How to get rid of cockroaches

No one wants to find that they have a cockroach infestation in their home and sadly they’re not the easiest pests to deal with. Cockroaches are both unpleasant and unsanitary, but by following a few simple steps, you can get rid of roaches and prevent them from returning.

Common Cockroach

The first step to get rid of cockroaches is understanding what species of cockroaches you’re dealing with. In Australia there are over 400 native species of cockroaches and are now one of the most common household pest.

Luckily there are only a few different species you will find in your house, the most common ones in Australia being:

The German cockroach is small and a light brown colour. They are the most common of the smaller roaches and the most difficult to control. They are often brought inside or hitch a ride in items such as luggage, boxes, and grocery products.

The American cockroach is large reddish-brown. These larger sized roaches mostly live and breed outside and wander inside for food and water. Even though they travel from sewers into homes they are not known to spread disease since they mostly live and breed outside.

The Australian cockroach is large and brown with yellow streaks near its wings. These cockroaches prefer warmer climates and are found mostly outdoors in plants, wood piles and under garden litter. They can also be found in roof voids and walls.

Why do Cockroaches invade your home?

The most effective way to get rid of roaches is to remove what they thrive on, which is dirty, humid environments and of course food. The combination of a dry winter followed by humid summer in Australia creates the perfect breeding condition for the unwanted insects.

The first thing you’ll want to try and do is identify where the nest is or where they enter your home from. Proper inspection is critical to success in a roach control treatment plan. German cockroaches are the ones you will often find in your kitchens and bathrooms, whereas the Australian cockroach is often attracted to food left out and will most likely be found in garbage or pet food bowls.

Cockroaches get into everything, multiply rapidly, and can survive for several months without food and up to two weeks without water. They are mostly active at night and generally hide throughout the day. If roaches are seen during the day, this could be the sign of a major infestation.

How to get rid of cockroaches

Want to have a cockroach free home? While surface sprays are useful in the prevention of cockroaches entering your home, here are a few more ways on how to get rid of cockroaches on your property without professional service:

Clean your home

The three most common things the insect is attracted to is food, water and dark shelter.

Make sure to:

  1. Clean any crumbs and spillages of food and water
  2. Remove any grease from counters
  3. Wash dirty dishes and seal away any left over food into containers
  4. Wipe down your sink and counters of any excess water
  5. Check around sinks and drains for leaks and contact a specialist if you need any large leaks in piping to be professionally sealed
  6. Remove and food and water sources
  7. Regularly throw out the trash and cover it with a lid
  8. Don’t leave pet food out on the floor
  9. Keep organic fertilisers in plastic sealed containers

Maintaining a sanitised environment is the easiest way to keep cockroaches at bay. It’s always a good idea to do a few extra cleaning tasks every day to keep it sparkling clean and roach-free.

Get rid of any cardboard boxes

Cardboard boxes are common breeding spots for cockroaches as well as being a reliable food source. Recycling or disposing of cardboard boxes is a good way to deter cockroaches from using them as food or reproduction grounds.

Sticky Trap

This one is a little more time consuming as it may take up to a couple weeks to see results, but it’s very simple to do. You just have to lay down some traps around the house in areas you think they’re hiding, with the sticky side facing up, and check them daily. Good areas to place them are by cracks in walls, under the sink, near electrical appliances, furniture and garbage bins. You can get cockroach traps easily at your local store, some already come with a baited scent or you can just add some sweet or starchy food on top to attract the insect.

Cockroach Baits

Gel bait:

Gel bait normally comes in a tube and is fairly easy to find in the store. Like the traps, it can be applied to all the most attractive areas for cockroaches. You should also put it under baseboards, as well as in crevices. However, as effective as it may be, it is likely to leave numerous dead roaches around your home.

Bait stations:

Chemical baits are also proved effective in getting rid of cockroaches. The bait is disguised as a food source for the roaches who will consume it and take it back to their nest where the other roaches will eat the dead roach, slowly spreading the poison and killing them off. Bait will cause the roaches to die within one to three days of consumption. The best time to exercise this is at night when the cockroaches are most active.

