Cockroaches. You’d be hard-pressed to find another word that instantly makes your skin crawl. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how brawny, how courageous – there is something so uniquely repulsive about roaches that the mere thought of one can make you involuntarily shudder.
Is it the quick, skittery way they crawl all over the floors and walls? Is it the creepy, probing antennae attached to their thick, slick revolting bodies?
Perhaps it’s more than just their repugnant looks that provoke such disgust. It could be their loathsome personalities. After all, cockroaches behave horribly – sneaking in uninvited, bringing their entire families with them, pooping all over the place, and bringing only gifts of bacteria and disease.
No wonder they are so hated around the world.
And roaches are bad enough as a thought but when you find one in your home, your sacred castle – well, that’s enough to induce panic and terror in even the bravest, most bug-loving of us.
Your rage is justified. Let’s find out how to get rid of these nasty critters once and for all. To do that, though, we must start at the beginning.
What are cockroaches?
So let’s start with the bare basics: what is a cockroach? Apart from the revolting creepy crawlies we all know and hate, that is.
Cockroaches are insects of a very ancient order, dating back at least 320 million years.
So it’s entirely possible that dinosaurs were having to carefully package foods to keep cockroaches away. Not probable, but possible.
There are over 4000 species of cockroach currently in existence, but only a tiny fraction of these are pest species. And of those, there are only a handful of roaches that are most likely to infest your home.
The Most Common Types of Roaches (And How to Kill Them All)
To really get an understanding of how this long-despised pest has managed to thrive and survive for so long, you’ll want to learn a little more about them.
Be warned, though, roaches are more than just an ugly face – they have hideous personalities to match. This is one critter that the more you learn about them, the more disgusted you’ll be.
17 Cockroach Facts You Need to Know to Get Rid of Roaches
Still, understanding your enemy is the first step to knowing how to defeat them. So strap in and read through the most important facts about roaches.
What do cockroaches do?
Anything a cockroach can. Cockroaches are generalized insects, lacking the intense specialization of, say, bed bugs.
They mostly spend their lives as free-loaders, seeking shelter in our homes so they can feed on our food and waste.
As opportunistic omnivores, they’ll happily eat pretty much anything. Sure, starches, sweets, greasy foods and meat may be at the top of their list. But when times are tough, roaches are equally happy to snack on other insects, poop, paper, hair and rotting plants.
Because they’re likely to hang around feces and spoiled food, they carry bacteria and other contaminants on their creepy bodies, which is why they pose a huge risk of food contamination.
But that’s not the only problem.
Cockroaches are a significant vector of disease-causing pathogens and can cause allergic reactions in people with asthma. So cockroaches are definitely not ideal houseguests.
Do cockroaches bite?
As if it’s not enough that they steal your food and contaminate it, would they dare try to take a nibble at you as well?
Do Roaches Bite? The Itchy Truth About Cockroach Bites
The bad news is that cockroaches have been recorded to eat the flesh of both alive and dead humans. They’ll really eat anything.
The good news is that roach bites are very, very rare. They’re a lot more likely to go for a taste of nails, hair or even eyelashes. Deep shudder.
What do cockroaches look like?
Everyone thinks they know what cockroaches look like. And it’s true: you’d be hard-pressed to find a person who doesn’t have a working mental image of these disgusting critters.
But when you consider the fact that there are over 4,000 types of cockroach species inhabiting this earth – all with slightly different body shapes and sizes – you may not be able to immediately recognize that bug you just saw scuttle across your kitchen floor.
What Do Cockroaches Look Like? 44 Pictures of Roaches, Eggs, Nymphs
Not to mention, cockroaches go through a few transformations in their life cycle that can make it easy for you to confuse roaches with other bugs.
To help you along, check out the great visual display above of what roaches look like in every life cycle. And if those pictures don’t repulse you enough, we’ve even added in other photos of other signs of roaches. Like what roach feces looks like.
Yes, we know. You don’t want to see that. But it’s necessary because if you do have a roach infestation, the sooner you recognize the signs, the quicker you can start to get rid of them.
What bugs look like cockroaches?
When you’ve spotted a bug that looks like a cockroach, you’re hoping and praying that it’s something else – anything else! And if you’re lucky, it may just be one of the handful of bugs that look like cockroaches.
