TOP-14 Best Roach Killers: Poison Baits, Traps, Powders and Spray [UPDATED 2019] Buyer's Guide

how to kill roaches: photo
Author: Michael Potter

People have long fought cockroaches, that’s why there are all sorts of products available on the market. Here you'll find 14 best roach killers: poison baits, traps, liquid substances, sprays, and sterilizers.

Nowadays, gel baits are the most popular Roach Killer as the mixture of poison and attractant triggers chain deaths of the insects. They gather to feast on the bait, consume it and die slowly. The insects feeding on their corpses die too.

Table of Content:

ROACH KILLERS: How Do They Work | Effectiveness

Before letting you pick a specific product, let us remind you the principles of functioning and the differences between various roach killers:

  • Poison gel baits and gel bait stations never kill their victims instantly, they eliminate the entire pest population due to the fact that the cockroaches spread the poison with their kin rather than merely consuming it by themselves. Effectiveness: 10. Slow, eliminate the entire population.
  • Sticky glue traps can only help eliminate trapped pests. You’d better use it as an additional treatment and monitoring measure. Effectiveness: 5. Fast, but can kill only few roaches.
  • Killer sprays finish off only those pests that were directly affected by it. Effectiveness: 5. Fast, but can kill only few roaches.
  • Boric acid exterminates pests at an extremely slow pace (as they poison and dehydrate them) yet they manage to eliminate the entire population. The entomologists believe that boric acid is one of the best non-toxic and one of the most human ways to eliminate cockroaches. Moreover, it is cut-rate and affordable. Effectiveness: 10. Slow, eliminate the entire population.
  • IGR products sterilize adult and stop the larvae growth. The population will die out very slowly. This type of treatment is recommended to be used as a complementary measure. Effectiveness: 10. Extremely slow (four to six weeks), insects cannot reproduce.

TOP-14 Best Roach Killers: Die! Die! Die, Horrible Creatures!

Advion Cockroach Poison Gel Bait - Best Roach Killer

Here is the most popular cockroach control product. Advion gel bait is loved and trusted by consumers. It is #1 Best Seller in Pest Control Baits & Lures category. It has high rating, and there are more than 10000 customer reviews. No rival product has so much feedback.

The active ingredient is this bait is Indoxacarb, 0.6% which attracts and then kills the roaches. You should know, this chemical substance has an expiry date of 2 years after the manufacturing date. The pack will hardly last longer, though.

The manufacturer recommends applying 0.5 g dozes of gel 10 ft apart from each other. 3-5 such dozes will suffice even for the most infested house, and a regular infestation requires 1-3 drops of this gel. The poison exterminates a dozen of different types of insects, including the most spread types of cockroaches.

91% of customers claim that this product is useful; therefore Advion can be called the best roach killer. Consumers also state that using this poison 3-4 times per year is enough for fully controlling a cockroach infestation at home. Most of the insects die within a week. It is also mentioned that this gel needs to be hidden somewhere inaccessible for pets and small children and should never be placed near food.

Advion Cockroach Gel Bait
Advion Cockroach Gel Bait

Do you want to stop a roach infestation in your house within a week? Use the most effective and popular roach control product today - Advion Cockroach Gel Bait. It helps to get rid of American, Australian, Smoky-Brown, Brown, Asian, and Brown-Banded species of cockroaches.

Toomuchstuff was even able to discover the best way to apply the substance: “I did not apply it as was recommended. I don't like having poison applied to surfaces. I took bottle caps and plastic contain er covers and put the Advion in them and put them on the surfaces where I had seen roaches scooting about. In about a week, I noticed a decline in numbers. I threw away the baited bottle caps and replaced them with fresh baited caps. I did this weekly for about two months.

Price: Check the current price

Actually, we might end our review right here. As the Advion has left it's competitors far behind. Today it is the best selling product for eliminating cockroaches.

We have used Advion against cockroaches ourselves, and we join those 91% of users who find it to be the most effective roach killer. We strongly recommend it to you, as thankfully now we are free from cockroaches! However, we’ll continue our review for we’ve promised to describe all of the products for getting rid of roaches.

Advion Cockroach Bait Station

This Advion Cockroach Bait Arena is already packed in small plastic arenas (traps). Customers in the comments section claim though that this kind of protection is not sufficient for kids and pets. There have been cases of dogs swallowing these traps (they are somehow attracted by the bait) and of kids playing with them like they play with toy houses. In spite of this, the customer rating of this product is as high as that of the previous one, and the price is even lower.

