I recently moved into an apartment with my family. As we started cleaning, we noticed these hideous cockroaches all over the kitchen and bathroom. Unsure of what to do, we consulted a local exterminator but they wanted to charge an arm and a leg to spray, plus the cost of a monthly/yearly service contract. I simply couldn't afford it! I did some research and found a few techniques that have worked wonders.
Some of these tips may sound like simple common sense. My experience was that each step is very important. If you leave out one step, you will not get to the root of the problem: the cockroach eggs. Roaches breed at an incredible and alarming rate and they are survivors. Fossil evidence shows that cockroaches have existed for more than 300 million years, so take action quickly and thoroughly!
Look for Roach Eggs in Cabinets and Dark Corners
Store all dishes, pots, pans, and cups upside-down.
Next time you go reaching for any of them and you notice droppings on top of it, it won't be on the side you eat on.
Those Tiny Eggs Grow into Big Bugs
Avoid Toxic Chemicals
Since all of this is taking place in your home (and probably your kitchen specifically), try to avoid using harmful chemicals. If you have young kids or animals, purchase some roach traps or natural cockroach repellents. These products normally use boric acid, peppermint oil, cucumber peel, citrus, or catnip. There are also products called roach tablets which contain boric acid and some type of lure to attract the roaches to it.
For roaches found by your kitchen sink, under the sink, or in the bathroom, use a bleach or Lysol spray. It takes a few sprays to actually kill the bugs.
Tighten Up Your Food Storage
Make sure all food items are stored tightly in airtight containers.
This includes cereals, chips, crackers, flour, oatmeal, sugar, etc.
Cardboard boxes and plastic clips on rolled or folded bags are not tight enough. Cockroaches will find a way in and lay eggs inside the box or bag. Imagine reaching in for some crackers and pulling out some crumbs with cockroach eggs or feces. I know I would be disgusted.
Eliminate standing water and dampness. Adult cockroaches can survive two or three months without food, but only about a month without water.
Get Rid of the Clutter and Mess!
Roaches love clutter. Piles of clothes, papers, boxes, and other items—especially in dark, damp spots—are ideal habitat for roaches. They can feast on just about everything in there, from the box, to the glue, to the fibers of paper or clothing. Keep your house clean and clutter free—even in the attic, basement, and garage. These are all hot spots for roach activity.
If you step on a roach with your shoe, be sure to clean it off. There is a thick casing that surrounds the eggs called an ootheca, and its important to make sure the egg doesn't survive. When getting rid of a dead cockroach, flush them down the toilet, so it is out of your house entirely. Don't leave them on the floor or throw them in the garbage since other roaches can actually eat their carcass as food.
Caulk and Fill Holes
If you have roach activity inside your bathroom, especially around the sink or bathtub, here are a few tips. Leave that drain plug in. If they can't get up the drain, they cannot enter your bathroom. Make sure all the areas around the tub and the sink are caulked. I can't tell you how important that is. Roaches can get through any opening. Caulk every opening you see. It prevents them from getting through.
As for under the sink, you can make your own traps by lining the inside of a Tic Tac box with flypaper and leave the top open so roaches can get inside. Once they get in, it will trap them preventing them from escaping. You will need to check these traps daily and replace as necessary.
Video: How to Kill Roaches
Do Cockroaches Spread Disease?
The short answer is, yes.
Cockroaches are dirty bugs and are often associated with poor health conditions. Cockroaches often live in pipes, sewers, garbage cans, and other damp and dirty places. When they crawl over a counter top or inside a pantry, they are leaving bacteria behind.
Cockroaches carry not only bacteria, but protozoa (micro-organisms) and viruses on their legs and bodies. Different forms of gastroenteritis (food poisoning, dysentery, and diarrhea) are spread by cockroaches. Cockroach feces and cast-off skin also contain a number of allergens, which may cause skin rashes, watery eyes, nasal congestion, asthma, and sneezing.
Inside apartment buildings, where roach populations tend to be bigger, asthma rates are higher. Conversely, when the roaches began to disappear, the asthma tends to decrease.
Favorite Way to Kill Roaches
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Anonymous on February 28, 2019:
How many days does it take to kill roach eggs in a 0°F freezer!?
Susan on August 04, 2018:
If roaches feces on your clothes and you wear it without knowing will it harm you?
Me on March 07, 2018:
Can you kill Cockroache eggs in a plastic bag with Roach spray ?
Carina on February 14, 2018:
Walls floors carpet etc needs to be clean and javex and dont miss a spot .
Garbage fridge stove and more then anything your toaster . Gaming items vcr dvd etc... onces all of this is gone get a professional in and keep your home clean . They need water so all the area they can get water needs to be very very clean and disinfected. Dont miss a spot wash your walls to and then fresh paint .
Poitier mcdaniel on March 23, 2017:
Roaches have to be telekinetic their creepy antennas know when you leave jump in your coffee and tell you to have a good day lol WTF
Alex on February 02, 2017:
Foam from mixing water and soap/detergents can be used to kill cockroaches. The foam trap the cockroach making them unable to breathe. An effective way to kill cockroach.
Jennifer on August 09, 2016:
I have moved out of my old home, apartment back in Denver. It was so nasty and very dirty all over. It's hard to keep cleaning all the time. Yes, I suggest throw away EVERYTHING including kitchen dishes, coffemaker, blender, toaster, etc.. It is too hard to get them cleaned. What a waste of money I have bought new things when I moved in three years ago. Cockroaches RUINED everything.. If you are going to move out in next 6 or sooner months, SAVE UP YOUR MONEY for buying new things!! When you are looking for a place, check if there is any cockroach then DO NOT MOVE IN!! I found a good place that DOESN'T have ANY bug inside. Bugs ruin everthing. Hope that helps.
Tony on June 19, 2015:
Hey some of the things you wrote seem helpful and I will try but one ? If I move I'm thinking I'm going to throw everything away except my clothes what should I do to make sure they don't come with like what's the best method of washing