American cockroaches are the largest and the most common species of cockroaches that are usually seen around.
Though the name suggests American, they originated in Africa and Middle Eastern regions, habituating America only in the 17th century AD.
Regardless of their history and origin, these roaches are still pests and carriers of many diseases.
Hence, it is extremely important to get rid of American cockroaches if they infest your house.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know to make your home completely roach-free.
How to Get Rid of America Roaches?
If you frequently see roaches roaming around your house, there is a high possibility that you have a roach infestation.
If not controlled, this infestation could spread and cause severe health and hygiene issues.
Therefore, to get rid of them, immediate measures need to be taken.
Given below are the things you need to do to get rid of these roaches.
Remove Their Food Source
Roaches are scavengers and can survive anywhere they find sufficient food and water; they are omnivorous and opportunistic feeders.
They can eat a wide variety of materials such as cheese, beer, tea, leather, bakery products, starch, manuscripts, glue, hair, flakes of dried skin, dead animals, plants, soiled clothing anything else eatable.
Apart from this, these roaches are particularly fond of fermented foods and are also known to feed upon dead or wounded roaches from their own or other species.
Therefore, it is safe to say that roaches have a wide range of food options available at any given time.
However, if you want to get rid of these roaches, you will have to cut off their food source.
Now, it might be impossible to remove everything mentioned above in your house, but that’s not what you need to do here.
Instead, your job in removing their food source includes keeping your kitchen and dustbin areas clean and hygienic.
Make sure that every food product is tightly sealed and cannot be accessed by any roaches.
Keep the floors clean, and do not let any waste accumulate anywhere in the house.
Regularly cleaning the house, maintaining proper hygiene, and keeping every food item properly secure is the best way to remove their food source.
Once the food source is cut, roaches will have to look for a new area searching for food to survive, greatly minimizing the infestation chances at your place.
American roaches are generally found in moist areas with high temperatures, around 29 degrees celsius, as they cannot tolerate low-temperature areas.
They can even survive in dry areas if there is sufficient access to water.
Therefore, if you want to get rid of roaches, eliminating the moisture in your house is an essential step.
Close Their Entry Points
These roaches are commonly found in basements, crawl spaces, cracks, and crevices in the walls and porches, foundations, and walkways adjacent to buildings.
If residential areas outside the tropical region are usually found in basements, sewers come out when the outside temperature is preferably high.
When it comes to finding roaches at home, they all come from the above-mentioned hotspots.
Roaches enter the house through small gaps and crevices, searching for food and moisture, and if the area is preferable to their surviving conditions, they may even infest the house.
Therefore, identifying and closing all the entry points is an important task in getting rid of roaches.
Start with covering any holes and crevices that you may find in walls and porches, and then cover the entry points near water outlets such as sinks, washbasins, drainage, etc.
Make sure that there is no way for any more roaches to enter.
You can put some roach killer or roach repellent around the areas to stop the roaches from entering for the entry points that you cannot completely close.
If no new roaches can enter, then just eliminating the roaches inside the house will swipe your house clean.
Kill American Cockroaches with Best Roach Killers
Now that you have cut off the food source, eliminated moisture, and even covered all the entry points, your next job is to kill the roaches lurking inside your house.
There are plenty of ways to kill American cockroaches, but not everything works as effectively as the ones that are mentioned below.
Given below are the best roach killers you can use to kill roaches.
Roach foggers, also known as roach bombs, are a type of pest control that spread pesticides in the air in the form of mist.
The idea is that the pesticides will travel through the air reaching all roaches in the house and eliminating them in a single attempt.
However, even though the concept sounds appealing, the method of deploying the fogger may not always be practical.
Moreover, most foggers contain chemicals, which might not be the safest option of killing American cockroaches if you have pets or children at home.
Also, in practicality, the mist released by the fogger does not penetrate the cracks and crevices in the wall; therefore, it is essential to cover all types of entries if you want this to be effective.
