How to Get Rid of Roaches: DIY Extermination

Updated on October 18, 2017

Roaches are unbelievably common, and they are one of the hardest things to get rid of. In warmer areas, they live outside and seem to constantly find their way indoors. In areas that get colder, they seem to come inside by the hundreds the second the temperatures drop.

As if that weren't bad enough, there are so many products on the market that claim to work it can be a nightmare to find something to actually exterminate the roaches at an affordable price.

It can be a bit overwhelming, but when you follow the steps in this article, you can rest assured that you will stop seeing roaches, and you will know how to prevent them from making your house into their home again.

Don't Panic

Before you race off to buy all of the boric acid you can find, you need to slow down and take a deep breath. Just thinking about roaches is enough to make a person's skin crawl, but when someone does something in a hurry, they mess it up.

It's important to realize that roaches are not the end of the world, and it's going to take some time to get rid of them. Until then, sleep with the lights on if you have to, but know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and eventually you will be able to sleep peacefully in the dark again.

Start Cleaning

Having roaches does not mean that a house is dirty, but the fact is that roaches prefer a house that is dirty and you don't want them to get comfortable. Tell the kids and the husband to pitch in and start moving out furniture. Get the toys out from underneath the couch and sweep behind the stove.

Every single inch of the house needs to be swept, mopped and scrubbed. For example:

  • move out furniture and clean underneath of it
  • move out stove and other kitchen appliances
  • wipe out all cabinets and cupboards (it doesn't matter what room they are in)
  • dust the baseboards

While you and the family are in the process of cleaning, keep an eye out for any bugs. If you see them, kill them and make a mental note of where they are. This will help you get an idea of how bad the situation really is.

If you are too squeamish to kill a roach, pick up a can of Hot Shot Kitchen Bug Killer. It will kill them on contact. Even if you still see it crawling away, you can be confident that it is crawling away to it's death. I've used this, and I've seen it work before. Also, it's only a few bucks per can so it's well worth it.

Spray the House

Spraying the house can help get roaches as they travel inside from the outside, or as they try to go from room to room. Take that same can of Hot Shot Kitchen Bug Killer and spray every nook and cranny in the house. Spray it in corners, along baseboards, and outline the entire doorway. Make sure to spray the perimeter of every single room.

Keep in mind that this is not enough to completely eliminate these pests, but it does help keep it maintained and will help to eliminate roaches.

Use Boric Acid Around the Outside of the House

Unless the roaches are flying in through the windows, they are crawling inside the house from somewhere. That's where boric acid comes in handy. Sprinkle a fine layer of this all the way around the outside of the house. When the roaches crawl through it, they will die.

It is important to sprinkle a fine layer of this dust. If the roaches see a large pile of white powder, they will crawl around it instead of through it. Roach Away is a brand of powder that is mainly boric acid. It comes with a top that puffs out the powder so it will settle in a fine layer, which is exactly what you want.

It doesn't matter what brand it is, as long as it is mainly Boric Acid. Check out the Roach Away product, and go for one that has a top similar to that one to make things that much easier. You've got enough work to do, so the little things that make it easier are going to save you hours in the long run.

Make sure to do this around the entire perimeter of the house.

Make Some DIY Roach Bait

Hot Shot has a clear gel that works well at killing roaches, but I prefer this DIY roach bait. If you picked up some boric acid, you already have almost everything that you need, so you won't have to spend any more money which is always a great thing.

For this recipe, you will need:

1 cup maple syrup

2 cups boric acid

4 teaspoons flour to thicken mixture

Mix all of the ingredients together and stir well. The end result should be a mixture that is weirdly similar to peanut butter.

Spread it in Every Room

The DIY roach boat described above is used just like store bought roach baits, except it will actually kill the roaches. When they smell the syrup, they will eat it. Then, the boric acid will kill them.

Spread some of this roach poison in every room of the house. Remember, just because you didn't see a roach in a room it doesn't mean there isn't one. Make sure to put this in corners, by heating vents and outlets, and anywhere that you have seen roaches.

For example, I keep seeing them in one spot on my kitchen counter. I just left a giant glob of it in the middle of the kitchen counter overnight so when they come out, they will eat it.

Don't Put it Within Reach of Children or Pets

Keep in mind that this DIY roach bait looks like peanut butter and smells like maple syrup, making it a magnet for toddlers and pets, like dogs. It's important to make sure that it is out of reach of children and pets. If this means not putting it along the baseboards, then don't.

Instead, use it places where the dog can't get to it, like behind the entertainment center. Then, pick up something else, like some of that Hot Shot gel, for the areas that are easily accessible to small children and pets.

Keep Cleaning

It will still take a few weeks before you quit seeing roaches, depending on how bad the infestation is. During this time, the house needs to be spotless. If roaches do not have access to other food, they will always eat the bait.

If there is sugar spilled on the counter and the roach bait is all the way across the room, they will eat the sugar that was not cleaned up and never touch the bait. The only way this method will work is if they eat the bait, so make sure to keep everything as clean as possible for a while.

Remember, roaches need food, water and shelter to turn a house into their home. De-clutter the house to take away their shelter. Fix any leaks and clean up spills immediately to make sure they do not have access to water. Roaches can go for months without food, but they can only live a few days without water. Finally, clean up food so the main food they have access to is full of boric acid.

Follow this method and these steps and you will be enjoying a good night's sleep before you know it.

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    © 2017 Amber Lynn

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