How do you kill American cockroaches?

Pest Management In and Around Structures December 09, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

The American cockroach, Periplaneta americana (Linnaeus), is the largest of the common cockroaches, measuring on average 4 cm in length.

Tips for eliminating American cockroaches:

  1. Clean debris around the exterior of the house. 
  2. Seal (caulk) any possible entry points into the house. Entry points include sewer pipes and uncaulked gaps around any opening into the ground or exterior.
  3. Remove organic material such as rotting leaves and mulch, and limit the moist areas in and around the house.

In combination with the above, insecticides that are labeled for cockroaches can be applied to basement walls, wood scraps, and other infested locations. Residual sprays can be applied inside and around the perimeter of an infested structure. When insecticides and sprays are used to manage cockroach populations, they may ultimately kill off the parasitic wasps that help naturally control cockroaches. Bait stations placed strategically around the inside of the building are probably the safest and most effective option.


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Find more information about pests in eXtensions Pest Management In and Around Structures Resource Area.



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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.