On the hunt for the best roach bait? Who can blame you. After all, it’s cockroaches. Even the name is ugly. And these filth-loving insects have earned their bad reputation. Cockroaches are more than just an eyesore.
They are a known vector of many diseases, and can carry bacteria such as Salmonella, Streptococcus, and Staphylococcus, among others. They are also known to cause allergic reactions in people with asthma.
So if you have cockroaches in your home, your biggest question is going to be, how do I get rid of them?
The good news is, you don’t need to start shopping online for a nuclear warhead just yet. There are a few different ways to control cockroaches in your home. Using roach baits and traps are some of the best.
Roach Bait vs Roach Spray
Why not just spray, you may be asking. And the truth is, you can spray for cockroaches. There are plenty of pesticides on the market designed to kill cockroaches on contact.
But you may not want to be spraying those kinds of toxic chemicals in your home. Baits and traps offer a gentler, safer, more environmentally friendly way to get rid of cockroaches.
Also, cockroaches are highly mobile and have a great sense of smell. So when you start spraying a chemical they don’t like, it can cause them to scatter.
If you live in an apartment or a townhome where you share walls with the neighbors, you could be making the problem worse.
Cockroaches will run from a spray and hide somewhere else, only to re-colonize your home once the spray has worn off. Baits and traps do not repel cockroaches, so they don’t have this problem.
Roach Bait vs Roach Traps: What’s the Difference?
Sometimes, the words’ bait’ and ‘trap’ get used in ways they shouldn’t be. Some people call things traps that are technically baits. And just to add to the confusion, a lot of traps contain bait.
To simplify things, a roach trap is a device that will capture cockroaches, kind of like a morbid hotel. It will hold them in place until they either die of dehydration or you come along and kill them.
Traps are designed so that cockroaches cannot escape. They can come in any time they like, but they can never leave. Kind of like Hotel California.
Cockroach bait, on the other hand, doesn’t inhibit cockroach movement at all. A bait is a poison, mixed with something that cockroaches will like to eat to make sure that they ingest it.
Baits are designed to be slow acting, so the cockroach will return to its harborage where it hangs out with all of its cockroach friends.
The bait will slowly pass through the whole cockroach population by disgusting mechanisms that we will get into later. For now, just remember that traps catch roaches, while baits poison them.
Do Roach Traps Work?
Don’t you hate it when you ask a question and you get the answer, it depends? Well, it depends.
Roach traps, when designed properly, are perfectly capable of capturing cockroaches. In fact, in a heavy infestation, they will catch huge numbers of cockroaches.
However, are they going to get rid of the population by themselves? Probably not.
Here’s why: Roaches are prolific breeders. To wipe out an infestation, you need to kill virtually all of them. Or at least all the adult females.
Since there’s no clear way to target them specifically, the best course of action is to try and kill every cockroach. But no matter how many traps you put down, it’s highly unlikely you’re going to catch every single insect.
Instead, traps are better used as a monitoring tool. They can let you know the level of infestation you have, and where the highest areas of roach activity are. This information can then guide your treatments.
Baits, on the other hand, are very effective at killing cockroaches. After all, cockroaches need to eat. And cockroach baits are designed to spread through the population. So if used correctly, cockroach baits are quite capable of killing all the roaches in your home.
So how do you use them correctly? I’m glad you asked.
Roach Bait 101
Cockroach baits come in a variety of different formulations. Let’s go over a few of the most popular options.
Roach Gel Bait
When you go shopping for the best roach bait, you’ll quickly find that the best rated, most popular roach baits come in gel form. And the reason for that is simple: these roach baits work.
Gel baits usually come in an applicator syringe, and are great for injecting into cracks and crevices, which is exactly where cockroaches like to hide.
Cockroaches are fundamentally lazy; if you deliver food right to their doorstep, they’ll eat that before they go looking for anything else.
When using gel baits, don’t apply it in a long line the way you would with silicone caulk. Place little dabs of bait in as many places as you can get it into. This makes it more likely that more cockroaches will find and consume it.
Gel baits work great, but they can be messy to work with. And for safety reasons, it’s best to make sure the gel stays in cracks and crevices where kids and pets can’t get to it.
Cockroach bait isn’t dangerous to mammals in the same way that a chemical spray can be; it’s designed to kill roaches and only roaches.
However, it’s still not advised to let your children eat it. For one thing, the food portion of the bait designed to attract cockroaches often contains allergens such as shellfish and soy. Plus, it’s not going to taste very good.
