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How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Cockroaches, often called roaches, multiply rapidly and can transmit diseases. It is all the more important to take action against them as quickly as possible in the apartment or at home. Can you spot a cockroach infestation? How do pests get into the house? And how can you start getting rid of roaches? Find the answers in this article.

Most Common Cockroaches in the US

The American cockroach was probably originally native to tropical Africa. It was spread by ship and is now found in the entire tropical and subtropical belt. In the temperate latitudes it occurs, due to trade, in the warehouses of the port cities, but also in the tropical houses of zoological gardens. 

The females fasten the 8 mm long egg container to a suitable surface a few hours to four days after being pushed out, usually in crevices with high humidity near a feeding place. At an average room temperature, development is complete after 600 days.

In the warmer states, the American roach occurs regularly in public buildings, in restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, hospitals, hotels, storage facilities and in the food processing industry. Under warm conditions, the species is also found outside of buildings in gardens and sports facilities as well as in the field. 

In the USA, the American cockroach is the most common species in the canal systems of cities from which the above-mentioned habitats in buildings are settled. The American cockroach can feed on all sorts of organic substances, but it shows a pronounced preference for fermenting food components.

How to identify cockroach types in the US?

Here’s how to know what type of cockroaches became the unwanted occupier of your house. No matter what type, approaches to getting rid of roaches are similar for all pests.

 identify cockroach types in the US

Identification of larger cockroaches

American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana)

  • American cockroaches are 28 to 44 mm tall.
  • They are bright red-brown in color.
  • The wings of the males are longer than the body. In females they just cover the abdomen.
  • American roach can run quickly (even fly at very high temperatures).

Australian cockroaches (Periplaneta australasiae)

  • This red-brown cockroach species is similar in appearance to the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana).
  • It is about 25-35mm tall.
  • The Australian cockroach can be easily identified by a yellow stripe along the outer leading edge of each wing (yellow shoulder).

Oriental cockroaches (Blatta orientalis)

  • Oriental cockroaches reach a size of 25 to 30 mm.
  • They are dark brown to black.
  • In the females the wings are rudimentary, in the males they cover three quarters of the abdomen.
  • Because oriental cockroaches are big and heavy, they are relatively difficult to climb and mainly walk on the ground.

Identification of smaller cockroaches

Brown ribbon cockroaches (Supella longipalpa)

  • Brown band cockroaches are 10 to 14 mm in size.
  • They are yellow-brown in color. The pronotum is surrounded by a light, translucent border.
  • Both sexes have wings. The wings of the males are longer.
  • Brown band cockroaches can run fast and fly at very high temperatures.

German cockroaches

  • These pests grow to be between 12 and 15 mm.
  • They are brown and have two dark stripes on the chest.
  • The wings of both males and females are as long as the body or a little longer.
  • German cockroaches run very fast and can climb (smooth) walls.

How do cockroaches get into the house?

Roaches do not infest living spaces because of a lack of hygiene or cleanliness. The pests are usually introduced via food packaging, used kitchen appliances or with holiday luggage. They can also move into the house or apartment from adjacent food factories or restaurants. Here are the most common ways cockroaches enter the house:

  • Though food storage cupboards with large, opened food packages in private households
  • Restaurants and pubs can leave food supplies in large sacks outside. Storage costs are high and a new delivery can be made within a few hours. 
  • Grocery stores are regularly checked by pest controllers and set traps. If a roach infestation is found, an expert distributes insecticidal gels at certain points in the supermarket and in the storage room. But the infestation can occur at any time.

As soon as they are in your home, however, the roaches multiply rapidly. An infestation should be combated as soon as it is recognized. However, it is difficult to spot the pests in time: during the day, cockroaches hide in hiding places. They only come out of their hiding places at dusk or at night and are only discovered then.

If you see a cockroach during the day, the infestation is already very strong. In this case, be sure to contact a professional pest controller.

How do cockroaches get into the house

How do you know if you have roaches in your home

Even if you don't see any pests, there are several signs that could indicate a cockroach infestation:

  • In their developmental stages, the insects molt several times. The old skin usually remains in the vicinity of the nests as a translucent shell. Sometimes it is also eaten by fellow species.
  • Cockroaches also usually lay their egg packets, which are about the size of half a coffee bean, close to their shelter.
  • In addition, the vermin excretions can indicate an infestation. They look like crumbs from coffee powder and are about a millimeter long.
  • The dots often run in a track on walls or other vertical surfaces.
  • Roaches usually live together in larger populations and communicate and orientate themselves using species-like fragrances that are sometimes perceptible to humans as a penetrating smell.
  • Damage to food and packaging also suggests that cockroaches have spread in the apartment.
  • The same applies to any living or dead roach specimens found.

