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Getting Rid of Cockroaches

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Getting Rid of Cockroaches, Woman about to hit a cockroach with a frying pan.

Cockroaches are disgusting pests and can be very tough to get rid of. There are many ways to tackle this pest. This is a guide about getting rid of cockroaches.


Solutions: Getting Rid of Cockroaches

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Roach Prufe Around Perimiter To Eradicate Roaches

I lived in a Texas house with several roommates. And cockroaches, BAD! We had tried the "bombs." It was quite a bit of work covering certain places with plastic, taking ALL laundry to laundromat during, and washing all dishes after. They didn't work as hoped for, then I read about Roach Prufe. I also read of the best application technique.

Start at one point of the home, somewhere along the perimeter where the floor meets the wall. Lay out a line along the entire perimeter of every room in the home. I realize some people will see this and immediately think of how they do not want this white powder line showing along the entire perimeter of their home. They prefer to just throw some piles of powder under the sink and behind the water heater, and maybe a few other hidden places. We had tried this hit/miss sprinkling powder before we read of the "perimeter technique" but we had roaches BAD and hit/miss did not work before.

The perimeter instructions told of how it was safe for people and pets; and to imagine how, for any roach in the home to get from the floor to the wall, you make him [or her, lol] crawl past the powder. It was 98% boric acid and 2% inert stuff to help it adhere to the roach so he could go share it in his nest. The only piece of perimeter where we did not lay out a line was in the bathroom along tub/floor run. We laid our line down using a flat-surfaced cafeteria tray and a 6 inch flex tape knife [drywall tool]. We only made the line about 1/8 inch wide and we got it looking quite uniform to where it looked sort of like a trim molding.

Every sign of a roach was GONE in less than a month! There would be dead ones lying around here and there during the time, but they would usually just go into their nests to die. We left the line down for another month or so, and then we got the crevice attachment on the vacuum cleaner and sucked up all of the lines where they were openly visible. I never saw another roach in that house for the three more years I lived there. I would imagine that other boric acids would work, but Roach Prufe was what we used. The instructions we had read said that if followed exactly as stated. ALL ROACHES WILL BE GONE! They were correct.

    By Rob S. [3]

    Tip: Reuse Plastic Easter Eggs As Cat Toys

    Please recycle your plastic Easter eggs. Place a pebble or piece of dog food inside the plastic egg and close. This makes a great cat toy for the shelter cats.

    By nlmn from Chesapeake, VA

    Tip: Use Wasp Spray to Kill Roaches

    Incidentaly, Hot Shot wasp spray kills roaches very effectively. If you see one scurrying along, just bust out the wasp spray. It has excellent range and aiming capabilities.

    I found this out because it was the only thing I had on hand and I didn't want to get near the thing. I hit it dead in the face with a stream of it and it ran into my sink, where it died. I sprayed it more for good measure even though it was dead and found out that wasp spray is also awesome for adding the most beautiful glowing shine to stainless steel sinks. How awesome!

    Just make sure you open a window after and wipe up the spray. It's very strong smelling to use indoors.

      By KandiMarie [1]

      Article: Garden Insects: Cockroaches


      Adult cockroaches are medium-sized insects, with a broad, flat shape and long antennae. Often confused with beetles, the cockroach's wings are membranous and they lack the thick, hard forewing of beetles. Nymphs (immature cockroaches) look similar to adult cockroaches but lack wings. All cockroaches are nocturnal and prefer warm, damp and dark environments. They will usually quickly run for cover when disturbed. Indoor cockroaches will infest any environment that has food preparation and storage areas or warm, damp areas like drains, basements or garages. Outdoor cockroaches tend to be found in sewers, or areas where livestock is produced, but have been known to move inside when the opportunity presents itself. Cockroaches reproduce very rapidly. One female and her offspring can produce over 800 cockroaches a year. Signs you have roaches include shed skin casts, accumulations of droppings (dark spots or greasy smears), egg cases and dead cockroaches.

      Favorite Foods

      Cockroaches will eat anything humans and animals eat, in addition to many things we don't eat (finger nail clippings, soiled clothes, paper, pet fur, dead insects, etc.).


      The main danger cockroaches present are the transmission of disease. They may transmit bacteria that cause food poisoning (salmonella) and are capable of transmitting other disease-causing organisms like streptococcus, hepatitis virus, coliform bacteria as well as spreading typhoid and dysentery.