In these cases, it’s best to use roach bait stations, which coincidentally, is another very popular form of roach bait.
Roach Bait Stations
These devices look like traps, but in fact, they contain a bait that the cockroaches can get to and eat. They are then free to leave the bait station and return to their hiding places.
Bait stations are a great way to bait cockroaches without the mess of gel bait.
Cockroaches, though they like to hang out together, are not social in the way that ants are. It’s more or less every cockroach for him or herself. But while they don’t intentionally bring food back to feed other roaches with, a good bait will still spread throughout the cockroach population.
How? Well, one of the main food sources for newly hatched cockroaches is the droppings of the adults. I know, gross. But you asked.
If a cockroach has consumed bait, its droppings will also contain some of that bait. In this way, the bait gets passed on to the next generation. Also, as the bait starts to take effect, cockroaches will start to die from it. And their friends and relations have no qualms about eating the dead bodies.
Again, this helps to pass the bait on to other cockroaches who may not even have touched the bait itself. This is why bait works so well against cockroaches. It doesn’t work quickly, but it gets the job done.
Roach Traps 101
The most common kind of trap for cockroaches is a glue trap. These sticky pads couldn’t be simpler to use. Just peel off the protective cover and place them in the area you want to monitor for cockroaches.
Some traps are designed to fold over so that the sticky pad is somewhat covered. This is a good idea to keep hair and dust off the glue, making it effective for longer. It’s also helpful if you accidentally step on the trap.
The glue in these traps is very sticky, so if you do get one stuck to yourself, you’ll have a hard time removing it. Covered traps are most definitely recommended in homes with children or pets.
Remember when trapping roaches that this isn’t Pokemon. The goal is not so much to catch them all but to see where the roaches are. Place traps throughout your home.
You can put them in the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas of high humidity where cockroaches are likely to be. But also put them around heat pipes in living rooms and bedrooms. This will let you know if the roaches spread to these areas.
As a general rule, the more traps you use, the better an idea you will have of the extent of your cockroach problem.
What is the Best Roach Bait and Trap in 2019?
You’ve come this far and by now, you’re practically an expert in roach baits and traps. Just one thing is missing: what are the best roach baits and traps on the market?
After all, you’ve got a cockroach problem and you want to get rid of it pronto. You’ve got no time to dilly dally with baits and traps that don’t work.
Well, we’ve got you. Here are the best roach baits and traps you can get your hands on. Select a few, set them up and then lie back and watch the carnage ensue.
Advion Cockroach Gel Trap
Look at this beautiful bait. Doesn’t it just look so clinical, so scientific? There’s a reason for that. Advion is one of the most popular cockroach baits for professionals in the pest control field.
It’s designed to be attractive – and lethal – to all pest species of cockroach. The active ingredient, Indoxacarb, is a potent stomach poison. It works by disrupting the cockroach’s central nervous system, making it unable to feed or to mate.
How does it work?
The product comes in a disposable plastic syringe with a separate plunger. You use the plunger to squeeze the bait out of the tube, with the narrow nozzle of the syringe allowing you to place bait in cracks and crevices.
The gel bait is slow to dry, which is good since the cockroaches prefer it wet. However, if the bait stays around long enough, it will eventually harden. Another reason to place it in areas where you won’t see it.
Advion is the choice of professionals because of its effectiveness. However, it takes a little bit of practice to develop the skills necessary to apply it correctly.
Take your time with this product, and keep a damp cloth or paper towel handy to wipe up any spills. It’s messy, but it works.
Black Flag Roach Motel
Ever stayed at a roach motel? I don’t recommend it. But this particular roach motel doesn’t come with a broken ice machine and screaming neighbors. Instead, like the Eagles’ Hotel California, this is a motel that roaches can check out of, but can never leave.
Free of harmful chemicals, this glue trap contains a lure that attracts cockroaches to it. The cardboard base of the trap folds over the sticky surface to form a roof, which helps to prevent the glue from being contaminated by hair or dust.
It also makes any insects caught in the trap harder to see from a distance, which can be nice. Sitting on the toilet and staring into the dark eyes of a trapped cockroach is an unsettling experience.
How does it work?
These traps are designed to attract cockroaches, but the sticky glue will capture any insect that tries to cross it. Place the traps behind kitchen appliances, under sinks, along walls, and anywhere else you want to monitor for cockroaches.
