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Cockroach Index

German RoachThe first step in eliminating roaches is to determine whether you have a problem with German Roaches or Large Roaches.   German Roaches are what many people would identify as "water bugs" (because of their fondness for moist areas) or "kitchen roaches" (because that is where most infestations begin.)  They prefer a warm, moist environment (your kitchen and bathrooms) and love to hitch a ride from your grocery store, flea markets, day care center, even your friend's home!  Large Roaches, or what some people refer to as Palmetto bugs and "flying roaches", prefer a cool damp area (sewers, septic tanks, cellars and basements, mulch, etc...) and usually wander in from outdoors.  Once you identify your problem, we'll show you the solution!
Quick Guide Summary, Getting Rid of Roaches

To exterminate German Roaches we recommend you use either the clean-out method  or baiting method.  For many years, the clean-out method was used by most pest professionals.
Now that so many classes of insecticides have been pulled from the market, the only class left to spray indoors has been over-used to the point where German Cockroaches no longer respond to the sprays.  Cypermethrin insecticides (Demon, Cynoff, Viper, Sniper, Cyper) are clearly the best in the synthetic pyrethroid class -- but most German Cockroach populations are now resistant to these sprays.  In summary: It is usually a waste of your time and money to spray for existing infestations of German roaches in your home.  A professional roach bait is by far the best choice.  (Restaurants are allowed to use an organophosphate insecticide called "Orthene" (chemical name: Acephate) in commercial food handling areas.  Orthene cannot be sprayed in homes; it has a very high odor that lingers and it can easily stain or fade fabrics.)  For suggested baits in German roach infested homes, see roach baiting method

Clean-out Method:  The pesticides used in a clean-out will also exterminate many other pests in homes, restaurants or other businesses.  A roach clean out is usually implemented in locations where there is a very large roach population or when the roaches in the area have been identified as a group of roaches that are resistant to insecticides.

Basically, the clean-out procedure involves:
1) Residual pesticides:  Spraying baseboards, underneath and behind appliances and in other areas where roaches frequent gives you the long term control that you need.  Suggested products include Cyper WP, Demon EC, Cypermethrin 4 ounce or Orthene PCO Pellets for restaurants.   If you are spraying a restaurant or other commercial food handling establishment, you must use  Orthene PCO Pellets, Tempo SC, or Tempo WP.

2) Crack & crevice work:  When dealing with a severe infestation, a residual pesticide alone will not exterminate the entire roach population.   Using professional aerosols and/or dusts enables you to inject pesticides into the tiny areas where your target pests are hiding.  This also helps to "flush out" pests, forcing them to enter areas you have treated with residual products.   The best crack & crevice (C&C) residual aerosol for roaches on the market today is CB-Invader.  For flushing action without a residual (for more sensitive areas, food handling appliances, etc.,) Pyrethrin Aerosols are the best.

Baiting Method:  The best professional roach baits on the market:
Invict Gold Cockroach Bait and  Maxforce Magnum.  These are gel formulations packaged in simple syringes that make application neat, easy and effective.  The gel formulations enable you to place the material into cracks and crevices, appliances, pictures or clocks, in the corners of cabinets or any place where you suspect roaches are hiding.
Each roach feeding on your bait will kill up to 40 other roaches via droppings and dead bodies.  This "secondary kill" has a domino effect, eliminating up to ten generations of roaches with one simple application!  To make roaches eat cockroach baits faster, spray the area with Nylar, Gentrol or Gentrol Aerosol. An alternative would be the use of Gentrol Point Source.  Nylar and Gentrol are insect growth regulators designed to inhibit a roach's ability to develop into an adult.  A nice side-effect is driving roaches to feed faster and more often.
NEVER USE INSECTICIDE SPRAYS WHEN USING INSECT BAITS!  Insecticides will contaminate the bait, resulting in failure to eliminate the roaches.  An IGR (Gentrol, Nylar) will not contaminate your bait.
Invict Gold Cockroach Bait works faster than other baits.
In apartment complexes or other buildings where German Cockroaches are constantly being re-introduced into an area, rotate your baits to keep from having a bait avoidance problem.
Rotating between Invict Gold and Maxforce Magnum is a solid plan for multi-family buildings and other rental properties.
Another pest management program is to first bring the roach infestation under control with Invict Gold or Maxforce.  Once roaches have been exterminated, switch over to a prevention program.  Either bait each kitchen and bathroom with a professional bait every three months or use a spray on a monthly or quarterly basis. Sprays can include odorless insecticides such as Cyper WP, Onslaught, D-Fense SC (Suspend SC) or an IGR that effects roaches.
Another prevention program: 
1. Get rid of roaches with professional roach bait.
2. 30 days later, spray all areas of any bug activity with Nylar, Gentrol or NyGuard.
(NyGuard would be best; it controls more household pests than any other IGR.)
3. Every 4 months, spray one of the odorless insecticides listed above.

You may choose any combination of methods listed to help prevent re-infestation of roaches as well as prevention of bed bugs, ants, spiders or other pests.

Quick Guide Summary, Getting Rid of Roaches

German Cockroaches: Use Invict Gold Cockroach Bait or Maxforce Magnum to rid your home of roaches.  Use no sprays while baiting!
Other roaches: Spray hot spots indoors (if roach baits are not in use!), then spray around exterior in cracks, crevices, entry points; around windows and doors, mulched areas, tree trunks.  Spray with either Cyper WP, Demon WP or Cyzmic CS.  All three work great and all are odorless.  Demon WP is available in small pack which will make 2 to 4 gallons.  Cyper WP is same as Demon, will make 24 to 48 gallons.  Both will leave slight, visible residue on dark surfaces.  Cyzmic CS will make 10 to 40 gallons, dries clear.

Roaches That Avoid Baits         Contamination of Roach Baits


There are several species of large roaches (including American Cockroach, Brownbanded Cockroach, Smoky Brown Roach, Oriental Roach) that are most often found outdoors but invade your home and become a major pest. They breed in any type of mulch (pine straw, bark, leaves), dead trees, wood piles or other organic material. Their harborage can also include sewers, landscape timbers, basements, driveway walls and attics.
Although they are not really a "large" roach, the Asian Cockroach is exterminated using the same basic roach control methods and products.  For more about Asian roaches (or small flying roaches,) go to our Asian Cockroach article.
To exterminate other large roaches, use the following control methods:

Outside Spraying: Using a good residual spray such as Cynoff or Demon WP, spray a six foot swath all the way around the house and one foot up the foundation wall. You should also apply the pesticide to entry points such as windows, doors, plumbing, vents and weep holes. Spraying harborage areas such as rain gutters, hollow trees, mulch, tool sheds and retainer walls will complete your outdoor spraying.

Inside Spraying: Spray the inside where you have seen the roaches, paying special attention to areas where there is water. This includes the refrigerator, air conditioner, dishwasher, freezer, garage, laundry room and all plumbing.

Dusting: Dusts enable you to apply products in areas where insects are most likely to hide but where pets and humans are least likely to come in contact. Using Delta Dust in voids where roaches may hide or travel is an excellent pest management tool, killing many pests in the areas where spraying is difficult or hard to reach. Power dusting attics and/or crawlspaces with Delta Dust provides control for up to two years.

Baiting: In sensitive areas where you prefer to avoid the use of contact pesticides, use a professional bait such as Niban FG to eliminate roaches. Other baits available are Baygon Bait and Maxforce.