I promise you that I will share EXACTLY what I did to get rid of roaches for good (and insane amounts of them at that). But before I do, I have to share the backstory because it not only sets the stage for my cockroach killing approach but it is just too good of a story not to tell.
November 2015 – I was in a huge panic as I had to find a new place to live and move by December 26th. No one would rent to me which was not a surprise. After all, my life was pretty upside down since Moldagddon the year before. I was getting desperate which is why I pounced on a less-than-ideal situation when it was offered to me.
A neighbor in the condo complex I was living in offered to rent me her unit. She wanted to sell it but was waiting until summer. She knew I was in a tight spot and I was grateful to have a place to go – plus I would get a little more time with my awesome neighbors! This might sound all well and good however there was one huge downside to making the move to this particular condo…
I would be sharing a wall that spanned the kitchen, dining area, bathroom, and master bedroom with a condo full of hoarders.
It was bad. Beyond bad. It was something out of a horror movie.
I knew about the hoarders. In fact, I interacted with them fairly regularly during the 8 months I had already lived in the complex. While I was repulsed by the state of their living conditions, I also felt sorry for them as clearly, they were inflicted with a mental illness.
Picture this – 4 adults, 4 large dogs, 17 cats, birds, fish, and about 50,000 cockroaches stuffed into a very hoarded 900 square foot condo. The smell – oh people the smell. It was beyond description. But even worse were the mass amounts of cockroaches. It was completely mind blowing.
You might ask why I made the crazy decision to share a wall with hoarders. Hadn’t I been through enough with mold? Well, yes, but sometimes beggers can’t be overly-choosey. Plus, I was determined to beat these roaches at their own game. And I did. In less than a month.
Yep – you read that right. I literally got rid of ALL the cockroaches that were permeating not just my condo but all the condos in our building. It took a lot of research, a lot of fortitude, and a gut of steel. But I did it. And today, I am sharing how to get rid of cockroaches for good. It is crazy easy but even better, it is inexpensive. You ready to learn my secrets?
How To Get Rid Of Roaches For Good
Let’s start with the products you will need.
Gentrol Point Source IGR Insect Growth Regulator
This is the MOST EFFECTIVE product for annihilating a roach infestation. Gentrol is basically a hormone disrupter. Over the course of 3-4 weeks, it greatly reduces each generation’s ability to reproduce. Obviously, once roaches are no longer capable of reproducing, the population will dwindle quickly. However, Gentrol will not kill roaches…it only prevents them from reproducing. You still need to take the appropriate measures to kill the live cockroaches.
Gentrol discs are easy to use. You activate them and stick them around your home. There is a handy guide that outlines placement and spacing based on your home size. I erred on the side of caution and probably used more than I needed to but I wasn’t interested in taking a slow approach to operation kill all the cockroaches.
You can approach the roach bait from one of two ways. There is the more natural approach in the form of a cockroach food bomb. The other is a really effective (and irresistible to the roaches) commercial bait.
To make the cockroach food bomb you will need:
- 3 cups Borax (Boric Acid)
- 1 cup White Flour (or Gluten Free Flour if you have celiac and cannot risk cross contamination)
- 1 cup White Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- Water as needed to create the right consistency
Basically, you want to mix everything together – WEAR GLOVES! You want the batter to be malleable enough that you can roll it into half-dollar sized balls. Once you have your balls made, place them in places that the roaches frequent but out of the reach of pets and children. Once the cockroaches ingest the borax, they will blow up. It sounds more exciting than it is. You won’t have cockroaches flying all over as they blow. Their stomachs sort of just pop open.
The tricky thing about this natural bait is that not all cockroaches love it. Believe it or not, cockroaches have flavor preferences. I observed this first hand. My roach population had come to love grease. They didn’t care if I was baking cookies but as soon as the bacon came out – boom! Roaches galore. So these bait balls may or may not work for your roaches. If they don’t… you need to bring out the bug guns.
Advion Syngenta Cockroach Gel Bait or Bait Stations
You all know that I prefer to live a chemical free, close to the earth lifestyle. However, I also prefer to live a cockroach free lifestyle. As such, I did end up using the Advion Bait to tackle the live roach population. Let me tell you – those roaches loved this stuff and they would be dead within hours of eating it. I liked the idea of the bait stations but the roaches were less likely to go into them as they were a strip of the gel bait placed in key locations.
The Advion bait is great to put near trash cans, inside and on top of cabinets, and on top of counters at night. There wouldn’t be a trace of it on the counter in the morning but there would be plenty of dead roaches!
Trapper Insect Traps
My condo must have looked ridiculous. I didn’t care. I placed these traps everywhere I could. And yes, I got stuck in them a few times as did our house rabbit. However, they are very effective at trapping roaches. I taped them flat to the walls and ceiling and caught plenty of roaches on the move. Once the trap had a few cockroach hitchhikers, I would take them and dunk them in water to kill any roaches clinging to life.
Why drown the roaches and not just squish them? Mama roaches hold on tightly to their egg sacks and squishing a mama roach can lead to her expelling those eggs everywhere. You don’t want that. I promise you.
Why do traditional pesticide sprays fail to kill cockroaches?
Because roaches are smart. They can hold their breath for hours which allows the fumes to dissipate. They will also go take a short vacation at the neighbor’s house and then return. Roaches have a ridiculous homing instinct. They want to live where they were born. They will go to great lengths to get back to their birthplace.
These are the products that I used exclusively and like I said in just a few weeks, the roaches were gone for good! However, there was a little more to the story than just using the right products.
- I made sure that I limited the ways that cockroaches could get in. I sealed up cracks, I put safety plugs into outlets, and I kept food sealed in glass jars.
- I cleaned up food debris immediately and never left food on the counter. I also had a super tight closing garbage can and I emptied it before bed every night.
- It is also important to remove any standing water and fix leaks. Cockroaches can go weeks without food but only a day or two without water.
Because of the hoarding situation, I decided to take action and treat not only my condo but the hoarder’s condo as well. This was one of the most harrowing things I have ever done. At one point, I found myself the victim of a cascading waterfall of roaches. I had opened a closet door and the roaches rained down on me. I was covered. It was awful. I might have gone outside and barfed. But I did it for the betterment of the community and my efforts paid off. While it took a little longer to completely rid that hoarded condo of roaches, it eventually worked. So did getting the hoarders evicted. That certainly aided in a never-ending cycle of roach killing efforts.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are the victim of a roach infestation outside of your control, just keep at it with the products I used. My way is truly the best way to get rod of roaches. Those hormone disrupters are key and will make a significant impact in keeping the population in check.
Have any cockroach stories to share? I’d love to hear them! Be sure to check out all my other great natural pest control posts as well. I will teach you how to get rid of ants, keep mosquitoes at bay, stop slugs from nibbling your garden, keep moths out of your pantry and closets, prevent a spider invasion and more!