Cockroaches have been around for millions of years, evolving into some of the most adaptable pests on Earth. There are approximately 4,000 living species of cockroaches in the world. About 70 of these species are found in the United States. Cockroaches popularly known as roaches are insects of the order blattaria.
They’re a common pest in our households and especially in the kitchen where food supply is in plenty and getting rid of them can be troublesome. They are health hazardous as they are carriers of certain disease causing bacteria such as salmonellosis and they also cause a lot of food damage when they come into contact with it. Therefore, it is necessary to find particular helpful methods to help you get rid of them fast and prevent an infestation later.
How do you know your home has been infested by roaches? Well, it is natural to see a few cockroaches, especially the adults crawling fast by the kitchen tables or cabinets. This is usually when you turn on the lights and they’ll be running off back to hiding. Cockroaches prefer dark areas and that’s where they inhabit as well as in cracks and crevices.
In addition to spotting a few roaches here and there, you’ll also observe their dropping laying around aimlessly. The amount of roach feces you observe is a good indicator of whether you are facing a high level of infestation or a low one. In case of a high level infestation, you may also note a strong musty awful odor which is as a result of an unpleasant smell which the roaches emit.
Where Do Roaches Come From?
Roaches will be attracted to your home as they’re in search of food. Cockroaches will get access into your house through cracks and crevices as well as through open doors and windows. Where they originated from is not well known neither where they really come from.
Cockroaches will also invade your home through transportation from one infested area to your home unknowingly. They’ll hide in your bags and on arrival at your place, they’ll scatter around finding dark moist suitable areas to hide. They’ll reproduce and in no time, your house will be full of this annoying crawling insects, which are quite fast.
The Life Cycle Of A Cockroach
Like all other living creatures, roaches mate, reproduce, grow and finally they die. They emerge from eggs laid by the female cockroaches which are all different in appearance depending with the species and it takes a few weeks before they hatch. Cockroaches undergo three stages in their life cycle which means once the eggs have hatched, they enter into the nymph stage and molt severally before they become fully grown adults capable of reproducing themselves and bringing in new roaches.
The life cycle period as well as how long a cockroach can live is wholly dependent on the roach species as well as food supply and the environmental conditions where they inhabit.
Find out more on the Life cycle of roaches.
Common Household Roaches
I. German roaches
This is among the most common cockroach species which you are likely to see in your home.The German cockroach has a pale brown body color with brownish stripes on the back of its head. It is highly reproductive and has an average lifespan of a year or less.To find out how to get rid of this species of roaches read: how to get rid of German roaches.
II. American roaches
This is the common household cockroach species and its presence reigns across the world. They’re usually larger than any other cockroach species and have a longer life span. Their reddish-brown color and light yellow bands around the shield behind their heads, distinguishes them from other roaches.
Read our American roach identification guide to learn how american roaches look like.
III. Oriental roaches
This is commonly known as the water bug. Mostly dwells in dark moist areas where it is hard to reach them making them quite difficult to get rid of them on your own. They’re glossy black in appearance and are about 1.25” long.
Find out more on oriental cockroaches and how to get rid of them effectively in Oriental cockroach
IV. Brown-branded cockroaches
They’re about one half inches long with the male and female having different appearances. The male has a golden tan color while the female is dark brown and both have light colored bands across their abdomen and wings. They like hotter and drier areas preferably on higher grounds away from water and around electronics contrary to most of the roach species which like humid moist areas.
Home Remedy To Get Rid Of Roaches
Here are some home remedies to get rid of roaches naturally. Apply homemade natural roach killer & repellent without hiring an exterminator.
- If you are suffering from a roach infestation, the first thing to do is cut off any substances that are the roaches’ food supply.
- Put away pest food and store left overs properly and get rid of any food particles which might have poured on the floor surface and on the kitchen tables and dispose properly.
- Use sealed plastic containers for food storage and keep them in a cool dry place.
- Then seal off any entry points where cracks and crevices have formed using caulking powder and fix any broken drainage pipes which are leaking.
