Get Rid of Roaches

Several types of cockroaches are found in homes. The adults may be from 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long. They have long antennae and long legs. Roaches usually live in the kitchen, dining room, bathroom and any where else they can find food. If you have lots of roaches, there will be a strong odor.

You Can Get Rid of Roaches

Make life hard for roaches:
  • Store food in insect-proof cans and jars.

  • Wash dirty dishes right away.

  • Keep floors and counters clean of crumbs and food.

  • Do not leave pet food out overnight.

  • Wipe up spills quickly.

  • Caulk cracks and holes in the kitchen, especially under the sink.

  • Caulk cracks in walls and behind counter tops. Food collects in these hard-to-clean places. Sealing them gives roaches fewer places to hide.

  • Caulk around water pipes, gas pipes and drain pipes. This will stop roaches coming from other apartments or from outside. Also caulk cracks in foundations. Caulk around doors and windows.
Starving a roach to death is almost impossible. Use an insecticide if you need to. Use only sprays labeled for indoor use.

Due to your cleaning and caulking, the roaches will be hungry. They will also have few places to hide. Then the insecticide will work better.

Follow instructions very carefully.

Before you spray:

  • Vacuum up all crumbs of food from cracks and crevices.

  • Move food to another room or cover it tightly to keep it safe.
When you spray:
  • Spray everywhere you have seen roaches.

  • Only spray pesticides in a well-ventilated area. Open doors and windows when spraying indoors.

  • Do not eat or smoke while spraying.

  • Never let the spray get on food, pots and pans, cutting boards, or counters.

  • Do not spray inside cabinets or where you store food.

  • Spray into cracks and crevices, along baseboards and around cabinets. Spray under appliances and around pipes where bugs can come in.

  • If the spray gets on a dish or cooking pan, wash it well before using it.

  • Wear a hat, shoes and socks, a long sleeve shirt, and long pants when using pesticides.

  • Keep children and pets away until the spray has dried. Check the label for other warnings.

  • Store pesticides out of reach of children.
If you don't see any bugs for three to six months, your roaches are probably gone.

Keep Roaches Out

Use these ideas to keep insects out of your kitchen:
  • Buy small amounts of food so that you do not store them for a long time.

  • Dried food kept for more than six weeks should be stored in insect-proof containers. This will help guard against any future insect problems.

  • Take dry foods out of their original cartons if you can. Store them in airtight jars or plastic refrigerator boxes. Put labels and cooking instructions in the jar, too.

  • Always keep food storage areas clean.
Prepared by Barbara Dahl, Consumer and Family Economics Educator, University of Illinois Extension.

New Features | Home Care | Wellness | Consumer Economics | Foods & Nutrition