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Pest Control: How to Kill Roaches

Published 7/21/08 (Modified 6/17/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

I have a little secret to share. Well it's not really a secret so much as it's a phobia that I've held since I was a little kid. Here's the���� secret - I am deathly afraid of household insects, but in particular - cockroaches. There, I've said it - the cat's out of the bag - go ahead and laugh, but it's not funny (maybe just a little bit). Funny or not, it's something that makes my heart beat fast, makes my pupils dilate like saucers, and summons forth caveman like instincts to grab the nearest bunny slipper or rolled up U.S. News and World Report magazine for some self-preservation-inspired bug pounding.

The mere sight of the creepy crawly legs and wiggling antennas of the common household cockroach jetting out from dark corners and scampering across bathroom counters and kitchen floors utterly freaks me out. While I don't instantly jump onto chairs, call my mommy, or scream at the top of my lungs like a little girl, I do become visibly startled and immediately shift into fight mode whenever I encounter a lost spider or resident evil roach in my apartment. I'm sure you PETA fanatics out there may be turned off by my disdain and opposition to the plight of roaches and other household vermin, but I don't care. Roaches and insects have no place in my home and I'll do whatever it takes to eradicate the pests. I've had too many unfortunate experiences and bad memories of living with roaches during my student years.

Fortunately, I'm currently at a place and time in my life where my financial means now permit me to live in a nicer home far away from roach, rat, and vermin infestation that used to plague the ghetto row houses and low cost apartment rentals where I used to live as a college and graduate student. It's been a while since I've had to deal with the nuisance of roaches or had to arm myself with high caliber anti-roach weaponry to fight off the onslaught of the mighty cockroach horde. But sometimes, scenes on TV and real life will remind me of how things used to be. Right now there's a really fascinating but disgusting show on the Discovery Channel called the Verminators that I absolutely love to watch. The reality TV show follows a crack team of household pest exterminators as they go from problem home to another, wiping out severe rat, roach, ant, maggot, spider, and even pigeon infestations. The reason I love the show is the gleeful delight and absolute warlike approach the personalities on the show exhibit towards their determination to kill off all resident bugs that infest the homes of their desperate clients. The exterminator pros show no mercy and go full out with their armament of sprays, powders, and oxygen masks to combat the invaders. One time they even brought out an actual gun to take out a mega-rat that was hiding in someone's attic. The show, while visually horrendous, brings me back to my graduate school days when I faced a massive roach infestation of my own.

My Failed Battle Against The Impressive Roach Army That Resulted In Eventual Retreat and Surrender

Until recently, I've always had a roach problem wherever I lived. Even though I consider myself relatively clean when it comes keeping my home tidy, roaches always seemed to invade my home. Probably the biggest reason for that was the fact that much of my early life was spent as a financially frugal student. As I was primarily supported by my overseas-living parents during my early years, I made a conscientious decision to live in apartments and neighborhoods that were affordable, to help lessen the financial burden on my parents who had several tuitions and living expenses to pay for. But as a result of my cost saving measures, every place I've lived at was infested with vermin of all types - from rats to roaches. As indicated above, it wasn't until my recent later years in my late 20's that I've been able to move on up the financial ladder to higher class, vermin-free housing.

Probably the absolute worst out-of-control infestation experience occurred during my post law school years when I was still struggling to settle down with my fledgling law career and build a sustainable living. To keep expenses low and save money, I decided to move into a quiet garden apartment community in a suburb of Maryland. The commute was great, proximity to grocery stores was excellent, and the price seemed too good to be true - it was. Months into my lease, the nightmare began. While I maintained a clean apartment, washing my dishes after every meal and storing away all food products into air tight containers, I kept noticing the appearance of roaches. At first it was just one or two encounters a week. I squished the roaches with my shoe and flushed them down the toilet each time and hoped they would go away, but they never did. They simply started appearing in greater and greater numbers. It got to the point where everytime I turned on my bathroom light, I would see two or three small roaches hanging around the ceiling area or visibly trying to scurry into a wall corner. Each time I got chills and sweated profusely at the sight of the nightmarish invaders. Eventually, their presence spread from the bathroom and into the kitchen, and eventually into the living room. In time I started seeing them during the day as well, a warning sign that I had a serious problem. Roaches are biologically night animals. If you see one during the day, it likely indicates that you have a serious infestation as overcrowding under cabinets and refrigerators probably has forced them out into the open. For each single roach you see in the open, it probably represents hundreds more hiding behind your drywall or between your floorboards.

