Control of Cockroaches
- Use sanitation, baits, and insecticide
Summary: The most important steps
are elimination of
water sources and sanitation.
Very low toxicity borate powder insecticide should
be deployed behind appliances. Next, special baits
should be used for long-term control and so called
"crack & crevice" insecticides can be added to
baiting in commercial buildings like restaurants.
Jack DeAngelis, PhD
OSU Ext. Entomologist (ret.)
single-family homes cockroach control comes down to
good sanitation combined with baits
and/or insecticides. Borate powder is a low
toxicity insecticide and there are several new gel,
paste, and dry flowable baits (see below). In
commercial buildings, like apartments and
restaurants, a slightly more aggressive approach is
often used. The two different approaches are
control in single-family homes
in a single-family home can be a do it yourself
project. Roach control in single-family homes should
be relatively simple because you can control what
happens in every room. If you eliminate sources of
food and water in every part of the house you
can achieve control with easy-to-use baits and dust
insecticides. Don't use aerosol sprays as these
will just cause roaches to scatter and make baits
roach (adult); notice long antennae
and dark stripes behind the head
sources of food and water. Be ruthless -- clean
any exposed sources of cooking grease, sugars and
other foodstuff. Also repair leaky pipes and other
sources of water. Cleaning and water source
elimination is the most important part of roach
apply a borate powder insecticide in places
where roaches travel. Cockroaches, and many other
pests, follow walls, only rarely venturing out into
the room. Place a thin layer of powder behind
appliances and cabinets, and under sinks, and so forth
and replace this powder when it is disturbed.
Inexpensive borate powders can be found at home and garden stores.
cockroach baits can be used in these same
areas. Some of the time you can skip the use of baits
in single-family dwellings if you have done a good job
of sanitation and water source control. If, however,
you need some extra help try one of the new baits,
they are expensive but very effective (see Professional Cockroach
control in commercial buildings
control in commercial buildings*** is
generally more difficult because you may not be able
to control what happens in every part of the
building. If there may be areas of the building that
are not cleaned and treated, for whatever reason,
and these can serve as continual sources of
cockroaches that re-infest the building.
it may be necessary to treat areas that are
accessible with residual insecticides and then
aggressively use professional
baits to disrupt the populations in the
parts of the building that you don't have access to.
It is possible that you won't be able to achieve
complete elimination of the cockroach population so
you may have to be content with suppression only.
Use the check list below to guide your control
buildings include warehouses, apartments,
restaurants, school dormitories, office
buildings, hospitals, food processing plants,
manufacturing facilities, ships, boats, trains,
and so forth.
Eliminate sources of food and water as much as
possible. This is always the first thing you should
do. If food and water sources are not reduced no
amount of insecticide will achieve control.
Apply borate powder insecticide behind
appliances, under cabinets, along baseboards, and so
forth. Borate is a very effective and low toxicity
apply a residual insecticide, such as
deltamethrin, as a crack & crevice
Use professional baits and replace baits as
needed to maintain control (see Professional
Control Sources: Borate powder, "crack &
crevice" insecticides, and professional baits are
available here (DoMyOwn.com, our affiliate).
most regions you don't need to control cockroaches
outdoors except perhaps in sewers and similar
underground utility lines. Cockroaches in general
are adapted to warm, tropical climates and
don't do well outdoors where it is cold. However, if
you live in a warm climate such as the southern US,
you may need to treat outdoors around the foundation
of the structure to prevent roaches from entering
the building or home. Both residual insecticides and
water resistant poison baits are available
for this application (see Professional
What are Cockroaches?
Using Boric Acid (Borate)
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