In any case, there are many risks of using a roach fogger.
If not used properly, the airborne pesticides might prove harmful to humans, pets, and even property; the fumes released not only can damage the furniture and fabrics but also cause serious harm if inhaled.
If the fogger you are using contains chemicals in high concentration, it might be flammable and can be very risky if used around gas and electric appliances.
Therefore, extreme caution is recommended while using a roach fogger to eliminate roaches.
Another popular way is to trap roaches first and then kill them.
However, trapping roaches is usually done one at a time, which means that you typically catch one roach if you set up one trap; if you want to catch more, you might have to set up multiple traps.
There are many ways to create roach traps, but every setup includes a bait to attract roach.
For instance, duct tape is the simplest way to trap roaches; all you need to do is take a strip of duct tape and place it upside down at a place where you often see the roach moving.
Place the bait on top to lure it and wait.
You can find many types of roach traps on the internet with detailed information on setting them up.
Or, you can come up with your kind of roach trap. In any case, placing the trap is the most critical task here.
The trap would be of no use if the roach can’t find it; hence, first, identify the area where the cockroach is often seen and then place the trap there.
Roach traps are simple, natural, and an effective way of eliminating the roaches that are frequently crawling around your house.
Cockroach Gel Bait
Cockroach gel baits are similar to roach traps but focus only on making the roach consume the gel bait.
Roach gel baits come in different types with many varieties of insecticide combinations; the basic idea here is to entice the cockroaches to consume the gel bait, ultimately feeding them the pesticide within.
The most common method of using gel baits is placing dots of it in and around crevices, cracks, and other areas where the roaches are often seen.
You can cover sinks, garbage areas, bathrooms, kitchen, and dark corner places in your house; also, these roaches are attracted to their feces and shed skins, both of which are vital infestation signs.
In any case, there are certain limitations to using gel baits.
Roaches are very specific to the type of baits they like and may not be enticed to a particular kind of gel bait, which means they don’t eat the bait, and the infestation continues to grow.
Another problem with using gel baits is that it dries quickly; therefore, using gel baits requires a time commitment, i.e. changing the old bait and applying the fresh one regularly.
If the bait dries out, there is no way it attracts roaches and is ineffective.
Apart from all this, the biggest problem with using roach gel baits is that it is very harmful to pets and children.
Also, if the gel baits are not properly placed, roaches may never even find them.
Hence, proper application and placement of the gel baits are extremely vital for effective against roaches.
Among all the roach killers, cockroach spray is considered the fastest American roach killer.
These sprays are solvent-based and are designed to spray large droplets of insecticides that quickly spread and penetrate the hard exoskeleton roaches have, instantly killing them.
However, the real benefit of roach spray is to use it as a preventative treatment.
Most roach sprays have residual effects, which means that their effect can last for many months when sprayed on a surface.
Therefore, using the roach spray inside the cupboard, dark places in the house, behind the fridge, etc., will prevent roaches from infesting the area again.
In any case, you need to look for two main features while buying a roach spray.
These two features include an extendable nozzle that allows you to get into cracks, crevices, and under the cupboard areas quickly and a 360-degree nozzle that will enable you to spray even if the can is upside down; without it reaching low areas can be very difficult.
Home Remedies to Kill American Cockroaches
Most of the commercial roach killers have strong chemicals in them that kill roaches.
However, if used without proper care, these chemicals can also cause harm to humans, pets, furniture, and even property.
Because of the extensive damage these roach killers can do, many homeowners prefer using natural home remedies to kill roaches.
Given below are some of the best ways to kill American cockroaches naturally, without using any chemicals.
These remedies can be comfortably made by using commonly available household items and work almost as well as the commercially available options.
Boric acid, in its chemical name known as hydrogen borate, is a common substance that can be naturally found in many fruits and plants.
However, in this scenario, the boric acid that you will be using is prepared from the borax that is mined from the mineral deposits.