Price:  Check the current price

Natural Cockroach Killer Powders

In case you stake on natural solutions, this is the best bet for you. Safe for humans and pets, the product has a long-lasting effect keeping on killing roaches even in a month following the first application. Formulated in powder, it should always remain dry, otherwise, the effect will be significantly decreased. Apart from that, the powder can be delivered in hard-to-reach areas by means of a puffer with extended straw. But powders, like boric acid & diatomaceous earth should not be injected into electronic equipment as the dust could damage the components.

To entice insects, the product contains a special lure to which the pests do not become resistant. 

Although being a long-lasting solution, boric acid is a slow-acting insecticide killing insects within a couple of days. Effectiveness of boric acid as a stomach poison for cockroaches: from 24 to 48 hours. Boric Acid interferes with the digestive system of the affected cockroach and also clings to its body what eventually kills other cockroaches once the insect is back to the colony.

Consumers note that it really takes some time to kill the whole colony but the solution does the job. Some users warn against putting the powder down where pets and kids can get to it. “Unlike most other commercially available roach solutions, this is the most cost effective, absolutely superior method of ridding your house of roaches,” a satisfied customer concluded.

Harris Boric Acid Roach Powder With Lure, 16 oz.  Check the current price.

Another natural solution formulated as dust is diatomaceous earth which is also suggested by scientists for cockroach control. A four-pound bag containing the powder based on D.E. is available approximately at the same price as boric acid. It kills cockroaches by dehydration after the powder is ingested and can be used both inside and outside the house. As boric acid, diatomaceous earth does not develop the insects’ resistance to the product because no chemical substance is included in the formula.

D.E. has the same level of popularity: “Never could even think of getting rid of the roaches in my apt. Until now. Dusted twice and they are gone. I can't believe how easy it was plus no toxicity,” one customer wrote. Another user specified that from his experience diatomaceous earth had not killed all cockroaches, however, he noted a dramatic decrease in a number of roaches.

Safer Brand Diatomaceous Earth, 4 Pound Bag: Check the current price.

The range of gels available on the insecticide market is very wide. Advion has half a dozen rivals which are very similar, and the only difference is the chemical composition and price. Let’s take a short glance at the main products available on the market.

Combat Max Roach Killing Gel, 60 Grams (2-pack)

This thick tube of gel is very affordable. Unlike Advion, it is only supplied with one poisonous stick. It is applied the same way, the bait is to be replaced monthly. Many users are confused by the instant drying of Combat, but experienced customers claim that gel works even when dry unless it dried inside the syringe (you’ll have a hard time uncorking it).

Price: (2-pack) Check the current price

Invict Gold Cockroach German Roach Control Gel Bait 4 tubes w/ plunger (35 grams per tube) 

Here’s another product. It is also supplied with 4 tubes 35 grams each. This product is made by a well-known manufacturer on the insecticide market. The important thing about this killing gel is that it is not supposed to be used for exterminating insects, other than German roaches or cockroaches. Imidacloprid 2.15%, the active chemical, is guaranteed to eliminate them.

Both the manufacturer and the customers warn that every user absolutely must read the label before using the gel. 88% of customers consider Invict Gold useful.

Price: (4-pack) Check the current price

Best Roach Bait Stations

This product is well-known, it looks like plastic pucks with 4-8 entrances and exits for insects which, being attracted by the bait, run there, feed there and die along with their mates. These things used to be more popular than gels.

They are not easy to place somewhere inaccessible, but kids and pets will have a hard time taking the poison out of the small plastic box. The customer rating of bait stations is substantially lower than that of gels!

 Combat Roach Killing Bait, Large Roach Bait Station (set of 8 stations). It is obvious that the target audience is young parents, as even the name of the product mentions that it is “child-resistant”.

What else do you need to know about Combat? It exterminates both small and large cockroaches of different types, doesn’t require any special installation and exterminates its victim within hours. This is one of the fastest products besides the instant ones.

Customers claim that Combat Bait Station can also help get rid of water bugs and "palmetto bugs". Despite unclear instructions, you needn’t use all 8 stations simultaneously: everything depends on the dimensions of the room and the degree of infestation. Of course, a single station won’t be enough even for the smallest room.

Surprisingly we have found dozens of comments stating that Combat eliminates the cockroaches in 1-2 nights. We have also encountered such comments, as "Combat Roach Bait Station: Not working in my house. I placed the 8 stations inside my house 3 weeks ago and they did not liquidate any roaches so far".

