Cockroach evolution is a scary thing. Not only are cockroaches more adept at surviving nuclear radiation than humans, but they have also evolved to resist certain pesticides. 

A new study has shown that many female cockroaches have evolved to resist glucose-sweet snacks, the primary attractant in most over-the-counter pesticides.  

It’s no secret that cockroaches are some of the most durable and annoying pests on the planet. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t answers. Here are nine easy methods for getting rid of roaches, as well as some of the most common signs to look for if you suspect you may be dealing with an infestation. 


How Roaches Enter Your Property

The most common way cockroaches enter a property is through cracks and crevices in walls, windows, and doors. Cockroaches can also enter by hitching a ride on used furniture, packages, luggage, and virtually anything else you bring into your home. 

It’s common to find roaches that won’t go away once they’ve established themselves in your house. This is because cockroaches can mate very quickly and typically travel in packs. 

Therefore, taking preventative measures and knowing the signs to look for is the best way to protect yourself. 

Common Signs of Cockroaches

It can be challenging to tell if cockroaches are in your house initially without knowing some of the telltale signs of a cockroach infestation, including: 

  • Cockroach droppings
  • Foul, unexplainable odors in the home
  • Cockroach-shaped sheddings
  • Smear marks on walls and surfaces
  • Cockroach eggs
  • Seeing live cockroaches at night

Once you spot one of these signs, you’ll want to follow these nine steps accordingly to get rid of cockroaches immediately. 

how to control cockroach infestation at home

Photo by Jared Belson

9 Steps to Get Rid of Roaches

1. Keep Food Centralized

Prevention is the best action plan against a roach infestation, and you do not want to give cockroaches a reason to stick around. To prevent roaches from invading your space, be sure to wipe down counters, seal all garbage receptacles, and make sure to clean after every meal. It is also important to clean sinks, stovetops, and any other food prep areas. Remember, a clean home is a roach-free home.

2. Declutter Your Home

Keeping your home free of unnecessary clutter can help prevent cockroaches from lingering, as you will give them fewer places to hide. It is also a good idea to carefully inspect any cardboard boxes, packages or used furniture and goods before bringing them inside, as these pests have been known to cling onto these items and spread once they enter.

3. Get Rid of Standing Water

Leaky faucets and dripping pipes are a major attractant to cockroaches. The best way to keep pests away is by making sure everything is clean and dry. Check all bathtubs, sinks, and washing areas; ensure they aren’t leaking. Additionally, keep pet water dishes empty overnight and dry your toothbrushes. For added measure, keep these items sealed and dry.

4. Seal Up Entry Points and Hiding Spots

Next, prevent additional cockroaches from entering by sealing off any entrance points. Cracks, holes, and crevices are perfect hiding spots for roaches, so be sure to carefully inspect your home for any cracks in walls or windows where these pests could possibly enter. If you do discover any cracks or crevices, seal them up using a caulking gun. Keeping your yard clean and free of clutter and debris is also a good idea–the fewer hiding places you give roaches, the better. 

5. Use an Insecticide

When used correctly, store-bought insecticides can be effective in killing cockroaches. These insecticides come in various forms and can be purchased at affordable prices compared to what you would expect to pay for professional pest control. However, it is important to note that these chemicals may not be as effective as what an exterminator would use. Be prepared to contact a professional if the roaches in your home don’t react to your insecticides. 

6. Use Baits and Traps

If you happen to see a cockroach and want to act fast, try using traps bought at your local stores. For the best results, apply these traps to problem areas in your home where roaches are most likely to dwell, such as behind the refrigerator and underneath the sink. 

7. Homemade Remedies

There are several DIY solutions you can try to kill the cockroaches in your home, with diatomaceous earth being one of the most popular substances. Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic to humans but kills roaches upon contact by clinging to their exoskeletons and dehydrating them. 

This substance is best applied to entry points, such as windowsills where cockroaches typically interact. 

8. Use Natural Roach Repellents

Another way you can repel cockroaches is by using home remedies for roaches that offend their sense of smell. Peppermint oil, cedarwood oil, and cypress oil are essential oils that effectively keep cockroaches at bay.

Additionally, these insects hate the smell of crushed bay leaves and steer clear of coffee grounds. If you want to try a natural way to kill them, combine powdered sugar and boric acid. The sugar acts as a lure while the boric acid kills. This method isn’t toxic, but it’s best to keep this concoction from kids and pets. [Learn More: What Smells Do Cockroaches Hate?

9. Seek out Expert Help

If your infestation is bigger than anticipated, consult an expert pest control specialist. They can detect a home infestation, employ specialized methods, and keep bugs from returning. Many use eco-friendly chemicals that specifically target cockroaches and are safe for you and your family. 

FAQs: How to Keep Cockroaches Away

How fast do roaches reproduce?

Cockroaches are known to reproduce incredibly fast, as it only takes one female and one male roach for an infestation to begin. Approximately one week after mating, female roaches lay eggs in a hard case called an ootheca. There are typically about 16 roach eggs per ootheca case, and they take about 28 days to hatch, making cockroaches some of the fastest-spreading household pests. 

What is the lifespan of a roach?

Cockroaches typically live anywhere from 100 days to one year, but some can survive much longer than that. It is believed that cockroaches can survive for a month without food but only one week without water. 

What are the risks of DIY roach control?

The biggest risk associated with DIY roach control is that it may not work, leaving you with just as many roaches as before. To achieve the best chances of getting rid of cockroaches for good, it is always advisable to seek the help of a pest control professional immediately upon discovering an infestation of any size. 

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