How to Get Rid of Roaches – A Comprehensive Guide

Cockroaches — or as they’re more commonly called, roaches — are a nuisance in homes everywhere. Not only are they unsightly, but they can also spread disease. In fact, roach fecal particles in the home are the number one cause of asthma in children. Plus, roaches can spread salmonella and gastroenteritis. So how do you get rid of roaches thoroughly and effectively?

First, let’s get to know these pests a little better. The most common type of domestic roach in the U.S. is the German cockroach. This type of roach has a tannish color and two parallel dark stripes. Another common type of roach is the brown-banded cockroach, which has two light brown stripes stretching across its abdomen.

When cockroaches breed, females deposit their eggs in cases known as oothecae. These cases can contain up to 40 eggs each. Because roaches breed so rapidly, it is important to get rid of them as soon as possible.

There are many ways you can keep roaches away:

Eliminate Food Sources

Roaches are not picky eaters and will consume nearly any food available — so it pays to keep your kitchen clean and free of crumbs. Make sure all counters are wiped down after meals and never leave dirty dishes sitting out overnight. It’s also important to store food in air-tight containers and take the trash out regularly.

Eliminate Excess Moisture

Roaches can survive a lot longer without food than they can without water. That’s why they love moisture. If you have a leaky pipe or faucet, do your best to repair it quickly.

Seal Cracks and Openings

An important step to getting rid of roaches is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Make sure you seal any cracks or openings around windows, doors, pipes, or other entry points. You can use caulk or weatherstripping around these areas to keep the roaches out. Additionally, fix any small holes in walls or foundations.

Clean and Vacuum

Compressed air can be a powerful tool when you are cockroach hunting. Direct the compressed air toward small spaces where roaches could be hiding – for example, behind cabinets or under furniture. This will send the roaches back out, so be prepared to vacuum them quickly.

You will also want to vacuum and dust regularly. Don’t forget the furniture and baseboards, since roaches often hide in these areas.

Set Traps and Baits

There are several types of traps available on the market, including glue strips. These can be placed strategically throughout your home to capture your targets.

Since roaches consume each other’s droppings, baiting is also an effective way to keep roaches away. As a roach consumes the bait, it leaves it behind in droppings that other roaches contact.

Roaches are largely attracted to sweet items like fruits, sodas, and sugar water.

Gel baits are another good option, as they contain a high moisture content and can release more attractants. The gel is applied with syringe to make it easier to cover hard-to-reach areas. It’s better to use small dots in many areas than large amounts in just a few areas.

Use Insecticides

There are several types of insecticides you can use when attempting to get rid of roaches in your home. Just be sure to read all labels and instructions carefully and use caution around children and pets. Also be sure to allow one to three days for these methods to take effect and potentially infect other roaches, as well.

Boric Acid

Baits containing insecticides like boric acid (an insect stomach poison) are especially effective and can be used in areas where roach activity is high. These types of baits kill both adult cockroaches and their eggs.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

You can also use diatomaceous earth (DE) as a natural insecticide; this powder works similarly to borax but is safer than chemical insecticides. DE is an abrasive that is spread across common surfaces inhabited by roaches. The diatomaceous earth sticks to the roach’s exoskeleton, causing it to dry out.


There are also several over-the-counter sprays that contain pesticides specifically designed to kill roaches. These fast-acting compounds are neurotoxic for roaches but aren’t always safe for the environment. We recommend using all natural Nature-Cide all-purpose premixed insecticide for a fast, non-toxic roach knock-down tool.

What Not to Use

When trying DIY methods to keep roaches away, one thing we recommend against is the use of “foggers”: roach bombs that spray pesticides into the air.
Most roach bombs are designed to be activated in the center of the room. When these devices go off, they cause pesticide to fall to the ground, coating indoor surfaces and killing target pests.
Unfortunately, roach bombs are extremely toxic as well as flammable.

Call an Exterminator to Get Rid of Roaches Long-Term

The above methods will help you to keep roaches away, but they provide only a temporary means of pushing roaches further into hiding. Roaches can often remain hidden for several months. In turn, they can often complete entire life cycles in your home and causing large scale infestations.

For an effective, safe, and more permanent way to get rid of roaches, we recommend calling Dominion Pest Control. Our exterminators are skilled in roach control and use proven substances like insect growth regulators (IGR). These products stop roach populations from multiplying by tricking baby roaches into thinking they are adults. Therefore, the growth process stops and the roaches are not able to reproduce.

We are also your most cost-effective option since we can quickly determine the root cause of your infestation and implement a solution to eliminate roaches long-term. Before you know it, you’ll be back to living life with just the invited residents of your home!

Call us today at (717) 393-7879 or contact us here to learn about our pest control services and how we can help you get rid of roaches for good.