At the time I was busy with work so I had little time to deal with my apartment management and forcefully compel them to eliminate the pests. But in response to a few calls and complaints, my apartment complex hired an exterminator, but the roach baits they set forth were ineffective. Eventually I simply went full out and took matters into my own hands. I headed to Home Depot to arm myself with all that consumer bug fighting technology had to offer. I purchased every single roach bait, egg stopper, roach gels, boric acid powder, and roach spray brand I could find - everything from MaxForce to Raid. I probably purchased more roach motel traps and roach gel bait devices than I needed, but I was determined to eliminate their presence from my home forever. All in all, I probably had more than 60 individual roach bait traps for a small apartment that was only about 700 square feet in all. I lined all corners and walls with multiple roach baits, and inserted gel bait poisons into all cabinet cracks and wall corners. I also dusted hard to reach areas with a layer of boric acid, a white powder that is not grossly toxic to humans or most pets like cats, dogs, and birds, but is supposedly deadly towards insects as it eats away their hard shell skin thereby dehydrating them to death. However, while I started seeing piles of upside down roaches everywhere, indications that my baits were working, the onslaught kept coming. Everyday I would see dead roaches everywhere, but new live ones seemed to keep taking their places, gnawing on the dead roach carcasses for nourishment.

Even my poor pet parrot was not immune to the onslaught. Even though he was never physically harmed, his cage was also slowly invaded by the swarming roaches. To protect my pet parrot to the best of my ability, I made sure to keep his cage clean at all times and placed his cage on a plastic lawn furniture table in my living room. I lined the bottom of the plastic table with a thick coat of boric acid powder to ensure that the only way that roaches could invade the cage was by walking through the white powder of insect death. However, day in and day out, I would look at my parrot's bedding liner to find that the roaches had determinedly strolled through the boric acid powder and made their way into the bottom liner of his cage to seek out food products. When I pulled out the cage's poop tray to clean it one time, I freaked out when more than 15 roaches scurried out from the plate and began crawling the walls, heading to the ceiling to escape like some horror movie. The nightmarish sight sent deathly chills down my back, made me sweat in horror, and even caused me to bleat out a few uncontrollable expletives. Although upon inspection, the bird cage invading roaches were covered with boric acid powder from head to toe, the resilient suckers simply refused to die. While most online commentators generally cheer the beneficial roach killing abilities of boric acid powder, I must point out that the effects are often slow and unpredictable.

Although I was incredibly busy with my job at the time, I eventually found time to storm into my apartment complex manager's office to demand that they hire a competent exterminator to fix this emergency situation. Eventually the management relented and hired a more expensive crew to come in and flush the roaches out. The professionals came in with their roach pesticide sprays and laid down lines of defensive deadly roach pesticide trails designed to kill roaches on contact that trample onto them. Then they used a special roach flushing agent to spray into floorboard cracks and underneath appliances to flush out the roach colonies into the open so that they would walk onto the pesticide laden floors. It worked for a while - as there was a huge spike in dead roach bodies as the flushed out roach families were annihilated. But even with professional baits laid out to control the outbreak, the efforts were ultimately futile. The roaches continued to crawl around my dishes, hide in my television set, relax in my stove, and even find their way into my fridge of all places. The final straw was when friends came over to visit me and one of them sat down on my sofa only to stand up moments later with a squished roach on her butt.

Eventually, I shifted into lawyer mode and sent a very threatening legal letter to my landlord demanding that I be fully released from my apartment lease obligations, citing the management's violation and breach of our contract to keep the premises a safe and reasonably livable place. There was simply nothing else I could do. After talking with the exterminator, I learned that I was fighting a losing cause. Because my discount apartment complex was so old and populated by lower income families that had a habit of illegally stuffing multiple families into one apartment meant for only one, sanitation and cleanliness were major problems. Even though I kept my own apartment clean, massive roach infestations in the adjacent apartments were causing them to spill over into my unit. At the end, I was released from my lease and left my ghetto apartment in a hurry. Ultimately, I had to pay substantially more in monthly rent to live at a new, clean, and higher class apartment complex free of roaches and vermin. My rent soared from $800 a month at my old place to more than $1475 for the new place. While it's a lot more money, I don't regret a single thing about my decision to pay more in rent. Freedom from roach infestations is definitely worth the heavier financial price. Saving money is great, but having that extra few hundred in my account isn't worth the sheer torment of living with roaches invading your life completely and taking over your sanity.

