Home PestsRoaches

What to Do If Roaches Are in the House

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Roaches are a common pest found in homes worldwide. They are not only a nuisance but can also pose significant health risks. If you’ve noticed signs of roaches in your house, you might be wondering what steps to take to eliminate them. This comprehensive guide will provide you with detailed information on how to handle a roach infestation, the risks associated with roaches, and preventative measures to keep them out of your home.


If roaches are in your house, first identify the infestation through signs like seeing roaches, droppings, egg cases, shedded skin, unusual odors, smear marks, and property damage. To get rid of them, use methods like boric acid, baking soda and sugar mixture, diatomaceous earth, gel baits, insect growth regulators, or professional extermination. Prevent future infestations by sealing entrances, maintaining cleanliness, storing food properly, fixing leaks, and sealing cracks and entry points. For severe infestations, consider hiring a professional exterminator.

Identifying a Roach Infestation

Before you can effectively deal with roaches, it’s crucial to know if you have an infestation. Some of the primary signs include:

  • Seeing cockroaches: Roaches are nocturnal creatures, so if you spot them during the day, it could indicate a severe infestation.
  • Droppings: Roach droppings resemble coffee grounds or black pepper for small roaches, while larger roaches produce cylindrical droppings.
  • Egg cases: Roaches produce oval-shaped egg cases, which can be found in hidden locations like spaces between books.
  • Shedded skin: Roaches shed their skin, leaving molted casings around your home.
  • Unusual odors: Cockroaches emit pungent pheromones that produce a musty, oily, or mildewy smell in infested homes.
  • Smear marks: In high-moisture areas, roaches may leave dark smear marks on walls, baseboards, and other surfaces.
  • Property damage: Roaches can cause damage to your property, such as chew marks on various surfaces.

Health Risks Associated with Roaches

Roaches can pose several health risks. They can cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and contaminate food, utensils, and surfaces where food is prepared, leading to food poisoning and infections. Cockroaches can carry and spread various diseases, pathogens, bacteria, and germs, including E. coli, salmonella, typhoid, and more.

Getting Rid of Roaches

There are several effective methods for getting rid of roaches in your house:

  1. Boric acid: Sprinkle boric acid powder in corners and floors where roaches are present. It is toxic to roaches and kills them upon contact.
  2. Baking soda and sugar: Mix equal parts baking soda and sugar and sprinkle the mixture in areas where roaches are hiding.
  3. Diatomaceous earth: This natural substance can be sprinkled in areas where roaches are present. It damages their exoskeletons and dehydrates them.
  4. Gel baits: Apply gel baits in cracks, seams, and corners, along baseboards, and around appliances. Roaches are attracted to the bait and die after ingesting it.
  5. Insect growth regulators (IGRs): These chemicals disrupt the growth and reproduction of roaches, preventing them from multiplying.
  6. Professional extermination: If you have a severe infestation, consider hiring a professional exterminator to treat your home with a combination of gel baits, boric acid, IGRs, and pesticide sprays.

Preventing Roaches from Entering Your Home

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some steps to prevent roaches from entering your home:

  1. Seal the entrances: Close gaps around windows and doors with weatherstripping and seal up cracks with caulk.
  2. Maintain cleanliness: Regularly clean your floors, countertops, and appliances to eliminate food scraps and crumbs that attract roaches.
  3. Store food properly: Keep food in sealed containers and avoid leaving dishes or food out overnight.
  4. Fix leaks and eliminate standing water: Roaches need water to survive, so fix any leaky faucets and ensure sinks are clear of water before bedtime.
  5. Seal cracks and entry points: Use caulk to seal cracks and crevices in walls and foundations, and use weather-stripping to seal gaps under doors and windows.


Roaches are a common problem in homes, but with the right steps, you can effectively eliminate them and prevent future infestations. Remember that maintaining a clean and clutter-free home is essential for preventing roach infestations. If you have a severe infestation, don’t hesitate to call a professional exterminator.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common types of roaches found in homes?

The most common types of roaches found in homes include the German cockroach, American cockroach, Oriental cockroach, and Brown-banded cockroach. Each has unique characteristics and requires different strategies for eradication.

Can roaches fly?

Not all roaches can fly. Among the common household roaches, the German cockroach cannot fly, while the American cockroach and Brown-banded cockroach have wings and can fly short distances.

Is it safe to use boric acid around pets and children?

Boric acid can be harmful if ingested by pets or children. Therefore, it’s essential to apply it in areas where they cannot reach. Alternatively, you can opt for safer methods like diatomaceous earth or hire a professional exterminator to apply child and pet-safe treatments.

How quickly can a roach infestation spread?

Roach infestations can spread rapidly due to their rapid reproduction rate. A single female roach can produce up to 300 offspring in a year. Therefore, it’s crucial to act quickly at the first sign of an infestation.

Can roaches survive without food and water?

Roaches can survive for about a month without food, but they can only live for about a week without water. This is why eliminating sources of water in your home is a crucial step in preventing roach infestations.

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