The German cockroach is the cockroach of nightmares. They are the most destructive to your home and the hardest to eliminate. They multiply faster and in greater numbers than the other types of roaches. A single survivor reduces all efforts made to exterminate them useless. Their numbers return shortly and more resistant to the chemicals previously used. It almost seems impossible to kill off these pests doesn’t it? It won’t be easy, but it isn’t impossible if you follow these tips on how to kill German roaches.
When people think of killing roaches, they often think of a commercial product like a spray or a “bug bomb” often seen at a corner, in a particular isle at the local home improvement/grocery store. These products will kill them, but there are major downsides. Aside from the harmful chemicals they contain, they don’t get every single one of them and a lot of the stuff you find locally just aren’t powerful enough to do a decent job.
The sprays will only kill what you are able to spray. If you spray five, just those five will die. The hundreds still in your home are untouched, alive, and well.
The bug bombs are a little more effective. They will get some of the hidden roaches, but they won’t reach everywhere. Especially behind the walls where many of them like to hide. The German cockroach is smaller than the others and can hide in places the chemicals won’t reach. “Bombing” the entire house with chemicals should be left to a qualified professional exterminator for both safety and efficacy reasons.
Those two types of products won’t work very well against a German cockroach infestation, but there are others that will. They won’t kill a cockroach upon contact, but they work because they are able to attack the other roaches safely hiding away (the ones that really matter).
These are basically bait that has been mixed with a poison undetectable by cockroaches. The bait and poison is safely contained in a plastic housing. The housing has small openings to allow cockroaches to enter and take what they think are food. The roach eats it, takes some back to the nest for the others, they eat it and they all die. The cycle repeats until none is left.
My favorite, and the best I’ve ever used are the bait stations made by Advion.
These are great if you have pets or small children. You still want to place them away from their reach, but the housing helps prevent immediate access to the poison should they get their hands (or paws) on one.
Place them in high traffic areas where roaches frequently move through. Good areas to place them include:
- Under the kitchen sink
- Behind the trash can
- Behind or under the fridge, stove, and any other major kitchen appliances
Roach gels are just like roach motels, except it comes in a tube and as a gel that sticks to whatever surface you apply it to. These should be applied to areas where children and pets cannot reach You can find a wide variety of roach bait gels made by different manufacturers, but the one I personally use every time is the Advion Syngenta gel bait.
Good places to apply them are:
- Door and window trims. Apply them at a height where they can’t be reached by pets or children.
- Behind the trash can, or around it if you don’t have children or pets to worry about.
- Under the kitchen cabinets and around the kitchen cabinet doors.
Note: These gels will harden over time if left on for too long and removal at such a time will destroy the surface finish. Keep an eye on them and remove and re-apply as needed.
Boric acid might just be the most effective treatment you can apply by yourself. Check out my other post about using boric acid for roaches to get a more in depth explanation and common mistakes to avoid when using it.
You can usually get a bottle of boric acid powder with a tip for easier application, but I recommend using a duster for the best results. Make sure you spread the powder in high traffic areas where the cockroaches frequent. Boric acid powder works because roaches will groom themselves with their mouth. The powder sticks to their body when they walk over it and when they groom themselves, they ingest it and die.
You can treat hard to reach places like tiny cracks and behind the walls with boric acid powder if you use the duster. To treat the space behind a wall, drill a tiny hole into the drywall and squeeze some powder in there.
Many agree boric acid is the best roach killer currently available. Try it out and see if you’ll also agree.
To truth about how to get rid of them for good
The truth is just applying chemical treatment will never get them all. The secret to getting rid of them all is a persistent treatment of your chosen product and consistent sanitary practices. If you haven’t yet, check out my other post about what attracts cockroaches to get a better understanding of why you need to be consistent with keeping the house clean.
You need to do the following on a regular basis to (the best time is before going to bed):
- Sweep the kitchen and dining room floors. Don’t leave behind anything they can eat. If you’ve eaten in another room like the living room, sweep or vacuum it too.
- Clean off all counter tops and tables, etc. Leave no food for them.
- Wash all dishes, etc.
- Wipe any puddles of water on the counters, in the sink, etc. with paper towels.
- Cover any food they can eat properly so they cannot get to it.
These don’t have to be done daily, but need to be corrected asap:
- Fix any leaky faucets and drains.
- Get a strainer for the sink. This prevents roaches from being able to go down your drain for a drink.
- Cover trash cans. This is critical. A trash can left will render all your efforts to keep the house clean useless. Get a good trash can with a tightly sealing lid.
- Close off potential entry points for more roaches to enter from the outside (like small cracks, holes, and gaps) with expanding foam formulated for pests.
I also recommend checking out the other articles on how to get rid of cockroaches. The more you know, the easier this will be for you. Remember to be persistent and don’t skip your daily cleaning. Just skipping one day will drastic effects on your efforts. Now that you know how to kill German roaches, don’t let them overtake your home.
Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Credit goes to Kate Ter Haar