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Killing Cockroaches - Where It All Began...
My wife and I had just moved into a new apartment in Manhattan (new to us, anyway) when we discovered a little problem - ROACHES!!! The place wasn't overrun with them, but there were more than enough running around to make us freak out (and the word is, for every one you see there are 100 more in the wall.)

I didn't discover the problem until I was painting the place before we moved in. There wasn't enough time to bug-bomb the apartment before the move (I needed every minute to paint and prep to get ready for move-in day.) So, I had to take a multi-prong approach to ending this cockroach problem.

Fundamental Steps To Ending A Cockroach Infestation
The first thing I did was spread Boric Acid along the baseboards, behind the refrigerator and stove, inside the kitchen cabinets and under the radiators. I've done this at other apartments and it seems to keep roaches in check. The powder stays active for a good long while, the roaches track it back into the walls (which helps kill them in the nests) and there is no awful chemical smell.

Kill roaches safely and naturally with Diatect.In this case, the Boric Acid wasn't enough. There were still roaches when the painting was finished and we moved in. So, I moved on to the next step in the plan - sealing up cracks and holes and using aggressive poison sprays along the baseboards in select areas (we had a young daughter and didn't want her getting into the poisons and becoming sick so we restricted spraying.)

I caulked all of the seams inside the kitchen cabinets using clear silicon caulk. I also sealed every wall opening I could find with expanding spray foam. You need plenty of both products (specially the caulk) because it is surprising how many cracks and holes you discover once you start looking.

I closed up holes around the drain and water lines in the kitchen and bathroom. I sealed holes around steam pipes and electrical boxes too. Then I sprayed poison along the baseboards in the kitchen and in inaccessible spaces behind furniture in the living room.

For a day or two it seemed like the roach problem was dissipating, but we woke up again to discover several of them crawling around the kitchen and later that morning, one crawled across the baby's high-chair WHILE SHE WAS EATING. We may have been making progress, but not nearly fast enough.

It was time to get mean...

Learn The Cockroach Assassin's 4 Part Cockroach Eradication Blueprint
Time To Break Out The Roach Poisons
My next tactic was to buy a bunch of RAID Double Control roach baits to place all around the kitchen and bathroom. These also came with 3 special 'egg stoppers' as well. The egg-killers involved some kind of liquid in a glass vial and a fabric pad to disperse it. You crack the glass and the liquid soaks into the pad. Whatever is in this liquid is supposed to screw up the roaches ability to reproduce. Once we got a handle on this problem, I planned on throwing these out because I didn't want chemicals like that floating around my house any longer than necessary.

I also picked up a jug of bleach and began pouring bleach into the drains at night to keep the roaches from crawling up through the pipes. (We also began to regularly mix a bleach solution in the sink to clean the baby's toys and then wash down all of the kitchen surfaces until we were confident that the roach problem had been resolved!)

The bleach stays in the trap in the drain to create a barrier that the roaches cannot cross (not alive, anyway.) It also kills a lot of germs. However, it also leaves a bit of a stink in the room, so I put the drain plug in after pouring the bleach. I hit the kitchen sink, bathroom sink and tub drains on my evening bleach runs.

It was time to bring a little technology into the process...

Visit the Roach Eradication Center for a wide selection of roach control products...
Using Magnetic Waves And UltraSonic Noise To Combat Roaches
My wife had used a device in a previous apartment that sends a magnetic pulse through the wiring in your house and supposedly agitates the roaches' nervous system driving them out of the walls in search of other nesting spots. We searched around online and found a similar product at Amazon and ordered one for the kitchen.

Using the device could not have been easier. You simply plug it into an outlet and it does its thing. If the device does what it claims, it is a non-toxic long-term control tactic for keeping the roaches away.

We figured that it couldn't hurt to try it (although the manufacturer said that the first few days the device was used, there would be more roaches in the house as they were being driven out of the walls - and after 48 hours we noticed a lot more roaches wandering around in the kitchen and hallway.)

