Roaches tend to be perceived as public enemy number one when it comes to pests in American households. They are synonymous with filth and are even known to exacerbate allergies, heighten asthma symptoms, and spread bacteria.
There are plenty of products on the market geared towards getting rid of roaches, but one of the best and most effective has been found to be roach gel.
But what is roach gel, how does it work, and what are some pros and cons you should know about before you begin using this amazing pest control agent?
That’s what we’re here to discuss. Join us today as we learn about roach gel and find out which types of roach gel will work best for the particular roaches driving you crazy.
But First, Let’s Talk About Cockroaches
Roaches are some of the most unpleasant pests found in American households.
There are an estimated 4,000 different cockroach species roaming the world, but just around 55 of those species are known to inhabit the United States. And, plot twist, most of those roaches are not even considered pests.
In spite of what we know about cockroaches, the majority of the roaches in the United States are considered beneficial insects that are crucial to a healthy ecosystem.
However, there are a few species of common cockroach in particular that is not only deemed as pests but dangerous pests at that.
The four most common pest roaches include the German Cockroach, the Brown Banded Cockroach, the Oriental Cockroach, and the American Cockroach.
The German Cockroach
Known as one of the smaller species of roaches, the German Cockroach is a nasty pest that grows to be only around 1.1 to 1.6 cm in length. It ranges in color from tan to black and can be identified by the two long stripes running down its back.
This is the most common cockroach pest found worldwide, and especially in the United States. It is highly attracted to environments where people live and has a ravenous appetite. Considered carnivorous scavengers, German cockroaches eat anything from rotting meats to garbage, fats, sugars, and starches.
Worse, these pests can reproduce rapidly and are known to spread bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli.
The Brown Banded Cockroach
Brown-banded roaches are another small species of roach commonly found in the United States. They grow to be around 10 to 14 mm in length and are easily identified by the two brown “bands” running across the lower part of their back.
These pests feed on nearly anything including fabrics, wallpaper, trash, and organic matter. They commonly infest homes and carry bacteria on their body known to cause gastroenteritis, amongst other health issues.
Of all the roach species, the brown-banded cockroach and the above German cockroach are some of the most difficult to get rid of once they infiltrate your home.
The Oriental Cockroach
Have you ever heard the term “water bug” or “black beetle” used when someone was describing a cockroach? If so, it’s likely they were talking about the Oriental Cockroach. This is an invasive species of cockroach that can grow to be up to 29 mm in length. Though it sometimes appears black, the Oriental cockroach is very dark brown in color.
These pests are found throughout the United States, but they tend to be most rampant in port cities. Though they are considered pests, Oriental Cockroaches are typically found outside. They live in or near sewers, in leaf litter, below garden debris, or anywhere else that water and moisture are prevalent.
They often get into homes through pipes and drains but have been known to enter through vulnerabilities in siding. Once inside, they tend to congregate in basements, crawlspaces, and bathrooms.
Like many other species of roaches, Oriental cockroaches eat a variety of foods from garbage to pantry foods.
Because they live in such unsanitary conditions, (like in sewers, for example), Oriental cockroaches are considered dangerous pests. They can carry different diseases and viruses including salmonella, dysentery, E. coli, and more.
The American Cockroach
Last, we have the largest species of common cockroach. The American cockroach is common in many regions throughout the United States. This is another roach that is commonly referred to as a waterbug, although this pest is not truly aquatic.
The American Cockroach is an omnivore that feeds on a variety of foods and substances. It is commonly known as a house invading pest and even eats wallpaper, book bindings, and paste.
Like the other roaches on this list, American cockroaches can carry bacteria and parasites on their bodies that can lead to serious illnesses like E. coli, dysentery, and salmonella.
So, considering the above four cockroaches are not only unsanitary pests but also hazardous to our health, it’s no wonder you’re here looking for a good remedy to get rid of them.
While we often say prevention is key to any pest control practice, there are many occasions you’ll need to use a baited product that lures and kills pests like cockroaches that have already made their way inside your home.
