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Cockroach Control

Summary: Cockroach control is not difficult. It just takes time and a willingness to change some personal habits. Clutter and carelessness about food spills are at the top of the list of things that need to be corrected if you ever hope to be free of cockroaches.

Quit complaining about living with insects and do something about it. And don’t blame it on your neighbors, either. Sure, they may have cockroaches, but if you have nothing that adds to the cockroach life cycle, there is no reason for the cockroach to establish residence in your home.

If your house has a cockroach problem and you want to get rid of roaches it’s going to require some serious elbow grease and some good roach bait like Maxforce FC Gel or Maxforce FC Bait Stations.  

We all know that cockroaches have lived among us since the dawn of man, but no where is it written that we must accept cockroaches as a fact of life. Truth is, cockroach control is fairly easy, but you just have to understand why the cockroaches are present in the first place.

When people complain about cockroaches they are usually talking about German cockroaches which are, by far, the most common roach we encounter in our homes. Our environments are perfect for these roaches. We like moderate heat. They like moderate heat. We like a variety of foods. They like a variety of foods. We need water. They need water. We like to be surrounded by our favorite things. They like to be surrounded by our favorite things, too.


The German roach likes an environment that provides temperatures in the same range of temperatures that humans require. Not too hot. Not too cold. Typically temperatures found in a working kitchen are just right. They also like and seek all sorts of foods. Here’s where we differ a bit. The roach is perfectly fine with a glob of grease that has dripped off the side of stove and has become stuck between the cabinet and stove. This glob may not be appetizing to us, but it certainly has all the nutrients the roach requires.

The cockroach’s water requirements also vary from ours. Whereas, humans need a certain number of glasses of water each day, the cockroach can fulfill most of its moisture requirements from the food it eats.

Lastly, we like having our favorite books and pictures and pillows and tons of other stuff around us to make us feel comfortable. Same for cockroaches. Our clutter is their home. Still stuffing grocery bags beside your refrigerator? The cockroach is fine and dandy with that because they love the crease on the bottom of paper bags where the glue holds the bag together. Glue is starch-based and starch is one of the required food groups for healthy, growing cockroach populations. Same for cardboard boxes. It’s glue that holds the boxes together and it’s glue that provides the cockroaches with a food source.

Are you starting to get the picture yet? If you remove any of these aforementioned parts such as food, water or shelter, our little friend, the cockroach, cannot survive. However, I am not talking about just fixing on little area in a room. Cockroaches are very capable travelers and they will migrate from one room to another, within a certain range, in order to maintain their happy lives within our homes. So, if you have had it with finding cockroaches in your abode, it’s time to get cracking.

Remove clutter

Pull out the refrigerator and stove and clean all sides including the underside. Scrub everything with a scrubbing detergent to remove all accumulated grease. Don’t forget to clean the rubber door gasket on the refrigerator. Inside and out! Vacuum the dust bunnies off the refrigerator evaporator coil. Pull open stove drawers and clean the inside, too.

How about those cabinets where the kids have been spilling their cereal for years? Pull the shelves out to clean the walls of the cabinets and all sides of the shelves. Look for cockroach droppings and clean those, too. Their fecal material looks like grains of pepper stuck to the inside corners of cabinets and cabinet hinges.

Now, turn off the TV and let’s get busy!