Price: Check the current price

Tablets and Insect Growth Regulator

If you don’t trust modern chemistry, or you feel pity for cockroaches to be killed, we’ll tell you about the oldest cockroach control product, which is 80 years old. We’ll also devote some time to the sterilizer which doesn’t cause the death of an insect but makes the females infertile and thus stops roaches’ breeding.

Harris Roach Tablets

Harris sells old anti-roach tablets. Even our grandparents used Harris Roach Tablets. The principle of action and the composition haven’t changed since. You’ll find about 100 tablets in a box which have to be put in the places where there are most cockroaches. The tablets don’t exude any unpleasant odors or harmful spirits; they simply lie there and wait to be eaten by the roach.

However, they definitely have to be hidden from pets and toddlers. They don’t attract cats and dogs, though, but kids can be drawn by them, and, in that case, the kid will be seriously harmed.

As a rule, people place the tablets into the fridge, on the furniture, windowsills, in the gaps, behind the trash bin and sink, in the bathroom and on other objects.

The more tablets are used simultaneously, the more dead cockroaches the happy users will find. We were also unable to find any complaints about the effectiveness of the product. The only complaints would be the stories of parents who have to keep their children away from small white tablets which look so edible.

Price: Check the current price

10 Gentrol Point Source IGR Insect Growth Regulator Discs ~ Control German Roaches and other Cockroaches as well as Stored Product Pests

Gentrol IGR Discs is a hybrid of a bait and pure poison. We have a sterilizer which affects cockroaches without killing them. All you have to do is put the small white planks in the apartment, open them by pressing on a designated spot on the case, and wait.

The chemical will spread over your place and sterilize the roaches. It also regulates the growth of born eggs and larvae. They will never grow up.

The customers complain that no manual is provided, and thus they have to rely on their own sixth sense to operate it. Both the official description and the reviews state that the discs are to be replaced every 90 days and that each of them covers an area of 75 sq. ft. Inside the discs, you can find hydroprene which limits the insects’ growth. 

As for the reviews, many of the customers recommend using Gentrol as a supplement to the traps and poisons. The latter will eliminate parent insects, and Gentrol will finish off the offspring.

Price:  Check the current price

Roach Spray - the Fast Way to Eliminate  Roaches

Let’s now move on to the most traditional product used by our parents. Sprays have really proven themselves over time!

Raid 17.5OZ Cockroach Killer

It works as fast as possible and kills the insects once it comes in contact with them. The smell of the poison disappears quickly which is another advantage.

The smell of Raid Roach Killer isn't that bad though as it contains lime aroma. The main peculiarity of this killer is that it is also highly effective against ants. A “2-in-1” spray at a low price is what makes it so popular.

Such express-killing has its disadvantages too. It has been proven that chain reaction doesn’t work with this spray, i.e. when you spray it over 10 cockroaches, you will exterminate exactly 10 cockroaches. They won’t reach the nest and contaminate 100 other insects. That’s why don’t waste it and spray the most infested spots with it.

Raid 17.5 OZ Roach Killer is especially popular with the farmers as they have to get rid of all types of insects: ants, flies and mosquitoes. Frankly speaking, we weren’t able to find a single negative review of Raid.

Price:  Check the current price

Another universal poison is Ortho 0196410 Home Defense MAX Insect Killer Spray for Indoor and Home Perimeter, 24-Ounce (Ant, Roach, Spider, Stinkbug & Centipede Killer). This spray doesn’t use gas: this is simply a poisonous liquid which needs to be sprayed with an aerosol.

It eliminates and repels over 130 species of insects (most often it is bought against ants, roaches, and spiders). The price for Home Defense is very affordable. This mixture not only acts as an instant poison, but it also serves as a repellent.

Price: Check the current price

For further information on repellents, refer to our article “How to Keep the Roaches Away”.

Best Roach Traps

Traps are rated next in terms of popularity and effectiveness. As a rule, sets of tiny traps are very cut-rate, with one interesting exception.

Black Flag HG-11020-1 Roach Motel Insect Traps, Case of 12

This product with the sarcastic “Roach Motel” name is very popular with customers. This is a set of 12 traps, each of which lasts 4 month.

The cool thing about it is that the dead cockroaches disappear in this “motel” and you don’t get to see their corpses. Many women (and even men) are merely afraid of dead cockroaches: they are disgusting not only to touch but even to look at.