And this is where roach gel comes in. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Roach Gel And How Does It Work?
Roach gel can help not only kill the single roach that eats it but many other roaches in the home as well.
Roach gel is a relatively new type of pest control agent specifically designed to attract and kill roaches. It works for the most common home-invading roaches listed above and is especially well known for being an effective form of control against the most difficult roaches – the Brown Banded roach and the German cockroach.
Roach gel is designed to attract roaches and entice them to eat the poisoned bait. Homeowners are instructed to apply a pea-sized amount of the gel in cracks and crevices around the home, and in different areas, they know roaches to frequent.
This baited poison not only kills the roach that consumes it but also kills any other roaches that may consume it later. When the roach eats the gel, it often sticks to its legs and body. This leads to the roach spreading the poisoned bait to the nest, leading to a more targeted kill.
Quality roach gels can work quite quickly, sometimes even in a matter of hours. However, it can take several weeks for roach gel to kill off an entire infestation, and even then it’s often best to continue using roach gel until you are certain any eggs leftover from an infestation have hatched.
And this brings us to our next point. Let’s talk about what you should know when it comes to using roach gel in order to use it most effectively.
What To Know About Using Roach Gel – How To Use It Most Effectively
If you have a severe infestation, you may need to use roach gel for several weeks.
As with any form of pest control, there are pros and cons to using roach gel. There are also tips and tricks you should keep in mind when using roach gel to get rid of roaches inside your home.
Take a look.
Use Fresh Roach Gel Bait
First and foremost, experts encourage homeowners to use fresh roach gel when dealing with infestations. Even if you have leftover roach gel from a year or two ago, it’s best to toss it and buy a new container.
This is because the bait inside the roach gel will be less potent and thus less attractive to the roaches you want to lure.
The poison may also not be as potent and therefore may not be as effective. In fact, most roach gel products are designed to be effective and maintain their killing power for up to two months only.
Don’t Use A Repellent At The Same Time You’re Using Roach Gel
One of the key factors that make roach gel work so effectively is that it includes a bait that is attractive to roaches. You will be counteracting your roach gel efforts if you’re using the baited gel along with a roach repellent spray to keep the pests at bay.
With that noted, remember too that roach gel is not an ideal form of pest prevention when it comes to roach control. Use this product to get rid of roaches in your home. Then, once you’re sure they are gone, begin using repellents and other forms of pest control to keep the pests at bay.
Roach Gel Does Not Kill Eggs
One of the tricky things about using roach gel is that it does not kill roach eggs. This means that you may think you’ve gotten rid of your cockroach infestation only to have it crop up again after a new generation has hatched.
For this reason, experts recommend continuing to use roach gel even after you have noticed the roach activity wind down in your home. On average, it takes about 24 to 38 days for roach eggs to hatch and become active, so keep this in mind.
Roach Gel Does Not Kill On Contact
We should also mention here that roach gel products are not designed to kill on contact. If your uninvited roach guests don’t consume the gel, they won’t die. This means that patience is key when it comes to using roach gel.
The average roach gel typically takes about four to six weeks to annihilate entire infestations, though this time frame can vary and depend on the severity of your infestation and the species of roaches you are dealing with.
Do Not Use Too Much Roach Gel At A Time
Roaches may be nasty, but they have some pretty good instincts. They tend to have a sixth sense for danger, and will often avoid roach gel if it’s applied too heavily.
The best way to use roach gel, according to most experts, is to use pea-sized amounts and apply them about a foot or so apart in cracks and crevices along with your flooring, walls, ceiling, and in the back of cabinets.
If you have a severe infestation of roaches, go ahead and apply the drops a bit closer together.
Roach Gel Contains Chemicals That May Be Harmful To People And Pets
Last, keep in mind that many roach gel products contain harmful chemicals that can be toxic to people and pets. It’s very important to use roach gel products only as directed and to invest in products that come in tamper-proof packaging if you have children or curious pets in the home.