Ask Rick A Question


03 Jul 2012, 11:57
I understand mostly how to keep a cockroach problem under control. We do our dishes as they dirty, don't leave food out or water pools anywhere. My apartment is as clean as it can be with a toddler, (we clean, it gets messy an hour later, its small) but its not unsanitary, and its not sticky. I don't allow that. I sweep and mop every day and spray counters, fridge etc. I've actually only seen 2 roaches wander into my apartment in the last 3 years, but I KNOW my neighbor has them. His apartment smells, I know because its summer and the windows are open, and there is a hole in our cabinet under the sink that connects the two apartments. I suspect this is how they get in. It is also the ONLY place to put our garbage. (Yes, I'm totally being serious- I mean our apartment is TINY.) I keep the garbage covered, clean all spills and lysol the area underneath often. Now, I want to put bait down just to keep the roaches away from our place but I have a few questions first..
1) Will the bait attract otherwise uninterested roaches to our side? (If I've only ever seen two bugs, should I just keep doing as I do and not worry?)
2) Are the baits safe to use around toddlers and cats? (I would PROBABLY just use them in the cabinet anyway, but I would consider by the fridge and stove, but they aren't covered, so if its not safe, I wouldn't put any there.)
3)Is there a way to seal around the pipe that will not attract them. (I thought of duct tape, but I think the glue in the tape would attract more.) I really appreciate any assistance!
03 Jul 2012, 12:00
Just noticed I said I "spray" my counters and fridge every day. Just to clarify, I do not use pesticides in my home. (Not to say I wouldn't, but its not necessary and I have a 2 year old and a cat, so it wouldn't be my first option.) I meant I spray with cleaners, VIM, Clorox, Lysol, etc
Ask the Exterminator
03 Jul 2012, 14:08
You can see around pipes using a product called Xcluder. It is similar to steel wool, but it won’t rust like steel wool. For the roach baits, here’s the scoop. Roach baits placed in a location without a lot of air circulation like under a sink, will only attract roaches from a few feet away. If roaches are inside a wall where you have placed the bait, it is possible for them to find and feed on the bait.

The baits I recommend are Maxforce FC Select roach bait gel, or Maxforce FC roach bait stations. Neither are harmful to mammals in the quantities you intend to apply. It would take pounds of the stuff to affect humans and/or pets.

All of these products are available at
sucetta baggett
12 Jul 2012, 01:47
I just want to say GOD bless the exterminator for the wonderful tool he has created on this web site you really do help people with there problems and you should be proud of yourself thank you.