We kept searching for other non-toxic long-term roach control options...

Learn The Cockroach Assassin's 4 Part Cockroach Eradication Blueprint
Non-Toxic Solutions For Killing And Preventing Cockroach Infestations
Having a small child in the apartment made me and my wife more sensitive to the amount of nasty chemicals in most roach control products. In the short term we were prepared to have chemical poisons around the house, but we wanted something less toxic for the long haul.

While my wife was searching the Internet for options, she came across a product called Diatomaceous Earth, which is a non-toxic powder that kill roaches and other bugs.

Diatomaceous Earth is actually the fossilized remains of tiny phytoplankton called diatoms which live in lakes and seas. The microscopic remains of these creatures have a jagged surface that scratches the roaches as they move across it and causes them to dry out and die. They also ingest the powder which does unpleasant things to their insides and kills them as well.

Like Boric Acid, this powder is tracked back into the walls by the roaches and kills others in the nest. But, unlike Boric Acid, it is safe around pets and humans (including babies) and does not lose potency over time.

I could not find a convenient local supplier for the Diatomaceous Earth, so I ordered 4 pounds of it from Amazon.com. My plan was to spread it around on the same places I had used Boric Acid: leaving it behind the stove, under the refrigerator, and around the radiators. I also drilled some small holes in the kitchen walls in each stud cavity and blew a mixture of Boric Acid and Diatomaceous Earth inside to kill roaches as they moved through the walls between apartments. This was a pretty aggressive step, but it was also an important step to creating a long-lasting barrier to new cockroach infestations.

Several non-toxic sprays came up in my searches for roach killers and we ordered some to keep on hand once the war is over. These seem to use either orange oils or mint oils to kill the roaches. Both leave a strong smell, but I think I'd rather smell intense mint than whatever is in a typical can of roach spray.

Learn The Cockroach Assassin's 4 Part Cockroach Eradication Blueprint
Eradicating Roach Colonies with Diatomaceous Earth
When my 4 pound bag of Diatomaceous Earth arrived from Amazon I immediately set out to using it. I discovered a few things about how to use Diatomaceous Earth in your roach killing efforts.

The first important thing to note is that, while Diatomaceous Earth is not poisonous to humans, it IS an irritant. It will get on your skin and dry it out like a mudpack. It has a mild, but noticeable, odor. It can irritate your eyes.

The second important thing to note is that Diatomaceous Earth will easily disperse in the air and form a cloud of fine particles that hang in the air a long time and then settle on everything in the room. This is not necessarily a bad thing!

I got a plastic bottle with a cone shaped tip like those used for Boric Acid. Once filled with Diatomaceous Earth, I set out to dust under the refridgerator, stove, and along the baseboards in the kitchen. I tipped the bottle and squeezed it quickly to 'puff out' a little powder.

I was concerned early on that the Diatomaceous Earth would clog up the bottle, but the fine powder dispersed nicely. However, I got a little aggressive trying to blow the powder back under the fridge and, when I looked up, I noticed the cloud of dust hovering in the kitchen.

Blowing the dust inside the walls turned out to be a much easier task than originally anticipated. Only a small hole was needed to get the Diatomaceous Earth in and some vigorous work with the bottle created a cloud of dust inside the walls which coated every surface with roach killing powder - sweet!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Wear a mask when applying Diatomaceous Earth.

One nice thing is that the dust clings easily to many surfaces. So, the sides of the stove and lower cabinets are now roach death traps. In fact, the vast majority of the kitchen surfaces are now inhospitable to roaches.

I was pleased to discover that the following day the number of roaches spotted in the kitchen had declined noticeably. And, I saw a couple of them moving slowly with a coating of the Diatomaceous Earth on their bodies.

Unfortunately, new horror kicked in when I realized the roaches were moving into the living room looking for new hunting grounds. The bedrooms were sure to follow.

Traps were quickly placed in the major roach pathways in the living room and Diatomaceous Earth was dusted under some of the larger furniture and along some of the baseboards to keep the roaches contained .

