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How can we get rid of cockroaches in our house?

Things we already do and have failed in keeping the roaches away:

  • No uncovered food left outside ever.
  • The house and bathroom are cleaned everyday with disinfectant.
  • Sprayed Mortein cockroach spray in all nooks and corners of the house, on door thresholds and drains (this will draw them out and we swat them and clean them away, but another army returns in a day or two)

At the moment my wife is pregnant, and she is willing to go stay at a friend's place for a night to avoid exposure to harsh chemicals. We live in an apartment with no pest control facilities and the only plausible reasoning we got is that maybe the neighbors don't keep their apartment clean - but I am sure there must be something we can do. There are hundreds of other apartments. Otherwise just one pesky neighbor and all apartments would have been infested. Cockroaches are the only problem we have in this unit.

  • Buy some spiders! – iLikeDirt Oct 6 '14 at 22:55
  • I would answer like Kelly and Rat Trapper. I had that problem years ago and these were mostly working (removing unnecessary water anywhere plus specific gel). No sprays - they do nothing. I got rid of them for like 4 years. Now it started again as I live in block of flats. I will fight it with same method. – Marek Oleszczuk Aug 25 '15 at 6:13
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@Mazura is right... you will NEVER get rid of the cockroaches in an apartment. The best you can hope for is to control them and minimize their presence.

Some years ago, a friend was in your situation and she was unable to move out (the ONLY solution). So, she packed every nook and cranny she could find with powdered boric acid. That actually did an amazing job of controlling the problem.

Indeed, the EPA publishes a document that says to blow the powder into the cracks with a hair dryer, and then caulk over.

http://www.epa.gov/ncer/childrenscenters/pdf/pesticidespring07.pdf

You should fully expect, however, that you'll run across some from time to time.

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Eliminate any sources of water. You might have a leak or a place where water doesn't drain away completely and the roaches are attracted to that. Also, use weatherstripping and caulk to make sure you don't have any gaps around windows and doors, baseboards, etc.

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Do Not use foggers or sprays, you will spread them to every room in the house. These products will provide limited control, not pest elimination. Today's pest control industry has developed terrific baits for the German Cockroach as well as other roaches.

The best over the counter roach bait that I recommend to people is Combat Roach Gel. It will cost you about $12.00 and for an average infestation should do the job.

Pull out top drawers of lower cabinets. Bait inside cabinets using small pea sized gel in corners to bottom of counter top. Also bait on inside of cabinets in around corners of cabinets. You can always re-bait if needed so do not over apply. Bait bottoms of electronic but be careful not to get on electrical circuits. Do not forget to pull out the fridge and bait behind if needed.

Wait two days and in areas where you still see roaches, re-apply bait as needed still using small amounts. Do this three days later again and you should be done.

Always follow label precautions as the label is the law! Keep bait placements out of reach of children and pets. I have recommended this for do-it-yourself people and have been thanked many times over for 23 years in pest control.

Sometimes, you just need to know what to use, and how to use it.

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Diatomaceous earth is basically caltrops for cockroaches.

Diatomaceous earth kills all bugs with an exoskeleton. It has been reported to be the most effective solution when fighting pests like fleas, ants and bed bugs. You have to keep it dry, though. Even morning dew can make diatomaceous earth ineffective. -richsoil.com

To the best of my knowledge, it's (ground up sea shells; fossils) inert and is not known to the state of California to cause cancer. Its effectiveness on cockroaches (like everything else that doesn't also kill you) is obviously going to be less. Also, this exterminates nothing, it kills the ones who step in it. My gut tells me that anything more effective than this would be a chemical solution.


Being that you live in an apartment, extermination will be exceedingly difficult. Even if every occupant allowed for in-house treatment, the entire building must be treated as a single unit, in one go, multiple times. The reality is that not everyone will agree to it, be home at the times or keep their house clean. You tenets need to petition the landlord to have it sprayed. (Try words first.) One-off killing them doesn't sound like a solution for you. Keep spraying whatever that stuff in a can is so that they think your house sucks to hang out at. However, I've heard stories off occupants complaining when their neighbors use sprays. The roaches just run next door. "HEY! Who's spraying?!?" Peace treaties may be necessary.

TLDR, In your situation, you can't.

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