Be careful: You should dispose of captured animals in a tightly closed, airtight bag with the residual waste.

Why you must find the places of roach infestation

Where do cockroaches like to frolic? Locating roach favorite places to live and breed will help you find the best strategy to find them.

Sometimes you can see them scurrying across the kitchen floor - but what hiding place did the cockroach just crawl from? And is there maybe even more? The crawlies mostly come into the house through cracks and crevices - or simply through doors and windows. 

In case you don't know exactly where the core of the problem is, here is a small list of places in the house where cockroaches often hide:

  • In sewage pipes in bathrooms and kitchens, air conditioning systems or heating pipes
  • Behind household appliances such as ovens or refrigerators in kitchen
  • Under flooring
  • In drawers for clothes, writing utensils etc.
  • In materials or furniture made of wood

Once you've located the cockroach's loophole at home, you can move on to fighting the uninvited guests. Please note that the tips apply to smaller infestations and that you should call an exterminator if the population is larger.

Why you must find the places of roach infestation

Health hazards of the American roaches

A cockroach infestation is a health risk. The pests can transmit salmonella and mold spores and increase the risk of infection for gastrointestinal diseases. Their excretions can trigger allergies and make food inedible - the same applies to their damage. According to doctors, transmission of the following diseases by various cockroach species has also been documented:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Dysentery
  • typhus
  • cholera
  • poliomyelitis
  • Hepatitis B

Natural Ways to Eliminate Roaches - Do They Really Work?

Once cockroaches have made themselves comfortable in your household, they are difficult to remove. However, there are home treatment remedies you can use to fight the pests.

A cockroach invasion in the house? With something like that, many get a queasy feeling in their stomach. There is a lot you can do to keep these crawling things from getting too far. That’s because many simple home remedies will help you fight the cockroaches.

Here are more tips that may help you avoid roach infestation. 

Home Remedies that Declare War on Cockroaches

Laurel: If there's one thing cockroaches can't stand - besides bright light - it's the smell of laurel. Simply spread a few leaves of the plant in the place where the cockroaches have made themselves comfortable such as kitchen. The insects will run away quickly - but this is no guarantee that they won't just make themselves comfortable in another place.

Catnip: This plant works in the same way as bay leaf. Just spread them where you think the roaches are - or all over the house.

Vinegar and pepper: in combination you can really make life difficult for the roaches.  Because vinegar is considered a barrier for cockroaches. If you sprinkle some more pepper on it, you hardly have a chance to overcome it. So once you've identified the hiding place for the insects in the kitchen, simply spread vinegar and pepper around it - as far as your soil can tolerate vinegar - and they will have a hard time getting to their food sources around the house.

Baking soda and sugar: mix the two agents in equal parts and scatter around the house. The roaches are attracted by the sugar and taste it - but the baking soda produces gases that kill the pests.

Borax is used in households for soap and water softeners. But it also works against cockroaches. As soon as they come into contact with it, the water is withdrawn from them and they perish.

Best cockroach treatment methods in 2021

Roaches are one of the most difficult enemy insects for humans to control. Scientists have proven that these tiny creatures can survive a nuclear attack and many natural disasters. Still, while this applies to roaches, it is generally possible to exterminate them in a given home. However, you have to work hard and using just one product will hardly help you. We recommend a complex approach.

Here's how to get rid of cockroaches with slow and fast acting solutions approved by scientists. Such an approach involves a number of steps and measures; from keeping your kitchen clean all the time to using effective solutions. We have selected the best cockroach treatment products for those whose homes are constantly attacked by these pests.  

Cockroach Traps

These cockroach traps use non-toxic bait to attract and kill roaches so that they can no longer escape. Some may argue that this is the environment, people and pet friendly solution. However, cockroach traps can be filled with poisonous substances that can be deadly to smaller pets such as guinea pigs. And of course roaches pose danger to babies in the house.

USB-Powered Roach Baits

Efficient method to control pests. This is a quick, clean, harmless, safe, and environmentally friendly insect control method. This treatment is ideal for catching some insects so that you or your child can look at small animals without harm. To get rid of roaches, you need more effective methods.

Ultrasonic Pest Repellers

Pest controllers provide advanced ultrasonic devices that can emit various frequencies of ultrasonic waves that disrupt and stimulate the nervous systems of rats and pests.

Ultrasonic Pest Repellers - Ever Pest

How to prevent a cockroach infestation

There are a number of preventive measures you can take to ensure that cockroaches do not even have the chance to spread around your home or to feel good. That includes:

  • Cover gaps and cracks in the house or on windows and doors.
  • Vacuum regularly under furniture and carpets.
  • Do not leave any litter or unwashed dishes around the kitchen.
  • Clean shelves and drawers.
  • Regularly ventilate the kitchen and bathroom, as cockroaches feel comfortable in high humidity.