Learn The Cockroach Assassin's 4 Part Cockroach Eradication Blueprint
Roach and Pest Deterrents
Once they're gone, learn to keep it that way...
Once you've eradicated the roaches from your home, there are some steps you can take to deter them from returning.

The Diatomaceous Earth and Boric Acid I blew into the wall cavities will prevent and deter movement between apartments, but roaches can get into your home in other ways. They are known to hitch a ride in boxes, on people's coats and in their bags. In short, you should expect that the occasional bug will find its way into your living space. You just want to make sure it doesn't find a home there.

There are some excellent deterrents to keep roaches from setting up shop in your house. The use of cedar in your closets will repel them from the dark corners of your home. You can use anything from a full cedar paneling on the insides of your closets to a few cedar hanger block that you hang from the rod.

Cedar can also be found in marble sized balls that can be spread around on floors and inside drawers. A sachet filled with cedar chips can be included in your clothes drawers.

Not only will you deter roaches, but silverfish and spiders too!

A less pleasant smelling option with the same effect is to spread moth balls around your home in potential roach hiding spaces. Be careful, the gases released be moth balls are toxic and combustible. Strictly follow manufacturer's instructions when using this option.

By introducing these products into your home, you can create an unpleasant place where roaches don't want to live and, with any luck, they'll quickly move on.

For those few that don't leave, make sure to leave a few glue traps laying around. These will serve as your early warning system for new roach problems. If you see a significant number of roaches in the traps, it's time to step up your more agressive treatments again.

Visit the Roach Eradication Center for a wide selection of roach control products...
The Ultimate Strategy For Killing Cockroaches
The tactics that worked best for me...
When you first see the roaches, your instincts say, "kill, kill, kill!!!" But, the best and least toxic solution comes about after the initial panic ebbs and you can think about the situation a bit more clearly.

What needs to be done is:

1 - Locate where the roaches are entering your home and cut off their access

2 - Cut off their food supply with a thorough de-greasing and cleaning

3 - Use baits, traps, and other products to kill the roaches back inside the walls as well as remaining roaches already inside the living spaces

I tried so many different tactics and products that it is hard to say if any one is ultimately responsible for ending the infestation. But, I know that I saw dramatic results after thoroughly caulking and sealing every crack and crevice in my kitchen and bath (I had also been using baits, poisons, and traps for several weeks, so they contributed as well - just not as dramatically.)

I never had to resort to bug bombing. I think I could have handled the situation effectively if I had used nothing more than the Diatomaceous Earth, mint oil bug spray, glue traps, silicon caulk, expanding foam, and boric acid coupled with a thorough cleaning and degreasing of the entire kitchen.

Learn The Cockroach Assassin's 4 Part Cockroach Eradication Blueprint
Pyrethrin as a Roach Killer
Pyrethrin is a neurotoxin that attacks the nervous systems of all insects. It occurs naturally in the chrysanthemum flower (interesting how plants evolve defenses against bugs!)

Pyrethrin is a contact substance, meaning you have to spray in on the roaches to make it work. It reacts quickly when exposed to oxygen and breaks down into harmless substances. Because of this, its effects are short-lived. But, when the mist is in the air, roaches run from it like crazy. In non-lethal doses it works as a strong repellent.

Pyrethrin is an irritant to humans but is also one of the safest insecticides to use around food preparation areas.

So, one way to use pyrethrin is to drive roaches out of their hiding places. Mist it into wall cracks and cupboards. Or, mist it behind stoves and under refrigerators and watch those little buggers run for the hills. It's a very wise idea to have some other kind of poison or glue trap on their escape route to catch or kill them as they flee.

A good strategy is to use this product to drive them out of hiding places and then quickly follow up by sealing the cracks and crevices with silicon caulk to prevent and escapees from returning.

There are a few companies that make products that mist pyrethrin into the air on regular intervals as an ongoing deterrent to keep the roaches from returning to a living space.