one question for you, i moved to my home to years ago now ( which had been vacant for 7 years ) and never saw any roaches till last week then all the sudden i saw one in the bathroom then i saw one the day after in the kitchen then yesterday i saw one in the livingroom, well about twenty minutes ago one small roach crawled out from under the coach right by my feet and crawled to the middle of the room. do you think i have a infestation starting or do i have a small problem , i have squashed each one i found every time
Ask the Exterminator
15 Jul 2012, 08:23
I would certainly do a careful inspection of the couch. If you eat when sitting on the couch you might want to thoroughly vacuum cracks and crevices to remove possible food sources. Roaches are usually found near moisture sources such as under kitchen sinks. Finding them in the living room indicates a problem.
Crystal G
16 Jul 2012, 12:00
The other day while mopping, I swept out a large brown bug. I did some looking on the internet and it didn't appear to be a cockroach as it had more of a humped shaped body as opposed to a flat body. This morning I woke up to a very small (shorter than the length of a penny) bug on it's back slightly mangled from my cat. It was still moving some and laying in front of my fridge, as well as one just inside my back door (my fridge is less than 5 feet from my back door). I've done a fairly good inspection looking for coffee ground like spots in my cupboards and under my stove/fridge. My house is very clean, I do have a dog, two cats and two kids. So there is inevitable mess but I always do a thorough clean before bed to make sure everything is picked up, vacuumed and swept/mopped. The only thing I can not do is pull out my fridge or stove and clean out underneath them. I need to wait until my husband gets home from deployment as I am very pregnant with a few complications, so my dr really doesn't want me moving anything. I will add I live in an old house, and my windows do NOT fit in their frames well, I have numerous gabs all over the place around my windows and doors that earwigs, and spiders use frequently. Also, the night this started I had accidentally left the back door wide open all night... Do I have a possible roach infestation, or perhaps just a few coming in from outside since the temperatures have been dropping a lot at night?
27 Jul 2012, 11:42
I am moving from an apartment that has roaches to a roach free home. And I DO NOT want to take them with me when I move. I have been using boric acid and baits which reduced the number of roaches that I've seen, but I still see a few occasionally. Any tips on how to pack so that I don't take them with me when I go?
Ask the Exterminator
27 Jul 2012, 12:03
Use only fresh boxes. Don't get your boxes from a grocery store, etc. Check your belongings as you are packing. Make yourself familiar with what cockroach egg cases look like so you can identify them if you find them. Google "German cockroach egg case" and click on images.
19 Sep 2012, 22:50
I live in a 6 dwelling apartment and recently discovered that we have roaches. The landlord was notified and is now accusing me of being the problem for the roaches. He says in his 12 years of living in the unit, this is the most amount of roaches that he has had. He lives beneath me. Not to mention, we have a leak in the roof and open walls beneath the bathroom and kitchen sink as well as the bathtub! How can he accuse me when there are 5 other families living in this unit and one family recently moved out?
10 Oct 2012, 18:39
We live in a townhouse that shares a row with 7 other houses. The house next door to us is a rental and goes for months on end with being vacant. We have never had a problem before but after the last tenants left I have seen a total of 2 roaches in my Kitchen only. I have 2 small jack russell terriers and am worried that with putting out baits that they will eventually find question is do you advise that it is wise as of now to get an exterminator involved before the problem gets worse? I am also worried that when the landlords go in to eventually clean the space that they may also bomb driving the roaches onto my property. Anything you can offer?
15 Oct 2012, 12:50
Very important question: I've noticed that roaches may be able to enter my apartment from the hallway of my building (seen a few dead in the past few months in the hallway, and then one MONSTER in my apartment last week- the only bug I've seen since I moved in four months ago). I'm convinced they can come in from the hall via other people's apartments, and I do have a pretty significant gap on the side of my front door, and underneath. So, I decided to cut up old rags, and with duct tape, secure them along the door and underneath to ensure that there is not longer a gap. I do have some great bait traps set up around my apartment that I placed out when I first moved in. Now... am I totally screwing myself over my using duct tape on the door? Are they just going to come in even moreso with the glue of the tape? Or, if I manage to completely seal up the gap, is duct tape ok? Any other ideas for sealing the doorway with non-roach-attracting solutions? Thank you!
17 Oct 2012, 07:17
We always had pest control up until a little over a year when my grandmother developed alzheimers. For a while now I have been seeing roaches. They are in the bathroom, kitchen, rooms, living room. Do you believe this to be an infesatation? I cannot sleep comfortably without having roaches crawl on me while I'm sleeping. They are everywhere, I even see baby ones in the fridge. Please help. What do I do, or will the house be condemned? I cannot deal with them anylonger, & I know having 3 kids, ages, 7, 3, & e makes it no better. What can I get to help our roach problem?
Ask the Exterminator
17 Oct 2012, 09:54
People! Read the bright red notice above this box. This box is for your comments. It is not where you ask your questions. Click on the yellow box at the top of the page to ask your questions.
