What’s the Best Cockroach Killer That Works?

If you’re like most people, cockroaches seem creepy, and after an invasion of roaches in your home, it’s natural to wonder, “What’s the best roach killer?” What you might not realize is that there are both chemical and non-toxic insect killers available to you.

Do you know that cleaning is also an important pest deterrent? If you don’t want to use chemicals, would you prefer a non-toxic killer? Do you seek the best insect killer? Here are some answers.

Before You Murder Mother Earth, Take These Roach-Proof Steps

When you see a huge cockroach or water bug (read), you often have an instant urge to kill it, and a quick, obvious solution is to spray it with an aerosol bug killer, but you’re wasting your time, since stopping cockroaches takes time and patience, not a quick spritz with bug spray.

Poll pest professionals and you’ll find that a top requirement for a roach infestation is a dirty home, mainly the attic, which is understandable, because grease, crumbs, and junk lying about give roaches both food and places to hide. Keeping it clean help reduce house or attic infestation by these pestilence, and helps you start to beat back the roaches.

The Los Angeles Department of Public Health defines cleaning steps to include vacuuming cracks and crevices to remove food particles, eliminating plumbing leaks, increasing ventilation to cure condensation, removing trash, and storing food in resealable containers.

Seal insect-entering cracks on your home’s exterior, including weatherstripping all doors and windows, investigate and seal roach-hiding crevices inside your home, and remove plants, lumber, firewood, debris, and garbage cans away from the outside of your house.

Try Non-Toxic Methods First

I prefer to reduce poisons in my home, so when a non-poisonous method works, I employ it. One approach, outlined by Mother Earth News in 1977, is to set out dishes of baking soda, which when consumed by roaches, gives them gas they can’t release, exploding them.

This YouTube video gives you an easy-to-make recipe for a sugar and baking soda roach bait, which is effective in killing cockroaches.

Another non-toxic roach killer is boric acid, which the University of Kentucky Extension Service claims is effective when used correctly since the powder clings to a roach’s body, it cleans itself, ingests the powder, which then dissolves body parts, and kills the insect.

This white powder comes in a plastic squeeze bottle, similar to bottles used to dispense mustard and ketchup. An effective application involves a light dusting in areas hidden from pets and children, since barely visible fine dustings are better than thick coatings.

You can catch an occasional insect in sticky glue traps situated along edges near cupboards and at entry points into a house, but this isn’t an effective way of eliminating pest infestations. It is, however, a great way to assess numbers and kinds of roaches in the home.

When All Else Fails, Bring Out the Chemical Roach Killers

Large roach infestations usually require strong chemical solutions, so if you’re experiencing hundreds of cockroaches, you still need to close off bug and insect entrances and adopt a strict cleaning regimen, but you might skip non-toxic measures and go for effective gel bait killers.

Probably one of the best bug-killing products is a DuPont product called Advion® Cockroach Gel Bait. Pest removal professionals use this proven insect killer by applying it in spots on pieces of cardboard in cracks, crawl spaces, and inside cabinets.

German cockroaches find the chemical imidacloprid, the active ingredient in InVict™ Gold Cockroach Gel Bait, deadly, and this Rockwell Labs product is used by professional pest specialists as an effective killer of the most prolific bug and insect, the German cockroach.

A very successful insect killer, fipronil, is the active ingredient in the Bayer insect killer, MaxForce® FC Magnum Roach Bait. Although large bug infestations will not evaporate immediately, given two to three weeks, all bugs and insects eventually succumb to this killer.

Inquisitive pets and children in open living quarters make it hard to use chemically-laden gel baits, and that’s when you turn to a more usable type of an already effective product, namely Avion® Cockroach Bait Stations, which are left in any place haunted by roaches.

Other gel bait products mentioned above are available in a bait station form, such as MaxForce® FC Roach Bait Stations because an advantage to bait stations is that they are reasonably child and pet proof, thereby allowing a safe insecticidal use within the home.


After you adopt strict cleaning procedures and tighten up entry and hiding places for roaches, you will find this pest control  method to be the best bug killer:

Stop your urge to grab the bug spray can and allow two to three weeks to let these approaches work. 

If you are still dealing with bug and insect headaches, try a few of our cockroach guides for additional help here.

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