Pest Resources

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches?

Cockroaches, whether the roach species is German cockroaches or American cockroaches, they are common pests in the home and workplace.

Cockroaches can be difficult to get rid of. If you have cockroaches, it is essential to eliminate roaches right NOW!

We can help you get rid of pesky roaches. In our article, we will discuss in our ultimate guide, ‘How to get rid of cockroaches’ quickly! Let’s get started!

What species of cockroaches are in my house?

The two most common cockroaches to be found in homes in the U.S. is the German cockroach and the American cockroach. The American cockroach is larger and darker brown than German cockroaches.

German cockroaches

German roaches are the most common in the U.S.; these roaches are light brown and have two parallel stripes on their head. They are the most common because of their ability to breed very quickly. The female carries her eggs until just before they hatch, making it difficult to contain their spread of them.

American roaches

American roaches are the largest in the U.S. and live the longest, around two years. These roaches are reddish brown and can grow up to three inches.

Brown-banded cockroaches

Brown-banded roaches love warm and dry areas; they are often found behind walls and electronics, for instance, televisions and refrigerators. The brown-banded cockroaches grow to half an inch long.

What do roaches eat?

Roaches are omnivorous, eating various types of food. Roaches eat scraps of pet food, feces, splattered oil, other roaches, fruits, sugar, meats, cheeses, and even book bindings, glue, and soap.

What attracts cockroaches?

Before we jump into all the methods and techniques to get rid of roaches in your home, it’s essential to know what attracted them there in the first place.

Sweet sugary smells and food attracts roaches, as well as moisture. If you have leaky pipes or leaky faucets, you could attract roaches inside your home. Sweet-smelling food will attract cockroaches.

Prevention is the best medicine, and knowing what causes these nasty critters to come into your home could help you avoid having to get rid of roaches again.

Just like pretty much any other pest, cockroaches come to your home in search of food, water, and shelter.

In general, these things increase the odds of a cockroach infestation:

  • Leftover food stored outside of the fridge,

  • Dirty dishes in the sink (especially if left there for a while),

  • Garbage that isn’t thrown out regularly,

  • Pet food and litter,

  • Excess moisture (especially from water leaks in hard-to-reach places),

  • Crumbs and other leftover food from a meal are on the table and floor.

Are roaches dangerous?

Cockroaches are more than annoying pests. They spread many diseases and viruses when they come into contact with food and surfaces. They are known to spread Salmonella, Typhoid fever, Cholera, Leprosy, and Listeriosis, among many others. Droppings, saliva, and decomposing cockroaches will trigger allergies and asthma.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches Naturally

There are probably more ways to get rid of cockroaches than you’d ever imagine, and all of them have certain advantages and disadvantages.

One of the biggest concerns among people looking for ways to kill cockroaches is ensuring that the products used aren’t dangerous to their kids, pets, or other household members. With that in mind, let us first tackle some natural solutions for killing cockroaches (or simply getting rid of them).


Two American Cockroaches

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How to get rid of roaches with Boric Acid

Boric acid is a naturally occurring acid and one of the most effective home remedies for a roach infestation. What’s even more important is – Boric acid is completely harmless to pets and humans (although you should still ensure they don’t play with it or ingest it). You should be able to find Boric acid at your local grocery store.

To make bait stations for killing roaches, sprinkle some boric acid on a piece of cardboard or a paper plate. In the middle, put fruit or peanut butter to attract the roaches.

You can also mix the Boric acid with flour and sugar to get rid of roaches. Make a dough and shape it into little balls. Place the Boric acid balls around your home, especially in the bathroom and kitchen.

When a cockroach comes in contact with or ingests boric acid, the compound will stick to its legs. When roaches clean their legs, they ingest the Boric acid, and it will attack their nervous system, eventually killing them. Other roaches eat the dead roaches and die. Once all the roaches are dead, remove the bait stations; otherwise, you could attract another infestation of roaches inside the house.

There are, of course, some disadvantages to this approach. Firstly, you will have to look for and remove dead roaches. And secondly, this method can take a while to make a real difference.

How to get rid of cockroaches with Baking Soda

Baking soda is another effective way to get rid of roaches and a roach infestation, and the method is similar to the one used for boric acid.

Mix baking soda with sugar or sprinkle it on other foods, such as onions (remember, though, that they are toxic to dogs, so be careful not to poison your pet!). After the cockroaches ingest the baking soda mixture, they will die; remove and dispose of the dead roaches.

Diatomaceous Earth for killing roaches

Food grade Diatomaceous Earth is excellent for getting rid of pretty much any bug. Diatomaceous Earth is made of fossilized algae and has strong dehydrating properties. Diatomaceous Earth has sharp edges, and the sharpness damages the exoskeleton (the outer layer) of an insect. When an insect like a cockroach walks over Diatomaceous Earth, the damage causes the insect to dry out.

Diatomaceous Earth does not need to be mixed with anything – to get rid of roaches, simply sprinkle a light dusting of Diatomaceous Earth in corners and near places where you see roaches entering or where you suspect the cockroaches are hiding. You may need to replace the Diatomaceous earth if it gets wet.

Borax for killing roaches

Sodium borate, a.k.a. borax, is good for more than just cleaning the household and washing the laundry. It is also great to get rid of roaches. Mix it with sugar and sprinkle the mixture in all the places where the roaches might be hiding. Much like Diatomaceous Earth, borax will dehydrate the bug and kill it. All you have to do is find and remove the dead insects.

Citrus Fruit to repel roaches

Unlike the previously listed solutions, citrus won’t necessarily kill roaches, but it will chase them away. Simply mop your floors with a mixture of water and lemon oil. The smell likely won’t be strong enough to bother humans, but it will work wonders against this pest. What’s more, you won’t have to deal with removing dead bugs!