Roach Infestations Are Bad For Your Health and Must Be Eliminated Quickly (Easier Said Than Done)

So other than the scare factor, why are cockroaches and the infestation that they bring to our homes so bad for you and I? First of all, it should be noted that not all insects are inherently bad. Some bugs like spiders and millipedes actually serve useful ecological purposes. Without their presence, our human existence would be inundated with out of control growth populations of pesky critters of all sorts. Most of these utilitarian insects help to control general insect population by building webs to trap, eat, and kill off other insects, helping to keep a lid on spiraling population growth. While I'm generally afraid of insects and roaches in particular, there are bugs that I have friendly, harmonious relationships with. When I see insects like lady bugs or even cicadas, I don't mind picking them up with my bare fingers to inspect them. I see them as friendly insects that help the environment, so I'm not automatically afraid of them. Roaches of all breeds on the other hand are a different story - they are simply vile. While cockroaches live all around the world and come in all shapes and sizes, the breeds I'm most adverse to are the classic American and German cockroach. These two breeds are the most common roach pests found in American homes.

Roaches are the ultimate scavengers and harbingers of disease, germs, and insect fecal wastes. They have no qualms about walking through through poo or other disgusting solids and liquids. Their bodies frequently carry around all sorts of germs and potential infection spreading agents. One huge problem that they cause for inhabitants of homes that they infect is the creation of roach dust that they build up and leave behind. Roach dust is made up of decayed roach body parts and droppings that become airborne, infecting our breathing and embedding itself onto our hairs, clothes, and furniture. Roach dust is a powerful asthmatic agent that has the potential to trigger significant asthma attacks in sensitive people.

Cockroaches will consume almost anything organic and even somethings otherwise inorganic. They'll chew threw paper, cloth, oils, bodily wastes, and any type of food or liquid product you leave behind. These little evil cannibals will even snack on the dead bodies of their fellow roach comrades they come across. Nothing is off limits when it comes to their diets. In their never ending pursuit for food, roaches often follow the footsteps of humans into homes and stay close to sources of water and food - which is why they are often found in bathrooms, kitchens, and places where food is plentiful (like near your dog or cat's food bowl).

The one singular thing that makes them so terrible and deserving of a spot in the Bible as an Old Testament plague is the fact they breed insanely fast and are nearly impossible to get rid of. Female roaches can lay up to 40 eggs at a time, laying up to a 400 evil babies in a lifetime. Their lifespan is a year long and adult roaches can go for a month without food, and even up to an hour without oxygen. They can live off of virtually anything. Even the organic glue compound found on the back of stamps or the nourishment of your dead skin flakes can sustain them for weeks.

Cockroaches are also very difficult to kill. Not only do they run like Olympic track stars, their bodies are extremely well adapted to fend off damage. Because their breathing system is made up of tubes on their bodies called trachea, they can continue to live even after their heads or limbs are chopped off - talk about walking zombies. Also, have you tried to chase down a roach with your shoe before? It's nearly impossible. It's like playing whack a mole on steroids as they dart around so fast, it's scary. They are able to quickly scurry into wall corners and flatten their bodies to avoid your newspaper punishment. They are also primarily nocturnal, preferring to come out at night. When they do, they are very stealthy and experts at staying hidden, invading your cabinets, sinks, toothbrushes, and your food stocks right under your nose. At the mere presence of light, they often smartly run for cover, unlike their more stupid cousin bugs that often sit there, succumbing to flattening attacks by humans.

How Do I Get Rid Of A Mild Cockroach Infestation, and Kill Roaches Using Roach Bait and Roach Traps?

The following words of advice are only suitable for those of you who have mild roach outbreaks in your home. If you only see a lone roach wandering around your home once every year, you probably don't have an infestation as it probably piggybacked into your home via a plastic grocery bag or something like that. However, if you are seeing them every few days, particular during the daytime when they are supposed to be in hiding, you may have a serious problem. If professional treatment and baiting are powerless, your only recourse may be to move out of your home completely like I did and not look back (if that option is available to you). Some things in life are lost causes. In serious infestations, the roaches probably have spread throughout all apartment buildings or all parts of your house. They've probably inhabited your base walls and have set up massive colonies of roach eggs and roach nurseries that are nearly impossible to eliminate completely. Remember, a single female roach once impregnated can continue to lay eggs throughout her entire life, spawning hundreds of hatchlings from just a single individual.

If the roach outbreak is not so dire where moving out is demanded, hiring a professional exterminator might due the trick. Professional exterminators have legal access to much more powerful roach flushing agents and pesticides to kill those little critters. For those who have children and pets in the home and are leery about using toxic pesticides, professional exterminators also have access to potent roach baits and gels that are less toxic for humans and pets. They work by slowly poisoning roaches. Laced with attractive smells to entice a roach, the victim eats the bait and ingests the delayed action poison that will ultimately kill it. When it travels back into the wall boards, it brings some of the poisoned food with it to share with others. In time, roach baits can kill off entire roach populations if the problem has not completely spiraled out of control.

