Understanding and Controlling Cockroaches
The sight of a cockroach running around in the kitchen cupboard may be familiar to some, but you don't have to live with them. Cockroaches can eat food items in your home, including crumbs trapped in cracks and spilled drinks. While they don't generally bite people, cockroaches shed, and their waste products can get into the air you breathe. Indoor cockroach infestations may cause allergy and asthma symptoms to get worse.
When controlling roaches, keep these important tips in mind:
- It's important to determine which species of cockroach you have. For example, limiting moisture can deter German cockroaches, but you might want to adjust both temperature and humidity to control American cockroaches.
- Find out where the cockroaches are hiding, where they travel, and what they are eating and drinking. Use the resources below to learn how to monitor their activity.
- Deny them access to food, water and shelter by repairing leaks, sealing entry points and removing clutter. Make sure the kitchen and the sink are clean every night.
- Cockroaches like dark crowded spaces, so monitoring efforts should include wall voids, voids in cabinets and drawer spaces, behind clocks and under sinks.
- Some pesticides might repel cockroaches, rather than kill them. Make sure you're not chasing the cockroaches into other rooms or apartments.
- If you decide to use pesticides, always read and follow the label directions carefully.
- After the cockroaches have been eliminated, continue prevention and maintenance practices to keep them out.
Use a cockroach identification guide or contact your local Cooperative Extension Service for help identifying the cockroaches in your situation. Use the links below for general information about cockroach control, or scroll down to find species-specific resources.
If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Cockroach Control Manual - University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- A Practical Guide to Cockroach Management in Multi-Family Housing Units - Purdue Univeristy Extension
- Understanding Cockroach Control - Clemson University Extension
- Cockroach Elimination - University of Kentucky
- How to Manage Cockroaches - University of California Statewide IPM Program
- Bug Bombs - Washington State Department of Health
Information on Specific Cockroach Species:
- The American Cockroach, (Periplaneta americana) - University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)
- American Cockroaches - Penn State Cooperative Extension
- American Cockroach Fact Sheet - Ohio State University Extension
- German Cockroaches (Blatella germanica) - Penn State Cooperative Extension
- Cockroaches - University of Maine Cooperative Extension
- Oriental Cockroach (Blatta orientalis) - Penn State Cooperative Extension
- Oriental Cockroach - University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)