Get Rid of Cockroaches in Your Kitchen – For Good!

Other than cucumbers, which apparently give them gas (who knew?), cockroaches will eat practically anything organic.

Get tips and tricks for keeping cockroaches out of your kitchen, or for killing them if they infiltrate your home:

They also like warm, dark, moist spaces.

This adds up to your kitchen being a practically perfect insect habitat.

But you really don’t want these beasts in your kitchen. In addition to simply being nasty, these insects carry a number of diseases, and their excrement can cause severe allergic reactions in some people.

Get all the advice you will ever need to FINALLY get rid of all those nasty cockroaches in your kitchen! Read more now on Foodal: /

Are you gagging yet?

Pull yourself together and read on to learn how to prevent these vile beasts — also known as palmetto bugs — from taking up residence in your home.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

The first step to keeping these icky bugs out of your kitchen is to keep them out of your garden, so they’re less likely to find their way into your home.

Read more about keeping your yard roach-free in this article from our sister site, Gardener’s Path (coming soon!).

Keep cockroaches out of your kitchen with expert tips |

Your next defense against these 18-kneed insects is to make your home inhospitable to them.

Here’s what you need to do:

Plug the Holes

Keep them out of your home by caulking cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation, in baseboards, and in walls.

Two of the most common types found in our yards and homes, the German and the American cockroaches, can crawl through incredibly tiny spaces — as thin as a dime — so be extra diligent about sealing up even the tiniest cracks or holes.

Learn tips and tricks for keeping cockroaches out of your kitchen |

Look for cracks around heat registers, air ducts, and electrical boxes.

Homeowners should also cover drains in basement floors with window screening, and make sure windows are tight, recommends Barb Ogg, Ph.D., of the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension. She also recommends weatherstripping doors.

Seal any gaps around water, gas, and heating pipes, both indoors and out, Ogg suggests.

Prevent cockroaches from invading your kitchen |

You also want to eliminate water sources by finding and repairing any water leaks. Experts recommend insulating kitchen and bathroom pipes to prevent humidity and condensation.

You can also use a dehumidifier to keep relative humidity to a minimum.

2. Give Them Nowhere to Hide

Now that you’ve sealed everything up, the next step is to eliminate hiding places.

These creepy-crawlies are thigmotropic, meaning they like their bodies — preferably on all sides — to be in contact with solid objects. In other words, they like to be in piles of stuff.

Banish cockroaches from your kitchen with these expert tips |

Like in the crammed-together paper bags you might have stuffed between your washer and dryer, for example. Uh-oh.

Look for areas where you might be inadvertently offering these beastly bugs a safe refuge, and have a wholesale clean out.

You might want to have a size 13 flip-flop or a sturdy kitchen clog at the ready for quick extermination of any vermin your cleaning efforts might flush out.

Learn how to rid your kitchen of cockroaches |

Of course, in general, do your best to keep your home tidy and clutter free. (Ha!)

That brings us to our next point of attack…

3. Keep it Clean

In all seriousness, this one is important. And that’s because, ultimately, it’s food the bugs are after. So you want to keep your kitchen as pristine as you possibly can.

Cleaning Countertops |

Even though it’s late and you’re tired, don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink. And go ahead and take the time to carefully wipe down the countertops of all crumbs and food bits.

Don’t leave food out on the counter.

Bugs in a Dirty Kitchen |

Make sure food items in your pantry are thoroughly sealed, and keep pantry shelves clean and crumb-free.

Sweep or vacuum often to not only clean up food particles but to also clean up excrement, which A. stinks and B. attracts more of these unwelcome guests.

When Prevention Fails…

If you’ve implemented all of the above prevention tricks and the vile buggers still infiltrate your home, you may need to turn to more murderous solutions.

A Blast from the Past

Seeing as how these big bad bugs have been around since before the dinosaurs, there’s a bit of poetic justice in killing them with a substance almost as old, no?

Cockroaches are vile pests; get expert advice about how to keep them out of your kitchen |

Start with diatomaceous earth, a powdery substance made up of pulverized sea-creature fossils. The tiny bits are razor sharp and pierce the bug’s shell, causing death by dehydration.

To apply, clean thoroughly, and then spread a very thin layer of diatomaceous earth in areas known to be trafficked by palmettos.

Don’t apply the diatomaceous earth to damp or wet areas, as the wet powder won’t kill insects.

