Are some cockroach repellents better than others? In a word, yes. Take a look at a few common household cockroach traps and learn which ones work best.

how to get rid of cockroaches in kitchen

When you start seeing cockroaches in your home, it can be tempting to rush to the store and buy the biggest can of roach spray you can find. But are there forms of cockroach repellent that work better than others? And is roach spray the most effective way to remove the pests from your house? Typically, there are four main ways to treat a roach infestation: traps, baits, boric acid or a spray.

The Purdue Extension's Department of Entomology offers a handy how-to guide with the pros and cons of those treatments. Authors Gary Bennett, an extension entomologist, and Changlu Wang, a Rutgers University extension specialist, cover the signs of an infestation and the cockroach repellents that can be used to treat them.


Traps work by catching roaches. One of the most common traps is a glue board trap. According to the same Purdue article above, these traps work by catching cockroaches on an adhesive surface. Traps like these should be placed in concealed or protected areas around the home. They can also catch mice and other insects.


Bait works by tricking the roach into eating something that's been laced with a poison. It comes in a variety of options that range from a gel to container bait. You can apply the gel directly to a surface, while container bait is covered except for where roaches enter and exit. When using bait, it is important to follow the directions, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health's cockroach prevention and control page. It is also a good idea to vary the type of bait used, as roaches may start avoiding the same type.

"While baits are effective against cockroaches, as with other types of pesticides, one product should not be used over long periods of time. Cockroaches have shown some avoidance of bait products, and even resistance (having the ability to survive after feeding on bait). Cockroach resistance problems can be delayed or avoided by using one pesticide product for a few months before switching to a dissimilar product."

Boric acid

Sprays include both foggers or roach bombs, in addition to aerosol sprays that can be applied more topically. They can also be pesticides mixed with water and applied with a type of air compressed sprayer such as a garden sprayer. While sprays can be effective in treating the visible members of a roach infestation, they are not recommended. According to the Pesticide Research Institute's fact page on cockroaches, use of a spray or fogger almost always results in inhalation of the pesticide.

"Use of aerosol sprays or foggers is not recommended, due to the high probability of exposure during the application from inhaling the aerosol. Fogging also leaves pesticide residues distributed throughout the home environment and is an explosion risk in homes with gas appliances. Outdoor sprays can drift away and pose a risk to non-target wildlife such as bees or other beneficial insects."

If you aren't sure which method is best for your home or how serious your problem may be, call a pest management specialist.

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