How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

So you want to get rid of roaches?

Getting rid of cockroaches can be very simple, or you can wait until you have a level 5 infestation and then it will be very difficult. I did the latter… I knew I had a cockroach problem, but hey they only come out at night and they stayed in the kitchen – kind of like my friend Joe, but anyway.  I was making dinner for my girlfriend and her two friends one night when I had a firsthand lesson at how embarrassing a cockroach infestation can be. I was making a delicious tuna marinara and I spotted a cockroach running across the wall behind the counter. I immediately karate chopped him to death (look people I know its not nice to kill, one with nature – ya I get it – but you can’t undo 7 years of ninja training overnight). In fact my strike was so fast that the roach flew… somewhere… So I did the only two logical things: started looking for the cock roach, and started pouring the girls stronger drinks. Well I got lucky and found the cockroach INSIDE of one of the rigatoni shells of pasta (I love rigatoni). I threw the shell away but continued with the stiff drinks. Disaster was aborted, but for how long…

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Picture of roach feces

If you are still not motivated to do something about cockroaches let me share a few other totally awesome facts. Doctors in some urban areas, like New York City, report that almost one half of all the foreign objects they find in children’s ears are COCKROACHES (or pieces of cockroaches).  If you are thinking of how to get rid of cockroaches naturally, well don’t worry I cover that too.  You should understand though that cockroaches transfer diseases such as staphylococcus, salmonella and streptococcus.  You have probably seen cockroach poop (cockroach feces) many times before and just dismissed it as dirt.  Cockroach feces is just looks like little balls of dirt but there will usually be a lot of them and they are more uniform in size and shape to be dirt…  Take a good look a the picture.  Do not confuse mouse poop for cockroach, it is much larger and pellet shaped.  Here are some cockroach pictures and descriptions:

Types of cockroaches

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American cockroach

American cockroach – not the most common cockroach in America but they don’t vote so we named them accordingly. These guys prefer moist environments and live indoors. Like most cockroaches they will eat just about anything: clothes, vegetation, rotting food, your reputation… They are not difficult to kill but will breed incessantly.


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A German Cockroach

German cockroach – These guys are the most common cockroaches in America and are also the most common pet in American households. They need less moisture to live and prefer slightly warmer climates – so check the places in your house that are warmer.



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A Brown Banded Cockroach

Brown banded cockroach – This type of roach prefer even warmer climates and are usually found eating paper, clothes or anything else that is slightly starchy. These guys are responsible for the damage to all the paper and clothes in your attic.


How to Get Rid of Cockroaches Naturally

The simplest methods on how to get rid of cockroaches naturally are:

  1. Keep your kitchen and bathroom completely dry
    • clean all uneaten food and don’t leave any dirty dishes out, (especially effective if you live in an apartment – cockroaches will move to the next apartment very quickly).
    • Take out the trash as often as possible.
  2. Diatomaceous Earth
    • A non-toxic naturally occurring mineral
    • It will break down the shell of the cockroaches and force them to dry up and die (again make sure there is no water around or it won’t work)
  3. Borax
    • Although borax is a chemical it is a type of soap, in fact you can find it in the laundry aisle of the grocery store.
    • Mix it 70 borax / 30 flour or sugar and put it in the cracks and crevices you think the cockroaches are hiding in.
    • Still not sure look at the material safety data sheet for borax

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches…. Not so Naturally

There are so many different cockroach products out there that it can be confusing. It doesn’t have to be just pick the one that is right for your situation. My favorites are available at

  1. Sprays
    • Somewhat effective overall
    • Do not use sprays to treat an infestation – just use them for small crowds or single roaches
    • Sprays are good for people who won’t squash them with their hand
    • Sprays are usually more toxic and usually contain chemicals that you don’t want in your kitchen
  2. Baits
    • More effective but expensive considering they use boric acid as the active ingredient
    • Bates are good because they can be placed out of view
    • They are slightly toxic but are fairly contained and safer than sprays
  3. Boric acid powder
    • Most effective – This is like the napalm of the pest control world (I love it!)
    • It is slightly toxic but can be placed in cracks and crevices for safety
    • Kills large numbers of roaches the fastest
  4. Roach gel
    • uses a new pesticide that is used on fruit and produce called indoxacarb (see details here)
    • Is less toxic and said to be pet friendly
    • best solution for cockroaches on celing