As the bugs track through the dust, their exoskeleton will be affected and they will die in 7 to 14 days.

Boric Acid

Another often used and highly effective insect killer is boric acid. Derived from the mineral boron, boric acid is quite toxic to insects.

Dead Insect on Kitchen Floor |

It can also be toxic to pets and humans, so use boric acid with caution.

A few licks are unlikely to hurt a large dog, but repeated exposure can cause vomiting and dehydration. Small dogs and cats are at greater risk.

You’ll want to caution children to stay away from treated areas.

Your best bet is to buy boric acid powder in an applicator that allows you to “puff” out a thin layer at popular hangout areas.

Harris Boric Acid Roach Powder, available on Amazon

For more natural approaches and other ideas for getting rid of these unwanted bugs, consult this informative guide from Pest Strategies

Other Chemicals

A wide variety of commercial traps, strips, and sprays are also available, like these large bait stations.

Combat Large Roach Bait Station, available on Amazon

They often contain a combination of insecticides, such as fipronil or imidacloprid, which do a good job of killing them. But these are also toxic to pets and people, so use caution.

Bait stations are among the safest toxin-delivery vehicles, as the poisons are contained within a pet- and child-proof container.

Finally Get Rid of Cockroaches in Your Kitchen |

The bait stations contain a poison-tainted food attractant. The insects feed, then go back to their nesting area where they expel sputum and feces, and kill others, as well.

Place the bait traps in areas where you’ve seen a lot of bug traffic. Under the kitchen sink is usually a good place, for example.

Have You Had Just About Enough?

If you’re pretty much just completely, totally, 100% over it with these gross bugs in the kitchen, it’s time to take steps to get rid of them.

Insect on the Side of a Bowl |

First, ensure that you’re done everything you can to rid your garden of the pests, so they’re less likely to be around and invade your home.

Seal up your home to make ingress more difficult.

Then, make sure your home is as clean as possible, and eliminate possible hiding spots.

If they’re still intruding on your midnight refrigerator raids, consider using diatomaceous earth, and if that doesn’t work, you might need to turn to more toxic solutions such as boric acid or other chemicals.

Do you have tried and true cockroach-killing methods? Share tips below, in the comments section.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.

About Gretchen Heber

Gretchen Heber is an Austin, Texas foodie whose passion for eating has lead to a fair competence in the kitchen, according to her family and to friends who are generally pretty excited to be invited to a dinner party at her home. Always on hand in her kitchen: a water-filled cup full of upright cilantro, at least a dozen lemons and limes, several heads of garlic, and fish sauce in the fridge.

20 thoughts on “Get Rid of Cockroaches in Your Kitchen – For Good!”

  1. I never knew that roaches preferred having their bodies kept in constant contact with a physical object. For the longest time, I thought that they prefer wide, open spaces. We haven’t used our country home for over a decade because it has been busy in the city lately. You can just imagine how messy it looks by now and the thought of cleaning it ourselves is simply overwhelming. I’d be sure to follow your tips moving forward. For now, it would be best if get professional help to do the legwork for us. Thanks for sharing this quick tip!

  2. I like how you suggested plugging holes to prevent cockroaches from getting in your kitchen. My mom recently found a big one in her sink and is now calling a pest control service. Thanks for the tips on preventing and getting rid of these bugs.

  3. I only heard how these bugs are so hard to rid of once they get in… I live in a town home, my neighbor got a sofa that was infested with them. I started to see them crawling under the wall into my home…

    I spread poison around every edge in my home. Put a ton of the bait traps under furniture and cupboards, and this stopped them. Now a year later I saw my dog playing with a bug and I freaked out. I can’t spray due to pets now. help….

    • Use food grade diatomaceous earth! Just let it settle for an hour before letting the animals out of a safe room in your home and it will be safe for them and children!

  4. My kitchen sink has been a problematic issues and moments for my daily life. Too much cockroach means too much health problems and they look very disgusting. This really helps me had the idea to kill roaches 100%.