29 Oct 2012, 20:55
Thank you for your advice. Today I think I saw a...ugh...roach out of the corner of my eye speed into the cabinet under the sink. I was going to bomb the heck out of this place. Now I will just SUPER clean, throw away my packing boxes and get some bait.
Cat D
03 Jan 2013, 19:34
I went out of town for the holidays and came home to a obvious cockroach infestation. I usually keep the house pretty clean, but the garage was full of cardboard boxes (and has a door which goes directly to my kitchen.) Also I discovered a lot of open food in my daughter's room- which is also where we've sen most of the roaches. Both of these problems were resolved, as well as a very deep cleaning of the kitchen. I was going to bomb- but thanks to your article I will try bait instead.
03 Jan 2013, 23:29
hi I recently see a baby roche in my house I have a dirty neighbor but he's benn gonne for a couple of weeks and the weather gets very cold in the single digits and I know that hes no runing the heat at his house so is very cold inside it is possible the roche came from his house????
09 Jan 2013, 05:09
we recently bought a mini fridge unknowing that the previous owners had roaches. my big question is should i throw away the fridge also since that is where they came from or just try roach baits etc.
11 Mar 2013, 15:12
Hello! Recently my fiance and I moved into a home that had been vacant for about 4-6 months before we moved in. The owner of the home told us they would get the occasional waterbug (American cockroach) which is pretty normal for the area we live in - I'm completely petrified of these bugs but pretty much everyone in the area will get one or two a year in the house. A few days after moving in we had a big rain storm and noticed 2 roaches. One in the living room and one on the window seal in one of the bedrooms. We had our home professionally sprayed the next day and were assured we just had some water bugs come in to the house because of the rain and that if we saw anything else they would be dead. We had our windows sprayed on the inside and outside of the house as well as "dust" thrown underneath the house. For 2 weeks we didn't see anything. This past Saturday we had one in our dining room. We have never eaten in there, in fact we rarely are in that room at all so I don't know why it was in there. This morning while feeding my 1 year old we had one run across our kitchen counter, climb up our paper towel holder, jump off the end and continue on his way across our counter. I am terrified of these bugs. My home is clean, laundry is never piled up, kitchen floors are swiffered every day, my counters and stove are wiped clean with clorox bleach every day - I don't know where these suckers are coming from and I don't know why. We don't leave food out and the dishes are washed as we use them. We've only been in this house for 3 weeks and I'm ready to move out!! Please help!
22 Mar 2013, 21:51
Maybe you can help me? Ive read the article and the comments and I hope not to be a bother. My family and I moved into a duplex second floor in january, the first day we moved in the downstairs woman clogged something and our basement was full of seweage, yuck. the landlord told us it was water! the plumber told us sewage, anyway... since last month we have been finding big cockroaches randomly thru out the house. big as in legnth of palm big, and teeny tiny babies that we find on the walls, usualy kitchen, living room and hallway.. now i wouldnt call this a big infestation because it was 4 babies that we could SEE and 20-30 biggies... but that has been since last month.. 2 or 3 a night or more.... dead ones in the basement.. the downstairs neighbor is a dirt ball. she has trash everywhere. ok. we sprayed a few times, put boric acid in every crack and surbase (this is what the property manager told us to do) .. oh we have a three year old... he told us he would be fine... well our poor three year old is very sick now, sick enough where we had to leave the house, its been 2 weeks since we been there, poor baby has trouble breathing, coughing, fever, and has been given a nebulizer and inhaler.. he has asthma... the bug sprays made it worse. we had an exterminator come out per the landlord and place bait traps.... traps everywhere. clean. roaches still crawing! wtf! help?, can i sue the property manager for my sons sickness?
26 Jun 2013, 04:00
I've lived in my duplex for 2 years now and I've never had a problem until last summer. I noticed these bugs in my kitchen and decided to Google them... yeah, they were roaches. I was completely disgusted. I am a clean freak so I didn't understand why they were coming into our home. Well, soon after in the middle of the night while I was smoking outside, I heard a commotion on the other side of my fence which is shared with my neighbor. I took a peek and saw raccoons rummaging through stacks of garbage, junk and filth all along the other side of our fence. I never knew their yard was like that and we always left our kitchen door wide open during the summer. I am assuming they crawled right into our home since the fence is only a few feet away from our door. We went into overhaul and did some research. We bombed the whole house, resealed the windows and doors, poured and left Boric Acid in lighting fixtures, outlets, under sinks,etc., and I sprayed EcoSmart around doors, windows, outter walkways, anything that looked like an entry way for the little suckers, on the ground outside and even on the fence we share with our neighbor. One year later, I have not seen one since... until today! From what I've read, they can't live in extremely cold weather. It has snowed and rained since and I'm sure the repellent outside has washed away by now. I even saw some roaches crawling from their side of the fence onto ours, even a mouse! Since I saw one in our home again today, I will have to bomb the whole house again. I am so disgusted and want to move because I don't want to deal with this every summer. What else can I do??? PLEASE HELP!!!
