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How to Control Cockroaches

How to control cockroaches ? Cockroaches are among the most common and persistent household pests. Their presence can be both unsettling and hazardous to health, as they are known to spread diseases and cause allergies. Effective control of cockroaches requires a comprehensive approach, involving both preventive measures and active eradication techniques. This guide will cover the essential steps to control cockroaches, emphasizing strategies recommended by American Pest Control.

Understanding Cockroach Behavior – How to control cockroaches

Types of Cockroaches

How to control cockroaches ? There are several species of cockroaches commonly found in households. Understanding their specific characteristics can help in effectively targeting them.

American Cockroach

The American cockroach is the largest common species, typically measuring around 1.5 inches in length. They are reddish-brown with a yellowish figure-8 pattern on the back of their heads. These cockroaches prefer warm, moist environments and are often found in basements, sewers, and drains.

German Cockroach – How to control cockroaches

German cockroaches are smaller, usually about half an inch long, and are light brown with two dark parallel stripes on their backs. They are notorious for their rapid reproduction rate and are commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms, where food and moisture are readily available.

Oriental Cockroach – How to control cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches, also known as water bugs, are dark brown to black and measure about an inch long. They prefer cooler, damp environments and are often found in basements, crawl spaces, and around drains.

Life Cycle and Habits – How to control cockroaches


How to control cockroaches ? Cockroaches reproduce quickly, with some species capable of producing hundreds of offspring in a year. Understanding their reproductive cycle is crucial for effective control.

  • Eggs: Cockroaches lay eggs in protective cases called oothecae. Each ootheca can contain multiple eggs, and some species carry these cases until the eggs are ready to hatch.
  • Nymphs: Once hatched, nymphs go through several molts, gradually developing into adults. This stage can last from a few weeks to several months, depending on the species and environmental conditions.
  • Adults: Adult cockroaches are the reproductive stage. They can live for several months to over a year, during which time they continue to reproduce.

Habitats and Feeding

Cockroaches are nocturnal and prefer dark, secluded areas. They are scavengers and can feed on a wide range of organic materials, including food scraps, grease, paper, and even glue. This adaptability makes them particularly challenging to control.

Prevention Strategies – How to control cockroaches

How to control cockroaches ? Preventing a cockroach infestation is the first line of defense. By making your home less attractive to cockroaches, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of an infestation.


Kitchen Cleanliness

How to control cockroaches ? The kitchen is a primary target for cockroaches due to the abundance of food and moisture.

  • Clean Surfaces: Wipe down counters, stovetops, and other surfaces regularly to remove food residues.
  • Store Food Properly: Keep food in sealed containers and avoid leaving pet food out overnight.
  • Dispose of Garbage: Empty trash cans frequently and use bins with tight-fitting lids.

Bathroom Maintenance

Bathrooms can also attract cockroaches due to the presence of water.

  • Fix Leaks: Repair any leaky faucets, pipes, or toilets to eliminate sources of moisture.
  • Ventilation: Use exhaust fans to reduce humidity levels in the bathroom.

Home Repairs

Sealing Entry Points

Cockroaches can enter homes through small cracks and openings.

  • Caulking: Seal gaps around windows, doors, and baseboards with caulk.
  • Weather Stripping: Install weather stripping around doors and windows to close off entry points.

Reducing Clutter

Cockroaches thrive in cluttered environments where they can find hiding spots.

  • Organize Storage Areas: Keep basements, attics, and garages organized and free of unnecessary items.
  • Use Plastic Bins: Store items in plastic bins with tight-fitting lids instead of cardboard boxes.

Active Eradication Techniques

If preventive measures are not enough, active eradication techniques will be necessary. These methods can be used individually or in combination for more effective control.

Chemical Treatments


Insecticides can be effective for immediate cockroach control. They come in various forms, including sprays, baits, and dusts.

  • Sprays: Use sprays to target visible cockroaches and their hiding places. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • Baits: Place bait stations in areas where cockroaches are active. Baits attract cockroaches, which then consume the poison and return to their nests, spreading the insecticide to other members of the colony.
  • Dusts: Apply insecticidal dusts in cracks, crevices, and other hard-to-reach areas. Dusts can be effective for long-term control as they remain active for extended periods.

Professional Pest Control

In cases of severe infestations, professional pest control services may be necessary.

  • Inspection: A professional pest control technician will conduct a thorough inspection to identify the extent of the infestation and the species involved.
  • Treatment Plan: Based on the inspection, the technician will develop a customized treatment plan, which may include a combination of insecticides, baits, and other methods.
  • Follow-Up: Regular follow-up visits are essential to ensure that the infestation is fully eradicated and to prevent future occurrences.

Non Chemical Methods


Cockroach traps can help monitor and reduce populations without the use of chemicals.

  • Sticky Traps: Place sticky traps in areas where cockroaches are active. These traps can capture and hold cockroaches, providing valuable information about the infestation’s severity and location.
  • Jar Traps: Fill a jar with water and a few drops of oil. Cockroaches will enter the jar seeking water and will be unable to escape due to the oil.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural, non-toxic powder that can be effective against cockroaches.

  • Application: Apply a thin layer of diatomaceous earth in cracks, crevices, and other areas where cockroaches are likely to travel. The powder damages their exoskeletons, causing dehydration and death.
  • Safety: Ensure that the product is food-grade diatomaceous earth, as other types can be harmful to humans and pets.

Long Term Maintenance

Once the initial infestation is under control, ongoing maintenance is crucial to prevent future problems.

Regular Inspections

Conduct regular inspections to catch any signs of cockroach activity early.


  • Traps: Continue to use traps to monitor for any new cockroach activity.
  • Visual Inspections: Regularly inspect common cockroach hiding places, such as under sinks, behind appliances, and in cabinets.

Professional Help

  • Scheduled Visits: Consider scheduling regular visits from a professional pest control service to maintain a cockroach-free environment.

Ongoing Prevention

Maintain the preventive measures outlined earlier to keep cockroaches at bay.

Sanitation and Repairs

  • Consistent Cleaning: Keep up with regular cleaning routines, especially in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Fix Issues Promptly: Address any new leaks, cracks, or other issues immediately to prevent them from becoming entry points for cockroaches.

Educating Household Members

Ensure that all household members are aware of the importance of cleanliness and the steps needed to prevent cockroaches.

  • Communication: Regularly discuss and review prevention and control measures with everyone in the household.
  • Responsibility: Assign specific tasks to different members to ensure that prevention efforts are sustained.


Cockroaches (or roaches) are insects belonging to the order Blattodea (Blattaria). About 30 cockroach species out of 4,600 are associated with human habitats. Some species are well-known pests. Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockroach

Controlling cockroaches requires a comprehensive approach that combines prevention, active eradication, and long-term maintenance. By understanding cockroach behavior, implementing effective prevention strategies, utilizing a range of eradication techniques, and maintaining vigilance, you can achieve a cockroach-free home. AmericanPest Control.com offers valuable resources and professional services to assist in this endeavor, ensuring a safe and healthy living environment.

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