How Do I Get Rid of a Roach Infestation?

An American cockroach, which is sometimes called a palmetto bug.
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  • Written By: C. Daw
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 02 April 2014
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Getting rid of a roach infestation can be accomplished by tackling the problem yourself with pesticides and cleaning, or a professional can be called in to contend with the insects. Even if a professional is called in to assist, a cleaning regime has to be implemented in order to prevent any further infestation outbreaks. Many people mistakenly believe that roach killing pesticides alone will take care of the problem. The only way to effectively deal with a roach infestation is to use a combination of pesticides and deep cleaning to make an area less hospitable.

Cleaning the area where the roach infestation is will always be the first step taken, whether a professional is assisting or the task is being accomplished without one. Roaches can survive, and breed, with very little food and even less room. Clean the building with a strong commercial type disinfectant, and make sure that all laundry piles are picked up and stored in sealed bags if necessary. Move all the furniture and appliances within each room to allow a complete deep cleaning. The final step in the cleaning process will be after the pesticide has been sprayed, which will consist of another deep cleaning session followed by washing clothes and furniture with hot water and a strong detergent.


Another important step in eradicating roaches is to seal up any cracks and crevices that provide ideal breeding and hiding places. Be sure to check behind cabinets, baseboards, electrical outlets and plumbing for areas of roach infestation. Areas that show evidence of roaches should be cleaned and sealed with caulk or other appropriate sealant or insulating material.

A professional exterminator will give directions before they come out to spray, and since they all use variations of pesticides it is necessary to follow the individual instructions. When going with a professional, however, be aware that some chemicals that they use are safer than others. Check around and find the best exterminator that fits the job. If the roach infestation is serious, strong pesticides may be required in order to deal with it. Always compare the products that they use and evaluate the safest and most effective route to take so that it will not have to be done again within a few months.

If tackling the roach infestation without the help of a professional, purchase a pesticide at any home improvement outlet store, making sure to get the strongest type available that is still safe. When spraying, make sure that chemical resistant rubber gloves are used, and that a properly ventilated mask is worn. Spray the entire building, taking special care to hit the areas where the nests are. Follow the directions on the back of the product and allow the area to stay undisturbed for the maximum amount of time called for.


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