How To Get Rid of Roaches

Learn how to get rid of roaches yourself following roach control treatment plans.

Cockroaches are both unpleasant and unsanitary. Getting rid of roaches can be tricky because the two most common roach types (German or American roaches) use different roach control treatment plans for elimination.

4 Key Steps To Get Rid Of Roaches

After determining what kind of cockroach you have, follow the recommended treatment plans. We have tips on inspecting for roaches, critical sanitation/exclusion procedures, and the best treatment options to get rid of roaches.

  1. Roach Identification: The first step for a roach control treatment plan is to identify which type of roach you have. To determine which type of roach you have, first look at their sizes. Afterward, compare physical features and habitats from the information and links below. You may need a flashlight or glue boards to catch them. When in doubt about their identification, please contact us.
  2. Inspection: Proper inspection is critical to success in a roach control treatment plan. Are the roaches the smaller type of roach (an inch or less)? Do they hurry over your kitchen counter when you turn on the light? These are typically German Roaches. Do you have the larger roach (about 1.5 inches) that mostly lives outside and occasionally comes inside? Larger roaches require a different treatment plan.
  3. Sanitation: The third step in getting rid of roaches is to investigate sanitation issues. Since roaches need food, water, and a harbor location, it is essential to eliminate these sources as much as possible.
  4. Get Rid Of Roaches (Treatment Plans) - Based upon identification and inspection, choose your best treatment plan for the type of roach that is a present.

How to tell the difference between the smaller German Roaches or the larger American Roaches

How to tell the difference between the smaller German Roaches and the larger American Roaches

Roach Identification by Adult Size and Habitat

Roaches american german
Roaches: American vs. German

The first question that we ask when someone says that they have roaches is, “Where are they living and how big are they?” Correctly identifying what kind of cockroach you have is vital and a key to successfully treating a roach infestation.

More Identification and Inspection Help

Identifying Different Types of Roaches

German roach lifecycle stages
German roach lifecycle stages

Smaller Roaches

Smaller adult roaches include the German roach and the Brown-Banded roach. The most invasive of these two types of cockroaches is the German Roach

The smaller German roach is just 1/2"-1 " in the adult stage with a light golden brown color. They have two distinctive bands behind their heads. The other smaller roach, the Brown-Banded roach, has bands along with their wings. Both of these smaller roaches live and breed inside, and the treatment plan would be the same. The German roach is the most common of the smaller roaches and the most difficult to control. You find these roaches in places that have water or food, such as kitchens and bathrooms. These roaches commonly live behind and under sinks, stoves, and refrigerators. Find these roaches in floor drains in commercial kitchens. They live in dark places and are nocturnal. It is widespread to spot these roaches when you enter a kitchen or bathroom and turn on the light. You can see these small, golden-brown roaches scampering on the counters.

Are they the smaller type of roach (adults - 1/2 - 1") you see on the kitchen counters when you turn on the light?

American roach lifecycle stages
American roach lifecycle stages

Larger Roaches

Large adult roaches include the American roach, Australian, Smoky Brown Oriental Roaches, and Woods Roaches. The most common of the larger sized roach is the American roach. The American roach is second only to the German cockroach in abundance.

The American roach is reddish-brown and is about 1.5 " or longer. Many people refer to these types of roaches as water bugs or palmetto bugs. These larger sized roaches are not known to spread disease as compared to the German roach. All the treatment options are similar to the larger roaches.

Are they the larger type of roach (adults 1.5 " or more) that you occasionally see in the kitchen or other areas in your home?

German Roach Control Treatments

Identifying the presence of German or Brown-Banded roaches is essential for proper control measures. They breed inside and contaminate their living environments while most larger adult cockroaches do not reproduce inside. The most common larger roaches breed outside, and target treatment areas would be different.

Use primarily roach baits and insect growth regulators to treat German roaches and Brown-Banded roaches. Treat other types of roaches, such as the larger American roach with insecticide concentrates sprayed outside and entry points to your house. Using Roach baits and using growth regulators are keys to getting rid of these roaches. We have both roach baits and insect growth regulators (IGRs) combined in kits for greater savings.

