Getting rid of roaches is tough but often necessary. Usually if one roach is visible, many more exist. Roaches are nocturnal and like to move around the edges of things rather than out in open spaces. They can enter a house through cracks, crevices, drains and vents. When trying to get rid of roaches, it is helpful to know where they are coming from.
Roach killing sprays, gels and traps can be purchased for home use or a professional exterminator can be called to apply similar techniques. Most commercial insecticides kill roaches on contact and can be dangerous to humans and pets. They are best used as barriers to keep insects from entering where they are not wanted. Commercial traps often utilize some sort of adhesive housed in a childproof container to contain the insect.
Homemade roach traps can be fashioned from a Mason jar. Coat the inside rim of a jar with a generous layer of petroleum jelly and put a small amount of food in as bait. Set the jar on its side in a corner or area where roaches might be entering. As the insects are attracted by the food and crawl into the jar, the petroleum jelly will prevent them from getting out.
A simple, inexpensive, non-toxic way to get rid of roaches is to spray them with a soap and water solution. Roaches breathe through the skin on their heads and belly. Spraying these parts with a soapy solution creates a thin film over these breathing pores blocking their ability to take in oxygen and causing them to suffocate. Immediate disposal of the bodies is recommended with this method as they can sometimes revive themselves after a time.
A dusting powder can be made from equal parts sugar and baking soda. The sugar will invite the roach to feed on the powder. The baking soda’s rising properties will produce excessive gas in the roaches’ stomach, killing the insect.
Crushing roaches with a shoe is not a good way to kill them. The eggs of the female roach will hatch outside of her body, so stepping on one can result in those eggs becoming scattered and attached to the bottom of a shoe. They can then be tracked to other areas where they will hatch and produce more roaches. The best method for disposing of a dead roach is to flush it down the toilet and then thoroughly clean the area where it was found. Garbage cans present an ideal environment for the hatching of roach eggs.
An alternative approach to maintaining an environment free of roaches is keeping a live gecko. Geckos hunt and eat roaches as well as other insects so encouraging the presence of geckos in a yard, or keeping one as a pet, can create a hostile roach environment. This can help solve an existing roach problem as well as prevent future ones.