Best Way to Get Rid of Roaches Permanently

roaches suckYou know what sucks about living in a city apartment? Roaches.

For every roach you see, there are thousands you don’t see.

I was seeing at least 10 a day, whizzing around my kitchen counters, floor, and ceiling.

I couldn’t cook without the fear of a roach ruining my meal.

They were overpopulated. They ran out of hiding places in the kitchen, so they were expanding into my living room, and bed room.

No, just no.

Luckily, I finally found the best way to get rid of roaches.

It’s going to take you some time and money, but in the long run, you’ll never have to worry about waking up to a cockroach on your pillow ever again! If you’re worried about the costs, realized that it’s way cheaper than bringing in an exterminator every month.

Phase 1 – Roach Scouting & Population Reduction

The goal of Phase 1 is to find out where the roaches live and breed the most. Some areas will have more than others, but if you don’t know what those are, you might be wasting your efforts on the wrong area. This step is important for focusing your battle plan in the right areas.

Scouting for Roaches

If you’ve lived in your apartment long enough, you probably have a good sense of where the roaches are hiding. If you don’t, take some time to take note of and locate hiding places.

Common roach hiding places include: under the sink, oven, refrigerator, inside cabinets, and in between cabinet, wall, and floor cracks.

My largest infestation was near my sink. There was a gap between my cabinet and wall which they called home. The reason they propagate near water is because they need it for survival. Roaches can survive months without food, but they can’t go more than a week without water. Knowing this bit will help us use a special tool to kill them explained later on in this guide.

Reducing their Population

TAT Roach SprayDisclaimer: This step sucks. If you’re afraid of roaches, get a friend who’s willing to lend a hand. You’re going to have to kill some roaches here. This is an important step in moving forward; do not skip this step.

Now you know where they hide; time to smoke them out. Grab your favorite roach spray (I used TAT Power Jet Stream). Also have your favorite killing utensil handy, whether it be a shoe or rolled up newspaper.

Starting with the most infested area, spray it with your roach spray and wait. After a couple of minutes you’ll start seeing a ton of roaches running out of hiding. Start pegging them down with your shoe or some paper. The sprays will confuse their response systems, so they’ll start slowing down and start having seizures. Kill them now.

Repeat the process with every infested zone on the same day. At the end of it all, depending on how bad your apartment’s infested, you’ll have killed at least 15 roaches, give or take.

The reason for doing this now is so that you won’t have to worry about being attacked by a roach in the next step: destroying their homes.

Phase 2 – Roach Home Destruction

You’re not really destroying their homes in this step, rather, limiting them. How? You’re going to start sealing off every possible gap, hole, nook, and cranny in your kitchen (or problem area). This is the slowest and most time consuming phase, so set out some time on a weekend to get this done. But don’t wait too long after Phase 1, otherwise new roaches will have moved into the areas you eradicated in the last step.

Patching Up Problems

In order to start patching up the gaps and holes that roaches hide and breed between, you’re going to need a few basic tools:

  • Caulking Gun – This is what I used and it’s relatively cheap.
  • Tubes of Caulk – I used about 4 tubes for my small kitchen.
  • Grout Sponge – Used for cleaning up stray caulk and making it look nice.

Once you have all your caulking supplies in hand, it’s time to start patching up those holes. Personally, I want to focus this guide more on ridding and preventing roaches, so I won’t go into detail on how to use or caulk your home, but here a few Youtube videos I’ve found helpful:

So once you know how to use the tools, start patching up all the holes where you think roaches might hide in. And don’t skip the slim gaps between cabinets; roaches have no bones and can squeeze through the thinnest gaps.

caulk gunMajor areas I patched up were uneven gaps between kitchen cabinets and walls, gaps between kitchen cabinets due to their poor design, and gaps between the floor and kitchen cabinets. Also, chances are there’s a hole cutout on the back of your sink’s cabinet to allow the pipes to connect to the sink. Caulk up all those gaps between the edges of the sink cabinet and the wall. Sinks are prime roach breeding gateways thanks to the water supply.