  5. I have a BIG cockroach problem and live in a large apartment building that I am told is infested with them. The majority of tenants in this building are international students who have different standards when it comes to the presence of cockroaches, bed bugs, pharo ants, and mice. The sane thing for me to do is to move out however I have been a tenant for 20 years and now elderly, tired and cannot find the strength that it takes to move. My location is near to all amenities and with the help of care providers I am able to maintain supported independent living…..a living style that has taken me years to establish. I have voiced my problem to the landlord who promises great efforts to address the problem….none of which have been forthcoming. Management is evasive and ineffective in support of professional pest management. My home is spotless and I have tried all remedies that have been addressed on this site. I’ve been in touch with the Tenancy Board who inform me that a complaint must come from the landlord…..that’s not going to happen as they are trying to keep the problem “under the carpet”. Any suggestions ??

    • Write a complaint to the landlord again on official document requesting it be resolved by a particular date….don’t ever say you want it resolved ASAP… give them a deadline. Advise that it’s a breach of the OH&S act and the Owners Corporation Act and refer to each section of the act and that S/he, The Owners Corporation and realestate agency all have a duty of care to abide by the acts. You can send a letter to the corporation separately as their number would be displayed on the building. In your official application of the ohs breach refer to the section they are breaching and give the Heath reasons why it needs to be resolved by your deadline date

      • If all else fails, and you cannot afford a lawyer, collect as much gruesome evidence as possible to show to a local current affairs television program. Naming and shaming the landlord/strata management might hasten some action.

    • There’s a product called Demon WP, at your local tractor supply store mix it w/ one gallon of water in a one gallon sprayer. You can spray it anywhere – not directly on food of course, but it’s used in restaurants, corners, seams, baseboards, drawers, under sinks, along the back of the sink, windows, behind appliances. You’ll see a drastic reduction in a couple weeks, lasts 90 days, should be gone by then.

    • Uhoh. What kind of spray did you use? The inside of a toaster is difficult to clean, and burning chemicals can be unsafe, though they might evaporate. We’re going to get in touch with a pest control expert so they can weigh in, and we will post their response here.

      To prevent bugs from going after your toaster in the future, you can spray canned air inside to dislodge any crumbs, and clean out the crumb tray frequently.

      • Customer service at SC Johnson was unable to provide us with any specific recommendations, but if this was a Raid product, they have recommended that you contact one of their health care professionals by calling 1-866-231-5406.

    • Hi Annette,

      I received a more detailed response to your question today from Karyn Kinney, Senior Consumer Representative at the Consumer Relationship Center at SC Johnson: “If the accidental spray was overspray from treating the general area and the amount was limited, we’d recommend reviewing the toaster manufacturer’s directions for safely cleaning the inside of the toaster. After ensuring it is safe to do so and unplugging the device from the electrical outlet, either follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning or proceed with wiping out the toaster with warm soapy water a few times. Let the toaster dry completely and then run the toaster on the highest setting for several cycles. Following this process should allow for the continued use of the toaster.”

      Hope this helps!

  6. I moved into a home infested with large palmetto bugs, cockroaches, and bedbugs, not to mention fleas and ants in the yard for our poor dog. To make the suffering worse I had a broken arm, a week in the process I discovered I had bedbugs in my cast, the doctor changed it (thankfully) and is now home pest free. Started with many calls to pest control company. Not successful. Home Treatment of cleaning, picking those bedbugs by hand, vaccuming, changing chemicals, trimming hedges. treating yard with seven dust. fogging, spraying, using motels, the contact gel, and boric acid. Along with filling holes finally worked.

  7. There is a perimeter bait (InTice) with 10% orthoboric acid that works especially well for roaches both indoors and out. An internet search will tell you where to purchase this product.

  8. I moved into an apartment that has roaches. First time I’ve ever seen such a continuous influx of them. Every night, I come across one. I’ve done everything else (sealing, surface spray, vinegar, hygiene) and now I’m considering getting those poisoned food drops. These traps worked a gem for an ant problem I once moved into in another shitty house, and now I’m hoping they will help for the roach infestation in my apartment building, which seems to have been pre-existing my arrival by years. I just wish tenants would clean up their act sometimes. No wonder landlords are so harsh with them when they don’t give a shit about their own living space!

  9. If you take a spray bottle and fill it almost all the way with water then add enough Dawn dishsoap to make the water about the same color as Windex you can spray it on just about any insect and they will die almost immediately. If you spray on a roach he might run a foot before he dies. This is only good for the roaches you see. It doesn’t last like a poison but it will get rid of the ones you see. You can wipe it right up and Dawn cleans up mess. As I said, this works on everything from roaches to wasps to anything. I live in Florida and trust me, we have every insect there is and it works on all of them. Good luck.


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