In my opinion, cockroach bombs and roach foggers should be avoided. Not only are they extremely toxic to humans and pets, but their limitations are very well documented and observed. The irritants do drive away roaches temporarily, but they are not effective in killing the populations completely. The roaches will simply run for cover and hide until the toxic plumes have faded. As soon as you move back into your home after the roach bomb has done its work, they will come back out to play. Also, don't waste your money on those pointless electronic pest control repellent scams that you see on TV all the time. Supposedly, simply by plugging the electronic pest control repellent device into your electrical outlet and activating it, the system emits an ultra high frequency wave that irritates and drives away pests like roaches and rodents. These devices are supposed to be safe for both humans and pets. However, they're pure junk and scams in my opinion. Both rats and roaches are extremely durable and hardy animals, conditioned to survive even nuclear devastations if it ever came down to it, so neither of them is likely going to be stopped by some pointless frequency wave. To get rid of them, you're going to have to resort to good old fashioned roach food deprivation and chemical warfare. Ditch the expensive electronic pest control repellent devices and don't waste your money.

For those of you with mild roach infestations, here are some home remedies and homemade solutions to help you kill them, exterminate their colonies, and keep your home free of pesky cockroaches. Much of your efforts will be spent targeting notorious problem areas like the kitchen and bathroom.

Household Solutions To Get Rid Of A Mild To Manageable Roach Problem:

1) Eliminate the Roaches' Source Of Food, Water, Shelter, and Entry - Unless you live in a shared apartment complex that allows roaches to travel freely from one unit until into another, keeping your home clean is the most effective way to get rid of roaches. Cockroaches invade our homes usually to seek out food and water. Wash your dishes immediately after every meal and wipe down kitchen counters frequently, as roaches like to snack on greases and food oils. Vacuum your carpet and wipe down your hardwood floors and tiles as often as you can to ensure no food or liquid particles remain to feed the roaches. Fix leaky faucets as well as they offer roaches a free tasty source of water to drink from. If you have pets like cats, dogs, or even birds, clean the pet living areas frequently and make sure their food bowls are washed and cleaned after use. Dog food sacks are frequently targets of roaches - always seal them in special airtight containers. Also, make sure there are no open canisters of food or liquids anywhere in your home. Roaches can sniff them out and they will find them. Practice throwing out your trash bags on a daily basis. Trash cans contain all sorts of attractive aromas for roaches. Eliminate this prevalent food source if you can.

Finding out how they are getting into your home is easier said than done. Oftentimes roaches found their way into your home via air vents, front doors, or even cracks outside of your home. Oftentimes, telltale signs like roach droppings - tiny brown pellets of slime, indicate the presence of roaches. Frequently, professional help is needed to help you pinpoint the entry way. Finding out where they are living in your home exactly is also difficult without expert help. But once you locate how they enter your home and where they congregate, a liberal application of roach pesticide spray along the access points will provide long lasting walkways of doom for these roaches.

2) Use Non Toxic Boric Acid Or Diatomaceous Earth - While I've personally had limited success with using boric acid or even diatomaceous earth powder to control roach populations, perhaps you'll have more success than I. Borate powders are generally non toxic to humans, pets, and children although you obviously shouldn't intentionally ingest them. Despite prolonged exposure, my parrot, my friend's cat, and myself managed to remain perfectly healthy in the presence of boric dusted rooms. However, these powders are supposedly toxic and deadly against insects. As insects like roaches come into contact with the powder, the powder sticks onto their outer shell, causing gradual roach death. The downside is that boric acid powder kills very slowly and sometimes it may take days before the acid takes effect. But the plus side is that the compound can remain effective for years if the powder remains dry. Boric acid powders also allow you to dust in areas where the roaches are likely to hide and where humans and pets are less likely to come in contact with - such as in the crevices behind your kitchen appliances and spaces underneath your refrigerator.

Boric acid can be purchased at local retail hardware stores and most drug stores. They usually come in a squeeze bottle with a narrow spout that allows easy dusting once cut. Retail boric acid powder is usually white although some brands color the product light blue so you can see the product better. The key is to dust in areas where roaches are likely to walk through. Roach behavior usually dictates that they prefer to walk along edges where their bodies are in constant contact with some type of wall. Thus, remember to dust the boric acid under your stove and refrigerator, along wall edges, around door frames and open spaces inside of cabinets, sinks, and shelves.

Another product that is used by some is a form of illegal insecticide commonly called "Chinese Chalk", because of their sale in many Chinatown locations. However the sale and purchase of Chinese Chalk is illegal due to the many child related poisonings attributed to the product's resemblance to common classroom chalk. Supposedly, one can use the chalk to draw lines of kill zones on the ground to poison any roach or ant that walks across it. It probably works the same way as boric acid, but with substantially greater toxicity and health danger to humans. I don't recommend using it - it's illegal anyway.

