Seven Ways to Exterminate Cockroaches

dead cockroaches

Cockroaches are tough to kill. They have developed resistance to commercial insecticides, developing skills such as crawling on the walls of your houses and apartments. Continue using commercial insecticides and you’re just helping cockroaches toughen up their stock. As a human being, you need to be craftier than cockroaches and use an assortment of ways to exterminate them. The following is a list of roach extermination techniques using simple tools.

1. The Petroleum Jelly Trap: This method is more practical if you only come across a cockroach once or twice a week, and if you’re dealing with a small colony somewhere around your house. Create your own trap by applying petroleum jelly on the inner walls of a container with steep sides.

petroleum jelly

Next, make a paper ramp that leads into the container so the cockroach can climb into it. Place a bait inside the container, preferably something that has a strong sweet odor like sugar or apple cider. When the roach smells the sweet odor, it will quickly climb up the ramp and fall into the container. Since the petroleum jelly is sticky, the roach will get trapped. Finally, take the container and flush the roach down the toilet.

2. Boric Acid Poison: Cockroaches have ruined many otherwise peaceful and beautiful nights so it’s understandable that many people hate them real bad. Try punishing them with boric acid poison. Boric acid works by abrading the roach’s shell or cuticle with its harsh particles. With its shell damaged, the roach will soon die of dehydration. They may even die a slow, painful death if you live in a highly humid environment since it takes longer for the roach to lose its moisture. Mix the boric acid with sugar, flour, and water to make it into a paste so it will be more tempting to roaches.

house gecko

3. Let Loose Some House Geckos: Think of cockroaches as enemy soldiers trying to invade your home. House geckos are the best foot soldiers to counter their attack. These lizards thrive in warm, humid areas where they crawl around in search of insects to eat. No roach is too big for a house gecko. If it can’t swallow the whole thing, it will settle for its head, and that roach is dead for sure (or at least, dying, because roaches are known to survive for a while without heads). Get five or six of these and let them loose inside your house, and your nights will soon be peaceful because these guards are nocturnal. The only catch is, you might get a house gecko infestation next.

4. Burn them with a Heat Gun: If you see cockroaches everyday in different parts of your house, you need to go after their colonies. Roaches usually live underneath cabinets, cracks in the walls, and anywhere dark and moist. Get a heat gun, the one used for stripping paint, angle its nozzle toward suspected colonies, and blast away. If you hit the right spot, roaches will scramble or die out instantly since the extreme heat will dehydrate and suffocate them.

5. Use a Vacuum Cleaner: Smashing or stepping on cockroaches can be messy and gross. It’s better to use a cordless vacuum cleaner when you see one crawling on your countertop. Simply direct the nozzle on the creepy crawler and it will instantly suck it in. It won’t even have time to spread its wings and fly. You can also try putting boric acid inside the vacuum cleaner so that the roaches won’t be able to get out once they get in.

a vacuum cleaner

6. Chuck them out with Chinese Chalk: Chinese chalk is made of Diatomaceous Earth, a naturally occurring chalk-like sedimentary rock. It’s usually available in hardware stores and Chinatown. Chinese chalk acts like boric acid as it abrades the roach’s shell. Just draw lines across shelves, cabinets and walls using the chalk. When cockroaches cross these lines, the particles of the chalk will cut them like broken glass, and they’ll soon die of dehydration.

7. Destroy Colonies with Gas: Finally, huge problems call for drastic measures. Think of this as your weapon of mass destruction against cockroaches. First, you need to find the roaches’ colonies. If you’re not sure where they are staying, prowl your premises very late at night, like 1:00 or 2:00 AM. Roaches are nocturnal so you’ll be able to trace where they live if you see one wandering at night. Once you know the location of their colony, go to the gas station and fill up a can of gas. Pour the gas on their colony and watch them run for their lives. They’ll never get far though, because the gas will eventually poison them. Seeing roaches swarm is absolutely disgusting, so be prepared. You may be able to destroy an entire colony of roaches through this method.

Cockroaches can be persistent, so you need to regularly apply these techniques to get rid of them completely. Most importantly, don’t surrender to them. They may be one of the toughest creatures on earth, but you’re the smartest.

32 Comments so far

  1. Stu on July 27th, 2008

    Easy solution, discovered accidentally after a party.