The good news is that you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to the best type of roach gel for you. And with that, it’s time to move on and take a look at some of the best roach gel to get rid of roaches.
The Best Roach Gel, According To Experts
There are several brands of roach gel available.
When it comes to choosing the best roach gel for your roach problem, you may find yourself overwhelmed. There are a variety of products you can purchase online and even at your local pest control store that promises to get rid of and control roach problems quickly.
Of course, not all roach gel products are created equal and what is right for others may not be right for you.
If you’re not sure which type of roach gel would be best for you and your family, don’t worry. We have listed several products below for you to consider.
Advion Roach Gel
Advion Roach Gel is one of the more well-known roach gels on the market and is one of the first gels to hit the market in 2006. This order contains several tubes of pre-baited gel that are designed to be user-friendly and simple to apply.
There are a few active ingredients that make this product successful and one of them is indoxacarb. Indoxacarb is used primarily for cockroach control and is considered to be what is known as a “reduced-risk” pesticide.
With that being said, it should be used only as directed and kept out of reach of children and pets.
Harris Roach Gel
Another well-known pest control company that makes a quality roach gel is Harris. This roach gel works on a number of common cockroaches including not only the four on our list above but also the Australian cockroach and the smoky brown cockroach.
The product is available in a 60g tube and provides protection for up to several weeks. The tube is an extra-large tube as well, so you don’t need to buy multiple tubes of this roach gel unless you have a very severe roach infestation.
Combat Max Roach Killing Gel
Combat Max offers a roach gel that works for both indoor and outdoor use. Like many roach gel products, it’s designed not only to kill the roaches that consume it, but also the nest.
The active ingredient in this roach gel is Fipronil, which is a common pesticide used to combat pests like fleas, ticks, termites, ants, beetles, weevils, and, of course, roaches.
This product is also commonly used on pet collars and flea medications for dogs and cats. Still, it can be toxic to people and pets if not used as directed, so be sure to read the instructions and apply it carefully.
Hot Shot Ultra Clear Roach Gel
Last, we suggest you consider Hot Shot Ultra Clear Roach Gel Bait. This product not only kills a variety of roach species but also works on ants. The product is again designed to kill the nest.
While many roach gel baits do not kill eggs, we do like that this product promises to take care of the eggs roaches carry, though this may only work if the eggs come into contact with the bait.
We like that this bait goes on clear and dries clear, so it is a discrete form of pest control you can use around your home.
Alternatives To Using Roach Gel
If you prefer to use other options for roach removal, there are plenty of choices.
Roach gel in general may not be right for you. If you’re concerned about using roach gel around children and pets or you would prefer to take a more natural approach, we have you covered with some of the products listed below for roach control.
Roach Killer Indoor Roach Trap
If you’re looking for a pet and people-safe alternative to using roach gel in your home, we recommend you take a look at the above roach trap by the Tysonir Store. This product is pet and child-friendly as it does not use any toxic ingredients or chemicals to kill roaches.
Instead, it uses a sticky baited glue that lures the roaches into the trap and keeps them there. While we do like this roach trap as an alternative to using roach gel, it is not the ideal product to use in large infestations.
This product would, however, be ideal to use alongside roach gel products to help you determine if the roach gel of your choice is working in larger infestations.
Combat Max Roach Killing Bait
Another alternative to a roach gel product might be using a roach-killing bait station. The above bait station by Combat Max includes poisoned bait that is designed to kill the entire nest, which makes it similar to using roach gel.
However, it comes in a child and pet-resistant bait station, making it safer to use in homes with children and animals.
This product specifically is designed for smaller roaches. You may need to look for a different variation of this roach gel bait pack if you are dealing with larger roach infestations in your home.
DIY Tricks To Getting Rid Of Roaches
Baking soda can help kill roaches in your home if you’re in a bind.
Roach gel works by using a baited poison to kill greedy roaches looking for a quick meal. While this is an effective form of roach control, there are ways you can go about making your own form of roach gel right there at home.