3) Use Roach Traps, Roach Bait, and Roach Gels - Roach baits in all forms contain a combination of poison chemical and attractive food lures to entice roaches to eat them. They are actually quite effective if used in large quantities in strategic indoor locations where it's dark and moist. Like boric acid powder, they both kill slowly. However, this slow killing power is actually the most effective form of mild roach infestation control because it allows the poison to be ingested and taken by the roach into the roach lair to kill the population at its source.

The baits can come in the form of a little plastic roach bait station (roach motel) or they can come in gel syringe form. The plastic roach baits are easier to set and tend to last longer in duration, but I think they are slightly less effective than roach gel baits. Gel baits are very effective but they tend to dry out quicker, not to mention the gels are messier and harder to clean up. The gels also need to be re-applied every few weeks for maximum effect. Roach gels should be lightly applied in corners, on plumping fixtures, on interior cabinet edge corners, and under appliances where it's usually dark. Remember not to combine roach bait and roach gels with instant killing pesticide sprays. The objective with baits is not to kill them instantly, but to allow one infected roach to spread the poison love to others. Popular retail roach bait brands include MaxForce, Combat, and Raid. I don't have any preferences or recommendations because they're all about the same in terms of effectiveness. Try buying all three and using them all simultaneously if you have the money to do so - their poison chemical compositions differ somewhat.

4) Use Roach Insecticide Sprays - These aerosol powered spray cans contain a lethal dose of bug killing liquids. By spraying the roach insecticide chemicals along hidden baseboard floors and on dark and hidden areas underneath and inside cabinets where roaches frequent, you provide tremendous roach killing power on contact. The insecticide sprays contain a chemical that instantly starts to kill the roaches on contact should one wander across a sprayed area. While it's great to know that it's lights out for any roach that crosses its path, the sprays do not provide much residual or long lasting roach control. Only roach baits can target the roach nests and hit the source of the spawning problem. However, back when I had a heavy roach problem, I always kept a few bottles around at the ready. Chasing a fast running roach is much easier with a roach spray. It beats having to swing wildly like a drunkard with a shoe or newspaper.

5) Use Water Jars (Vegas Roach Jars) - Another common household remedy to combat mild roach problems is the use of a so-called Las Vegas roach trap jar. It's called that because the practice was recently popularized by a Las Vegas news report of its effectiveness in catching roaches. While I've never tried it out, the concept sounds rather interesting.���� The Vegas���� cockroach trap consists of a glass jar filled with coffee grounds (as bait), and a little bit of water that is placed against a wall. It is important that the roach jar trap is placed against a wall because roaches prefer to travel along edges where their bodies can maintain constant contact with a wall. Some people like to place Scotch masking tape on the outside of the jar to give the roach more traction. However, once they fall into the jar, the slippery glass surface prevents them from being able to climb out. Supposedly, cockroaches are attracted to these water jars. This type of homemade anti-roach remedy if effective, is a wonderful alternative to using toxic insecticides and baits. But frankly, I'm not fully convinced the technique actually works.

I'm sure everyone has their own secrets and methods to killing roaches. Feel free to share your ideas.

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391 Responses to “Pest Control | How To Kill Roaches | Money Blue Book” 

  1. Timothy says:

    The glass jar bit does work, very well indeed. The home we moved into had a serious roach problem only a few weeks after we were given a box of used toys left over from a yard sale. Over a month, we tried to get rid of them, bombing, gels, boric acid etc. Nothing seemed to work on a grand scale.

    During the summer my son wanted to catch lightning bugs. That night, with no luck about the lightning bugs, we left ajar with a handful of drops of water, a few sprigs of grass, on the kitchen counter, with small holes punched in the lid. The next morning, we found about fifty roaches in it. We purposely left the jar out the next night as such. More roaches.

    After that, we decided eahc night to pour some bleach to the basin of each sink and toilet and to the shower floor. We left our "roach jars" in eahc of these rooms. As the days went, we caught more and more roaches. During the day, we kept counters and sink basins dry when not used, by just a quick wipe with a paper towel. One toilet seal leaked that we left a fan running to dry the floor there. Five weeks later, we had no roaches, and to this day have none. And, btw, now we have the toilet fixed. My wife wanted to wiat until the roaches were gone, she was worried what the plumber would find in the works while trying to repair it.

