How to Get Rid of American Cockroaches – Ultimate Pest Control Guide

man uses repelent on a cocroach - cocroach dead
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American cockroaches, also known as water bugs, top the list of roaches that can infest your home. Being an entomologist with over 25 years of experience in pest control, I have dedicated this blog to those looking for an ideal solution to counter American cockroaches’ infestation.

I have to admit that getting rid of cockroaches is challenging and requires a lot of tenacity. There are over 4,500 cockroach species, with 69 of those living in the USA, and this highlights the need for pest identification before settling on a given roach elimination method.

Additionally, learning about these species habitats and diets can ease the process of eliminating them. So let’s start by briefly looking into these pests’ general information.

What Does an American Cockroach Look Like – Color and Appearance

An adult American roach is reddish-brown, with a yellow band. If you are wondering what an American cockroach size is, it is up to 4 cm long. They are winged, although they rarely fly. Adult roaches become more reddish as they mature. Female cockroaches lay up to 14 egg capsules in their lifetime. Each capsule is 0.9cm long and contains close to 16 eggs.

These pests’ lifecycle consists of three stages; egg, nymph, and adult. The eggs stay for 6 to 8 weeks before hatching into nymphs. Upon hatching, an American cockroach nymph is white, although the color changes to graying-brown with maturity.

lifecycle of american roaches

Nymphs undergo a series of molting or ecdysis (9 to 13 times) before they reach maturity. The average lifespan of American roaches is 90 to 706 for females, and 90 to 362 for males. In the event of food availability, the process of development from egg to adult can be as short as five and a half months.

German Vs. American cockroach comparison; people mainly confuse these two, but German roaches have light brown bodies and are less than an inch in length.

What Causes American Roaches?

These pests mainly live outside the house, although they are also common indoors. In the Northern part of the USA, you’ll easily find them in sewers and drains. Contrary, people living in the Southern part easily observe these filthy creatures living in humid areas, and during the hot season, they spot them outdoor.

American roaches easily enter our homes in search of food, shelter, and warmth, all of which are easily accessible for their thriving. They come through cracks, vents, and pipes, which also provide an ideal site for these pests to lay and hide their eggs. Additionally, American cockroaches thrive in warm and moist surroundings, around 84F.

cocroach

However, dirty homes are the ultimate place for roaches to breed. Cockroaches get attracted by food leftovers, dirty dishes, or moisture from leaking pipes. The main challenge with the pest is that they stay in the houses throughout all seasons.

However, they are more active in the summer. That said, bear in mind that even though having a dirty house might increase the chances of cockroach visits, having a cleaner one doesn’t guarantee an absence of these pests. This is because they lay eggs in many places, and they can enter your house through multiple channels.

Damage Caused By American Roaches

One question that might be bothering many people is if American roaches can bite human beings. The truth is, an American cockroach bite is rare, although the pests have the ability to do so. Additionally, these bites won’t cause any concern unless they get infected.

That said, these cockroaches damage your health as they are attracted to dead matter and live in sewers. They are known to spread over 33 types of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella, over six types of parasitic worms, as well as seven human pathogens.

But how are these pests able to cause all these health problems? Well, the pests crawl through the dead matter and sewers where they live, collecting these germs in the process. The germs get deposited on the surfaces these pests contact, including food and cooking area.

American roaches’ excretions and saliva are known to contain allergen proteins that are responsible for causing asthmatic attacks, especially among kids.

What Are Signs of American Cockroach Infestation?

There are four ways you can use to know if there are American cockroaches in your house. These include:

  • Sightings – you can easily see these cockroaches running very fast as they flee to dark areas. When frightened, these roaches might even fly.
  • Droppings – these are easily seen in areas that roaches hide. However, there’s a little confusion between roaches and mice excretions, but here’s a way to differentiate these two. Roaches droppings are small, side-ridged with blunt ends, whereas mice droppings have pointed ends.
  • Egg capsules – check for American cockroach eggs or capsules in the basement or near food sources. The egg cases are reddish-brown and measure about 8mm in length.
  • Odor – American roaches produce an aggregation pheromone, that’s responsible for the pests living in groups. The scent can be easily noted to those with a sensitive nose.

How to Get Rid of American Roaches

Cockroaches are tough to deal with since they exhibit some of the unique survival tactics. For instance, they can live for up to one week without their head, which becomes a disaster for homeowners.

Under this section, I will cover four main methods of cockroach elimination, but before that, good hygiene and exclusion are ultimately important.

