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How to get rid of Cockroaches

How to get rid of cockroaches

Follow the guide below and learn how to get rid of cockroaches. Cockroaches are possibly the most reviled of insect pests, and with good reason.

Apart from the way they look and scuttle around, only coming out at night, they are associated with dirt and carry many diseases such as salmonella, dysentery and gastro-enteritis. Their droppings are known to exacerbate asthma and eczema.

Coupled with this, the cockroach really is a very resilient pest, to the extent that if the infestation has got a foothold, professional help should be sought. The health risks are too great.

The reason for this is that cockroaches need very little to survive, but will eat literally anything. Also, they reproduce in great numbers, meaning you can be facing a very large infestation very quickly.

However, if the infestation is not too large, it is possible to treat on a DIY basis.

Know your enemy

There are many varieties of cockroach, but you are only likely to encounter two of them.

  • Oriental Cockroach – a large cockroach, shiny black to reddish-brown in colour. The male is smaller with three-quarter length wings, about 25mm in length. The female is larger, about 32mm and has no wings. They can tolerate cooler conditions and are often found in basements and drains, where they can find the water they need.
  • German Cockroach – light brown or tan in colour, with two black horizontal stripes behind the head. Reaches 13-16mm in length. Has wings, but rarely flies. The German Cockroach needs warmth and will typically be found in kitchens and bathrooms.

How do you know you have cockroaches?

  • Cockroaches are nocturnal. They prefer to live and feed in the dark, meaning that if you are unlucky enough to spot one, you will already have a problem
  • Faeces will be visible. For small roaches, this will be evident like black pepper. Larger roaches produce more cylindrical droppings.
  • Unpleasant smell. Some species emit an oily, musty smell that lingers on everything they contact

If you suspect you have cockroaches, have a good look in any dark, moist places, for this is their environment of choice. Behind refrigerators, sinks and stoves, around drains and inside motors and electrical appliances are all perfect places to look.

They are able to flatten their bodies, so can just as easily be found beneath mats, behind wallpaper and in wall cracks. Oval-shaped egg cases, known as oothecae, may be found hanging off furniture.

Before you go on the attack

Never has the old adage, ‘prevention is better than cure’, been more appropriate than with regard to the cockroach. There are a few very simple steps that can be taken to make your home less appealing.

  • First, follow basic hygiene rules and make sure you keep everywhere clean, particularly kitchen areas. Wipe up spillages, clean up crumbs and food residue, make sure cupboards are regularly wiped clean and don’t let rubbish build up.
  • Second, block up any cracks and crevices, particularly in basements and cellars, and replace damaged drain covers and pipes.
  • Third, fix any leaking pipes as this provides a welcome water supply, as will condensation on pipes. It makes sense to lag pipes for optimum energy efficiency, but it will also deny the cockroach vital access to water.

Weapons available

There are many products available for dealing with cockroaches. These range from simple sticky insect traps, to insecticidal powders and sprays.

  • Cockroach traps
  • Synthetic sprays
  • Synthetic powders
  • Natural sprays
  • Natural dusts


As cockroaches tend to be active when you are not, it is often difficult to establish the scale of the problem. The first line of attack would be to set a number of monitoring traps around the room, for example the SX Detect-It Insect Trap.

This will tell you WHERE the problem is most prevalent and exactly where in the room to target when it comes to treatment. SX Cockroach Glue Traps will do a good job of trapping wandering roaches, particularly if the infestation is not too big, and have the added advantage of being insecticide free.

If you prefer to go down the insecticidal route, residual sprays are recommended, as cockroaches are rarely present enough to be sprayed directly. Spraying into harbourages and under cupboards with a residual spray ensures the insecticide remains active for a number of weeks after first use.

Dethlac Insecticidal Lacquer or Insecto Super Bug Destroyer would be ideal for this. Of course, both products can be used as a knockdown spray if cockroaches are seen.

SX Cockroach Glue Pad Traps

SX Cockroach Glue Pad Traps catch cockroaches discreetly and effectively. These pre-baited cockroach glue pads are very simple to use, pesticide free and come with full instructions on the trap itself.

Oa2ki Professional Cockroach Spray Concentrate

Oa2ki Concentrate Insect Spray 500ml is an organic insect control agent based entirely upon concentrated natural plant extracts of food grade quality.

Ficam D Insecticide Powder 3kg

Ficam D Insecticide Powder 3kg is a broad spectrum insecticide for use INDOORS against Cockroaches

Pest Pistol Insect Duster

The Pest Pistol® Insect Duster is a first choice, low cost bellows duster that is both powerful and easy to use.

Powder, such as Residex P or Ficam D is also a popular choice, particularly in areas where the powder is going to remain undisturbed. It is also a must in areas where there are electrical sockets, where the use of sprays would be inappropriate.

Non-chemical powders such as Oa2ki Powder or Organ-X Insect Killing Powder work equally well on the waxy cuticle of the cockroach and are ideal if you would prefer to not have insecticidal powder lying around.

There is a large range of application equipment to help in administering powder, depending on the size of area to be treated. The Pest Pistol is a handy unit that fits comfortably in one hand and can direct powder quite specifically. There is an extension tube available for further access.

The Polminor Dust Bellows will administer much more powder over a larger surface area.


Summary of the best ways to get rid of cockroaches

  1. Prevention
  2. Non-toxic sticky traps
  3. Insecticidal sprays
  4. Insecticidal Powders
  5. Natural powders
  6. Application equipment

It is vitally important to control cockroaches, as they spread disease. The best way is to prevent an infestation by making sure you don’t provide them with food, water and shelter. There are products available to deal with an infestation, be it non-toxic or insecticidal.

Hopefully this guide has shown you how to get rid of cockroaches.  For more information on cockroaches, get in touch today

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