The battle against a cockroach infestation can be effectively waged using a variety of tools.
Diatomaceous earth, a powdery substance made from fossilized algae, is particularly effective. When sprinkled in areas frequented by cockroaches, it works by absorbing the oils and fats from the exoskeleton of the insects, leading to dehydration and death. This method is non-toxic to humans and pets, making it an environmentally friendly option.
Baking soda, another household item, can be used in combination with a bait like sugar. The sugar attracts the cockroaches, while the baking soda reacts with the acid in their stomachs, causing internal disturbances leading to death. This method is safe and easy to use, although it may take some time to see significant results.
Sticky traps and glue traps are useful for monitoring and reducing the population of cockroaches. These traps are coated with an adhesive that captures cockroaches when they walk over them. Placed in strategic locations, they can help identify high-activity areas and reduce the number of roaches. However, while effective for trapping, these methods do not address the root cause of the infestation.
Boric acid has always been an effective cockroach deterrent as long as you use it properly. Its toxicity is low for humans, but deadly to cockroaches. When spreading the boric acid, go light. In fact, the acid should barely be visible to you. A very light line under the stove and refrigerator, behind the trashcan and nears cracks and crevices near doorways will help keep roaches at bay.
Call a Professional Pest Control Company
For a more comprehensive solution, engaging pest control professionals is often the best course of action. These experts have access to a variety of tools and techniques, including more potent insecticides and bait systems, which are not readily available to the general public.
Pest control can also identify and treat hidden breeding sites, providing a long-term solution to the infestation. The combination of professional expertise and advanced treatment methods makes this option particularly effective for severe or persistent cockroach problems.
This article was updated in conjunction with AI technology, then fact-checked and edited by a HowStuffWorks editor.