      The key to preventing a cockroach infestation is good sanitation and making your household an unsuitable environment.
      • Clean up food dishes at night (including pet food), keep surfaces dry, floors swept and rugs vacuumed.

      • Make sure garbage cans have tight-fitting lids and food is kept in airtight containers.

      • Use tight-fitting screens on doors and windows and use caulking to seal around pipes leading to the outdoors.

      • Trim shrubs away from outdoor vents to increase light and air circulation.

      • Remove trash and debris from yard (like lumber and firewood) where roaches may hide.

      Methods of Control:

      • Use open-ended traps that contain bait along with a sticky substance to prevent roaches from escaping. You can buy these commercially or make your own with a quart-sized can, petroleum jelly and a piece of white bread. Place traps on the floor along walls behind appliances and near doors where roaches are likely to find them. Roaches may become wary of traps after a few days. It's best to check traps daily and move them every few days.

      • Dust surfaces near cracks and crevices with a fine dusting of boric acid powder. Commercial products are also available to add boric acid to mop water. Warning: Boric acid is poisonous. Keep it stored away from children and pets and do not use it on surfaces where pets walk or in areas where pets may get it on them.

      By Ellen Brown

      Tip: Roach Repellent

      Away with Pesky Roaches! If anyone should have roaches in the kitchen/house, it should be me! Life is difficult for the organizationally impaired! A friend shared this tip with me in 1974, and I have been roach free since, in rental properties, and in my own home for the past 25 years. This is the "Solution".

      Get powdered boric acid (available over the counter in the pharmacy). Add approximately 1/4 cup boric acid to 3 cups of water. Boil in a saucepan until the boric acid is dissolved. When the solution has cooled, put in a spray bottle. Spray the boric acid solution on all surfaces inside empty cabinets (sides and top as well). Allow to completely dry and put in shelf paper before replacing items in cabinets. The boric acid that coats the surfaces under the shelf paper will dehydrate any roaches and most other insects and will keep them away!

      By Kay B H

      Tip: Cornstarch For Roaches

      I was told that cornstarch was an easy way to help get rid of roaches. Is that true? If so, does anyone have any directions for it? A friend of mine and her husband really need the help. My friend is allergic to all forms of bug sprays and bombs. Please help if you can. Thanks.

      Dawn from Iowa

      Tip: Peanut Butter Cockroach Trap

      To kill cockroaches, take a glass jar and put some peanut butter in the bottom of the jar. Put a good smear of vegetable oil around the inside lip of the jar to make it very slippery. The roaches smell the peanut butter, go in after it and can't get out (they slip and fall back into the jar). When the jar has a few roaches in it, cap it off with the lid and put it in the sun to kill them. Then throw the whole lot in the garbage. This will effectively reduce the cockroach population in a short time. If they lay egg cases while they are dying (as they do in traps), it's all contained in the jar.

      By Kathy

      Tip: Hairspray as Roachspray in a Pinch

      Out of bug spray see a roach? Spray him with hair spray works faster and dead every time!

      By SAM

      Tip: Prevent Roaches and Ants with Boric Acid

      When I was growing up, we used Boric Acid powder around our baseboards in the kitchen, around the backsplash on the counters and in the drawers and cabinets to prevent roaches, ants, etc.

      It is also used (diluted down) as an eye wash for eye infections.

      By Tawnda

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      Here are questions related to Getting Rid of Cockroaches.

      Question: Roaches in an Apartment

      I have a problem. My family moved into these apartments 5 to 7 years ago and the first apartment we had was good, no bugs. Then we moved into a different apartment, but still in the same complex and when we moved there we had 3 or 4 years of peace until we started getting bed bugs. After we found out, we got rid of all of the bed bugs.

      But 9 months or so after that we got infested with roaches and we have gotten things and exterminators to try get rid of them. Soon enough they left for 3 months, but 2 days ago I found one adult in my room. I thought it was no problem, but the next night I found 3 of them and don't know why they came back. I have only seen them in my room. I have the middle room. I really need some help. Thanks.

      By Eboy from Westville, NJ


      Best Answers

      By Michele [17]03/03/2010

      I agree with redhatterb. I used to live in a luxury apartment. One thing that wasn't luxorious was the roaches. The whole building will have to get exterminated. When just one apartment gets sprayed they just move to the next.