Take a look below for a few options you can use for do-it-yourself pest control.
Use Baking Soda and Powdered Sugar
Baking soda is a key ingredient in many baking recipes because it helps food to expand. This is also what makes it such a creative alternative to using store-bought roach gel.
To make your own roach gel using baking soda, simply mix equal parts baking soda with powdered sugar. Apply this powder substance in areas you have noticed roach activity and simply wait.
Roaches will be attracted to the baking soda mixture because of the sugar. When they eventually take a drink of water after feasting, the baking soda will expand in their stomachs, killing them.
Try Borax Powder and Powdered Sugar
Borax is another household ingredient you can use to help manage and get rid of roaches. Just as you would with baking soda, combine borax with powdered sugar and leave it around your home in areas you have noticed roach activity.
Again, as soon as the roaches take a drink after consuming the borax mixture, the borax will expand inside their stomachs, killing them.
Use Instant Potatoes
Do you have a package of instant potatoes in your pantry? Go ahead and sprinkle a bit on a paper plate and leave it on the floor. Or, sprinkle the flakes along with your flooring or in the back of cabinets where you have seen roaches scurrying.
Like borax and baking soda, instant potato flakes are designed to expand when they touch the water. They are also starchy and often seasoned, which is highly attractive and alluring to roaches.
Again, the roaches will feast, and then as soon as they drink water, they will die.
Expert Tips On Preventing Roaches In The Future
Roaches are highly unsanitary and even dangerous for those with allergies or sensitivities.
Getting rid of cockroaches can be tricky, and while roach gel has been found to be one of the most effective methods of control to remove them, it’s not necessarily easy or cheap.
More concerning, dealing with a roach infestation can be both mentally and physically taxing. Having roaches in your home is not only stressful but also dangerous to your health.
For this reason, it’s important to use preventative measures as soon as you are sure you have managed your roach infestation.
But First – Before You Stop Using Roach Gel
Before you abandon your roach gel and assume you’ve banned all the roaches in your home, it’s a good idea to leave some baited sticky traps around to check. Give yourself a few weeks before you opt to use a repellent, otherwise, you could be counteracting the roach gel, as we discussed above.
Next, Use A Repellent Product
There are plenty of products you can use to keep roaches at bay. Some of our favorites include ultrasonic pest repellents, essential oil sprays, and common pest control products that provide long-term protection using pesticides or insecticides.
When using a roach repellent product, remember this is a long game and you are protecting both your property and your home. Pick repellents that protect both indoors and outdoors, or choose two different products that you can use for both.
While many roach species do invade and live in homes, oftentimes infestations begin outdoors.
Remove Excess Water Sources Around Your Home And Inside Your Home
Most species of cockroach prefer dark, moist areas in the home. They are highly attracted to excess water so leaky pipes, bathroom drains, and even outside water sources like fountains or clogged gutters can attract roaches.
To deter them, consider investing in a dehumidifier and make sure you remove any excess water sources. Also, be sure to repair any leaking faucets or pipes around your home.
Store Food And Garbage Properly
Roaches are attracted to a variety of types of foods, but especially starches, sugars, meats, and rotting organic matter.
This means that pantry foods and garbage are prime targets for these pests. To keep roaches at bay and to ensure you’re protecting your health, it’s important to store pantry foods in airtight containers made of glass or plastic.
We also recommend storing pet food and birdseed in airtight bins as well and keeping garbage in garbage cans that have lids or that seal shut.
Keep Your Home Nice And Tidy
Last but not least, keep your home clutter-free and clean. Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight and be sure to sweep and vacuum often, especially after meals. Reduce clutter around your home to make it less hospitable to roaches. We also recommend that you continue using a year-round pest control regimen and repellent to protect your home.
And there you have it – the best roach gel products, according to experts. So, what do you think about using roach gel now that you know more about it?
Share your thoughts about roach gel with us in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!
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.