Ask the Exterminator
26 Jun 2013, 08:08
If you are asking for help from me, the first thing you can do is read the instructions. You've posted in the comments box.
28 Jun 2013, 05:18
roaches everywhere how can I sleep
02 Aug 2013, 19:34
This is really weird, I have recently killed tons of roaches from my house, doing all the things that are needed, we didn't have a horrible infestation, but it was enough, still working on your idea we don't have to live with them, anyway, no roaches in sight, but then they seem to find me and crawl on ME! I don't know I the only thing safe..or are they sending me a message..hahaha. Its just too weird!!
Ask the Exterminator
03 Aug 2013, 11:30
Maybe you're so sweet the roaches just can't resist. Seriously, I don't have any idea why they are being drawn to you. If you have a habit of eating in bed, that maybe your answer.
09 Oct 2013, 23:44
I have scrubbed my home top to bottom, fogged, put out the exact bait stations and gel you recommended, dehumidified, sprayed my yard and the perimeter of my home, when it rained, I poured down poison granules, etc, etc, etc. The bugs are getting worse and not better. When I got REALLY desperate, I got the canned spray and started blasting every bug I saw! All any of this has accomplished is to make the roaches flock to the places where the bait, gel, and sprays are. They are not dying but they are feasting on the poisons! I have rotated poisons in an attempt to stop them from getting immune to any one thing, but none of it is killing them to begin with, so that seems to be a moot point. Things I have not tried include (and are limited to) diatomaceous earth, carbamate, and fire. What do I do??
Ask the Exterminator
10 Oct 2013, 10:51
You cannot mix baits with fogs or sprays. The aerosols and liquids are repellents, while the baits are attractants. One cancels the other. Once the gel baits have been contaminated with sprays they are ruined.
02 Nov 2013, 19:57
Sorry but nothing about scrubbing your home down to the cracks and crevices inside and underneath your refrigerator is easy. Especially when you have a limited amount of time to take care of the problem. I am moving out now (for unrelated reasons) and I need a solution that truly is easy. Doesn't exist and nothing is guaranteed to kill the roaches from everything I've read. I don't want to take them with me. So the only solution is since I was getting rid of most of my stuff anyway is to get rid of EVERYTHING, right? I am most concerned about losing a childhood blanket and a computer I have invested thousands of dollars in to and scrapbooks. I've read they hide under food can labels, and paper bags, and in electronics. If they hide there nothing is safe right? I mean they drop their ootheca, can't it be dropped anywhere including clothing? If not can't the eggs themselves or new hatchlings hide even better on these valuable items?
10 Nov 2013, 12:58
Ive recently had 2 neighbors move out of their houses and since then ive been seeing a few roaches here and there. I strongly believe thats where their coming from. My question is if i do use foggers should i mop floors after letting them off. Because i have a 21 mth. Old toddler that crawls on floors still sometimes. Is it going to dry and not be harmfull for him. If i mop it up so soon after bombing then how does it work for 3 mths. Like the box says???? Thank you much....
15 Dec 2013, 00:10
I am buying a mobile home and found out it has water bugs in it, can I get rid of them before we move in?
Ask the Exterminator
16 Dec 2013, 16:39
Eliminate the moisture source and you'll be rid of the Oriental roaches (waterbugs). I also recommend the use of Advion Arena Cockroach stations. These are large enough to accommodate big roaches like the Orientals. These stations are for sale on my website.
Kathleen McCormick
12 Jan 2014, 18:26
Hi there I have been living in a rental house for 2 years before I moved in I noticed cockroaches but I was promised that they would be gone by the time I actually moved in I am now 8 months pregnant and have left the house and moved in with a relative I still rent the house hoping that they will do something soon as I have 2 young children and 1 on the way I was very sick for the first 6 months of pregnancy no one really new what was wrong with me but since being at my relatives I have not been sick and my children's asthma has calmed down significantly there asthma was severe before we left the house the cockroaches have ruined all my appliances and furniture and clothes despite me telling the landlord this all along now I'm worried if they do exterminate will the chemicals harm my new baby the cockroaches are all through my walls as well
21 Jan 2014, 20:12
What do I do after my apartment has been sprayed .do I wipe counters or cabnets
27 Jan 2014, 20:07
Hi, just wondering what I need to do after my apartment has been treated/sprayed for roaches. I have a small dog and a 1 1/2 year old. Thanks
11 Feb 2014, 01:37
I am in Los Angeles, now winter time, my tenant is moving out of my condo and she did complain during summer months that there are a lot of roaches even though she already paid for professional pest control, she said the roaches must be coming back from the next door neighbors. What can I do now quick when the condo is vacant say for 3 to 4 weeks, so that new tenant can move in? One company that I called said if they dont see the roaches now, I should wait till summer to do treatment, but I dont want to lose another tenant. I almost think of remodeling the kitchen, but that is very expensive, and after researching a lot of web sites, I think I can DIY diligently 2 times a week for 4 weeks, but if roaches are dormant, am I wasting time and efforts? Please kindly advise, I am dreaming of roaches now :(
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