How to Get Rid of Roaches

Cockroach Treatment Guide

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What Does a Roach Treatment Program Include?

Learn the Best Way to Kill Roaches on Your Own

*The following treatment steps are for getting rid of all types of roaches, including: American Roaches, German Roaches, Wood Roaches, Brown Banded Roaches, Oriental Roaches, and Smoky Brown Roaches.

Getting rid of roaches involves more than just spraying an insecticide or putting down a bait or dust. Roaches get into everything, multiply rapidly, and can survive for several months without food and up to two weeks without water. These little pests definitely pose a challenge, but with the proper tools and roach killer products, you can win the battle over roaches by following this roach management program. The best way to get rid of roaches includes a complete roach treatment process with two basic steps: sanitation/preparation, and the actual product applications.

Step 1

Sanitation and Preparation

Sanitation is definitely one of the most important steps to getting rid of roaches, and preventing them. Most roach treatment programs will fail if this step is skipped or poorly implemented. You must eliminate what attracts roaches, including as many food sources and water sources as possible and also seal off or eliminate places that roaches like to hide.


Eliminate Food Sources

Getting rid of food sources is one of the most important parts of roach control. Sanitation of your kitchen and other areas of your home require dedication and hard work, but are necessary for a roach-free living space.
  • Clean Kitchen Appliances. Roaches in your kitchen can live off grease and food spills under and behind your appliances. Clean under and behind the stove, refrigerator, microwave, toaster, dishwasher, and around and underneath the sink.
  • Empty and Clean Cabinets. Crumbs and food spills from stored food products provide a buffet for roaches. Clean to eliminate this food source.
  • Keep Food in Sealed Containers. Roaches are small enough to get into the cardboard packaging or loosely closed boxes and bags. Store food in metal, glass, or hard plastic sealable containers.
  • Limit food consumption to one room of the house. Keeping all food and eating in one area of the home will eliminate crumbs and food spills and limits your infestation to one area of the house.
  • Clean the kitchen thoroughly each night before bed. Roaches come out to feed at night, so cleaning the kitchen each night will leave nothing for foraging roaches to eat. Wipe down kitchen countertops, wash all dishes, clean floors well, and put away all food.
  • Vacuum or sweep all other non-food areas of the home every few days. Picking up stray crumbs and roach feces, skins, body parts, and egg sacs, which contain pheromones that attract other roaches to the same areas, will help keep your home clean.
  • Empty pet food containers overnight, or cover tightly.
  • Keep garbage cans clean and covered.


Eliminate Water Sources

Water is another thing you will have to keep away from roaches. While it is difficult to get rid of all water sources, eliminate as many as possible.
  • Fix leaky plumbing and sweating pipes.
  • Before bed, dry all sinks, tubs, and showers completely and plug the drains.
  • Place wet dishrags and sponges in an airtight plastic storage bag overnight, place them directly in the washing machine, or hang outdoors to dry.
  • Pet water dishes should be placed outside overnight or be dried and refilled in the morning.
  • Wet toothbrushes should be dried as best they can and placed in sealed bags or containers.
  • Empty drip tray from under refrigerator.


Harborage Elimination

Roaches hide during daylight and prefer dark, small spaces. By eliminating potential hiding spots, roaches will be forced to be out in the open to find a new place to live.
  • Seal cracks and crevices with a caulking gun.
  • Close holes surrounding pipes or other light and wall fixtures with a material such as Stuff It Copper Mesh.
  • Make sure window and doorframes are tight and gap free to prevent entry from outside.
  • Place tape over holes and crevices in appliances and other household items in areas that have heavy roach traffic. Computers, small appliances, etc., can all serve as harborage for roaches.

