How To Get Rid of Cockroaches

Cockroach Control

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American Cockroach

American Cockroach


Reddish-brown, with a yellowish band around the edge of the pronotum (top body plate), which is widest in the rear.


Males look much longer than females, as their wings are longer than their abdomens. Front wings are veined and leathery. Cockroaches are flattened and oval-shaped, with extremely long, threadlike antennae. Their head is mostly hidden, and it has chewing mouth parts. They're not the best of fliers, but you can see a plague of roaches when they decide to take a mass migration.

Where Found

Just as original Americans hailed from other countries, the American cockroach is not native to North America. Also called a "Palmetto Bug," it may have come from Africa.


Even roaches love Hawaii. Warm, humid places between 70° and 82.4°F are heaven for them. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about them bothering you on the beach.

It is far more common to find them in food storage, food preparation areas, food processing plants, and in the food. They also like the basements and steam tunnels of commercial buildings, such as restaurants, markets and hospitals. In the U.S., these are the most common critters you'll find crawling around manholes and sewers.


Whatever they happen to come across.


The females carry purses - except cockroaches' aren't crammed full of lipstick, pens, and mints. They're full of eggs. The female drops her egg capsule (or oötheca) near a food source, or else glues it somewhere else with a secretion from her mouth. Each 'purse' contains 14-16 eggs, and females will lay them 9-10 times during her lifetime. Development to an adult is even longer than life as one — 20 months at room temperature, with 10-13 molts. Adult life is only 15 months, or even half that if the temperature rises into the mid 80s F.


Nobody likes cockroaches roaming around their house to start with, but they also carry diseases.


Cockroaches know plenty of ways to invade. They can get into buildings in packaging, come up through sewer drains, and occasionally, they'll just walk in the front door.

Good Riddance

Preparation will be necessary if found inside residential homes. Empty lower cabinets in kitchen and bathroom, and pay close attention to moist areas. Drains or wet areas should be inspected and treated. The source of the cockroaches is usually outside, so you should also pay special attention to woodpiles and areas of organic accumulation or vegetative overgrowth. Cracks in concrete walkways or around hollow block walls create shelters and should be treated. If possible, maintain an 18-inch vegetation-free zone around the structure. As the treatment process is very thorough, you may want to use a professional exterminator. Continued monitoring and possible additional treatments may be necessary. Contacting the insects with the material is essential to control. Use of residual liquid pesticides and dusts is recommended. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions.


If all attempts to exterminate roaches fail, Western Exterminator does not condone the use of nuclear radiation as a last resort, as this is largely known to be unsuccessful. In this case you may simply have to set aside your differences and co-habit.

Further Information & Next Steps

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