How To Kill Cockroaches Without Calling in Pest Control

List: Posted: 01/28/11

If cockroaches have invaded your home, your first reaction is likely to be to call an exterminator or pest control agent.  However, hiring a professional is not necessary if you are willing to try a few bug-killing methods on your own. 

Your first step is to determine where the majority of these cockroaches are coming from.  Are they entering the house through a specific hole or is there simply a mass of them located somewhere on your property?  Try to follow an individual bug as it scurries away.  Check for holes, cracks, vents or any other opening that gives cockroaches an opportunity to get into your house.  


A common method of entry for cockroaches into your house is for them to come up through the plugholes in your kitchen or bathroom sinks.  Make sure all your plugholes have a rubber plug, and get into a habit of putting the plugs in all the sinks and bathtubs at night, which is when most cockroaches come out to feed.

Your first method of extermination for cockroaches is to use live cockroach traps.  This is ideal if you have a relatively small population of intruders and if they are fairly large.  Like mice, you will be attempting to lure them to a trap using bait.  Petroleum jelly can trap cockroaches in the trap if you create a large enough barrier.  If you notice that the traps are gathering several cockroaches throughout the day, then you have discovered where the primary source is located. 

You can also use boric acid to kill cockroaches.  Because of boric acid’s harsh particles, exposure to this acid destroys the bug’s shell and dehydrates it.  You could try to mix boric acid with more attractive substances like sugar, water and flour.  Put it in the traps and then sit back and wait.  Don't use this option if you have small children or pets who might discover the trap and touch or eat the mixture, as it is highly toxic.

Consider using insecticide products for cockroaches from the local grocery store.  Sprays are better for a smaller population of cockroaches, whereas powder insecticide is far more powerful and long-lasting, ideal for larger populations of cockroaches.  In particular, insect growth regulators are effective because they attack cockroaches’ reproductive systems. 

Last but not least, keep your house clean and free of food crumbs. Get a trash-can with a tightly fitting lid and make sure it stays closed. Sweep up all food spills as soon as they occur, and keep your countertops and kitchen floor clean and free of any sticky spills.  Cover all food that must be left out at night such as fruit, and make sure your food cupboards close and latch tightly.  Get out a flashlight and make sure your cupboards and pantry don't have any holes or loose boards at the back through which cockroaches could gain entry.  Don't give cockroaches a head start!

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