When used accordingly, boric acid is relatively harmless to both humans and pets but is highly toxic to cockroaches and other insects.
The compound itself contains a sharp and sticky powder-like substance that clings onto the roaches’ body as they pass over it.
When these roaches lick their body to clean themselves, they ingest boric acid and die.
Moreover, we all know that roaches eat other dead roaches as well, and when they eat the dead cockroach that died due to boric acid, the poison spreads, killing every other roach around.
The ingested boric acid acts as a stomach poison and kills them shortly; it is one of the most preferred methods to eliminate roaches as it is natural and does not require much effort.
However, there are three common mistakes that most boric acid users make.
First of all, it is essential to remember that you should not use too much boric acid; placing the boric acid bait in small amounts is as effective as putting it in large quantities.
Secondly, make sure that you place the powder bait at the right place as it’s no use if roaches don’t see it.
Finally, most users believe that boric acid is the ultimate solution to all roach problems, which is not valid.
It is one of the best ways to deal with roaches in 2021, but using too much will make them used to it, and it may not have the usual effect.
Therefore, it is recommended to combine boric acid with other combinations to get the best results.
Borax, chemically known as sodium borate, is often misunderstood by many people to be as same as boric acid, which is not the case.
Borax is a salt of boric acid, and both of them have a different chemical formula.
Nonetheless, both are very popular roach killers and extremely effective against American cockroaches and other crawling insects.
Just like boric acid bait, you can create borax powder bait for roaches as well. All you have to do is mix equal parts of borax and sugar and place it around the infested areas in your house.
Since roaches like sweet food, they quickly get attracted to the bait and ultimately consume the borax in it, which goes inside and eventually kills them.
Like boric acid, once inside the roach, borax also acts as a stomach poison and destroys the roach’s stomach and exoskeleton.
It is a strong poison and works fast as well; also, since borax is commercially used in many products, such as cleaners, makeup, toothpaste, etc., it is fairly harmless to humans and pets.
Diatomaceous earth is one of the safest and organic pest control methods that work extremely well against roaches.
The best thing about it is a natural product that is readily available at home, general stores, food stores, and even online.
So, how to kill roaches using diatomaceous earth? Well, simply apply the product using a bulb puffer wherever the infestation has occurred.
Make sure to cover the cracks, crevices, dark areas under cupboards, and any other dark places in your house that are likely to be infested as well.
Diatomaceous earth has very tiny particles with sharp edges, making it very abrasive; when American cockroaches pass through it, the tiny particles get stuck on the exoskeleton.
Once stuck, the tiny particles absorb the fats and oils, and the abrasive edges cut through the exoskeleton.
Finally, roaches lose all the moisture and eventually die due to dehydration.
In any case, it is best recommended to use food-grade diatomaceous earth; it is a pure product and poses no danger to humans and pets.
However, make sure not to confuse it with the diatomaceous earth used to treat pools, as it is chemically treated and can cause respiratory problems.
You can even use the insect-grade diatomaceous earth, which contains other types of insecticides in them that help in eliminating roaches and other insects.
Still, if it’s only roaches you are dealing with, then using the food-grade diatomaceous earth is considered best.
Bleach is a strong chemical compound that is commonly used as a cleaning agent and for whitening clothes.
It is also commonly used to sanitize floors, clean toilets, remove hard stains, eliminate mold, and even color hair.
Bleach also has anti-microbial properties and is used as a disinfectant to sanitize pools as well.
With all these applications, bleach has become a standard part of our lives.
The best part is that it also works against roaches and is widely used to eliminate them; with bleach, cockroaches die in two ways, by ingesting and by drowning.
However, bleach has a strong smell, which roaches hate, and hence, feeding them bleach is not possible.
Drowning the roaches in bleach is also very effective in killing roaches, but you will have to catch the roaches first to drown them in them even then.
Therefore, the best option to use bleach against roaches is by making a bleach spray and then spraying it on the roaches as soon as you see one.