    Leave a bucket of icecream, only half full, under some stairs. when the icecream melts, it creates an irressistable but sticky dorwning pool. After tow days, throw it out, but dont look. Every cockroach in the entire neighborhood will be in there, piled on top of each other in a sticky mess. You wont see any more cokroaches for months.

  2. John Cook on August 18th, 2008

    Tht ice cream in a bucket trick only CAPTURES cockroaches. It does not exterminate them. The infants and the eggs must be eliminated to stop the pests. Boric acid works well as it causes the infants to die and the cockroach eggs to be eaten by adults.

    Mix with sugar and or flour and place in corners and behind appliances where roaches are seen. While it does not harm their exoskeleton as stated, it does cause dehydration when eaten and will actually cause the cockroach to eventually burst. They love it and it is effective as a prevention measure as well as an extermination method as it acts on the adults who eat it themselves, and on the juveniles who eat the adults excrement and are poisoned in that manner.

  3. Dawn on August 24th, 2008

    I was reading this and loving it especially the idea of Chinese chalk. I googled it and found that Chinese chalk is, apparently, dangerous: http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/health/illegalproducts/chalk.htm

  4. Mitchell Asquith on September 22nd, 2008

    I have an even better method…… How about you all show an ounce of compassion and rather than torture them, find ways to deter them from your house. A good first step is to make the house unappealing to them, keep it clean!

  5. Julie on September 25th, 2008

    you have obviously never had to deal with them… when you move into a new apartment and at midnight you find 4 crawling around in your cutlery drawer your little compassion theory will sound as stupid to you as it does to me. They continue to live off absolutely anything. My roomate and I are super clean, we\’ve been cleaning dishes as soon as we\’re done, making sure everything is dry, even wiping out the bathtub after we shower. So far the Chinese Chalk is working the best but we still need to get the exterminator in for a second time because these pests simply will not die.

  6. anjo on January 16th, 2009

    Can a garlic kill a cockroach?

  7. mark on February 1st, 2009

    Geckos should be self-limiting. Once they eat all the insects, any excess geckos will either pack up and move or die off. These may be illegal to turn loose in areas with laws concerning non-native species.

  8. Leanne Ponciroli on February 14th, 2009

    Obviously one of the people who left comments has never had roaches. You don’t get them because your house is dirty…. what an idiot, if keeping your house clean got rid of them no one would be looking for a method to kill them duh!

  9. cockroachhaven on March 31st, 2009

    live in a rented unit above a coffee shop in arcade of shops, have many cockroaches a can a day which don’t last long, u get rid of them and then at night find them in your bed, in the kettle, on the lounge, etc, how do you get rid of them or keep them under control, hate to think of the restaurants now,

  10. Melissa on April 8th, 2009

    I have had it with these pescky little buggers. I will definitely try the boric acid technique as I need to exterminate the whole lot of them. Forget about feeling sorry for them; they are simply disgusting and cannot be thought of as pets.

  11. Ben on April 22nd, 2009

    “won’t even have time to spread its wings and fly”

    WTF cockroaches can FLY???? Are you for real? Jesus!!!!

    I think Australian Cockroaches don’t do that…. phew!

  12. Dallasite on June 27th, 2009

    Ben, your comment about being surprised that cockroaches can fly cracks me up! haha Unfortunately for us here in Texas, USA, the DO fly! Agh!!!!!!!!!! And yeah, it’s REAL scary!

    Fortunately, we also had house geckos migrate to my neighborhood, which is a clean, upper-middle class neighborhood, but nonetheless, cockroaches could be seen on the streets at night and would get inside as well. After the geckos moved in, I NEVER see them anymore!!!! Solved the problem for the entire neighborhood, as far as I know! Yea!!!!

    One thing is for sure…. wherever I go, I will always take gecko lizards with me!

  13. I. Adler on July 7th, 2009

    “Can Garlic kill a cockeoach?”