Aside from gaps in the kitchen, another major flaw in my apartment’s design was the front door. There was a small gap under it that allowed pests to crawl in. Being right next to my kitchen, it was an invitation for my neighbor’s roaches to come in and thrive in my kitchen. That’s right, even if you clean up your mess, you’re still going to pay the price of your neighbors’ shortcomings. I solved this issue by sticking foam weather strips under my door to seal the gap when it’s closed. You can also use a door sweep, but I didn’t think of that at that time.

All in all, this will be a long process. Don’t expect to finish it in a day. It took me a couple of weekends until I got all the holes patched up. After patching everything up, you’ll immediately notice a difference in the roaches you see traversing your kitchen daily, but there’s one final phase you need to lay down in order make this a success.

Phase 3 – Roach Prevention

At this stage, you’ve become more familiar with your home and your roach problem areas. You’ve reduced to roach population and you’ve destroyed their habitats by sealing up their breeding grounds. Your mission now is to kill the remaining lone survivors in your kitchen.

This is the only time roach killing products will actually work. Why? Because before you’d just be killing a few roaches while hundreds more are bred in the shadows. Do you see the problem with that? You’d never win. Only after destroying their homes do you finally have a fighting chance. Take charge, it’s time to reclaim your home!

Here are the products I used to eliminate and prevent new roaches from invading my kitchen, how they work, and why I used each one:

Combat Source Kill – Small Roach Bait Stations
combat roach traps

These are common roach traps you see all the time. Chances are you’ve used them before but they didn’t work. However, after you complete the steps in Phases 1 & 2, these work wonders. I bought this box because it had 12 traps; more traps for the buck.

This is how these traps work: the roach crawls in, eats the bait, goes back to its nest, infects other roaches, they all start dying. In case you didn’t know, roaches will eat dead roaches for food, spreading the poison. It’s like a zombie apocalypse for cockroaches.

Where to place them: Under the sink, on top of cabinets, in hard to reach places like under the oven and refrigerator. Ultimately, wherever you’ve seen roaches frolic.

Hot Shot – Ultra Liquid Roach Bait
liquid roach traps

Remember how roaches can’t survive without water? Well this trap works on that weakness. It’s essentially a mini well of water with slow acting roach poison. They’re attracted to the water, take a sip, return to their hideout, and poison their friends.

Where to place liquid traps: As far away from the sink as possible. Near your oven and the fridge are good choices since it’s hard to eradicate those areas of roaches completely. Do them a favor and bring the water to them… the water of death!

Advion Cockroach Roach Gel Bait
Advion Cockroach Roach Gel Bait
This is the secret sauce to your plan. It’s like candy for cockroaches. Poisonous candy. I don’t exactly know what’s in the mix, but it looks like a creamy peanut butter gel. This gel is considered commercial grade; it’s what exterminators charge you hundreds of dollars to use in your home. Why pay that much, when it costs $11 online? You probably won’t even end up using the whole tube. I didn’t.

Where to place: In all the hard to reach places sucks as in between cracks, cabinet corners, creases on pipes under the sink, window sill corners, those gaps where the wall meets the floor, etc. But note, only apply bead sized amounts per location. Don’t create lines with this stuff. The packaging will tell you exactly how to use it. Re-bead these areas every month and you’re set!

That’s It!

These are all the methods and products I’ve used. I’ve been living free from roaches for about 3 months now. It took about a month for them to fully die down, so keep that in mind. A few also started to congregate in a new part of my kitchen, but they were done after I laid down new traps.

Shopping List

Here’s a list of all the items I used for convenience:

Gap Sealing Tools

Roach Products

Also, as a student, Amazon Prime’s free 2 day shipping really comes in handy. Best part, it’s free for 6 months. You can either cancel it then or continue at a discounted student rate. Not a student? They sill offer regular 30 day Amazon Prime trials. Or you can just go to your local Home Depot and buy everything there, but I didn’t have time for that.

Image Attribution:
Roach Icon by Freepik is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

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