You can simply make a bleach solution by mixing one tablespoon of bleach in a quarter liter of water.
Transfer the solution into a spray bottle and treat the areas where roaches are frequently seen; spray the solution directly on the cockroaches, and the highly infested areas will yield the best results.
However, you must remember that treating your house with this homemade roach repellent once will not do the job; you must keep repeating the treatment for a few weeks to eliminate the roach infestation in your house.
Home Remedies to Repel American Cockroaches
Not everyone appreciates the idea of dead roaches, and sometimes, simple home remedies give the same results as any hard-core chemical pesticide treatment.
Many people commonly use these home remedies to repel American cockroaches and keep them from entering and infesting the house.
Given below are such organic solutions that you can use to repel American roaches and drive them out of your house, only without killing them.
Catnip is an excellent natural roach repellent; it belongs to the mint family that roaches hate the most and contains the chemical named nepetalactone, a substance to which cockroaches are particularly sensitive.
The only thing to remember is that it doesn’t kill roaches but only drives them away.
The chemical inside catnip confuses the sensory nerves of roaches, making them lose their sense of direction.
This is why roaches always keep away from those areas where catnip is placed.
In any case, the best way to use catnip against roaches is by treating the roach-infested areas with catnip tea.
To prepare catnip tea, all you need is catnip leaves and water.
Simply boil some water in a container and put the catnip leaves inside; allow the leaves to simmer inside the water for 10 minutes and then let it cool.
Once cooled, pour the solution inside a spray bottle and spray the catnip tea on the roach-infested areas.
You can also strategically place catnip leaves in a small container around the areas where roaches are frequently seen.
However, for this to work, the catnip leaves should be placed in the right places; if the leaves do not come in the path, then roaches will not get affected by its presence.
Peppermint oil is another potent natural roach repellent.
Using peppermint oil against roaches is one of the most commonly used methods to eliminate these annoying pests.
Bugs hate the smell of peppermint oil, which confuses them greatly and destroys their sense of direction.
There are plenty of ways in which you can prepare peppermint oil roach repellent.
Many recommend mixing peppermint oil with aged white vinegar, which is considered the solution for even the most dreaded insects.
Simply mix ten drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle filled with two parts water and one part white vinegar, and shake it well.
Once the spray is ready, spritz it around the areas where roaches are most likely to infest.
These areas include below cupboards, under the sink, bathrooms, dark corners, crevices, walls, and any other dark and moist areas.
Keep repeating the process to get the best results.
In any case, it is essential to remember that this will not actually kill roaches but just prevent them from infesting certain areas where the mint oil has been sprayed.
Mothballs are commonly used to prevent moth infestation, but just like moths, even American cockroaches hate the smell of mothballs.
Hence, mothballs are also an excellent way to repel cockroaches and prevent them from infesting the house.
Just like catnip leaves, place the mothballs around the areas where there is a high chance of roach infestation.
Make sure to cover the areas inside the cabinets, under the beds, cupboards, bathrooms, and kitchen.
If placed correctly, mothballs can significantly prevent roaches from entering and infesting the house.
Just like the smell of peppermint oil, roaches repel the smell of bay leaves.
These are readily available in major grocery stores and are a cheap and effective solution to keeping your house roach-free.
To use bay leaves against roaches, you need to crush the leaves and turn them into powder.
According to studies, the essential oils released after crushing the leaves work best to repel roaches.
Once crushed, simply place the powder in a container covering all the areas that are prone to a roach infestation.
In a nutshell, American cockroaches are pesky little buggers that are the source of many hygiene problems and diseases.
Therefore, it is extremely important to keep your house wholly protected from them.
Now, as mentioned above, there are plenty of ways to kill roaches– you can either use chemicals to eliminate them or use natural methods to drive them out.
Whatever may be your preference, just ensure that you get rid of these hell-raisers for good, and furthermore, take adequate measures to prevent them from entering your house ever again.