Consider your options in the extended war to exterminate cockroaches
If you’ve got a roach infestation in your home, your first instinct will be to figure out the best way to get rid of them. Stomping and rolled-up newspapers may make a satisfying squish, but they’re hardly a prescription to win the cockroach land war.
The best way to stop cockroaches is to keep them from ever getting in, but if that fails, the best thing to kill cockroaches varies by type of cockroach, where you live and how they hide.
Roach killing sprays
If you have one or two or a handful of cockroaches to kill, a spray can be an effective means of getting rid of them. (Make sure you thoroughly clean up the area you’ve sprayed afterward.) However, a spray is not an effective cockroach killer over the long term for a number of reasons. First off, you have to see the cockroach in order to get a direct spray shot at it, and those pests can move FAST, not to mention hide exceptionally well. Secondly, if there’s one cockroach, you can count on a whole lot more hiding elsewhere. Scattershot extermination with spray will take out some, but not the entire colony.
Cockroach gel bait and stations
Gel bait and bait stations are more effective ways of getting rid of cockroaches in your home. Instead of killing them on the spot, the poison stays inside their bodies and slowly kills them later on. (Even hungry cockroaches will stay away from a food source that clearly has several dead roaches surrounding it.) Frequently, they’ll take the poison back with them to the rest of the cockroach family and feed it to them. Plus, their bodies remain toxic, so if cockroaches cannibalize a dead roach, they consume the poison themselves.
Gel baits are often sold under brand names such as Advion, Invict, and Combat roach killers.
Before you consider over-the-counter means to exterminate roaches, you can also consider natural ways to get rid of cockroaches.
Insect-killing foggers, also known as bug bombs, are frequently marketed for different insects — termites, ants, fleas, and cockroaches all call for different extermination methods. Cockroach killing foggers tend to settle their contents on all the surfaces in the area in which they’re deployed. While a roach bug bomb can be effective in killing some of the roaches in a given area, it’s far from thorough. Roaches are good at scurrying away into hidey-holes where they might be protected from the fogger, which might not penetrate fully into all the nooks and crannies.
How to get rid of cockroaches for good
For all these reasons, while over-the-counter DIY cockroach killing methods can work with varying degrees of effectiveness, your best bet to permanently evict roaches is to hire a professional pest control expert who specializes in cockroach extermination. Not only will they be able to prescribe the most effective methods of getting rid of these hardy pests, they can help you address the circumstances that allowed the roaches to make it into your home in the first place, and fortify your defenses against future cockroach intrusion. The cost of cockroach extermination could total a few hundred dollars, but it could be money well spent.
By Paul F. P. Pogue/Angie’s List