Certain roaches gain resistance over time to pesticides so it is important to stay current with the best treatment options available on the market.

Seal cracks and crevices

While Sticky traps and baits can be effective in getting rid of roaches, it won’t be of much use if new cockroaches keep entering your home through small cracks and crevices. Make sure to seal up any entry points between walls or tiles, around windows and doors, crawl space vents and around holes used for electric, gas and plumbing lines. The roaches will be forced out of their dark hiding places and into the open where they won’t be able to survive for long.


Cockroach spray is a quick way of dealing with a single roach on the spot. Some surface sprays can also provide a protective barrier, and kill insects for months afterwards. However, these wont completely free your home of cockroaches.

Boric Acid, Diatomaceous earth and Baking Soda

Boric acid is one of the best ways to kill cockroaches in your home. Mix together three teaspoons of boric acid and three teaspoons of sugar (you can also add flour to it to make it into dough) and place in areas cockroaches can feed on it. The sugar (and flour) is there to attract the roaches while the boric acid is there to kill them as it acts like a stomach poison.

Please be aware though that as effective as it may be for cockroaches, it is a chemical and can also be dangerous for pets. The same methods can also be used with baking soda or diatomaceous earth.

Use Insect Growth Regulators to prevent cockroach infestations

Even if you successfully get rid of cockroaches with your baiting treatment, a new cockroach infestation may appear once the hidden cockroach eggs hatch. The female German cockroach species, which are the most common in Australia, will lay about 50 eggs every six weeks and usually hatch after about a month. Getting rid of one pregnant female cockroach will help solve this problem.

IGRs can control many types of insects including fleas, cockroaches and mosquitos. IGRs use a synthetic pheromone to disrupt the lifecycle of insects in the egg and larvae state. It basically acts as a “birth control” for cockroaches and keeps cockroach populations under control by preventing molting and reproductive development.

IGRs don’t directly kill the cockroaches so they are often paired with an insecticide. If you use an IGR alone, it will take months to achieve control. Another benefit in using IGRs is that they stimulate cockroaches to feed. Using an IGR along with a cockroach bait can result in improved bait consumption since the cockroaches are more likely to feed on it.

Natural smells

Much like any animal on the planet there are certain smells that cockroaches don’t like so here are a few natural pest control solutions listed below:

  • Bay Leaves
  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Citrus
  • Peppermint
  • Lemongrass

You can put any of theses plants around your home in cupboards, under the sink and other enclosed places. You can also use scented candles, essential oils or make a spray with those specific scents to wipe on surfaces. Make sure not to add too much water as the smell needs to be strong.

You can also mix fabric softener with water and use it as a spray directly on the roaches or in cockroach prone areas.

Call a pest control company

If you’ve tried all the home remedies above and are still dealing with a cockroach infestation then it’s probably best to call for professional help. Pest control experts will be able to identify the area of concern and help eliminate and prevent the return of these pesky little pests with effective anti-cockroach treatments. There are also some non toxic alternatives so you don’t have to be too worried about toxic chemicals being used in your home.

Make sure to clean the areas that will be treated first to help the process be even more effective. Once you get rid of the large infestation of cockroaches you can then use home treatments to help the prevention of their return.

Commercial businesses

Seeing a cockroach in your home can already be bad enough, but finding one on the perimeter of your business can have dire consequences, especially in commercial food preparation areas. Roach extermination and control require a thorough approach that accounts for the specific needs of your business.

In conclusion on how to get rid of cockroaches on your property, it will definitely be a challenge, but it’s always good to use a combination of methods for the best results. Make sure to call a professional pest control business if the infestation is too much to handle on your own, it will be a more effective way to prevent any future issues.

We’re here to help

CTA – Here at CPS we are trained to provide you with the best service and most efficient solutions to your pest problems. Call us at 1300 766 614 so we can help get rid of your cockroach infestation immediately.



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