Home PestsRoaches

How To Get Rid of Roaches in the Basement

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When it comes to home pests, few creatures are as universally loathed as the cockroach. These resilient bugs aren’t just a symbol of filth and decay; they can also pose health risks and damage your property. If you’ve spotted these unwelcome guests lurking in your basement, it’s time to take action. This comprehensive guide will explain how to get rid of roaches in the basement effectively and prevent future infestations.


To get rid of roaches in your basement, start by identifying signs of an infestation such as droppings, smear marks, unusual odor, egg casings, shed skins, property damage, or seeing live or dead roaches. Use methods like diatomaceous earth, baking soda and sugar mix, boric acid, glue traps and sealing entry points. Maintain cleanliness in your basement and consider professional pest control if the infestation is severe. Prevent future infestations by sealing entrances, eliminating clutter, cleaning regularly, fixing water leaks, and maintaining outdoor cleanliness.

Identifying a Roach Infestation

Before you can tackle a roach problem, you need to confirm that you’re dealing with an infestation. Roaches tend to be nocturnal, so you might not see them during the day. Here are some telltale signs of a roach infestation:

  • Droppings: Roach droppings resemble coffee grounds or black pepper and are usually less than 1mm wide.
  • Smear marks: Roaches leave dark, irregular smears on walls and other surfaces in areas where they are most active.
  • Unusual odor: A musty, damp, and unpleasant odor is caused by the pheromones left behind in roach droppings.
  • Egg casings: Roaches produce oblong, brown casings that house many eggs. Finding these casings can indicate an infestation.
  • Shed skins: Cockroaches shed their skin as they grow, and finding these skins is a sign of infestation.
  • Property damage: Roaches can cause damage to furniture, clothes, and electronic appliances.
  • Live or dead cockroaches: Seeing live or dead roaches, especially during the daytime, is a strong indicator of an infestation.

Effective Methods to Get Rid of Roaches

Once you’ve confirmed an infestation, it’s time to implement an action plan. Here are some of the most effective methods to get rid of roaches in your basement:

1. Diatomaceous Earth

This natural powder damages roach exoskeletons and causes them to dehydrate and die. Sprinkle it around your basement, focusing on areas where you’ve seen roaches.

2. Baking Soda and Sugar

Mix equal parts of baking soda and sugar and place the mixture in areas where you’ve seen roaches. The sugar attracts them, and the baking soda kills them.

3. Boric Acid

Mix equal parts of boric acid, flour, and sugar to create dough balls. Place them in areas where you’ve seen roaches. They will feed on the dough balls and be killed. Keep these away from children and pets.

4. Glue Traps

Place glue traps in cabinets, under large appliances, and in corners to catch and dispose of roaches.

5. Seal Entry Points

Close gaps around windows and doors with weatherstripping and seal up cracks with caulk to prevent roaches from entering your home.

6. Maintain Cleanliness

Regularly clean your basement, remove clutter, and eliminate sources of food and water for roaches.

7. Professional Pest Control

If the infestation is severe, consider hiring a professional pest control company to eliminate the roaches and provide ongoing preventive services.

Preventive Measures

Prevention is always the best strategy when it comes to pest control. Here are some steps you can take to prevent a roach infestation in your basement:

  • Seal entrances: Close gaps around windows, doors, and foundations with weatherstripping and caulk to prevent roaches from entering your home.
  • Eliminate clutter: Remove cardboard boxes, newspapers, and piles of clothing or other materials that can provide hiding places for roaches.
  • Organize your basement: Donate unused items and maintain a well-ventilated space with minimal moisture to discourage roaches from settling in.
  • Clean regularly: Sweep and vacuum floors, wipe down counters, and clean up food scraps and crumbs to eliminate potential food sources for roaches.
  • Fix water leaks: Repair leaky pipes and faucets, and use a dehumidifier or sump pump if your basement is moist.
  • Use mechanical devices: Employ a strong vacuum to force roaches out of their hiding places.
  • Apply least-hazardous chemical practices: If necessary, use bait stations, bait gels, or other non-toxic home remedies like diatomaceous earth or boric acid.
  • Inspect and monitor: Place sticky traps on the floor next to walls and under appliances to locate hiding places and monitor the roach population.
  • Exclude roaches: Caulk cracks and holes, and seal spaces around permanent fixtures to prevent roaches from entering.
  • Maintain outdoor cleanliness: Place outdoor garbage cans and receptacles away from doorways to avoid attracting roaches.


Dealing with a roach infestation in your basement can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and tools, you can effectively eliminate these pests. Remember to be patient and persistent in your efforts, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if the infestation is severe. With time and diligence, you can reclaim your basement and enjoy a roach-free home.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for roaches to die after coming into contact with diatomaceous earth?

Diatomaceous earth doesn’t kill roaches instantly. After a roach comes into contact with the powder, it usually takes about 48 hours for them to die.

Are there any risks associated with using boric acid for roach control?

Yes, while boric acid is an effective roach killer, it can be harmful if ingested by humans or pets. Always use caution and keep it out of reach of children and animals.

Does cleaning alone eliminate a roach infestation?

Cleaning can help reduce a roach infestation by eliminating food sources and hiding places, but it’s usually not enough to completely get rid of roaches. You’ll likely need to use other methods in conjunction with cleaning, such as using roach baits or traps, sealing entry points, and possibly hiring a professional pest control service.

How often should I inspect and monitor for roaches?

You should inspect and monitor for roaches regularly, preferably every week. This can help you catch an infestation early and take action before it becomes a bigger problem.

How quickly can a roach infestation spread?

A roach infestation can spread quite quickly, as a female roach can produce up to 400 offspring in a year. This is why it’s important to act quickly at the first sign of an infestation.

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