This motel "welcomes" not only cockroaches but also aquatic beetles, spiders and even scorpions (which is a big plus for the residents of the southern regions).

The idea of "Black Flag" is very simple. Cockroaches are attracted by an attractant inside the box, and they cannot get out, and thus they die of hunger. In addition, the inside of the box is designed in such a way that the insects get injured when they attempt to get out. The effectiveness of the system is confirmed by the dozens of comments from real customers.

Some of the users were able to find weak spots of this motel, though: “The downside to this product, at least in regards to American roaches, is that the trap alone is not enough because 1) the large roaches can live up to a month without food, and 2) they will tear body parts off to get out of this trap long before they die of starvation. Since it was evident that the roach would eventually rip off enough body parts to escape, I got the bright idea to spray the roach with an insecticide and then replace the trap with a fresh one. This resulted in wetting the adhesive, allowing the roach to free itself and try to scurry off. I ended up having to squash it with a broom. So be aware that these are single-use traps for large roaches”. Read other customers’ reviews to decide whether it is worth buying.

Price: Check the current price

Glue traps, like Trapper Max Glue Traps 12 Glue Boards Trap Mouse Bugs Insects Bed Bugs Spiders Cockroaches are also simple to use. For only  you’ll get a set of 12 cardboard traps covered with adhesive tape on the inside. No hi-tech or innovations are involved, this is a traditional method.

The gluey area is small: only 4.5x6.5 inches. The manufacturers assure users that this will be enough to catch dozens of insect. There are no complex attractants inside the Trapper Max though the chocolate smell of the glue hints that some aromas were nonetheless used. It’s funny that this thing can be called a transformer, as the box can be opened and expanded thus making the trap open and closed.

The customers recommend setting up the trap carefully so that you don’t get your finger in the glue. The most meticulous users even recommend not relying on such traps as a universal product against insects. According to them, you have to first destroy the nests of the insects (which Trapper Max surely isn’t capable of) if the cockroach infestation instead of implementing some aesthetical measures.

Price: Check the current price

Another cheap and simple roach trap is Trapper Insect Trap (Great for Bed Bugs, Spiders, and Cockroaches) which includes 90 traps. This is much cheaper than Black Flag and Trapper Max. These traps, though, are disposable and too simple. But does this really matter?

Effectiveness is the main thing here. You won’t find any attractants or chemicals (you can buy some compatible attractants still). The trap is made of mere cardboard adhesive strips 7x3 inches in size. If you wish, you can divide a single strip into three miniature traps which can easily be located in inaccessible places.

When working, Trapper Trap is supposed to be shut, but after that you can open the lid and check who got trapped. Turns out that this device is not only a trap but also is a means of monitoring a cockroach population.

Customers praise the product in the comments section. The remarks were made only by those who were hunting fleas and other insects and weren’t satisfied by the headcount caught. It works perfectly for cockroaches, though. However, in order not to hesitate, you can read all if the customers’ feedback and see for yourself whether it’s worth buying.

Price: Check the current price

Roach Poison Baits, Traps, Powders and Sprays Comparison Chart


Action Speed: Does It Instantly Kill the Cockroaches?

Effectiveness: Does it Eliminate the Entire Population?

Advion Roach Gel Bait


Yes, within a week

Advion Cockroach Bait Station


Yes, within several weeks

Harris Boric Acid

On contact Yes, within several weeks

Safer Brand, 4 Pound Bag

On ingestion and/or dehydration within 48 hours Kills insects contacted with DE 

Combat Max Roach Killing Gel


Yes, within several weeks

Invict Gold Cockroach Gel Bait


Yes, within several weeks

Combat Roach Bait Station


Yes, within several weeks

Black Flag Roach Motel Traps


Only trapped pests

Trapper Max Glue Traps 12



Trapper Insect Trap (90)



Raid Roach Aerosol

On contact

No, only sprayed pests 

Ortho Home Defense MAX

On contact, additional repelling effect

No, only sprayed pests

Harris Roach Tablets


Yes, but slowly, within several weeks or months

Gentrol Point Source

Sterilizes cockroaches and thus prevents larvae growth and stops the breeding cycle

Yes, slowly until the entire population dies naturally

Need to hire an exterminator? Find the best licensed professionals in your area.

