How to Get Rid of American Roaches: Step by Step

American cockroaches are the largest species of the common cockroach we usually see 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 carrier for 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, then 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 where they find sufficient food and water. These roaches 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, and anything else eatable.

Apart from this, these roaches are particularly fond of fermented foods and are also known to feed upon dead or wounded cockroaches 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, then 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 in search of food to survive, greatly minimising the infestation chances at your place. 

Eliminate Moisture

American roaches are generally found in moist areas with high temperatures, around 29 degree 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, then eliminating the moisture in your house is an extremely necessary step.

Close their Entry Points

These roaches are very commonly found in basements, crawl spaces, cracks and crevices in the walls and porches, foundations, and walkways adjacent to buildings. If in the case of residential areas outside the tropical region, they are usually found in basements and sewers, and 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. They enter the house through small gaps and crevices in search of 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 the process of 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. For the entry points which you cannot completely close, you can put some type of roach killer or roach repellent in and around the areas to stop the roaches from entering. If no new roaches can enter, then just eliminating the roaches inside the house will swipe your house clean.

Kill American Roaches withBest Roach Killer

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 roaches, but not everything works as effective as the ones that are mentioned below. Given below are the best roach killers you can use to kill roaches.

Roach Fogger

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 idea sounds appealing, the method of deploying the fogger may not always be effective.

Moreover, most foggers contain chemicals, which might not be the safest option of killing American roaches 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 extremely important to cover all types of entries if you want this to be effective. 

In any case, there are many risks of using roach fogger. If not used properly, the airborne pesticides might prove harmful to humans, pets, and even property. The fumes that are released not only can damage the furniture and fabrics but can also cause serious harm if inhaled. 

If the fogger you are using contains chemical in high concentration, then it might be flammable as well and can be very risky if used around gas and electric appliances. Therefore, extreme caution is recommended while using roach fogger to eliminate roaches.

Roach Traps

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 if you set up one trap, you usually catch one roach. 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 the roaches. For instance, the 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 just wait.

You can find many types of roach traps on the Internet with detailed information on how to set them up. Or, you can come up with your type of a roach trap. In any case, placing the trap is the most important task here. The trap would be of no use if the roach can’t find it. Hence, first, identify the area where the roach is often seen and then place the trap there.

Once the roach gets trapped, kill it and dispose of it immediately. Leaving even the dead roach can attract other roaches and can also lead to hygiene issues. 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 combination. The basic idea here is to entice the roaches to consume the gel bait, ultimately feeding them the pesticide within.

The most common method of using gel baits is by 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 faeces and shed skins as well, both of which are strong signs of infestation.

In any case, there are certain limitations to using gel baits. In some cases, the gel bait may not even be as effective as you think. Roaches are very specific to the type of baits they like and may not be enticed to a certain type of gel baits, 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 require a time commitment, i.e. changing the old bait and applying the fresh one in regular intervals. If the bait dries out, there is no way it attracts roaches and is ineffective.

Apart from all this, the biggest problem of using gel baits is that is very harmful to pets and children if consumed. Also, if the gel baits are not properly placed, roaches may never even find it. Hence, proper application and placement of the gel baits are extremely vital for it to be effective against the roaches.

Cockroach Spray

Among all the roach killers, cockroach spray is considered as the fastest American roach killer. These sprays are solvent-based and are designed to spray large droplets of insecticides that easily 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 mean when it is sprayed on a surface, its effect can last for many months. 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 which allows you to get into cracks, crevices, and under the cupboard areas easily and a 360-degree nozzle that allows you to spray even if the can is upside down, without it reaching low areas can be very difficult.

Use Home Remedies to Kill American Roaches

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 roaches naturally, without using any chemicals. These remedies can be comfortably made by using commonly available household items and work almost as good as the commercially available options.

Boric Acid Bait

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 fairly 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 on to the body of roaches 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 roach 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 of the boric acid users do. First of all, it is important to remember that you should not use too much of boric acid, placing the boric acid bait in small amounts is as effective as placing it in large amounts. 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 start believing that boric acid is the ultimate solution to all roach problems, which itself is not true. It is one of the best ways to deal with roaches in 2020, 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 of these are very popular roach killers and are extremely effective against American roaches and other crawling insects.

Just like boric acid bait, you can create borax powder bait 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 easily get attracted to the bait and ultimately consume the borax in it, which goes inside and eventually kills them.

Just like boric acid, once inside the roach, borax too acts as a stomach poison and destroys the stomach and exoskeleton of the roach. 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

Diatomaceous earth is one of the safest and organic pest control method that works extremely well against roaches. The best thing about it is a natural product that is easily available at home, general stores, food stores, and even online. It’s natural, easy to get your hands on, and works extremely well in killing roaches, making it one of the best options.

So, how to kill American 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 roaches 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 its 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 mould, and to even colour 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 common part of our lives. The best part is that it also works against roaches and is widely used to eliminate them. With bleach, roaches 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 even then, you will have to catch the roaches first to drown them in it. 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 litre of water. Transfer the solution into a spray bottle and treat the areas where roaches are frequently seen. Spray the solution directly on the roaches and on the highly infested areas will yield best results.

Bleach is probably the cheapest and simplest solution to your roach problem. 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.

Use Home Remedies to Repel American Roaches

Not everyone appreciates the idea of dead roaches. Also, 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 roaches and keep them away from entering and infesting the house.

Given below are such home remedies 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 also contains the chemical named nepetalactone, a substance which roaches are particularly sensitive to. 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 boil 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

Peppermint oil is another strong natural roach repellent. Using peppermint oil against roaches is one of the most commonly used methods to get rid of these annoying pests. Roaches hate the smell of peppermint oil, which confuses them greatly and destroys their sense of directions.

There are plenty of ways in which you can prepare peppermint oil roach repellent. Many recommend mixing peppermint oil with old white vinegar, which is considered as the solution for even the most dreaded insects. Simply mix 10 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 areas that are dark and moist. Keep repeating the process to get the best results.

In any case, it is important to remember that this will not actually kill roaches, but just prevent them from infesting certain areas where the mint oil has been sprayed. If you have an extreme case of roach infestation, then it is considered best to consider combining other roach treatment methods as well.

Moth Balls

Mothballs are commonly used to prevent moth infestation, but just like moths, even roaches hate the smell of mothballs. Hence, mothballs are also a good way to repel roaches 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 properly, mothballs can greatly prevent roaches from entering and infesting the house.

Bay Leaves

Just like the smell of peppermint oil, roaches repel to the smell of bay leaves. These are easily available in major groceries 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 it 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.

Final Words

American roaches are extremely pesky and are the source of many hygiene problems and diseases. Therefore, it is extremely important to keep your house completely protected from them. Now, there are plenty of ways to kill roaches, you can either use chemicals to eliminate them or use natural ways to drive them out.

Whatever may be your preference, you can choose any of the methods mentioned above to get rid of the roaches and prevent them from entering your house ever again.

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