How to get rid of cockroaches: best ways to do it yourself without an exterminator!

Cockroaches are one of the most difficult enemy insects for humans to fight. Scientists have proved that these small creatures can survive a nuclear attack and all the disasters the Earth has ever seen. While this is true for cockroaches, in general, exterminating them in a particular house is accomplishable. You’ll have to work hard though as a single product will barely help you.

We recommend using a complex approach when fighting roaches. Such an approach comprises a whole variety of steps and actions; from keeping your house constantly clean to using effective roach killers, sprays, repellents, and traps. We have picked the best cockroach control products for those whose accommodation is constantly attacked by these pests. But before moving on to this let’s first get to know better the antagonist of today’s article.

Table of Contents:

Top 10 Cockroach Facts: Is It Real to Get Rid of Roaches Quickly?

Anyone who has ever encountered cockroach infestation faced the same problem. At first you win the fight and exterminate the insects completely, and after some time their smug faces reappear in the same spots as before. Such comebacks occur with different periodicity: the infestation may relapse monthly, every six months or annually. Why does this happen?

Our apprehension is caused by the lack of knowledge about cockroaches and their behavior. Here are some facts which will arm you with valuable knowledge against these whiskered pests.

1. Cockroaches love wet and damp places. They are especially active in the summer in humid regions. Nevertheless, they can also feel quite well in temperate climate as well given that they have access to moisture and food which are usually both available at people’s houses.

2. The insects’ habitat is usually defined by their preferences. Most often you’ll come across them near sewage and behind the sink, near stoves and any heating systems, as well as in the kitchen or bathroom. They also find darker secluded spots, such as floor gaps, closed vegetable boxes, loose floorboards, wall holes, niches for the furniture, loose wallpaper, etc.

how to get rid of cockroaches on the kitchen

3. Cockroaches love darkness and shade. Their activity peaks when humans are asleep. Come to the kitchen at night, turn the lights on and you’ll see dozens of these pests.

4. They are disgusting. Unlike many other insects they actually defecate, leave debris of their food, saliva and skin in the least accessible spots. These debris can cause allergies and other uncomfortable diseases.

5. As much as cockroaches love heat, they hate cold. When the temperature falls below -8 Celcium, they begin to die. A day of intense ventilation in winter can actually help combat these pests. At the same time, cockroaches can easily survive mild winter in a warm place.

6. Cockroaches feed irregularly. Females can survive up to 45 days without food while males need food a bit more often. Sometimes this reduces the effect of food poisons and gels and doesn’t entail immediate results.

7. Cockroaches live in large colonies and rarely leave them for food. They neither have strict hierarchy like ants do nor socialize like bees. As a rule, there exist 2-3 clusters of cockroaches in an apartment. If you destroy them, there would be far fewer insects in the house. They “communicate” by exuding pheromones, group together along these “fragrant paths” and pave the trails.

cockroaches facts

8. Cockroaches are omnivorous, but they still have certain preferences. They avoid products containing fat, spoilt food, and mold. They love everything sweet and smelly, rich in carbohydrates. They also feed on carrion and feces, as the Woking Environment Service webpage mentions that. By the way, they also can consume their own dead. The manufacturers of poisonous gels use this peculiarity to provoke chain reaction when exterminating these insects.

9. Cockroaches can’t smell. They can only identify food and attractant a few centimeters away from that. That’s why they have to constantly move around and hope to accidentally bump into some food. However, if their nest is located near trash or kitchen table, the issue is resolved, and they may not leave it at all while there is sufficient supply of food.

10. They breed fast and live long. During its lifespan of 170-180 days, a female roach can lay 30-40 eggs each 2-3 weeks. In this way, the cockroach population can increase by 27 times in a year!

7 Tips on Нow to Get Rid Of Cockroaches Without An Exterminator

Here are some simple rules which will help you get rid of cockroaches on your own. We’ve picked the best DIY methods and products which will let you liquidate the infestation. The key thing to remember is that cockroaches are very tenacious, are used to constant struggles with humans and won’t give up that easily. That is why our first advice is to use several products simultaneously.

1. First, deprive them of access to water, food and secluded spots. Regularly clean the house, ventilate the rooms and never leave the food dirty dishes on the table.

2. Use cockroach repellents – chemical or natural.

how to get rid of roaches yourself

3. Roach Killing Gel and Baits are considered to be the most effective cockroach control product today. Cockroaches eat poisonous bait and contaminate fellow insects.

4. Roach bait stations work similarly but are considered safer for use if you have kids or pets, as the poison is located inside the device.