    Someone asked this question and the answer is yes! But you need both good aim and hand-eye coordination. :)

  14. celine on August 6th, 2009

    i have some nasty ass cockroaches and they are the most nasty pests i have evr come across. why the hell did god create such a pointless insect? hmm maybe a punishment in some way ha ha ha.
    all i know is the best way to kill these critters is to call out the bug exterminator they will erase those fuck**s in no time sure enough.
    the thought of it makes me wanna scream iots so nasty. oops all ready did that!
    whoever was asking about garlic killing them what nonesense it will only keep the blood sucking vampire away or just give you bad breathe.
    to all the nasty people who d

  15. texas on August 12th, 2009

    What do you do when the cockroaches are bigger than the geckos in your house? I am not kidding the geckos here are the tiniest things I have ever seen and not even as big as the roaches. Will they still eat the roaches? We just sprayed with something called Demon WP and within one hour began seeing roaches and geckos running for their lives. Prior to that we had only seen a few. WTF?

  16. Florida on August 16th, 2009

    Oh, and forget about pepper spray…They don’t have mucous membranes, so it doesn’t faze them a bit. I had an unfortunate incident in an apartment laundry room. My only protection was pepper spray. A HUGE roach came flying at me, I zapped it with the pepper spray, which knocked it backwards in the air, but didn’t faze it. I batted it out of the air with a towel, and it retreated under a machine. Yuck! I hate them!

  17. Adam on August 18th, 2009

    Pouring gasoline on anything is a terrible idea, first of all any errant spark will set it on fire, and gasoline contains many very toxic and carcinogenic compounds.

  18. joanne kase on August 19th, 2009

    Hey everybody. I have found a product called gentrol. It releases a chemical that alters the dna of the roaches and prevents them from reproducing.It takes a while to work,but I have completely eliminated the roaches from one apartment building and am now trying it in my other two. I also spread boric acid powder around the perimiter of every room and on top of the ceiling tiles.

  19. Stacy on August 21st, 2009

    I live in texas too. Flying roaches are more hostile. one even tried to attack me! Its such a coincidence that while reading this that i find one on the wall -.-

  20. amber on August 22nd, 2009

    where is the most comman place to find a colony in a home?

  21. Bob on August 23rd, 2009

    You can buy the same stuff the exterminators use at home Depot or Lowes , but you have to use it properly.
    First you use the hot shot spray all corners under sinks the edges of kitchen cabinets top and botton and yes even outlet covers .
    Then after that you use the bombs one top a room keep all closet and kitchen cabinets open and please keep your pets outside .
    It says to leave for at least 2 hours but the longer you leave it sealed the better it works air out and every time you see a roach spray the area .
    Repeat every month for at least 4 months and they will be gone but if you live in a tenament unless you treat the whole building you will never be rid of them .


  22. Tiffany on August 29th, 2009

    I’m going with the illegal stuff…chinese chalk, I ordered it online from the Phillippines. I’ll let you all know if it works or not, going to chalk later today. Wish me luck!

  23. laseyboy on September 4th, 2009

    Diatomaceous Earth is the what remains of diatoms after they die. Diatoms are the little microscopic animals that live in water. The ‘earth’ is made up of the exterior shells of the diatoms. The shells are sharp little pieces like broken glass. These little pieces pierce the exoskeleton of the roaches and allow the internal fluids to leak out and/or evaporate. However, these little pieces will do the same thing to your lungs should you inhale it. Or get it on your skin, in your eyes, ect. Be very careful when using this material.

  24. juanito on September 12th, 2009

    my case must be the worst ever. lately ive been cleaning and mopping with clorox, but makes no difference. A minute ago, after reading ur hopefully non-bull .. comments, i filled a gallon open containner with strawberry icecream (one third full). SHOULD I ADD BORIC ACID INTO IT?????????????

  25. fm on September 20th, 2009

    I agree, the gasoline advice may be the most dangerous ever because as a firefighter I know how it burns and how dangerous those fumes are. The big roaches do fly, and they sound like birds from hell when they do! I just moved to a new home and they are beginning to come in from the outside, I will try the boric acid and see how it works before doing the ice cream trick, it may become a bug party!

  26. randy on September 26th, 2009

    Boric acid works well. I even put in the drains and around them at night. No more middle of the night visitors. For the flying ones use a fly swatter knock em down and hit them with boric acid after they fall. Good luck

  27. Anne on October 5th, 2009

    As the kids say LOL thanks for the creative tips. Will use the petroleum jelly and Boric acid methods. Found a flying wood roach in the bathtub, zapped it with hair spray it flipped on it’s back wiggled it’s legs twice & died LOL. As for the gasoline…not only would it eliminate roaches it could terminate the house. Wonder what your insurance agent would say? Now for the FLYING Ants !