Reviewed by: Nissem Abdeljelil
VOTES: 99        HITS: 543644
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Leave a Reply
Nikol33  •  Monday, 23 April 2018 19:49
Advion Gel Byte is the only remedy that saved my house from cockroaches. I used to try a lot, but nothing helped. I bought several packages, and gradually all the cockroaches "left". I recommend!
nope  •  Saturday, 29 April 2017 01:46
combat does not do the job anymore it use to work gentrol IGR and advion gel bait works the best now!
Tommy miller  •  Sunday, 01 January 2017 07:54
If I saw a roach crawlin and I hhave gel poison that don't kill instantly should I kill it or no
Edmund  •  Thursday, 17 November 2016 18:34
Our kitchen has both infestation with ants & roaches. More roaches than ants.
I fear that the death of the roaches will lead to more population in ants.
Any thoughts on if the poison killing the cockroaches might repel ants or am I looking at a complex problem?
Stew  •  Sunday, 03 July 2016 23:16

I’ve noticed that after a while gel bait becomes harder. Do the cockroaches eat it? Should I replace it with new gel drops?

Author  •  Saturday, 09 July 2016 10:35

Unfortunately, the gel dries in a couple of days, but it continues to work, as the cockroaches still run to it and eat it, this is true. To prevent the gel from drying you can try this trick: add some peanut butter into a drop of gel to keep its softness for a longer period and even to make it more attractive to the cockroaches. I hope my advice helps, good luck!

Frenchman  •  Sunday, 22 May 2016 08:37

In addition to cockroaches I’ve got some silverfish at home. Will Combat Source Kill Max R2 Large Roach Bait help to get rid of them or do I need a special product?

I am  •  Thursday, 26 May 2016 22:43

It’s the latter. Combat Roach Bait is not a universal type of treatment as the manufacturer claims that this bait station will only help you eliminate large cockroaches, palmetto bugs and water bugs. It won’t kill silverfish as you need to destroy them by using powders, liquid insecticides, traps etc.

Stew W  •  Sunday, 27 December 2015 16:31

Can Advion Gel be applied onto the cupboards next to the food and cutlery? Is it safe?

Tina Gross  •  Wednesday, 30 December 2015 17:59

You’d better not use this product in the proximity to opened produce, near the dishes or cutler. It is nevertheless a cockroach poison so you should exclude any possibility of its getting into your body. Try to find secluded spots farther away from food and secure all of the produce nearby just in case so that the cockroaches don’t have a slightest chance to get even a piece of gel on it. If you follow these precautions, you can be safe.

andy  •  Wednesday, 11 November 2015 15:00

Do I need to use cockroach bait to lure them into a sticky trap like Trapper Insect Trap?

Author  •  Saturday, 14 November 2015 00:52

No, it isn’t necessary as the main requirement of catching the cockroaches is to be a strategic thinker and to place the traps right where the insects run. They cling with their paws tightly to the sticky surface trap and cannot get out of this deadly den. Some people, however, try to use random food bait, but they then agree that sticky traps work better without bait than with it. That’s why if your place is over-infested with cockroaches, get plenty of traps and place them next to the door, on the stairs, next to the computer system unit, the monitor, refrigerator, simply put, everywhere! These traps are non-toxic, so don’t worry.

Dex  •  Sunday, 01 March 2015 11:23

I’m using Advion Cockroach Gel Bait, but it’s useless! There is not a single dead cockroach! Why is it so?

I am  •  Thursday, 05 March 2015 20:09

This gel is considered to be one of the most effective treatments against cockroaches so if it does not work in your situation, then you are doing something wrong. If the cockroaches are still alive and keep on moving, make sure first that you have thoroughly cleaned your entire place (e.g. kitchen), removed the leftovers as well as the source of moisture. There should be nothing left to attract the cockroaches! Also make sure that there are no traces of previously used cockroach insecticides (should you have used them) on the area to be treated. Cockroaches will never approach gel bait, if they smell synthetic chemical smell nearby!

Spread a bit of gel in those places where there are most cockroaches: in the cabinets under the sink, niches behind the kitchen furniture and between the tables, behind the refrigerator, in the corners, and so on. Next, wait until these creepers starve. It will work.

Randy  •  Wednesday, 01 June 2016 17:53

The cockroaches don’t instantly die of gel! It takes some time for them to get contaminated and to spread the poisonous bait around their nest among the fellows which are also destined to die. You’ll have to wait for at least a week (as the manufacturer claims). Moreover, this isn’t Raid which kills the cockroaches on contact; you might not even see cockroach corpses as they will die in their nest after consuming the bait.