Roaches have been around for millennia and will probably endure for millennia after we have been wiped off the face of the earth by nuclear war, asteroid impacts, or the next Ice Age. Nevertheless as long as human civilization as existed, roaches have been a thorn in our collective sides, being pests that not only look creepy but also contaminate your food with their feces, eggs, and disease-carrying saliva (which they regurgitate on your food in order to digest it). Despite our advanced technology however, roaches continue to be a common household pest in almost every country in the world, so it is no wonder that the shelves of hardware shops are filled with products claiming to be able to trap, kill, repel, and poison them. And these are just the commercial solutions; there are also countless ‘natural’ solutions and remedies you can find on the Internet as well as a whole industry relating to professional pest control.
With so many different options at our disposal when facing a roach infestation, how do we know which ones are truly effective and which ones we would be better off with slapping them individually with our flip flops? You can start by checking out this comprehensive guide to killing cockroaches which shows you how to eliminate cockroaches in just one week! Alternatively, we wrote this article to show you which methods work and which don’t, and tell you exactly why.
What Doesn’t Work
Soap and Water: This pest solution calls for mixing dish washing liquid with water in a spray bottle and then spraying these roaches on sight. The idea is that the soap clogs up the breathing pores of the cockroaches and causes and eventual death by suffocation. There are two problems with this method: the first is that it only really works on small roaches (under a quarter of an inch), while it only slows down the larger ones. On really big roaches, such as the American cockroach which can grow up to over 2 inches in length, this barely even slowed them down. It’s still effective against ants however, given their small size. The second problem with this method is that you can only target visible roaches, and since roaches are nocturnal, unless you want to sacrifice your sleep to hide in your kitchen at night and spray roaches with soap water, this is really not the most practical or effective solution.
Citrus: According to folklore, roaches and other insects are absolutely repelled by citrus liquids. This natural solution often recommends mixing your mop water with lemon juice or using citrus essential oils to create an anti-roach solution to wipe on your floors. While this did make our house smell pretty nice, we noticed no reduction in roach activity whwatsover.
Cucumbers: Perhaps the most ridiculous folk remedy we’ve seen, apparently cucumbers are supposed to repel roaches and other pests. This remedy calls for placing cucumber slices at roach entry points. First of all, this method does not work, period. Second, the very idea of placing soggy cucumber slices all over your house is absurd; can you imagine what visitors would say?
What Does Work
Professional Exterminators: These people know what they’re doing, no doubt. That’s why they’re the professionals. However, their services don’t come cheap, so unless you have a really serious problem, you might want to handle it yourself. If you are worried about excessive chemical usage, always check to make sure that your exterminator is licensed in your state and also certified by companies such as Green Shield.
Glue Traps: The most famous of this is the old Roach Motel: Roaches check in, but they don’t check out. These traps sometimes come prepackaged with bait, but sometimes you’ll have to use your own. Place one of these traps, and when you wake up in the morning you’re sure to find a few roaches stuck to them for you to exact your revenge on. While this method is effective, it takes a long time to significantly reduce the roach population while on the other hand a single female roach can lay hundreds of eggs over its average 100 day lifespan.
Poisons: Poisons are simply the BEST option for getting rid of roaches because it kills them in their nests too. A little known fact is that roaches eat other dead roaches, as well as the feces of other roaches, meaning that a single poisoned roach, will excrete poisoned feces and after its death (usually taking 2 to 5 days), will leave behind a poisoned corpse. While there are many types of pesticides on the market, our top recommendation is to get a poison bait trap (it’s not exactly a trap per se as the roaches are free to return to their nest after taking the bait) as it is the most convenient option.