gross as a roach infestation is, it’s made even worse by the fact that roaches can lead to a number of serious diseases like typhoid, poliomyelitis, salmonella, e-coli, and even dysentery.
Roach droppings and egg casings are also to blame for an increase in allergies and asthma issues, and can be especially problematic for people with chronic breathing issues and other health problems.
- Where Do Roaches Nest In the home?
Roaches like to nest in small, dark spaces that are near food and water sources. The most common places for roaches to nest are basements, bathrooms, kitchens, attics, and underneath appliances and furniture. Roaches can also hide in closets, in any crack or crevice in flooring and walls, between wall cavities, behind picture frames, and in the back of kitchen cabinets.
- Can You Flush Roaches Down The Toilet To Kill Them?
You can flush roaches if you want to, but you’re not necessarily killing them when you do that. In fact, did you know that roaches can hold their breath underwater for up to 40 minutes? This is why the most effective way to treat and eradicate a roach infestation is to handle it at the source with either a chemical treatment or natural treatment like using Boric Acid or Diatomaceous Earth powder.
- What Are Roaches Most Attracted To?
When looking at how to get rid of roaches, you must also understand what attracts roaches in the first place. Roaches are attracted to food and water sources. This means leftovers, crumbs, and water from leaky pipes can lead to an infestation.
One of the most effective ways to keep roaches from infesting your home is to ensure you have properly stored all food and water.
- How Many Roaches Usually Make Up An Infestation?
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to determine the exact number of roaches that make up infestations, as each infestation is different. Instead of trying to determine an exact number, experts recommend looking at the signs of an infestation to gauge how bad it is.
For example, if you are simply seeing signs of an infestation like roach droppings or egg casings, you know you may have a light problem. If you see roaches out and about during the day when they normally should be hiding out, your infestation may be more severe.
Tips On Preventing A Future Roach Infestation In Your Home
Prevent future roach infestations by keeping your home clean and sanitized.
Once you get rid of roaches, you definitely don’t want them coming back. Luckily, there are several things you can do to be proactive and keep roaches from returning.
Keep roaches from returning to your home by following the below steps:
- Clean And Store Food Properly
Clean up thoroughly after eating using sanitizer and soaps. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink and don’t leave food out overnight. Tightly seal cereal boxes, crackers, and snacks. Leaving food out in the open is basically an invitation to roaches, and you certainly don’t want to be sending them the message that they are welcome in your home. Using air-tight containers in cabinets is also an effective way to help reduce the chances of having another roach infestation in your home.
You don’t have to wait until spring to do a spring cleaning! Decluttering your home helps reduce the places roaches can hide and also eliminates roach food sources you may not have thought of like garbage, dirt, paper and even glue. This means old piles of magazines and newspapers could be a smorgosboard for roaches if they aren’t actively organized, moved, and recycled. And any belongings made of wood, glue, and paper could also be a feast for these unwanted pests, so try and get rid of things you no longer need, want or use.
- Seal and Caulk Where Necessary
Keep up with home maintenance as often as possible. That loose gap between your windowsill isn’t just letting a cool draft in every now and then – it may also be a doorway for roaches and other pests. Sealing and caulking gaps and openings around the perimeter of your home and ensuring all entry and exit points are securely closed is a good way to eliminate future roach problems in your home.
- Reduce Moisture Buildup
Take care of water leaks, leaky pipes, or water damage as soon as possible. Roaches are attracted to moisture and water sources and will seek out homes with any type of excess moisture, especially if you live in a dry climate where moisture access is difficult to come by elsewhere.
And last, if you do find you have a roach infestation, don’t panic. Roaches are common pests and by following the above steps, reaching out to a professional, and using the proper methods, you should be able to get rid of them.
Best of luck!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.