How Should I get Rid of Cockroaches?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2019
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Getting rid of cockroaches is a task that can be accomplished by choosing from three basic options. In order to choose the most effective way to get rid of cockroaches, you must determine how large an infestation you are dealing with and what type of cockroach is involved. Once you have this information in hand, you can choose the method that will work best for your household.

Many people are surprised to learn there are several kinds of cockroaches. In fact, there are a number of different cockroaches that may be present. The brown cockroach is very common, as is the American cockroach, the Oriental cockroach, and the German cockroach. Don’t assume that just because you live in a certain part of the world that your options are limited; international commerce has made it possible for various types of cockroaches to be found all over the globe.

For smaller infestations, you may be able to get rid of cockroaches using a dust or spray. These work well when your problem is in the early stages. However, take care if you have pets or small children in the home. While many commercial roach products are safe for humans and pets, that is not always the case.


Roach traps also are helpful when the cockroach problem is still in the early stages. These simple devices are roughly the size of a small matchbox, and have two open ends. Inside the trap is a sticky substance that is treated to attract cockroaches. The inquisitive cockroach enters the trap, becomes embedded in the sticky substance and eventually dies. If you use this method to get rid of cockroaches, make sure to check and change out the traps at least once a week.

You may also want to try a folk remedy for removing cockroaches from the home. This involves creating small balls using a mixture of boric acid, white flour, and a little water as a binder. The cockroaches ingest the compound and eventually perish from the boric acid. Boric acid can be purchased in many drugstores as well as at farmer’s exchanges.

When the infestation is widespread, your best bet is to call in an exterminator. An extermination service has resources to identify the type of cockroaches present in the home and choose the most effective spray or other means of helping to get rid of cockroaches. Keep in mind that the process may require more than one treatment before the roaches disappear, and you will need to have the exterminator come out every month or so to prevent the roaches from making their way back into your home.

While you can get rid of cockroaches on your own when the problem is relatively small, it is much harder when the infestation has spread significantly. Keep in mind that for every cockroach you actually see, there may be thousands more circulating through the walls, in the attic, and tucked away in every nook and cranny around the house. If over the counter sprays, poisons, and traps don’t seem to curtail the presence of the cockroaches, do not hesitate to call in the experts. In the long run, it will save you a lot of frustration and money.


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Post 3

@literally45-- Boric acid didn't work for me but I might not have used it correctly, I'm not sure.

I ended up using a very strong chemical bug spray to get rid of them. It was a residual treatment, so it continued to kill the cockroaches and also prevented them from reproducing. I'm not a huge fan of chemicals either and if the spray hadn't worked the first time around, I wouldn't have reused it, I would have called a professional. But it did work and the cockroaches haven't returned. I think that if safer treatments aren't working, chemicals might be the best way to get rid of cockroaches, as long as it doesn't become a routine.

Post 2

@literally45-- I've been wanting to use boric acid but I'm worried that it might harm my curious cat who might eat it. I need to get rid of cockroaches naturally. The only option I've found is diatomaceous earth which is absolutely safe for pets. I have no idea if it will work, but I can't take the risk of using any chemicals.

Post 1

Boric acid is extremely effective at getting rid of roaches. I've used it many times with success. There are different ways of preparing the boric acid but the point is that it's a bait. So it should contain something that the roaches would want to eat like flour, powdered sugar or cocoa. After eating it, the roaches will die so the mixture/paste should be placed in areas like the kitchen and bathroom where they like to spend time.

Periodically, I put boric acid and powdered sugar into cabinets to prevent them from coming back. Being persistent with this treatment can get rid of cockroaches forever.

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