Product
Best American Roach Killer
Syngenta Advion Cockroach Gel...
Combat Max 12 Month Roach...
HARRIS Boric Acid Roach and...
Prime
Pros
Roach bait that kills the whole population.
It kills by contact.
Long-lasting effect.
Best American Roach Killer
Product
Syngenta Advion Cockroach Gel...
Price
Prime
Pros
Roach bait that kills the whole population.
Product
Combat Max 12 Month Roach...
Price
Prime
Pros
It kills by contact.
Product
HARRIS Boric Acid Roach and...
Price
Prime
Pros
Long-lasting effect.

The Role of Proper Hygiene and Exclusion in Eliminating American Cockroaches

The processes deprive cockroaches of their basic needs, thus inhibiting their reproduction. As a result, you will have a small and a non-reproducing population to deal with, which vehemently increases your chances of eliminating the pests.

  • Sanitation

Ensure your house is always clean as the environment will threaten the pests’ chances of survival. Additionally, clean homes are not attractive to American roaches. Make sure the cooking area, sinks, and floor are free of food remains.
Keep your pet food and dustbin ideally sealed. You can also vacuum your house weekly to remove all foodstuffs that might have been unnoticeable during regular cleaning. Lastly, embrace the idea of storing food in airtight containers.

  • Exclusion

Barrier exclusion is the most common practice in preventing American roaches from entering your home. The method involves sealing all cracks through the use of a silicone-based plug.

Insect Baits

The process is effective in eliminating crawling pests, and cockroaches are no exception. Insect baits mode of action makes them one of the most recommended options in eliminating roaches. The bait is placed on common entry points.

Their effect isn’t instant, and once the cockroach has taken a piece of the bait, they get time to make it to their nests and share with the other roaches. In the end, the bait ends up wiping out the entire population gradually. All you need is to be patient and to place the item on an ideal spot.

advion roach bait

Traps

Traps are also an ideal way of catching cockroaches, and they do not require your active involvement to work effectively. You only need to place them where you usually spot roaches and let the trap do the trick for you.

They contain pest attractants and non-toxic glue for luring and trapping roaches. The main advantage of traps is that they can be used for months before replacement.

roach traps on a table

Sprays

These can be used for indoor and outdoor treatment. When used as outdoor treatments, they work ideally in keeping the roaches out of your house. All you need to do is spray about 3 to 6 feet around the house to form a perimeter barrier. You can also spray around pipe openings, vents, and doors.

For indoor treatments, spray around common pests entry points. Additionally, apply around the corners in the basement and under the sinks.

Dust

These have a long-lasting effect comparing to sprays. Their application process is, however, similar, and they are mainly used as roaches’ repellents. Apply dust on cracks, as well as around doors and window frames.

Natural Methods

These involve the use of natural products such as:

  • A mixture of baking powder and sugar – this kills cockroaches, especially when applied in their hideouts.
  • Boric acid – this kills roaches instantly upon contact. However, you need to apply the acid in the ideal place for cockroaches to get into contact. Additionally, it isn’t effective when wet, and only small amounts will work for you. Once roaches come into contact with the acid, it is ingested during grooming, thus resulting in the death of the pest.
  • Bay leaves – these are effective as repellents.
  • Lemon juice – contains some anti-pathogenic properties that aid in keeping the insects at bay.

The only challenge with natural methods is they aren’t much effective as most do not reach the hiding pests. Also, some of these require your active involvement in the process.

5 of the Best American Cockroach Killers Reviews

Under this section, you will find reviews of 5 best roaches’ killers. Besides, you will get a detailed pro and con analysis to ensure you settle on your preferred choice with ease. So, let’s get started and see how your cockroach infestation problem becomes a thing of the past.

Top Pick: Advion 383920 4 Tubes and 4 Plungers – Best American Cockroach Bait

Advion gel bait (full review) is highly effective, and its response is equally fast. It contains 0.6% of indoxacarb, which is considered responsible for the high success rate. The product is multifunctional, and it is highly suitable for home, residential buildings, as well as transport systems, use.

The active ingredient, indoxacarb, is poisonous and, therefore, you need to keep the item from children and pet reach. You are also required to handle the product with care. Its mode of application is equally simple as all you need it to apply a small amount of the product around corners.

