Found a cockroach? (Saw a GAZILLION?) Don’t panic.
Disposing of roaches
To quickly reduce cockroach populations, vacuum them with the hose attachment, preferably using a machine equipped with a HEPA filter. As soon as you’re done, remove the vacuum bag and quickly seal it inside another bag, then dispose of both bags.
Insecticide baits (available in small containers that look like hockey pucks, or as gel) are highly effective.
Insecticide baits (available in small containers that look like hockey pucks, or as gel) are highly effective and are among the more environmentally sensitive controls. Be patient; it will take about two weeks to see results. These baits act as a food source, so make sure no other food is available–only hungry roaches will be attracted to them. Some roaches will eat the bait directly, while others will be poisoned after feeding on those roaches or their feces. Don’t use pesticides or cleaning compounds near the baits because they may repel the roaches.
Set the baits in the "hot spots," close to the roaches’ shelter, or directly within their travel paths–not out in the open. Placement is crucial: for German and brown-banded cockroaches, position bait stations next to walls and flush in corners. For American and oriental cockroaches, set bait stations in the basement near sewer or floor drains or in damp crawl spaces.
Other IPM options include insecticide dusts, such as
- silica aerogel (a desiccant that damages the roach’s waxy coating, causing it to shrivel and die)
- a commercial product containing boric acid (a desiccant and stomach poison);
- a pyrethrum product (a nerve toxin derived from chrysanthemums).
Follow the manufacturers’ directions carefully.
Extreme temperatures will kill cockroaches. Although you probably can’t alter your home’s environment to this degree, winter cold can be used to disinfect household items such as furniture or paper goods. Place them outdoors when it’s below 20ºF for a few days to freeze the cockroaches.
You may prefer to hire a pest management professional, especially if faced with a severe infestation. This doesn’t mean you have to abandon IPM methods. Buoniello’s fact sheet includes valuable information about choosing and working with a pest management company.
If you live in a multi-family dwelling, speak to the building managers about the problem. If the response is unsatisfactory, contact your local health department.