Essential Oils for repelling roaches

Essential oils – especially lemongrass and peppermint-scented ones – are another great natural cockroach repellant. All you have to do is spray the oil around your home. Much like citrus, this won’t kill the bugs, but it will drive them away from your home.

Store-Bought Solutions to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Natural solutions are great, but most of them mean that you will have to look for and remove dead bugs, especially since they don’t kill the bug instantly but rather give it time to wander off. What’s more, if we’re being completely honest, they’re simply not as effective as store-bought solutions designed specifically to tackle household cockroach infestations. So if the abovementioned natural remedies don’t work, here are your other options.

Ortho Home Defense Max Aerosol

Ortho Home Defense Max Aerosol kills cockroaches on contact. It kills other insects like spiders. Use with Ortho home defense insect killer indoors and perimeter along baseboards, doors, and windows to create a perimeter that will last a year.

Raid kills the roach species

Raid roach killer spray is fragrance-free and kills on contact, and will continue to kill roaches on surfaces for as long as four weeks after spraying. Raid can also be used on roach nests.

How to get rid of cockroaches with Insecticides

Technically, you don’t have to hide the insecticide in food. You can simply spray some of the store-bought solutions everywhere around the home.

 Spray insecticides such as Raid not only kill roaches on contact but also remain effective on surfaces for some time. This, however, is not a great solution if you have kids or pets.

Traps to kill roaches

Roach traps usually consist of two elements: the bait, usually scent-based, which attracts the cockroach to the trap, and a sticky substance that prevents the cockroach from leaving the trap.

Baits traps to prevent cockroaches

Chemical roach traps contain insecticides hidden in what, to a roach, looks like food. Once roaches consume the bait, they will wander off and eventually die. Other cockroaches will likely eat the dead roaches, get poisoned themselves, and die as well. This is an effective solution for somewhat larger infestations, but much like most home remedies, it will leave it up to you to get rid of all the dead insects.

Insect growth regulator

Insect growth regulators are best used alongside other roach control products. They do not work on full-grown adult German cockroaches or American cockroaches and will take a while to make a noticeable effect on the infestation.

Purchase a growth regulator containing Pyriproxifen. It will focus on the egg and nymph stage of development, preventing them from becoming adult reproducing roaches.


If you’d rather not deal with dead bugs all over your home, you can opt for roach deterrents. You can either spray them or mop your floors and tiles with them – either will work.

Deterrents usually come in the form of liquid concentrates that should be diluted with water. You should be able to find them in any hardware store or grocery store.

Glue strips

A great advantage of such traps is that you won’t have to dedicate time and energy to locating all the dead bugs – they will be stuck to the trap. However, this method can take a while to make a real difference, especially with larger infestations.

Placing glue strips in the house will help you to monitor the number of roaches you have and the size of the roach problem. The sticky traps should be placed around the house in areas of suspected activity, such as under the refrigerator, behind kitchen cabinets, and behind trash cans.

The more roaches you catch on a glue strip, the more activity you have there. You can make your own sticky traps by wrapping a cardboard piece in duct tape, the sticky part facing outwards.

How to get rid of cockroaches with Bug Bombs

Let us start off by saying that you should only resort to cockroach bombs if no other method seems to work. They contain highly toxic pesticides that aren’t only dangerous for bugs but also for pets and humans.

What’s more, they require you to vacate your home for some time. In all honesty, if you’re considering using a cockroach bomb, it might be smarter to call licensed professional exterminators.

How to Prevent a Cockroach Infestation

If you managed to get rid of cockroaches in your home – congratulations! However, your job isn’t over yet. You may have figured out how to kill cockroaches, but now you have to make sure they don’t come back. To prevent a cockroach infestation, make sure you do the following:

  • Clean your house regularly – especially the kitchen and the bathroom; take the trash out daily, and don’t let mold and grime become an issue.

  • Store food carefully – Storing food in airtight containers will make obtaining food difficult for cockroaches.

  • Do the dishes – instead of letting them pile up in the sink, put all dishes in the washer right away, and do not leave water in the sink if washing by hand.

  • Address your eating habits – try not to eat outside of the kitchen/dining room; also, make sure to clean surfaces after every meal; roaches love a buffet!

  • Close all entry points – seal cracks with Caulk, open pipes, and other possible entry points roaches, and other pests might use. Make sure windows and doors close without gaps. Check the foundations for cracks and gaps.

  • Watch out for moisture – after watering plants, taking a shower, or cleaning the floors, make sure there aren’t any puddles of water left behind.

  • Remove hiding places – Cockroaches will find hiding places, so try to eliminate as many hiding spots as you can. Throw away cardboard boxes, clutter, and papers.

  • Remove wood and leaves in the yard – A roach problem can start in the yard; piles of wood and leaves near the house will attract roaches and provide hiding spots for them. The wood and leaf piles will encourage the roaches into your clean house if they get a whiff of something good to eat.

  • Roaches love standing water in the yard. To send roaches packing, remove them all from the yard.

When to Call a Pest control Professional Exterminator

As we already said (and we’re sure you’d agree), these pests can be extremely hard to get rid of. If you haven’t been able to kill cockroaches on your own, maybe it’s time to consider calling professionals.

A Professional pest control expert knows not only how to get rid of roaches and infestations quickly, but they can also give you a few tips for preventing the issue from reoccurring.

Of course, hiring a licensed exterminator might cost more than home remedies; sprinkling some baking soda on a slice of onion is a cheap option, but we assure you, it will pay off in the long run. After all, pest extermination companies have the skills, knowledge, and equipment to get rid of roaches that most households don’t have access to.

Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each pest control method, product and process. Each pest resource we list on our website goes through an in-depth fact checking process.

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