Once a cockroach steps on the glue, it’s not going to be able to escape. The glue stays sticky for weeks, and once the trap is full or you no longer need it, you can simply crumple it up and throw it away. Traps don’t come much simpler to use than this.
Invict Gold Gel Cockroach Bait
This is another gel bait designed to attract roaches and get them to eat the poison it contains. Like Advion, it comes in an easy to use disposable syringe with a plunger, and a tip that lets you squeeze the gel into tiny cracks and crevices where cockroaches hide.
The active ingredient, imidacloprid, is based on nicotine. That’s right, the addictive chemical found in cigarettes. Nicotine and its related chemicals, such as imidacloprid, is a potent insecticide that destroys insect’s nervous systems, causing paralysis and death. Think of that next time you’re tempted to light up.
What you should know about Invict Gel Bait
Invict most definitely works. The bait formulation is highly attractive to cockroaches, and the active ingredient is a potent insecticide. However, you should be aware that this particular bait works only on German cockroaches.
Admittedly, these are by far the most common species of cockroach found in homes, so the chances are good that this bait will work for you. However, if you have a problem with American, Brown Banded or Oriental cockroaches, this bait won’t help you.
Also, be aware that neonicotinoids like imidacloprid have been banned in the European Union due to their disastrous effect on honeybee populations.
Although you won’t be using this bait outside, it’s worth considering that it is not the most ecologically friendly option. As a result, Invict may be best used as a supplemental bait along with Advion.
This will give the cockroaches a choice of different foods and help prevent pesticide resistance.
Hot Shot Ultra Liquid Roach Bait
Tired of gel baits? You might want to give this liquid bait a try.
Cockroaches love areas of high humidity, and while they can live for up to a month without feeding, they need water every few days or so. So it makes sense that a liquid bait would be attractive to them.
These bait stations worked in the same way as a gel bait; they rely on the cockroaches eating some of the bait and then returning to the harborage areas.
How does it work?
The great advantage of these bait stations is their ease-of-use. You simply remove the cover, peel back the tap to expose the bait, snap the cover back on and place the bait stations in areas of cockroach activity. There is no sticky gel to worry about here.
The plastic bait stations help protect the bait from nontarget animals, such as pets or kids. Still, it’s best to place these bait stations in out-of-the-way locations, such as under sinks and behind appliances. That’s where the cockroaches are most likely to find them anyway.
The manufacturer claims that these bait stations will kill cockroaches and the eggs that they carry. While they definitely will kill adult cockroaches, it’s hard to see how exactly bait would kill an egg. So this particular claim may not be entirely accurate.
Just to be sure, you might want to use an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) alongside this bait to make sure the roach population in your home cannot reproduce.
Last note: The manufacturer claims this roach bait kills both large and small cockroaches. While this is theoretically true, one problem that bait stations have in comparison with gel baits is that the size of the hole for the cockroaches to enter limits what can get inside.
The holes in these bait stations may not be enough for the largest species of cockroach, the American cockroach.
However, if you have German cockroaches, the stations work well and are probably the easiest cockroach bait to use.
Maxforce FC Magnum Gel Bait
For years, Maxforce was the go-to cockroach bait of professionals. But in the world of pesticides, it’s easy to become a victim of your own success.
Animals that breed as fast as cockroaches do are prone to becoming resistant to the chemicals most commonly used against them. So if your pesticide gets too popular, there’s a good chance that one day it will no longer work.
For that reason, Maxforce has changed up the recipe, replacing the old active ingredient, Hydramethylnon, with Fipronil.
How does it work?
You may know Fipronil as a flea treatment for pets, but it is also an effective nerve poison for cockroaches. It works faster than hydramethylnon, and readily spreads through a cockroach population via touch.
Like the other gel baits on this list, Maxforce comes in disposable syringes with a plunger. The Magnum part of the name refers to the larger size of the syringes; 33 g versus their competitors 30 g.
That may not sound like a lot, but when you’re a cockroach, 3 g is a lot of bait. So if you’re battling a severe infestation, the larger size of the syringes may be tempting.
Maxforce suffers from the same messiness that other gel baits do. It’s recommended to use gloves while applying this bait. Sometimes, defective syringes allow the bait to come out of the bottom of the tube instead of the top.
While getting this stuff on your hands won’t hurt you, it’s not a particularly pleasant experience.
Okay, now you have it – everything you need to know to choose the most effective cockroach baits and traps, as well as the top 5 roach baits and traps on the market. Now go forth and kill those roaches!