5. Roach traps were invented for those who do not wish to see dead cockroaches everywhere. It’s very cool as the roaches disappear somewhere inside the trap where they die of hunger as they can’t get out), and you won’t have to collect them all around the kitchen.

6. Roach spray-killer is to be applied spot-on. You see a cockroach, you spray it, and it is dead. Unfortunately, a dead insect won’t be able to contaminate its mates.

7. Insect Growth Regulator is productive when combined with other products. Sterilizing the females is half of your victory.

The main thing is not to count on quick victory and not to relax right after the cockroaches leave your house, or else you’ll see some serious trouble…

Also read: 12 Best Roaches Killers

Why Are Cockroaches Dangerous?

why are cockroaches dangerous

Not only do cockroaches look nasty, they also spoil our food. In addition, they present a real danger to both grown-ups and kids. Every day of living side-by-side with la cucaracha is risky. Here are some of the threats of having cockroaches around:

  1. Allergies. Those with allergies will be very sensitive to a cockroach infestation. The insects’ feces and flakes off their body can provoke allergies. The more infested and less clean your house is, the more likely is the risk of getting an allergy. The reaction can vary from skin inflammation to itching and breathing problems.
  2. Asthma may become the strongest display of allergy to cockroaches’ saliva and feces debris. Most often it occurs to children. The symptoms of this disease are difficulty in breathing, coughing at night and fatigue. The only way to avoid allergic asthma when having a cockroach infestation is to ventilate, wet clean and vacuum clean your apartment.
  3. Cockroaches infect food. Imagine yesterday they would feast on some feces in your toilet and some dead cousin of theirs, and the next day they run around and defecate on your kitchen table. This is a serious threat both for produce on your table and your health.
  4. They destroy various objects. Voracious cockroaches might as well finish some paper products and fabric and leave stains and disgusting odors on your things.
  5. They spread bacteria and viruses. It has been proven that various types of cockroaches spread salmonella, hepatitis, coliforms, and even typhoid fever! According to the UC IPM portal, there have been cases of human dysentery after coming in contact with cockroaches / at the very least these diseases, will make you spend lots of money on expensive treatment or even theoretically lead to death.

How to Get Rid of Roaches Naturally

Our favorite expert of cockroaches - biologist Joseph G. Kunkel when asked about killing roaches says: "I realize that most people are more interested in killing them since they are pests in their houses and can contribute to spreading disease in hospitals and childhood asthma in the home. Beware of most commercial preparations, even those that depend upon the 'natural' insect juvenile hormone. Since these are relatively slow acting, the manufacturers often add a 'knock-down' additive poison which gratifies the user since it provides visual proof that the treatment works when it comes in direct contact with the pest. Read the label of whatever poison you use". I have come across 2 methods of killing cockroaches that are non-toxic to humans: Boric Acid and Live-traps.

Boric Acid. The crystals of boric acid are sharp and get between the joints of an insect's exoskeleton. The sharp crystals abrade the cuticle and make the cockroach lose water and die of dehydration. This is a simple and cheap method. Dust the boric acid (which is relatively non-toxic) around the corners of rooms and in hiding places frequented by the roaches.

boric acid kills cockroaches

It is finely ground ruby dust which performs the same function as boric acid crystals but is more permanent. Boric acid washes away when you want to get rid of it. You will find the dried carcasses of cockroaches in various hiding places as well as out in the open where they marched their last step searching for water". Boric Acid from $4 you will find on Amazon.com.

We’ve found for you other ideas for natural roach traps. You can arrange number of traps for cockroaches and few effective traps are mentioned below.

Natural Cockroach Traps

  • Sticky Tape and Onion Trap. This cockroach trap is effective in night. What you have to do is to buy a sticky tape after that cut the onion in different pieces and put it on the tape. Now put this assembly in the passage of cockroaches at night. In the morning, you will find many cockroaches on the tape.

onion as a cockroach trap

  • Jar Trap. Jar trap is also effective way to get rid of cockroaches. What you have to do is to wrap a duct tape or any other opaque tape on a jar. Place attractive items in the jar and put that on shelf. Cockroaches will enter into it, and you can put some jelly or boiling water on jar. This is how you will create a blockage for the cockroaches. Discard the cockroaches and put the jar back once again.
  • Wine Bottle Trap. Long neck wine bottle can also be used as cockroach trap. In order to make a trap, you have put either wine or solution of sugar and water in a bottle. First pour the oil inside the bottle and cover the long neck. When cockroaches will come to the bottle and will get into it, this is the time you can put solution in it. You can Vaseline the inside wall so that a cockroach can't climb up.
  • Baking Soda. Baking soda is also one of the options to use against cockroaches. Take some container comprising the mixture of sugar, water, and baking soda. Put this mixture to a place where you often see cockroaches. Smell of this mixture will attract cockroaches so they will come into the container and get trap into it. Baking Soda will react with water and will produce a gas. It will cause the bursting of cockroaches’ stomach.

