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National Pesticide Information Center

npic@ace.orst.edu

1.800.858.7378

Cockroaches

dead cockroach

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.

Control tips:

  • It's important to determine which species of cockroach you have. Use a cockroach identification guide or contact your local Cooperative Extension Service for help identifying the cockroaches.
  • 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 the links below for 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 npic@ace.orst.edu.

Additional Resources:

Information on Specific Cockroach Species:

American Cockroaches

German Cockroaches

Oriental Cockroaches

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Last updated December 18, 2014