  2. Brenda says:

    I have neighbors that are so infested I spary my yard to keep from being infested. They are in theie early 50's, and shoould be able to clean up. They (Husband and Wife) do not bathe, no need to come their hair, the woman s hair in the back is matted like an neglected Dog.
    I hate to say mean things to them, so I get stuck being nice to them. then they want dides to the store, and then in winter cockroaches crawle from their coats.
    Help, does anyone know if you can complain to a health dept. how can I get their house condemed? who do I contact?

  3. Tee says:

    To Brenda:

    Why would you want to get their house condemned??? That sounds pretty harsh. Why not talk to them and let them know that their problem is very noticeable and you are concerned and inform them of their options in order to get rid of or control their cockroach population? You didn't mention anything about roaches in your home so I'm assuming the problem is limited to their house and having cockroaches and not bathing or combing your hair...as bad as it is...is not a reason you should be out of a place to live. If you can afford it, maybe you can buy them a couple of bombs to get them started.

  4. Shannon says:

    It is 4:47 am and I have officially stayed up all night reading this blog. I am SO glad I did!!! I live in townhomes and have an infestation. I told the rental office about it two months ago and they send somebody out on Wednesdays and it does nothing. I have taken notes and am ready to do this thing. Thanks everyone for such great advice. I'll post again after I've started to kick some &%* against these little brown cousins :D

  5. BG says:

    I've used boric acid for many years with excellent results. While many of my neighbors continue to use the landlords exterminator, they also still have roaches. The key is patience. Every baseboard has to have a strip of boric acid dusted into the cracks, which in the beginning, has to be replaced every time you clean. My cupboard remains lined with boric acid (I just rinse everything that comes out of it before use). I put it in the bottom of my dresser & dusted the inside walls of the dresser (not the drawers). When ever I repair the wall, I dust the stud & lathe with boric acid & drop it into the wall. I refresh the boric acid by the sinks & tub twice monthly but I usually only have to do the rest of the apartment about 4 times a year. When you first use it, it takes about 2 weeks before the roaches are gone. It's slow-acting but very effective.

  6. KAY says:

    I have read all the advice and I am going to WAR with my major (yet embarrassing) infestation. I have been gun ho for about three (3) days. I bought the BORIC acid and the lure traps from Roaches B Gone (great website). The additional problem that I have is that I am also a hoarder - not trash just clutter --- have been attacking the hoarding with craigslist and have become diligent about the kitchen .... emptied all the cabinets and placed boric acid along all the edges and all the shelves; have beeen placing the traps along high traffic areas and I spray every other day in a different location trying to find nest. Gonna get that chalk as wel .. we have paneling in the kitchen and it coming off next weekend --- i may never get rid of them but i will never let it get like tis again -- gonna check on the liquid baits as well

  7. kemoaria says:

    I am very lucky to have found all of this great information! I am horribly terrified of roaches! I just moved into an upper flat about two months ago. I asked the landlord if there were pests here before I moved my things in. He replied a very reassuring "no". He lied. I am struggling financially due to recent unemployment, finishing my degree and taking care of a young son alone. If I could move, I would have been gone at the first roach sighting! I live above an 84 yr old lady with some definite mental issues. We share a trash can and since I've been here, I have only seen three bags of trash on the back porch. She is not taking her trash out very regularly and when she does I end up having to flip the lid open and put it in. I even pulled it close so that she would not fall down the stairs. I have since moved it back to the alleyway because I have been seeing 1 or 2 raches every night. I even saw one that looked really weird. Kind of a cross between a roach and a cricket! Gross!!! i have tried the boric acid and the gel bait. Not working at all. I have even tried to fill the cracks in the walls but there are way too many. My son makes obvious statements when he sees a roach while we have company. It is sooooo embarassing. I keep my unit spotless. I take the trash out at night and keep the sink empty. I dont understand why I am seeing more roaches. I attribute it to the crazy old bat downstairs. She really should not be living alone. She has whole screaming matches with herself at all hours of the night. I hear her bamming on something down there all the time. Maybe she is hammering roaches, I dont know. She even took my cat hostage for a few days! Since we have been here our breathing has become very congested. None of us have any health conditions. I know that this is because of the roach waste. I hate it here! I never get any sleep because Im afraid to turn off the lights! Not to mention all the pshycotic sounds coming from downstairs. I wish we could move but it is the only thing that I can afford right now. I can relate to everyone who is fighting this battle. Good luck to you all!

  8. Dennis says:

    My parents home is severely infested with cock roaches and it seems that no matter what they will not go away. We've tried bug bombs (for roaches) and other bug killing chemicals. It seems that it works but only temporarily. I've killed at least 30-40 in the past 3 days so far and it's completely out of hand at this point. My parents don't have the money to move out of their home and they don't have the cash to hire professional exterminators at this time. What should I tell them to do?