  28. Dee on October 9th, 2009

    Cockroaches also are attracted to the glues that bind your books and seal your envelopes. If you have pets the roaches come for the crumbs your pet leaves behind. I really like the ice cream tub idea, as an added protection why not just line the container with the vaseline for extra insurance.

    I have made my own boric acid baits but it is dangerous stuff, you don’t dare breathe it, I mix it with honey (while wearing a mask) so it won’t become airborne. I am currently experiencing an invasion though (ko-inky dink that my neighbor just had his house sprayed and it chased them over here?) and may try the sugar flour water mix instead. If you have pets or small children don’t use boric acid or borax, there is no antidote if a human or pet is poisoned.

    THE GAS IDEA IS JUST BAD. Burn the damn house down, no roach problem LOL

    They do fly.

  29. Dee on October 9th, 2009

    Found the info on how toxic boric acid is, also known as borax poisoning:


  30. alfonso on October 23rd, 2009

    I tried everything no luck..because i live in a twinhouse and my neighbors are so dirty and looks like they love the roaches!!!should i kill these people first?….please help the roaches are coming!!!!!!

  31. Walt on October 29th, 2009

    I live in Florida where the biggest bugs I have seen in my house are about 1 inch long and are called Palmetto Bugs. I only see them inside the house, usually only one at a time or occasionally two. They do fly and seem to come out of nowhere if they appear in an area where you are located, always at night. They don’t fly very far and usually stay still or move slowly after they land. They don’t seem to have the energy to fly again but will scamper away if you go after them. They are often seen in the morning on their back looking like they are dead; however, they are not dead and if you nudge them they will scamper away to a safe place under or behind furniture, etc. The most effective weapon I have found is Raid Ant and Roach Killer spray. Comes in an aerosol can. Get the unscented kind, which really does not smell. I have a can handy in several rooms so the ammo is not far away when I need it. All you need to do is use the tiniest amount of spay on a bug lying on it back or crawling on the wall or floor. It is killed instantly. If you see one scoot under furniture or behind the TV, etc., just spray the area where you saw the bug go and it will be sure to kill him. Very effective stuff and safe to use in the house. However, don’t spray it around the room like you would a deoderant. Direct it at the bug or where you saw it go. Incidentally, this stuff is also very effective to zap a fire ant nest. I first poke into the nest with a rod (an old golf club shaft works perfectly because you can stand back away from the nest). This will still up the whole colony and they will come streaming out, so be sure you have your spray at the ready. The spray will slow them down and in a few seconds they will all be dead. I have tried other ant and roach sprays but Raid seems to be the quickest acting.

  32. Jim Goose on November 4th, 2009

    I just moved into an apartment that has a roach infestation :( When I was viewing the the place I asked the owner if there were any pest problems, she said no and that if there ever was, they took care of it quickly… I saw a roach scurrying in the unit 3 weeks before i moved in, after i signed a 6 month lease… i told her 3 weeks before that there were roaches, she said she’d send someone to seal and gel it… I moved in and find dozens of dead roaches and some live ones with baseboard trim loose all around the unit and even missing in the kitchen

    I haven’t slept at this place overnight since I moved in and have no desire to live there, i’m thinking of breaking the lease because of this.

    the first day i moved in i lined all the baseboards with boric acid and all around the kitchen, behind the oven fridge etc… the roaches don’t die immediately from it, it takes up to 10 days for them to die from it. It sticks to them if they go over it, and when they try to clean their antennas they unknowingly ingest it and it kills them from the inside by damaging their digestion tract.

    i also bought a can of raid and sprayed all along the baseboards, in the next couple hours big cockroaches (0.6″) came out to die on their backs, fucking disgusting…. i sprayed it again and emptied the can before i left to sleep at a friends house and i’m fucking afraid to go back to see more dead roaches!

    Since I moved in, I stacked all the cardboard boxes ontop of each other creating a tower and sprayed the base with RAID, hopefully they won’t climb up and into my stuff…

    this has been the worst experience of my life, i’m effectively homeless because i dont want a cockroach crawling up my nose when i’m sleeping, this sucks , i hate lying landlords.

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