- If their existence persists, set up poisoned bait traps along areas where the cockroaches dwell preferably the hydramethylnon compound which is a great cockroach killer and is safe around humans.
- Once the roaches feed on the bait, they’ll die immediately as the poisonous has grave effects towards them.
- Once you've gotten rid of the roaches, you need to prevent them from re-infesting your home once more.
- Ensure that you check for any roaches in boxes and containers you are bringing into your house to avoid bringing in any roaches.
How To Get Rid Of Roaches Naturally At Home
1. Use of roach repellents (Listerine)
- Pour a cup of water into a container and add equal amounts of Listerine.
- Add a few drops of dish washing liquid and stir thoroughly so that the ingredients mix well together.
- Then pour out the mixture into a spray can and shake well before applying.
- Spray the solution around cracks and crevices in the kitchen cabinets and tables as well as near the drainage pipes and any other areas you may suspect to be hosting the roaches.
- This will drive them away from your home and will move out in search of a new place to inhabit.
- Repeat this procedure twice or thrice a week to ensure efficiency.
2. Cayenne Pepper Solution
- Crush some garlic cloves and white onion using a pestle and mortar and place them in a bowl.
- Add a tablespoon of powdered cayenne or red pepper and mix with the crushed garlic clove and onion.
- Boil 4 cups of water and add the cayenne mixture and leave them to boil for a few minutes.
- Put off the gas and leave the solution to cool.
- Pour out the solution in a spray can and apply along the infested areas.
- Spray the solution twice a week and your home will be roach free in a week or two.
- Alternatively you can just sprinkle cayenne powder in the roach infested places which will deter this pests.
How to Kill Cockroaches With Bait & Traps
1. Boric-sugar bait
- Mix powdered boric acid with flour then add a cup of water and stir thoroughly.
- Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and continue to stir until forming a paste.
- Place the mixture in areas where the roaches lurk, around cracks and crevices, near the drainage pipes. Alternatively, apply the mixture in those areas.
- The sugar acts as bait while the boric acid is the roach killer.
- Keep track of how the mixture is working and you’ll note two weeks down the line the roaches will be completely erased.
- Use of boric acid is a very efficient method and you are assured of permanent extermination of the roaches.
2. Water Jar Trap To Kill Roaches
- Take a plastic bottle and cut in the ratio 1:3. The bottom part will act as the jar holding the attractants the invert the top part to act as the funnel.
- Fill the jar halfway with water. Place coffee grinds in small container and place it inside the larger container then close it up with the top part while inverted.
- Place the jars at the fore front of the roaches hiding places or in areas where they are most likely to be living.
- The aroma of the coffee grinds will attract the roaches towards the trap and they will want to reach inside the jar to get to the coffee grinds.
- Once they fall inside the trap, it will be difficult for them to escape and they will drown leading to their death.
- When the jar is full, throw away the contents and replace them with new contents.
- Repeat this for several days until you find no roaches inside the jar.
Some Proven Roach killers
A roach killer is basically pesticides or chemical powders which you apply to get rid of cockroaches as well as kill them. Roach killers are readily available in stores where you can purchase them while you can also venture into creating one yourself. The commonly used roach killer is the gel bait which is a perfect choice for hard to reach areas. Other roach killers included powdered compound or sprays which you need to apply in the infested areas for results. Available roach killers on amazon include;
1. Advion Syngenta Cockroach Gel Bait
This is a highly efficient roach killer manufactured with Meta Active TM compound and a unique bait matrix which is capable of catching even the most persistent of roach species. Apply some advion roach bait gel around crack and crevices where the roaches have infested. They will come collecting the gel and will transport it back to their nest hence spreading the plague to the rest of the colony. It is a good approach to massive roach killing and you are assured of 100% efficiency in getting rid of roach infestation.
2. Harris Roach Killer
The Harris bran roach killer spray is a pro at its functioning. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor roach extermination and its purely harmless. Spray the roaches nest and highly infested areas and within a short span of time, the roaches will start collapsing to their death due to the deltamethrin used in it making.