I used the boric acid powder and it got rid of my roach infestation in a week. Sprinkle it in all the corners of your apartment or kitchen that are difficult to get to. Here is the magic mixture:

1 part boric acid, 1 part cocoa powder (I used protein powder), 1 part flour (I used a little less)

I do not recommend diatomaceous earth. I used this and started having respiratory problems shortly after. Also DO NOT use foggers – these things coat your entire house in pyrethroids (yes they are as bad as they sound).  Well these are some great places to start if you are trying to get rid of cockroaches but remember if any of this seems like too much work, just check out a professional pest control service – there are many that will give you a free quote.

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8 Responses to How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

  1. Brittani says:

    Im currently living in an apartment and we have been fighting roaches from previous tenants above us for the last 3 years. We’re moving to bigger place, a house, and I was wondering how I could prevent any roaches from hitching a ride to the new house? The roach infestation was bad enough that the roaches were starting to bite my children. How can I prevent these pests from coming to our house with us?

    • admin says:

      I would make sure that all of your kitchen supplies are totally clean. If the roaches are going to follow you in your move it will be because they are feeding on leftover food particles. Also take some time to put a little bit of the 70/30 borax mixture i mentioned in the cracks of the house before you move everything in. Good luck on your fresh start!

  2. Virginia Lee says:

    Good info, Thank you. I just began using borax again for my hard water as I live in the high desert not far from Barstow. I noticed a few weeks ago small light brown cockroaches (they all seem to resemble each other), and I’ve lived up here now for over 10 years on 5 acres w/horses, geese, chickens, down to one doxie and a cat who had a litter 3 months ago all inside except for the others (the cats I mean). Lots of wildlife but never had one single cockroach or flea,. Opened the drawer a little while ago and out they flew, seemed like tons all sizes and immediatly put the towels into the washer (this is the kitchen and it is damp in there. Just had a new faucet put in and probably, perhaps that brought them out, maybe disturbed them but don’t like roaches, nasty, dirty, and can be embarrassing too!!!
    I used fly ribbon inside the drawer then put some boric acid and tomorrow will just pick up the liner and papers and throw in trash and do it to all drawers and cupboards. Lots of work but worth the effort.
    You wrote a good article and I learned from it. Hopefully your 70/30 mixture will work and that’s what I will be doing tomorrow. Thanks again for all the good info. Now I know where to look answers!!
    Think Happy Thoughts,

  3. Ashley says:

    Do you have any advice for the fact that I barly see them I havnt seen one in a while but i found it on my bed.. and then again today there was one on my bed… Is there any advice to keep them away from my bed like a burrier.. we havnt had them for a while and we have them now… my dad pays a buy guy.. but its been like 2 months if not longer and there still not all the way gone.. and now im nervous to sleep in my bed.. atlest under the sheets.. and please to take this the wrong way Im a very clean person but s it gonna matter if I was my sheet or not because I dont want to keep washing them if its not helping to keep them away all just make my bed and sleep on top of the cover..

    • admin says:

      Hey Ashley!

      First of all having bed bugs has nothing to do with being clean or dirty. There are bed bugs in some the nicest hotels in New York!

      Do you live in an apartment or a building where there are other people living? Bed bugs can climb up and down floors and inside the walls to get to new beds. They are attracted to teh CO2 in your breath when you exhale! So even if you pay a person to come and kill them they will come back if your neighbors (close neighbors like in a building) have them.

      You need to talk to the landlord or whoever owns the building if this is the case.

  4. LILLIE says:


    • admin says:

      Sometimes they definitely do come from other floors or other apartments. Use a spray foam insulator (7 bucks at the hardware store) and spray it in the cracks and holes under your sink and in your kitchen. Then keeping everything clean should get rid of them.

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