Click Here: German Roach Treatments

Getting Rid of German Roaches with Professional Roach Control Products

German Roach Spray Kit

This kit for german roach control contains all that you need if you prefer to spray for German roach control. It contains a non-repellent insecticide called Advion WDG, an IGR called Tekko Pro, and a contact/flushing aerosol called Stryker 54. Advion WDG kills the adult roaches with Indoxacarb (for pyrethroid-resistant roaches). It is advantageous to use a non-repellent insecticide for german roach control instead of a general repellent. The roaches will avoid a repellent insecticide. The Tekko Pro is our top-rated IGR with combined chemistry to stop reproduction (Pyriproxyfen) and (Novaluron) that stops the chitin process, decreasing survival chances. The Stryker 54 Aerosol contains pyrethrin and PBO for a quick knockdown and has flushing capabilities.

Inspect: Using a flashlight, inspect for roach feces to determine the German roach shelters or harbor areas. If necessary, pull out cabinets and drawers to get a closer look.

Combine Advion WDG and Tekko Pro IGR: Mix 1 packet of Advion WDG and 1 oz of Tekko Pro IGR in a 1/2 gallon of water. Since most German roaches are just in the kitchen and bathrooms, 1/2 gallon of finished solution is plenty to start. Spray cracks and crevices where the roaches are running, behind and under ovens, stoves, refrigerator, between the refrigerator and nearby appliance, behind microwaves, toasters, ovens, coffee makers, dishwashers.

Use Flushing Aerosol: After spraying the combined solution, spray the Stryker 54 aerosol behind and under and behind refrigerators, ovens, stoves, between the refrigerator and nearby appliance, behind microwaves, toasters, ovens, coffee makers, dishwashers, and light switch plates. These are areas where the German roaches are hiding and the Stryker 54 will flush them out and make them run out over the freshly sprayed surface.

Monitor: Allow a few days for the roach population to decline and then put out the Catchmaster Insect Trap and Monitors. You can separate them into three small traps or use them as one larger trap. Remove the release paper to expose the glue and then fold them into a "tent".Place them in areas where roaches have been or are likely to be. Use the adhesive strip on the bottom to attach them to walls or under counters. Monitor the traps frequently to help identify areas of heavy roach activity. As the roach population decreases, the traps are an excellent way to discover and pinpoint new roach activity

Follow Up: Retreat if necessary in one month. For additional treatment, use the optional add on of Invict Roach Bait Gel. Apply Invict Gold in small spots about 1/4" in diameter (size of a pea).

Ultimate German Roach Bait Kit

The Ultimate German Roach Bait Kit combines a high-quality roach gel bait like Invict Gold and Insect Growth Regulators to prevent maturity, Invade Bio Zap, and a qt sprayer. It includes Invade Bio Zap, which is a microbial, natural probiotic liquid that eats away organic odors and allergens. It leaves a fresh citrus scent.

Inspect First and Bait Placements: Place these roach baits in their harborage areas after proper inspection. A flashlight would be helpful in your inspection.

Kitchen: Look for the evidence of German Roaches in such places as kitchen drawers, behind and under appliances, kitchen counter, and oven hood, and microwaves and toasters, cracks and crevice of kitchen cupboards and pantry. Typical areas include, behind kitchen cabinets, countertops, under stoves, around pipes and cracks and crevices.

  • Gentrol IGR: Place the Gentrol Point Source device in areas where roach activity has been observed.
  • If using Tekko Pro IGR, mix it at the rate of 1 oz per 1/2 gallon of water and spray in their hiding places such as behind and underneath stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators, beneath sinks. For ongoing maintenance, repeat Gentrol Point Sources every six months if you live in an apartment.

Bathrooms: If they are in the bathrooms, apply along the sinks, toilets, in cabinets, and behind any wall hangings.

Living Rooms and Other Rooms: Look under beds or couches where crumbs and other food particles may have accumulated. In laundry, areas check behind and under the washer and dryer.

Key Takeaway

Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) are invaluable for eliminating German Roaches and can be used with Baits or insecticide Sprays.

Roach Treatment Plans for German and American Roaches

Getting Rid of American Roaches with Professional Roach Control Products

American Roach Control Treatments

Spraying a residual insecticide and using granular baits are the best options for preventing and removing these larger types of roaches. This type of roach is easier to treat than the smaller type of roach like the German roach. Certain roaches gain resistance over time to pesticides. We stay current with the best treatment options available on the market.

