How to Get Rid of a Cockroach Problem

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No one wants to have cockroaches in their home or business. There are over 4,500 different species of cockroaches worldwide, but of those, only about 69 are in the United States, and some are more likely than others to be in your home. The good news is that whether you have American cockroaches, brown-banded roaches, German cockroaches, or another variety, the control methods will be very similar. You can try a few home remedies before you find what Orkin covers to get rid of cockroaches.

Bait Station

Those in search of a store-bought solution for getting rid of cockroaches should consider bait stations. They come pre-filled with a combination of bait and poison, so they attract the roaches then kill them. Even better, the poisoned roach will typically bring some poison back to its companions. This means you can kill more of the roaches than reach the bait station.

The only caveat with bait stations is that you have to be careful using them around kids or pets. The poison they use is typically toxic to humans or pets as well as roaches.

Baking Soda

If you want to get rid of the roaches quickly without spending any money, you can grab some baking soda from your pantry. To make it more appealing as a bait, combine the baking soda with some diced onions. When the roaches accidentally eat the baking soda, gases form in their stomach. This eventually leads to them bursting or dying.

The only caveat is to remember to mix the baking soda with something other than onion if you have pets. Onion is toxic for dogs.

Boric Acid

Boric acid occurs naturally, and it is deadly to roaches but harmless to both people and pets. Boric acid will stick to the wings and legs of roaches that come into contact with it, interfering with their movement. When they accidentally ingest the powder, they will die as the powder negatively affects their digestive and nervous systems.

To use boric acid, you will want to also offer something tasty for the cockroaches to attract them. You could put boric acid on a paper plate with some peanut butter or an orange peel in the center. This way, the roaches have to go through the boric acid to reach the treat.

Keep in mind that, like the other methods on this list, you will have to reapply the boric acid.


If you don’t necessarily want to kill the cockroaches and prefer to deter them, consider using citrus to your advantage. Even something as simple as adding several drops of lemon oil to mop water before cleaning your floor can be effective.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

DE is a natural pesticide made from fossilized and pulverized algae. When a cockroach comes into contact with it, its sharpness damages the insects’ exoskeleton while the dehydrating properties dehydrate the roaches.

As a bonus, DE is safe to use around pets and kids, and it tends to be affordable. The downside is that you will have to reapply it regularly.

Essential Oils (Especially Lemongrass and Peppermint)

Essential oils are another option to repel cockroaches without killing them. You can just put a few drops of lemongrass or peppermint essential oil and water in a spray bottle and apply it to the areas you’ve noticed cockroaches.

Glue Strips

If you want to get rid of cockroaches without having to directly touch the dead insects, then glue traps are a great choice. These also offer the benefit of keeping the dead insects in one spot. Some glue strips come hidden in a container similar to a bait station as well, meaning you don’t even have to look at the cockroaches.

Of course, you will have to monitor the strips and swap them out as they become full.

The Best Method: Professionals

While you could try the above methods to get rid of cockroaches, the most effective and efficient option will usually be to hire a professional. They will know and use the best methods to get rid of these and other pests. While it will cost more initially than a home remedy, you will not have to put in the effort yourself and won’t have to worry about a repeat cockroach problem.

Prevent Roaches

While getting rid of cockroaches is good, it is even better to prevent them in the first place. An effective prevention strategy will include a few different methods.

Take Away Food Sources

Potential food sources are one of the big reasons that cockroaches decide to invade your home in the first place. This means that you can deter them by taking away that food source. Make it a point to put away food and leftovers. Keep your counters clean and try to clean dishes as soon as you can. Wipe off the counters and sweep or vacuum the floors.

Sealing Entry Points

The cockroaches have to get into your house somehow. If you seal up the entry points they use, then they can’t get inside. To do this, examine your house, paying close attention to the areas by doors and windows. Caulk any gaps.

Bella Duckworth

Bella Duckworth

Total posts created: 2151
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