Cockroaches are a common home pest, and in an effort to save time and money, many homeowners turn to common do-it-yourself treatments to control infestations. Unfortunately, these methods often wind up costing more money and causing additional frustration.


In order to be effective, DIY methods of cockroach control must be properly applied, and many homeowners may not follow instructions completely. Even if the application is done correctly, the effectiveness of these products is often partial and short lived.

Proper cockroach control involves much more than just applying a treatment. Learn about some of the most common commercial roach killers and find out about the most effective method for keeping roaches away.

Cockroach Bombs

Cockroach bombs, or foggers, work by spraying a pesticide into the air. Often recommended for confined spaces, such as rooms within homes, these bombs allow pesticides to coat surfaces that insects, like roaches, may come into contact with.

While they may seem good in theory, cockroach bombs are less-than-ideal solutions in reality. First, the pesticides they contain only coat the surfaces you can see. Cockroaches are often found in cracks and behind walls, areas that these bombs won’t reach. Secondly, there are safety concerns. The pesticides contained in these products may be harmful, and after use, they will cover several surfaces in your home. Additionally, the aerosol used in these products makes them flammable.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, homeowners using these products should take several precautions, including vacating their homes before use to avoid illness. All of these additional considerations make cockroach bombs more trouble than they’re worth.

Glue Traps

Readily available at hardware and home improvement stores, glue traps are pieces of cardboard covered with adhesive. Some may even contain smells designed to attract insects. These should be placed in areas with high potential for roach traffic, such as behind the refrigerator, under the sink, crevices in cabinets and shelves, closet door corners, and bathroom shelves and closets. These traps work by catching insects as the walk across their sticky surface.

Glue traps might seem like an easy solution for roach problems but, in reality, they’re more useful in detecting infestations than actually solving the problem. If you suspect an infestation in your home, you can lay some glue traps in the areas mentioned above to confirm your suspicions. However, because these products only trap the insects that come into contact with them, they will only catch a small percentage of the roaches that may be present in a home infestation.


Baits are poisons used to control pests like cockroaches. They come in two primary forms: gels and bait stations. Gel baits are usually sold in tubes or syringes for application in areas such as baseboards or in cracks and crevices, where roaches are likely to be found. While gel baits may seem like an easy method of roach control for hard-to-reach locations, they can be cause for concern. First, children and pets may come into contact with the poison. Secondly, they can result in dead roaches lying around your home, which will have to be picked up and disposed of.

Bait stations are similar to gels, but the poison used is often solid and it is secured by a covering, typically made of plastic. Commonly referred to as “roach motels,” these products work by attracting roaches to feed on the poison. These roaches return to the site of the infestation, where they die and are eaten by other roaches, spreading the poison throughout the population. However, bait stations usually cost more and are only partially effective, reaching a percentage of the pests and taking longer to be effective. Additionally, they are visible when placed in your home and are not aesthetically pleasing.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is a chemical compound made of boron and water, and it is sold in a sprayable dust form as a roach killer. It is usually applied in locations in and around the kitchen, including behind the refrigerator and the stove. Boric acid will lose effectiveness if exposed to moisture, which is often present in the kitchen. The substance can also become airborne, putting children and pets at risk of exposure. For these reasons, it is not typically recommended as the sole method of roach treatment. 

The Most Effective Solution

Professional pest treatments are the most cost-efficient and effective solutions for cockroach problems. Trained specialists can conduct inspections of your property, which are crucial in determining the source and extent of the infestation. They can also properly identify cockroach species and determine the best method of treatment for your case. Terminix® offers cockroach control backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Call for a consultation today.