The Best Pesticides for Roach Control

While prevention is the best cure for a roach infestation, once the roaches have made their home in your space, you'll need to control them with a pesticide plan to avoid possibly getting sick from the germs they spread. Many types of pesticides, or pest-killing agents, exist to eradicate roaches from your dwelling. Choose from natural methods of roach pesticide, such as using diatomaceous earth, or use gel bait traps or quick-killing, chemical sprays.

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Roaches spread diseases, so use the best pesticides to eradicate them.

Killing Individual Roaches with Pesticide Sprays

Dead cockroaches
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Every roach you see around your dwelling could possibly contribute to the propagation of the roach infestation, so you must eliminate all the roaches you encounter. While smashing a roach is a tried and true method of eradication, if you prefer less mess and direct contact, aerosol sprays that contain insecticides allow you to kill roaches from a distance. Additionally, roaches will avoid the areas that you spray if you use a residual spray; short term, non-residual sprays contain ingredients such as resmethrin or pyrethrins, which irritate and kill some cockroaches, but only on contact. You can make your own roach spray with a mixture of dish soap and water, which will kill the roach on contact.

Killing Individual Roaches with Natural Pesticide Methods

vacuum cleaner
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You can destroy roaches without contact by sucking them up with a vacuum cleaner hose attachment; this makes catching the quick-footed pests much simpler, although you should throw out your vacuum's bag when you're done; seal it inside a plastic bag first for the best results. Use sticky-surfaced individual traps to catch individual roaches for eradication or trap the roaches with empty mayonnaise jars. Smear the curved inside of the jar just past the jar's lip with petroleum jelly and place rotting fruit inside. Once the roaches enter the jar, they won't be able to climb back out. Kill roaches you've trapped by freezing them inside the jar for several hours; place the sticky trap roaches inside a plastic baggie before freezing.

Chemical Pesticides for Roach Infestations

Lots of Cockroaches
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Insecticide-laced baits are some of the most effective roach control pesticides. The University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension website recommends selecting slow-acting insecticide baits that contain active ingredients such as boric acid, hydramethylnon, fipronil or sulfluramid. Not only do the insecticides in these bait traps poison the roach that eats them, but the roaches that then eat their droppings or their carcass also are poisoned.

Natural Pesticides for Infestations

Diatomaceous earth
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Diatomaceous earth

For a slower acting, effective and less expensive alternative, use boric acid powder, such as inexpensive boric powder laundry boosters. Boric acid is relatively safe for humans to handle, although you should keep your pets and children from contact with it; it is unsafe for roaches, however, and acts as poison to them, even though they are attracted to it. Diatomaceous earth, available in garden stores, also works against roaches by cutting their exoskeletons and dehydrating them and spreads easily from roach to roach. Sprinkle the powder near cracks and crevices where you suspect roaches are entering and exiting your dwelling or place in high areas such as on the tops of cabinets.

Katherine Harder

Katherine Harder kicked off her writing career in 1999 in the San Antonio magazine "Xeriscapes." She's since worked many freelance gigs. Harder also ghostwrites for blogs and websites. She is the proud owner of a (surprisingly useful) Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas State University.