Click Here: American Roach Treatments

If you need help identifying the type of cockroach, call us at 1-800-476-3368, and we can explain the treatment options. You can also place sticky traps such as Victor Pheromone Traps #327RPT on the kitchen counters at night to catch them and take a picture. Send email with the picture attachment and we will be glad to help you with identification. Refer to this Roach Treatment Chart or MGK's PDF of Roach Identification for a quick comparison glance.

German Roach and Brown Banded Roach -Habitat and Entry

These roaches do not forage from the outside but travel from one apartment/ suite to the adjoining unit. They are brought inside or hitchhiked in items such as luggage, boxes, and grocery products. German roaches live and breed inside; they can live all season long since they are in a warm, comfortable environment. German roaches are brought in via luggage, furniture, handbags, or boxes from an infested location. During the warmer months, they can move from building to building. In commercial settings, they can move from one connecting unit to the next thru drop ceilings and standard plumbing and electrical elements.

Health hazards of the German roach and Brown-Banded roaches

German cockroaches and Brown-banded cockroaches are health hazards; they carry bacteria that are transmitted to humans. The primary diseases are gastroenteritis, including food poisoning, dysentery, and diarrhea. Asthma and allergies may be triggered by the German roaches' feces, body parts, or salvia that are circling in the air.

American Roach and Larger Roach-Habitat and Entry

The American roaches are common in warmer climates or during the warmer spring, summer, and fall months. They mostly live and breed outside and wander inside for water and food. They are often found inside after extreme weather conditions, like heavy rain or drought conditions. They mainly live outside in organic, mulch material. They will also be found in basements, woodpiles, attics, hollow trees, under roof shingles, and in attics. They are common in steam tunnels in the northern states in the USA. Most of the time, they breed outside. However, if conditions are right, they will reproduce inside. For example, you may find an American roach population behind a wall that has had a water leak causing a moist environment.

Health hazards of American roaches

Since American roaches move from sewers into homes or commercial establishments, they can be a health concern. They carry bacteria, viruses, and parasites on their bodies, which lead to dysentery, diarrhea, and salmonella. These health concerns are not at the same magnitude of the health concern from German roaches since most of the time, they live and breed outside.

Key Takeaway

Exterior perimeter treatments are crucial when treating for American roaches and larger sized roaches.

How to Prevent Roaches and Sanitation


Preventing Roaches

Sanitation and exclusion techniques are important tools in your roach control program. Roaches need food, water, and an undisturbed place to shelter. As much as possible, eliminate their food, water, and shelter as you begin your roach control treatment plan.

German and Brown-Banded Roaches

For the German roaches, it is critical to clean your kitchen and bathrooms while beginning a roach baiting program. Pay attention to crumbs and grease in the kitchen and unclean tubs, showers, bathroom countertops in the bathrooms. If you do not clean well, getting rid of these types of roaches will be more challenging.

  • Keep clean dishes, kitchen sinks, counters, and cabinets.
  • Keep pet food picked up.
  • Remove all grease and food particles by cleaning and vacumming.
  • Do not leave any food out in the open and seal all food containers.
  • Remove indoor trash.
  • Get rid of cardboard boxes, empty soda bottles, and stored paper bags.
  • See more tips at: German Roaches

American and Larger Roaches

For the larger outdoor types of roaches, it will be helpful to remove or treat any harborage around the home like mulch and pine straw. Seal cracks and crevices around windows, doors, and plumbing that roaches may use to enter the home.. Eliminating food sources and blocking entry points are critical steps to keep roaches out of your home.

  • Remove trash regularly and kitchen clean.
  • Keep dumpsters clean and use a tight lid on garbage cans.
  • Keep gutters clean and move stored firewood as far as possible away from the house.
  • Keep dishes clean.
  • Seal cracks and crevices to the outside on the ground level.
  • Inspect window and door frames for gaps and seal.
  • Inspect the exterior of houses such as pipes or any appliance that goes into a home; caulk and seal if necessary.
  • See more tips at: American Roaches.



Various Roaches That Invade Homes and Businesses

( American and German Roaches are the most common and have two different types of treatments.)

Small Roaches (German and Brown-Banded) 1/2"-1 " in the adult stage
Large Roaches (American, Australian, Oriental, Smokey Brown and Wood ) 1.5 " or longer in the adult stage

Written by our resident pest control expert Ken Martin.

What's this? Check "Remember Me" to access your shopping cart on this computer even if you are not signed in.