What are the most effective chemicals to look for in a roach killer?
Chemicals that affect the central nervous system of insects work best, especially because they’re so effective with roaches but don’t tend to affect mammals (specifically pets and humans) to the same degree. Cypermethrin, Imiprothrin, Fipronil, and Indoxacarb are the more common EPA-approved ones and the active ingredients found in the products we recommend above.
Does bleach kill roaches?
Yes, but it’s not as safe or as effective as specifically designed insecticides.
Does boric acid kill roaches?
Yes, boric acid can work very well, entering either through digestion or basic contact, but being a powder, it’s messy. It also tends to lose potency quickly.
Does dichotomous earth kill roaches?
Yes. Diatomaceous earth is a potent but pet- and human-safe implement for killing cockroaches. It breaks down their exoskeletons, and roaches also bring it back to the nest, so the domino effect can work extremely well within a few weeks.
You’ll just need to continuously spread a dusting of it in the problematic area, which, as with boric acid, can become messy.
What type of roach killer or trap is right for me?
Depending on the degree of your infestation and the amount of effort you are willing to do on your own (before you call an expert extermination service), any of our recommendations are applicable. But here’s the basic run-down of application and effectiveness of each type of trap and poison:
Bait stations: Bait stations lure roaches in for poisonous bait, which they’ll then take back to the nest. Dead roaches will be scattered about, but application is as easy as dropping the little plastic discs here and there and replacing them every 12 months. This is about as easy as it gets, but there will be cleanup.
Gel baits: Gel baits are second only to preventative sprays because while they’re thoroughly effective, they leave behind a trail of dead bugs. Still, this is a great way to stop roaches from developing regular trails through kitchen cabinets, cracks in the wall, and other tight crevices.
Preventative sprays: Preventative sprays are somewhat labor-intensive. You have to thoroughly and carefully spray them around your house’s inner and outer perimeters and let it dry (for about four hours) before going near the sprayed areas. In our experience and based on our experts’ recommendations, this is the most effective option.
Spot-killing sprays: If you’re coming face to face with roaches in your home, a spray will get the job done on the spot. You’ll have to clean up afterward, though. Plus, depending on how much you spray, you can really foul the air in your house for a while.
Sticky traps: Sticky traps can be effective. While they’re pesticide-free, they’re a little cruel because whatever gets stuck in there will die of exhaustion or starvation. These traps also tend to be on the larger side, so they’re harder to hide.
How do I prevent roaches from returning?
No matter what type of poison you use, effectiveness is going to be relative to cleanliness. If your house is a sty, you’ll just keep inviting in roaches (and other pests). Keep counters and floors clean; keep your sink free of dishes; store food in airtight containers; vacuum weekly; ventilate crawl spaces; and prevent moisture from building up, especially due to leaky pipes and faucets.