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What Is a Roach Trap?

An American cockroach, also sometimes called a palmetto bug.
To make a homemade roach trap, coat the inside rim of a jar with a generous layer of petroleum jelly and put a small amount of food in as bait.
Trapping cockroaches always happens at night, as they are nocturnal.
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  • Written By: Hillary Flynn
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2014
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A roach trap is a contraption that is used in lieu of poisons and insecticides to rid a home or building of cockroaches. Cockroaches are a type of large insect that like to dwell in warm environments, such as in heated homes. They are considered pests because they get into food, have an offensive odor, spread germs, and have been linked to allergic reactions in humans. Because they are also extremely hearty and adaptive and like to live in groups, they are also difficult to get rid of once a dwelling has been infested. Hence, the introduction of the roach trap.

There are several types of roach traps. The most primitive type of roach trap utilizes a length of very sticky tape with a piece of food attached to it. The tape is placed on a surface frequented by cockroaches with the piece of food, usually something sweet, then left overnight. Cockroaches are nocturnal and will run if they see light, so trapping almost always happens at night. When the trap is checked in the morning, there will likely be a number of cockroaches attached.

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Container traps can be made with any type of jar, such as a mason jar or an empty pickle jar. One version of the jar container roach trap utilizes a liquid. Some use plain water in the jar, some add coffee grounds to water, and some use wine or soda. Whichever is used, the jar is placed against a wall so the roaches can easily climb to the top, then when they enter the jar to check out the inch or two of liquid at the bottom, they fall and drown.

Another version of container roach trap is also made with a glass jar, but instead of liquid, a piece of food is placed in the bottom. Then, the inside walls of the jar are coated in petroleum jelly which the roaches slip on and become incapable of crawling out. Once the roaches have been collected, the cap can be placed on the jar and the roaches can be thrown out in a tightly sealed trash bag.

For those who want a more professional trap, there are also fancy roach traps manufactured for purchase that utilize nifty infrared beams to detect roach movement, then snap them up into a sanitary container. Other roach traps use poison to kill the roaches once they enter the traps. If using traps with poison, it is important to quickly dispose of the poisoned roaches before pets or children can get access to them.

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