      Best Answers

      By Suzann [1]03/27/2009

      I used Combat roach killing gel and it kills all of them even when the infestation is extreme. I called because I couldn't find it in my area, and Combat sent me several coupons and told me which stores carried it. 1-800-426-6228 is the combat helpline #. I hate to use poisons in my home but roaches are the limit. The lady who told me about it was where the roaches came from, they go everywhere with you. Her house was the worse case of roaches ever and they haven't had any since putting down the Combat. Good luck. Suzann

      Best Answers

      By Ashley Martin03/27/2009

      With boric acid, if you mix it 1/2 and 1/2 with granulated sugar, it won't "clump up." Keep in mind that roaches are there for the food and moisture, so pull back the fridge and stove, sweep the areas well, and put out the sugar/boric acid mixture along the baseboards. Also, put it along the back of the cabinets under the sink. A good way to keep it contained is to use used, clean lids (i.e. tops of plastic baby food containers, yogurt lids, etc.). The roaches walk through it, it sticks to their feet, and they take it back to their "nests" where the roaches clean each other (lick each others' bodies and feet), thus ingesting the mixture... and VOILA! Kills them! =)

      Question: Getting Rid of Cockroaches

      Is it better to spray before renovation or after? What is the best product to do the job myself?

      By Sam


      Best Answers

      By Nightsong [34]01/10/2012

      I have used boric acid before, but it seems the roaches eventually come back. Especially if you live close to a wooded area or have neighbors that use an extermination service. The best thing I have found is Combat gel. It comes in a syringe type tube and leaves a thin line of the product. Roaches eat it, then return to the nesting site. They die. Then others eat them and they die. It usually takes 3-4 days. After 7 years, I have had no returns.

      Best Answers

      By Frugal Sunnie [11]01/10/2012

      Having done several renos of infested properties, I feel like an old pro, lol!

      I'd spray first, use something like liquid Sevin and be liberal. Make sure to follow the directions to the letter. If at all possible, spray two-three days ahead of the scheduled demolition day to avoid being swarmed by fleeing creepies, and be sure to spread a good band on the perimeter of your demo area so they can't flee the spray and then creep back in when the spray dries. Wet spray kills on contact, dry spray takes a few more hours. Your demolition crew will thank you for not having to cope with the horror of swarming roaches.

      Very important: be sure that you and your crew wear properly fitted face masks and other protective gear as dead roaches spread disease every bit as much as live ones. Oh eeww!

      Then after the reno is complete, spray again to keep the roaches hiding temporarily in the shrubs from re-infesting the nice new tasty reno materials you've just installed. Again, make sure to lay down a wide perimeter band, this time to keep the little rotters out.

      Re the boric acid, I have used it as a indoor perimeter shield at baseboards and in cabinets. It works great and is inexpensive but takes time, and does need to be applied where children, pets, and foods are not exposed to it. One of the reasons I like the liquid Sevin is that once it dries it's not as dangerous to children and pets.

      Anything you use to kill cockroaches is a poison-to you and the roaches, though, never forget that for a moment whilst handling it and planning where to apply it.

      Question: Roaches In a Very Clean Home?

      Help! I'm petrified! I have never had a roach in my home, ever, in fact I sanitize counters, mop and vacuum floors constantly, yet this morning there was a huge (an inch or so) tan roach sitting on my sink. I absolutely freaked out. It's dead. Then I read up online and tried to identify it,seems to me it might be a German roach, so I immediately went to the store, bought boric acid and some Ortho spray and combat roach baits, sprinkled the boric along the foundation outside the house, along inside and outside of windows, doorways, basement windows and cracks and crevices in my kitchen.

      Tonight I snuck into my kitchen (Because I cant sleep knowing this is in my house) with a flashlight, and there was a black small thinner bug had with some tan markings on it but didn't really look like a roach. It had antennae as well as what seemed to be a single antennae out the rear part of him. I found two more within 20 minutes and they were all crawling by the base of the dishwasher.

      It is very clean there, however there has been a leak lately that I need to have fixed. Bottom line, is this possible to have roaches when you have an extremely clean home?

      The only thing I can think of is maybe it came from a grocery bag or from the wooded area in my yard.