Remember, you should definitely take action against cockroaches and get rid of roaches. The pests are known to transmit diseases such as salmonella, tuberculosis, typhoid, gastrointestinal flu and hepatitis. But other legacies of these insects are also unhealthy for humans: excrement, saliva and skin residues can trigger allergies, asthma or eczema. In addition, if a cockroach is sighted, experts assume that there are at least 200 more in the house! In any case, you should act quickly to put a stop to the multiplication.

10 Steps to Effectively Removing Cockroaches from the House

Anyone who has been infected by cockroaches definitely needs an action plan. While households deal with their particular situations, there are a number of steps that will be helpful in roach eradication.

Step 1. Identify the problem. Set detention traps in the areas where you have seen cockroaches to make sure they are cockroaches you are dealing with and understand the scale of the problem, i.e. how severe the infestation is.

Step 2. Examine the house. Any kitchen, old furniture, cardboard, and other old stuff will most likely act as a shelter for these pests. You'd better dispose of this stuff as eggs cannot be disposed of in the crevices. Then find any cracks and crevices in the walls, baseboards, etc. and caulk or repair them. Keep the food in containers or in the refrigerator.

Step 3. Thoroughly clean up the infested space and make a habit of doing this on a regular basis. Try cleaning hard-to-reach areas with a vacuum cleaner, soapy water, and detergent.

Step 4. Start with natural and safer solutions. Maybe they'll solve the problem and no longer have to resort to heavy chemicals. Instead, baking soda, diatomaceous earth, and boric acid, as well as home-made traps like a glass trap and duct tape, are good options.

Step 5. If these methods are found to be ineffective, re-monitor the presence of the insects. The infestation may be too severe and you need professional help from modern methods. This increases the chance of getting rid of roaches once and for all. You can find some useful tips on how to make the right choice in the article below.

Step 6. If you still want to get rid of roaches through your efforts, try poisonous traps. It will take you some time to see the result, as the most effective poisons are slow to act but kill a large number of pests. Apply closed bait stations in kitchens and premises where children and pets can reach the substance. Gel poisons without bait stations are more effective, but less safe.

Step 7. Don't limit your pest control practice to a single application. Repeat the application making sure that you have covered all the ways the cockroaches have in your house and kitchen especially.

Step 8. Apply ultrasonic pest control devices which get rid of roaches. When adult roaches are gone, they are unable to lay eggs that grow into IGRs are ideal here, as this solution is aimed at future generations.

Step 9. If you still have roaches but their numbers are low, use fast-acting solutions that kill insects on contact. These are sprays and aerosols that contain various insecticides. As soon as a cockroach shows up, spray it and it will be killed!

Step 10. Set ultrasonic pest chasers in the places where the cockroaches will still appear such as kitchen. This will help you eliminate the remaining roaches.

What are some quick ways to keep roaches out?

When it comes to pest control, it may be tempting to try do-it-yourself methods like electronic cockroach repellent. However, this often winds up being more trouble than it’s worth.

First, it’s important to consider effectiveness issues. Of course, electronic repellent probably won’t work. Other DIY options like bait stations may only partially eliminate cockroaches, and boric acid can be easily misapplied. With methods like these, following label instructions and professional training is very important.

Electronic cockroach repellent supposedly works by emitting ultrasonic, or very high frequency, sound waves. This noise is supposed to cause response which can confuse, and may even kill, certain pests like roaches.

These systems plug into wall outlets and can be purchased at any home hardware store. The sound is too high for humans to hear and should cause no disruption for members of the household. Some consumers may find electronic cockroach repellent preferable because of its ease of use. They may even perceive it as a more humane method of dealing with household pests.

Cockroaches are world champions in camouflage. Since the insects hide during the day and only become active at night in the dark, they usually remain undetected in households for a long time. German cockroach, Oriental cockroach or full-grown American cockroach - they are all gross.

A cockroach rarely comes alone. Therefore, where you see one or two crawling, hundreds are waiting in their hiding place. If you suspect that roaches are up to mischief in your own home, you should consider getting rid of them by protecting your home and its inhabitants with simple and effective electronic pest control device treatment

What are some quick ways to keep roaches out?

If you want to eliminate roaches, you should rely on roach treatment help from modern and safe pest control methods such as electronic repelling. What’s best, ultrasounds also chase away any larvae that could now hatch from previously laid eggs. Roach control treatment such as roach bait treatment and traps are ineffective for combating a cockroach population. You should refrain from spraying insecticides - there is a risk of poisoning if sprays of this type get into the human respiratory tract. In contrast, electronic devices are completely harmless to humans and pets. It’s time to move on from poisons to natural and safe methods of getting rid from cockroaches.

Julia Gabriel