One Pyrethrin Misting Device on the market is called the Encore Dispenser by Timemist. This device releases a dose of aerosol pyrethrin from a canister ever 15 minutes to maintain a low concentration (but effective) cloud of repellent in the air. The aerosol canisters of pyrethrin cost under $10 US and last up to 30 days depending on the settings you use with the dispenser.

I've not had a chance to test this personally, but anecdotal stories I've read about people using this to clear roaches out of cabinets said that roaches 'rained down' from the cabinets after they were sprayed.

Don't attempt to use this while squeamish people are around. They might have a major panic attack.

One HUGE WARNING: pyrethrins are very dangerous to fish. If you have pet fish, use extreme caution.

Visit the Roach Eradication Center for a wide selection of roach control products...
Folk and Home Remedies for Roach Control
There are thousands of websites with listings of folk remedies and home brew concoctions for killing and deterring roaches. Some are very practical, others make you wonder about the sanity of the people who thought them up, and others are just downright dangerous.

These are a few of the more useful ones I have found:

Pepper Spray - This is a deterrent solution rather than a killer. I have found it very effective. Simply mix 2 tablespoons of Tabasco Sauce into 2 quarts of water and pour into a pump spray bottle. Mist it onto any surfaces where you don't want roaches to go. They will avoid the pepper.

Since everything that goes into this is edible, I use it inside cabinets, on and around the stove and counter tops, and on the floors.

Once dry, the pepper is hardly noticeable. My usual use is to spray down the kitchen food prep and eating surfaces, along with the floor, at night before going to bed. This keeps the roaches at bay over their most busy hours.

One warning, when you apply the spray, you are misting pepper into the air and it will make you sneeze. This is a mild irritant. So, you might want to wear a mask or cover your face with a handkerchief while spraying.

Sugar/Soda/Water - I've not tried this, but it sounds like it would work. Mix baking soda and sugar together in roughly equal parts and place the mixture in a low dish. Place a small dish of water nearby.

The theory goes that the roaches will eat the sugar and baking soda combo and then drink the water. These will react in their stomachs to create a gas which will cause their stomachs to burst - thus killing the roach.

A bit cruel and short-term in its effectiveness, but better than placing poison all around your home.

Water Traps - get a jar or steep-sided bowl and fill it with some water and coffee grounds (appearently roaches love coffee!) Place a little petroleum jelly along the inside rim of the container. Finally, if the roaches are going to have any difficulty getting into the jar, place a Popsicle stick (or something similar) against the side of the side jar as a ramp for them to walk up.

The theory behind this one is that the roaches will be drawn to the coffee and climb into the jar where they will fall into the water. The petroleum jelly will prevent them from climbing out of the jar. Eventually, the roach will drown.

I'm not sure what the advantage of this is over glue traps (and I can see several disadvantages) - I guess some folks just have a lot of time on their hands.

As I find new solutions, I'll post them to this list.
Odds And Ends
We found ourselves having to invent new tactics along the way deal with the unexpected. We realized that leaving our food in the moving boxes was not any better than putting it in the cupboards - roaches could get into both. So, my wife placed all of our food items into sealed zipper lock bags. This made it a pain to get at things when you needed them, but also made it easier to empty cupboards when cleaning up with the bleach (and it cut off one source of food.)

When we turned on the electric bug device we noticed a lot more roaches running around the kitchen and halls. It was really unsettling (and exhausting) to spend an hour every morning killing and cleaning up roaches in the kitchen before washing everything with bleach and then starting our day. So, I picked up a huge pile of 'Roach Traps' (boxes with glue inside which the roaches stick to and die.) Every night, after bleaching the counter tops, sink, and stove, I lined up the traps along the back of the counter and along the floor at the base of the cabinets. I also placed a couple in the bathroom. Then, in the morning, I picked them up and went straight to bleaching.


  1. What a rich article it is!!! Getting rid of roaches is really very difficult. Proper knowledge and information is must for fighting with those devils. Thanks for describing the facts so clearly. I appreciate your professional work.

    get rid of bed bugs


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