    It seems like every night around 2 am I'm going on a nightly roach raid in the house. I carry a can of Raid with me and enter rooms quickly flipping on light switches in hopes of catching the disgusting critters off guard so that I can spray them. I'm moving out of my parents house this month to move in with my girlfriend but I'm not taking any furniture with me and I'm putting all my belongings in a storage unit so that I can bomb them several times before putting them into our apartment. I don't have a fear of Roaches but I'm repulsed by the mere sight of one.

    It's very creepy and disgusting when I see a roach actually stare at me and not run in fear of my presence... That's just an example of how use to people they are at this house.

  9. veryafraid says:

    Wow! This was so informative! This is my story and I need some help pls. Bought my place just over a year ago n have been roach free until about a month ago. I live in a complex which is sort of a flat set up. The flat next door is bachelor flat which was rented out about 4 months ago. Anyway a month ago I found a baby roach on my kitchen floor. I was disgusted. I spray my cupboards monthy coz I really hate roaches n I know they travel easily in complexesm anyway that same week my hubby opened a cabinet in the kitchen and saw one running around in there. Next day I went out n got one of those electrical plug in things which really seemed to work coz I would see one or 2 braindead roaches n just kill em. They didn't even run. Then the management sent exterminators coz suprise suprise the neighbours have a major infestation. I have managed to get rid of the bigger ones (about the size of a fingernail) but now I see tiny ones about the size of an ant on my washing machine. I think they're hiding in there :( I spray it with raid but nothings happening. I live in south africa so I don't know if I can get the suggested products.I have a cleaning lady in twice a week and I clean my kitchen every night. N if I do get rid of this lot am I fighting a losing battle. I've just bought this place and I don't want to move and we're expecting a baby later this year. Please say there's hope :(

  10. BG says:

    veryafraid -

    Boric acid is an old topical skin antiseptic & eyewash which has been replaced by more effective topical antiseptics but you may be able to find it at medical supply outlets, especially online. Another powder that works similar to boric acid (it's a desiccant, it drys them out & they die & since they eat each other, all that partake of the meal suffer a similar fate) is diatomaceous earth which comes in 3 grades, pool grade, plant grade & food grade. You'd probably want to get food grade since you're pregnant. It can be gotten at wholesale baking ingredient suppliers. Plant nurseries often sell "food grade" too (its used as an insecticide around plants) & it's also used on animals. There is also crystal cat litter which also works the same way but you have to grind it into a powder first.

    Good luck.

  11. sherri says:

    Hey! Roaches aren't just for the poor. If you live in the city, in multi-family dwellings or old buildings, you are susceptible to roaches. I had a roach problem living in Phoenix. Periodic exterminations by our property owner worked pretty well. Then I moved to L.A. My first apartment here was a lovely 1920's building that was tented just before my moving in. I never saw a single bug there for all the years I lived there (3) after the tenting. Since then, I've moved into a '70s building (a complex), and there is a definite roach problem. I usually see them more in the summer months. Well, it's January, and this time they haven't gone away. Finding roach legs and body parts really freaks me out. My mild bronchitis is making a comeback as well. I hate these buggers! I hate killing them: I spray with a roach spray to dehabilitate them, then crunch them in many layers of paper towels. I want to move, but who knows how what will happen in this economy? ANd if we did, how could we ensure that we brought no "friends" with us? Ugh. They are confined to the kitchen now, but our place is small, and they freak me out.

  12. ed says:

    I have used Bengal Gold.Its in a spray can like raid and has a chemical to drive them out to kill them and also sterilizes so they dont reproduce. It cost 14.00 a can but it works really well.I use boric acid also.

  13. BG says:

    To Ed; Thanks for the heads up on Bengal Gold. It's not nearly as labor intensive as the powders and would be good for people with toddlers & small children. It's always good to know of alternative solutions. I would think that it would be especially good with boric acid for heavy infestations.

  14. leti says:

    I had never seen a roach until I moved to Texas. I grew up thinking that only dirty people had roaches. Oh how wrong I was. I moved to Texas, into an apartment and seen my first roach. If I had only known I would have run for my life!!!!! Now I moved out of the apartments and into a house. The damned things moved with us. They are in all electical appliances, and really everything including the furniture. I thought I had them under control for a while and then 2 things happened. We got flooded and I had a baby and ended up with post partum depression. let me put it this way, there are more roaches in this house than people in the US. So I was visiting my mom over the holidays and my aunt told me this. She bought a house that was infested and she used the boric acid the roach hotels and catnip. She does not have a roach anywhere. So I am now doing my research to see if there is anything else I can add to her words of wisdom. I am also going to be trying bay leaves in areas such as my dressers and china cabinets. And while reading thru this someone had mentioned using vinager. Now that I am thinking about it I was using a vinegar based cleaner for a while and I noticed that they abandoned the areas where I used that cleaner, so I will be using it again. I am not counting on the jar with water but what the h*^l I will throw that in with the other stuff I will be trying out. I think I will also be trying the mixture of baking soda and sugar. Hopefully some or all of this will help as I will not be able to move until the end of the year and I am terrified of the damned things following me again.