In the event of a heavy infestation, apply about five spots of the product and if the infestation is low or moderate, consider applying up to three spots; each should be at least 0.25 inches in diameter. Those who have used the item can certify that the gel bait works ideally within three days. Its affordable price makes me highly recommend it for purchase.

Pros:Cons:
  • Highly effective.
  • It suits all sorts of infestation; high and moderate.
  • Affordable price.
  • The active ingredient is indoxacarb.
  • The flavor isn’t very appealing.

Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait

Here comes an insecticide bait that’s perfectly priced for your tight budget. The item is currently selling at a throwaway price, with a 71% discount. What’s conveyed upon purchase are 18 kid-resistant bait stations.

These are highly effective, and they are the best means to use if you are dreaming of eliminating the whole cockroach nest. You need to place them in roaches’ entry access points such as under the sink or behind the toilet.

They are equally user-friendly, with no activation required. Finally, Combat Max Baits will kill roaches in days and keep them off your premises for over a year.

Pros:Cons:
  • Works non-stop;
  • Ideally priced;
  • Kills by contact;
  • Kills and repels the roaches.
  • Takes a bit longer to see the effect.

Harris Boric Acid Roach and Silverfish Killer Powder w/Lure, 16oz – Best American Cockroach Killer Powder

The item suits home use, and its quality is unmatched, given the way it is made in the US. It has a long-lasting effect, and it’s suitable for multiple uses as long as you keep it dry. Boric acid kills within three days after roach contact.

Whereas the acid doesn’t work like baits in killing the entire nest, powerful attractants are incorporated to ensure all cockroaches are lured from their hideouts. The process of application is straightforward as the extended tip enables users to reach the corners with ease.

Finally, you need to shake well before use. The product is also suitable as a repellent. The price is the least of your worries as it meets even a strict budget.

Pros:Cons:
  • Easy to apply;
  • Kills roaches within three days of contact;
  • Long-lasting effect;
  • Strong attractants are incorporated.
  • It is ineffective when wet or moist.

Tempo Ultra SC 240 ML (8.12 oz.) Multi-Use Pest Control Insecticide – American Cockroach Treatment

No products found.

Tempo Ultra liquid pesticide is suitable to kill over 100 pests. It is simple to use and equally less messy to handle. If you are still wondering how to kill American cockroach, this is a great solution that’s proved to work ideally.

Unlike many powder baits or gels, this product offers a uniform spread and therefore covers more grounds than insecticide dust. It contains 11.8% Beta cyfluthrin as the active ingredient. The product is odorless and doesn’t stain. Its long-lasting effect makes it suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

It is low in terms of toxicity and thus perfectly suits home applications. Tempo Ultra kills pests in minutes, and it has a low use rate. The only con of the item is its slightly high price. All in all, upon purchase, you will find that the item is utterly worth the price.

Pros:Cons:
  • It contains Cyano as the active ingredient.
  • Low toxicity.
  • Long residual effect.
  • Low use rate.
  • Slightly costly.

Catchmaster 72MAX Pest Trap, 36 Count, White – Best American Cockroach Trap

The product is available in two packs; a 36 counts pack and a 72 counts pack. The price is moderate, and the items made of the utmost quality. Besides that, the Catchmaster pest trap is non-toxic and thus suitable for home use without endangering the pets.

It is also fused with peanut butter scent to act as an attractant for roaches. The glue works ideally to ensure no pest escapes the snare upon capture. Lastly, this perfectly made pest trap can be used several times, measuring 33.05 by 33.21 by 21.08 inches. It is a non-regrettable choice, and I highly recommend it for purchase.

Pros:Cons:
  • Versatile;
  • Non-toxic;
  • It contains attractants;
  • can be used for other small pests as well.
  • The glue quality in recent products is slightly low.

Getting Rid of American Cockroaches – Wrap Up

American cockroaches are tough to deal with, due to the unique survival tactics of roaches. For you to come up with an ideal solution to a cockroach infestation problem, you need patience and the right product; otherwise, you might end up setting your house on fire.

Related Post: Bengal Gold Roach Spray Review

Luckily enough, the item under review provides the best solution to cockroach infestation problems. Pick from the list given and rest assured of winning the race with the roaches. That said, keep in mind the importance of barrier exclusion and maintaining proper hygiene as this reduces the rate of reproduction of these pests, thus improving your chances to succeed.

Finally, has cockroach infestation ever been a problem in your house? Which method did you apply, and did it work out for you? Leave your feedback below and let’s have an interactive session.

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Nicholas Martin

About Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years.

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