Best Ways To Control Cockroaches

Learn about roach control products. For the best success in eliminating an infestation, try a gel bait along with a spray.

Cockroaches are common pests, but there are effective ways to control them. The best way to not have roaches is to keep them out of the home in the first place. Be extremely careful when buying a second hand appliance because it could already be home to cockroaches. Before bringing a used stove or refrigerator into the home, keep it in the yard long enough to inspect it. Check every crack and opening. Roaches especially love to hide inside the seal of a refrigerator door. This is a good opportunity to give the appliance a thorough cleaning as well.

The same advice applies to other second hand items. Roaches can come into a home through a stack of egg cartons or other items a neighbor may give you. If unsure, look through things before bringing them in. One note about keeping roaches out - if you live in an apartment, they may come over from next door, even without an invitation!

If you already have cockroaches, there are things you can do to get rid of them. Calling an exterminator is a possibility, but exterminators are expensive, and in the case of a severe infestation, one visit from them may not be enough. Fortunately, there are effective products available over the counter.

Powdered products, which are marketed under names like "Roach Away" or "Roach Proof", are generally made up of boric acid. They are messy and have to be applied all around the home. The best thing about boric acid is that it is fairly non-toxic. The worst thing thing about it is that it doesn't always get rid of the roaches. Cockroaches are smart enough not to cross a boric acid line. They will walk around it.

A homespun way to lure cockroaches to encounter boric acid is to make potato balls. Make about a cup of mashed potatoes - no butter or seasoning is necessary. Now add 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of boric acid. Use the boric acid that is sold in small bottles at the drug store. Mix these ingredients and form into 1-inch balls. Place these balls in the corners of your kitchen cabinets and other places where you have seen the pests. The roaches will feed on the balls and die. Potato balls are effective for about a month.

Anytime you have roaches, you need to be diligent to keep food put away or covered securely. They will invade boxes of cereal or macaroni that aren't sealed well. They will feed on spills and unwashed dishes. Keeping things clean helps in the fight against roaches, but they are very creative in finding alternative food sources. They even eat their own dead! This is why poisoned bait tends to work better than spray. The cockroach eats the bait and goes back to the nest to die. His relatives have him for lunch, and they die, too.



A great product that is relatively new on the market is roach killing gel. Combat is one company that makes this product. The gel comes in a syringe-like tube and can be applied in out of the way places. The roaches are strongly attracted to it and it works well.

Sprays come in different forms and strengths. Bombs are one of the easier methods to fight cockroaches, but they don't totally eliminate a bad infestation. In fact, sometimes a bomb just seems to make the roaches mad. Try repeating the procedure several times if this is the method you prefer. Be aware that everything in the house will be covered with toxins and clean well before letting children and pets back in the house.

A strong spray can be used judiciously along with roach killing gel for great results. Raid Max is one such spray. If you purchase a spray, make sure it is one formulated specifically for killing cockroaches. Be careful not to spray in the location where you placed the bait, because they won't eat the bait if it's been sprayed with poison. Spray is best used in places like under the refrigerator, behind the stove, and on visible nests. Keep the kids out while spraying and for an hour after, and clean any living areas where spray may have fallen.

Other options in the fight against roaches are sticky traps (sometimes called "Roach Motels," which is also a brand name) and stick-on bait containers. Non-toxic sticky traps help knock the roach population down. Replace as needed. The bait containers often have boric acid as the active ingredient, and work somewhat like the homemade potato balls described above. The best baits include some devices that cause the roaches to be unable to reproduce. Set these in areas where you've seen many roaches.

The best method of roach control is really a combination of methods. Don't be too stingy to buy several products at once. The inexpensive potato balls will help with a minor infestation, but for a big problem, try using gel, spray (judiciously), and sticky traps all at once.

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