  15. Jon says:

    How I eliminated a mass infestation of roaches.

    1. No garbage remains in the house overnight. All trash cans are the type that have a seal to keep them out.

    2. Clean and mop with vinegar based solutions. Kitchen, Bathrooms, Tile, Hardwood floors etc.

    3. Boric acid on all roach hi ways and under appliances and near water sources. Under sinks, Around Toilets etc.

    4. "Hoy Hoy Trap-A-Roach" The Hoy Hoy Trap is ideal for monitoring levels of cockroach infestation. It has a sticky floor, approximately 15cm x 10cm with a food attractant sachet to entice cockroaches to enter the trap. Place these in areas with a lot of traffic. They catch large and small ones and the babies when the eggs hatch in them!!

    5. Remove all food sources from the roach and the survivors will leave. They will eat food particles that remain on your toothbrush and tooth paste. Food removal is the hardest thing because they find everything you miss in the micro size.

  16. Jennifer Dobson says:

    I live in a trailor with a massive roach problem. I thought I should share my knowledge.

    Fist, roaches hate the smell of spearmint. Keeping a pack of gum in my purse has kept it nicely roach free so it's good to use like bayleaves.

    Second, you can buy ladybugs for a relativly decent price, about $7 for 1500 of them. Ladybug are the most voracious insect preditors and will eat every insect they can get at. Someone I know was doing work on an old house and found ladybugs under the floorboards, there was evidence of termites but none to be found and no other insects as well. I personaly am considering ladybugs when I get my own home because they are pritty, cute, ad my cats are expert gecko hunters.

    I will be using information from here in my new home as well.

  17. Veegee says:

    has anyone tried using a mixture of sugar and baking power/soda? roaches eat ti and get their stomachs bloated until they die. and being carnivorous/cannibalistic the live ones eat the dead ones which kill more roaches.

    BTW, what is roach chalk made of that makes it illegal? the guy in the chinese store that sells them where i live say they are non toxic to humans. i use it to kill large red ants around our house that tend to get into our laundry area.

    am from the philipines and believe you me, the roaches in the US are small compared to the ones here.

  18. CDB says:

    I moved into this studio apartment a month ago. A day after moving in, they showed up. It's unrealistic to think that I'll get rid of them. A. This is a large apartment complex. B. There is a "shared" common kitchen area. I at least want to keep them out of my apartment.

    I'm not sleeping at night. (It's 1:51 A.M.) When I do sleep, I sleep with all of the lights on. I have a small dog and I'm worried about an exterminator spraying or her coming into contact with a lot of the products mentioned, but I'm seriously ready for war. Seriously. Death to the roaches!!

  19. Mobley says:

    I truely believe that roaches will be the last thing standing on the planet earth.I never had a problem with them until I bought a slightly used repo'd refrigator from a Good Cents Store. I was told it had been used two months but the people could'nt pay so it was repo'd. I got it for 800.00 bucks. I thought boy ,what a good deal..I been paying ever since. About two weeks after I bought it all hell broke loose. Friggin roaches every where. It's been six months now. An exterminator has been here twice in the six months(waste of money) and I tried every kind of spray you can name almost. I just found out about the boric acid and jars about a week ago. So far, this seems to be helping . Now I will add the apple cider vinegar and a few other things I've read on here. If that don't work then maybe the gasoline and matches.lol .. A lesson for me I will never forget.....NEVER BUY ANY KIND OF USED APPLIANCE!!!EVER!! Thanks everyone for all the helpful info...

  20. paul says:

    For the person who defended the right to live for these wonderful little creatures tell me do you keep them as pets? How do you name them? Don't they all look alike? I can think of some cool names like creepy, buggy, la cuccuracca etc. just ring the bug dinner bell ding and they all scurry to the main eating dish. Must be fun playing with them too. let 2 or 3 run around your fingers while leaving a trail of some special brand of feces for you. "Here creepy. Here buggy time for afternoon snack." Yes, I'm being a smartass. I'm being downright ludicrous. Just like your defence of these vile things. You gotta wonder what God was thinking when he gave us the cockroach. paul

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