Products needed for Step 1C

Step 2

Use Baits, Sprays, & IGRs

Now that you have completed the sanitation and preparation, you can start the process of applying products to eliminate the roach infestation. We recommend using three key products in your roach control program: a concentrated insecticide for a quick kill of active roaches, a bait to help draw out and eliminate those roaches that like to stay hidden, and an insect growth regulator so that roaches cannot continue to reproduce while you are trying to eliminate the current population. We include these key products in our roach control kits to make product selection easier for you.

We also recommend rotating baits every few months if you have an ongoing roach control program to avoid roach bait resistance. We have put together roach control kits that contain baits with different active ingredients to make bait rotation easy for consumers. We strongly recommend you start with Kit A which contains Maxforce FC Magnum which will give you the fastest roach knockdown and wipeout to start to your roach control efforts. If needed you should follow up with kit B and then move onto kit C if needed.



Next to sanitation, the next most important and essential component to a roach control program is baiting. The idea behind roach bait is that each roach that feeds on the poisoned bait can contaminate up to 40 other roaches by way of contact, feces, or the other roaches feeding on its poisoned carcass. This domino effect knocks out roach populations at an incredible rate. We do recommend rotating baits every few months to avoid bait aversion and bait resistance. We make bait rotation easy for you as we put a different bait in each of our roach control kits. So if you purchased kit A this time, we would suggest purchasing kit B or C the next time if you have an ongoing roach control need. Gel bait and bait stations should be placed in the following locations for greatest efficacy:
  • Behind kitchen cabinets and counter tops.
  • Behind wall hangings such as pictures, clocks, or posters
  • Behind, next to, and under the stove.
  • In the corners up under the sink and other cabinets.
  • In stored paper bags and boxes.
  • Around pipes, cords, and cables that come out of the wall.
  • Behind and under bathroom fixtures.
  • Behind the medicine cabinet and vanity.
  • In any cracks or crevices around shelves or wood
  • in corners and under railing n and on drawers.
Bait should be reapplied every 2-3 weeks or when placements appear to be gone. Continue to place bait until all roaches are eliminated


Use Insect Growth Regulators (IGR's)

Disrupt the Cockroach Life Cycle With IGRs

Even if baits, insecticides, and sanitation work to successfully kill off the present adult roach population, there will still exist egg capsules, or oothacae, that hatch within 1 to 2 months after that last adult roach is sighted. That is why your program must include an IGR, or Insect Growth Regulator. An IGR, or an Insect Growth Regulator, is a synthetic pheromone used to disrupt and impede the life cycle of insects in the egg and larvae stage of development. The idea with an IGR is that if an insect cannot reach adulthood, it cannot reproduce. In short, IGR is a form of "birth control" for roaches and other pests, which helps to keep populations under control by preventing current and future infestations from reproducing.

IGRs come in a few different formulations: aerosol, concentrated liquid and point-source stations. Each of the formulations are very effective and choosing one for your needs is not difficult. If spraying is undesirable the point source stations would be a great choice for you. If spraying is desirable but you don't want to mix and measure chemicals or purchase a hand pump sprayer the aerosol would work very well for you. The concentrated liquid is the best choice if budget is a concern and if you have larger areas to cover.


Use a Concentrated Insecticide: Measure, Mix, Spray

Measure and mix the concentrated roach spray as recommended on the product label. Apply along baseboards, in cracks and crevices,under appliances, around door frames, window frames and in areas where utilities (cables, pipes, wires) enter into the structure. Be mindful to avoid spraying in the exact areas where you have placed baits as this will contaminate the bait and roaches will avoid it. Reapply insecticide sprays according to the time given on the product label.

Step 3

Be Patient

Depending on the level of the infestation it can take anywhere from three weeks to six months to eliminate a roach infestation. Infestations do not get very large overnight and they will not go away overnight. You can help monitor the infestation by using glue boards included in the kit placed in and under cabinets, behind toilets, under appliances and in other areas that have been infested. Check the glue board traps every week to monitor your progress. Continue treatments until no new roaches are found on the glueboards.

Roach Treatment Infographic

(Click to View Full Graphic)

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