  • Petroleum Jelly. What you can do is, grease the container with petroleum jelly. Add some food articles, cockroaches will come to eat them but will slip back into the container. Cockroaches will try their best to escape and move back towards their shelter. In this way, you can trace their shelter and can eventually kill all of them. Hence given above are the different ways which can be applied practically and can help you get rid of cockroaches.

Вoric Acid as One of the Best Ways to Get Rid of Roaches

Boric acid is actually an amalgam of boron and water. Boron is one of the elements mined from earth and used in number of consumer products like toothpastes, mouthwash and laundry additives. it is used either solely or in combination with water for controlling insects population. Boric acid finds a number of applications in:

1. Cockroach control pesticides
2. Bed Bugs pesticides
3. Pain industry

Boric acid acts as a contact poison as well as a stomach poison. A number of studies have revealed that boric acid, when ingested by the cockroaches, reaches the stomach and acts as a stomach poison to kill roaches. Other studies have reported that even when boric acid comes in contact with the skin of cockroaches, it gets absorbed and dries the body of insects to an extent that it leads these insects to death.

Boric acid is not toxic to the humans but very toxic to cockroaches so if used correctly can be used as most effective cockroach controller.

cockroach killer

Given below is the direction how to use boric acid for cockroaches:

  • While in kitchen, first of all, vacant the whole area especially the cabinets and area under the sink;
  • Also clean the area under and beside the refrigerator;
  • Now carefully fill all the cracks and holes;
  • Don’t use glue for sealing the holes as cockroaches can easily eat it;
  • Now carefully spread the boric acid all around and for better result try this at night. Be careful not to inhale it while spreading;
  • Now clean all the area either by washing it or by using a vacuum cleaner and then by applying dry rag.

How to Get Rid Of German Roaches

We have to answer another frequently asked question: how to get rid of German roaches? This question bothers many readers of ours.

As usual, when it comes to cockroaches, we turn to our favorite expert, Biology Professor, Joseph G. Kunkel. Here’s what he explains about German cockroaches: “The chief biologist at the Munich TierPark (Zoo) said they had no German cockroaches in their zoo and gave me three tropical species that they knew were living in various environments they maintained in the park. But I knew better. I went to the reptile house which is kept hot and humid and saw loads of Blattella germanica (Linnaeus,1767) in the space of a half hour, and during the day at that!  B. germanica, the German cockroach, probably entered Europe with Marco Polo or along early trade routes. Southeast Asia is its most likely origin. There are several sibling species that are very close to B. germanica; some even cross breed with it. Its relatives are common around pig stys in the outer islands of Hong Kong. Live pigs were often kept on exploration ships during long trips. It became associated with man and traveled around the world. It was formally named by Linnaeus and probably was around in Germany for quite a while before the name was applied.

In Germany, it is sometimes called "Die russische Schabe", The Russian Roach. In Russia, it is called the Polish Roach. In America, it was called the Crotton Bug because it came to NY about the time the Crotton Aqueduct was built which was pilloried in the papers because it took so much land by eminent domain.

The American Cockroach, Periplaneta americana (Linnaeus 1758) likewise is a misnomer since it probably originated in North Africa before becoming a world traveler. It most likely reached the Americas during the early slave trade. As you see there are thousands of species of cockroach and only about 10 have become cosmopolitan pests of man. Most of the others do not even have a common name. “ By the way, this specie is most frequently called palmetto bug.

dead german roach

That’s why getting rid of German cockroaches is pretty much the same as getting rid of all other types of roaches. University of Florida scientists also confirm this. According to them, it’s necessary to use prevention and sanitation methods before and concurrently with chemical control tactics. The most commonly used chemical formulations for cockroach control are baits, sprays, and dusts.

Making a conclusion, we’ll note that you can also use knowledge for exterminating cockroach. Several books and manuals on tactical extermination of these pests can be found on Amazon.com. Perfect household: How to easily and efficiently get rid of spiders, cockroaches and other pests in your household without using any chemicals (Perfect Household, Household Management) will become an extended guide on the matter. Cockroaches: Ecology, Behavior, and Natural History book will provide you with complete information regarding these pests collected by professional biologists.

To sum up our review, we’d like to draw your attention to one pleasant detail. Fierce competition has lead to a serious drop in prices for cockroach poisons, traps, and baits, which is only a benefit for us. So go ahead and protect your house from intruder roaches. We wish you good luck!