How to Get Rid of Roaches? There is nothing worse than turning on the kitchen lights and seeing (or hearing) the legs and antennae of cockroaches rushing over your counters, cupboards or floors. Not only are these pests a major horror, but they can contaminate your food, transmit dangerous bacteria and, worse, survive even the best-intentioned eradication attempts. That’s why we turned to an entomologist and a pesticide applicator to find the quickest and most effective way to get rid of cockroaches. No matter if you’re fighting a devious pest or an entire army of cockroaches, follow this five-step guide to eliminate even the most stubborn infestations.
Identify the problem area and seek professional help if necessary.
Out of more than 4,000 species of cockroaches around the world, most Americans meet only one or two types: German cockroaches and American cockroaches.
Since cockroaches can taint your food and counters with pathogenic E. coli and salmonella, don’t take the infestation lightly. If you have trouble eradicating cockroaches or identifying where they come from, you may need to call in pest management professionals to identify the source of the problem.
Cut cockroaches from their diet.
Like humans, these pests need food to survive. Unlike people, they can live on almost everything they have left, like unopened food, debris and even crumbs.
Start by cleaning up any spilled or leftover food. A forgotten cereal box at the back of the cupboard is a gold mine for cockroaches. Don’t leave dishes on the counter or in the sink either, advises entomologist Orkin Chelle Hartzer.
Go further – literally – by also checking behind the cabinets and appliances. “They like it behind the fridge because it’s a nice, warm environment,” says Hartzer. “No one cleans behind their fridge, so there is usually a source of food for them there.”
Store your trash in a bin with a tight-fitting lid and take it out regularly, adds Mike Goldstein, a pesticide applicator certified for Woodstream. Treat the bottom of the bucket with the same level of care by wiping off any residue, grime or leftover food.
Eliminate all hiding places.
In addition to food, cockroaches need shelter to thrive. Their favorite nooks and crannies include stacks of paper and cardboard boxes, so recycle whatever materials you have around. Cleaning up any clutter will deter cockroaches from hanging around – or coming back.
Forget the roach bait – but don’t spray.
While sanitation and housekeeping are essential, you can also use other tools in your war against cockroaches. “Baits are the ideal option for homeowners because they are simple to apply,” says Goldstein. “You don’t want to spray a pesticide on large areas because it can contaminate areas you don’t want to contaminate: worktops, devices, etc. Baits, including Combat Roach Killing Bait baits, are a more clean and less risky to control the problem. “
Seal all potential entry points.
Cockroaches can flatten and squeeze through small cracks, holes or screens, to eliminate any future invaders by bridging the gaps between inside and outside (or other apartments or condos) with materials such as door guards, transparent caulking or steel wool. Hartzer advises to go down to ground level and watch your entry. “If you can see the daylight under your door, it means the cockroaches can come in,” she said.
Also don’t forget the things you voluntarily bring into your home. Grocery stores, deliveries or old furniture may contain a few cockroaches, so inspect them carefully before bringing them inside. “Think about when your Amazon package is dropped off and it stays there all afternoon until you get back from work,” says Hartzer. “Cockroaches love this box; it’s the perfect environment for them to hide.”