What kills cockroaches instantly? How do you get rid of cockroaches overnight? Can you use bleach to kill cockroaches? Learn all you need to know about these pests from the experts at Terminix.


Cockroaches are one of the most common household pests and, unfortunately, they're also one of the most difficult to get rid of. There's a reason they've been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth: They're adaptable and resilient. These pests can be found almost anywhere, including plumbing, electrical lines and buildings. Some species, like the German cockroach, can even hitchhike from one building to another in boxes or furniture.

Finding cockroaches in your home is a cause for concern. Because these insects often live in unsanitary conditions, including sewers and in garbage, they can carry pathogens that cause disease, like E. coli and Salmonella. And, once they're in your house, they can begin reproducing quickly, meaning an infestation can get out of control very fast. In fact, a single female cockroach can produce 120–130 eggs in her lifetime.

So if you find cockroaches in your home, it might be tempting to try a quick fix to get rid of the problem easily. There are several DIY treatments you can buy at home improvement and big-box stores. But do they actually work? Find out, and learn how to kick cockroaches to the curb once and for all.

Why Are Cockroaches in My House?

Before talking about ways to eliminate a cockroach infestation, it's important to understand why these insects are making themselves at home in your house. Like humans, cockroaches have a few basic needs, and if they find these in your house, they're likely to settle in. The following can attract cockroaches:

Food – Cockroaches will eat virtually anything. This includes discarded food in the garbage, food crumbs, pet food, and even soap. For this reason, they're often found in kitchens and cabinets where food is present.

Water/Moisture – Roaches also need water and are attracted to moist areas like drains, tubs and sinks.

Shelter – Cockroaches also seek shelter and warmth like we do. Most cockroaches prefer a warm environment, thriving between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of most homes.

Why Are They So Hard to Get Rid Of?

Next, you're probably wondering exactly why cockroaches are so hard to get rid of. Well, there are a couple of reasons.

One is their exoskeletons. These are made of overlapping plates and a flexible membrane. This provides a couple of advantages. First, the membrane allows roaches to adjust their bodies to fit through small cracks, crevices and openings. Second, the hard plates of the exoskeleton offer a layer of protection.

Cockroaches are also excellent at staying hidden. Have you ever seen one, turned to get spray, a paper towel or a shoe to kill it, and notice it's vanished? They move quickly, and they're able to use their flexible bodies to conceal themselves and get out of harm's way at a moment's notice.

What Spray Kills Roaches Instantly?

As mentioned, there are several different DIY products that claim to help get rid of roaches. One of the most common is cockroach foggers. These are usually sold at home improvement stores and resemble aerosol cans.

They are small and are designed to be placed on a table or other flat surface. The user presses a button or pulls a tab, and the fogger releases a pesticide into the air. This pesticide settles on surfaces and kills roaches when they come into contact with it.

Unfortunately, these are not the perfect solution they're cracked up to be. Cockroach foggers are only effective on the roaches that come into contact with the pesticide, meaning those that are hiding in cabinets or other concealed spaces will survive. They also work best in smaller, more confined spaces, so they are not ideal for larger areas like living rooms.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends vacating your home immediately after activating a fogger — this includes removing pets — and staying away for at least two to four hours. If using a fogger, be sure to carefully read the label and follow the instructions exactly as explained.

Of course, potential dangers are a risk of any DIY pest control treatment. But there are other reasons you should avoid handling pest control yourself. Like foggers, many other DIY solutions can have effectiveness issues, costing you time and money in the long run and causing unneeded frustration.

Does Bleach Kill Roaches?

Another common DIY solution for cockroaches is bleach. And while bleach can kill cockroaches, it's still not an ideal fix. First, you have to saturate or drown the roach in the bleach — or somehow get it to drink the solution — for it to actually die. This makes it difficult and impractical for treating infestations, not to mention the fact that you'll wind up with bleach all over your floors or countertops and have to wipe it up.

So you're better off using bleach to clean your counters, tubs and sinks. If you wipe these surfaces down regularly, you'll help keep roaches away from your house.

How Do You Get Rid of Cockroaches Overnight?

There's no instant or overnight solution for a cockroach infestation, but there is one fix that's more effective than all the others: calling a pest control specialist. Because cockroaches are so difficult to kill and infestations are tough to control, it's best to rely on the pros to get rid of them. These professionals have access to the knowledge and tools needed to get your cockroach problem under control as efficiently as possible.

The specialists from Terminix® will begin your treatment with an initial inspection of your house, looking for roaches in all the places they live and reproduce. This includes in cabinets, under furniture, in sinks, drains and even cracks and voids in the walls, as well as in small electronics. Once they've identified where the roaches are hiding, they'll treat the inside of your house using a variety of methods, including vacuuming up visible cockroaches, then treat the outside to create a perimeter that keeps pests out. Regular follow-up treatments will ensure this perimeter remains fortified, providing as much protection as possible.

Don't let cockroaches take over your house — and don't waste time and money on ineffective DIY solutions. Contact Terminix to get your roach problem under control quickly.

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