5 Types of Bugs That Look Like Cockroaches: How to Tell the Difference
Because most of the bugs that look like roaches are actually outdoor pests that are more likely to have mistakenly wandered in rather than plotting to infest your home ’til kingdom come.
Take, for example, one of the bugs most commonly confused with roaches: the water bug.
>>>Water Bugs vs Cockroaches: Are Water Bugs Roaches?
They may look similar but if it is a water bug and not a roach, you are indeed one of the lucky ones.
Do I have a roach infestation?
The majority of cockroach pictures you’ll encounter are of adult roaches. But when you’re trying to determine whether you have a roach infestation in your home, those pictures may not be quite as helpful.
That’s because roaches are nocturnal, waiting until it’s dark and you’re tucked away in bed to come out and throw their nasty, bacteria-spreading parties. Roaches are also fast and will scurry away with their creepy little legs as soon as you turn the lights on.
So unless you’ve got a dead specimen or two, it can be tricky to get a close enough look at the multi-legged creepy crawly that’s moved into your home.
And that’s why we highly recommend you get familiar with a couple other signs of cockroaches.
Suspect a Roach Infestation? Here are 5 Surefire Signs of Cockroaches
Because whereas roaches may be excellent at hiding, roach infestations always leave tell-tale clues lying around that you may be able to sniff out. Sometimes literally.
What causes cockroaches?
We love to understand why things happen. So when we are faced with the reality that a cockroach – or a hundred – may have taken up residence in our homes, we want to know: why?
And more importantly: why me?
What Causes Roaches? 7 Common Causes of Cockroaches in Homes
It doesn’t help that cockroaches are associated with filth. The common belief that having cockroaches must mean that your house is dirty may be one of the biggest roach myths out there.
Sure, roaches love to live in dirty, cluttered places because that means more food sources for them to consume but in actuality, roaches can enter your home for a variety of reasons and through a variety of ways.
Where Do Roaches Come From? 7 Most Common Roach Routes
And once they’ve entered, most homes offer plenty of reasons to stay.
The simple truth is that the majority of homes are very hospitable places for a roach to live and raise its young. Most homes have all the elements that a roach needs to be happy: plenty of food, water and little nooks and crannies to squeeze into.
Even the cleanest homes aren’t immune.
What Causes Roaches in a Clean House? Check These 4 Factors
As long as your home offers a couple simple living conditions for roaches, they will happily move in and start breeding.
Where do roaches hide?
Maybe you’ve seen signs of roaches and just want to confirm your have a roach infestation. Or maybe you already know that roaches have moved in and you want to unleash the fury.
Either way, you need to know where roaches hide.
Where Do Roaches Hide? The 10 Most Popular Cockroach Hiding Spots
Cockroaches are notoriously difficult to catch in action. They tend to operate under cover of darkness and scurry away as soon as you flip on the lights. They can also wedge themselves into the tiniest cracks and crevices.
Luckily, we know a thing or two about cockroach behavior such as exactly where you can start looking for these repulsive freeloaders.
One helpful fact? Roaches like to live in groups, aka roach nests.
7 Tips to Find and Destroy a Roach Nest
Whereas roach nests are every bit as disgusting as they sound, once you know how to locate them, you can start wiping out entire generations of cockroaches. And if that isn’t satisfying, well, we don’t know what is.
What kills cockroaches instantly?
You see a cockroach, you kill a cockroach. It’s the most natural reaction.
Once you’ve seen one of these critters scuttling around, you just want it dead. So what kills roaches instantly?
What Kills Cockroaches Instantly? (And Why Quick is Not Always Best)
Well, when it comes to fast and easy cockroach murder, you’ve got an array of choices. Throw a book at it. Stomp it with your shoe. Whack it with a hammer.
Of course, there are also more elegant solutions that don’t involve touching one of these beastly things.
Cockroach sprays are one great option. They allow you to kill roaches instantly – and from a distance. No nasty “crunch” sounds necessary.
BENGAL ROACH SPRAY
ORTHO HOME DEFENSE
And when it comes to cockroach sprays, you’ve got a couple of very effective options.
>>>What’s the Best Roach Spray? Hint: It’s Not What You Think
Another option if you want to kill lots of cockroaches instantly is a roach fogger, aka roach bombs. These potent devices release pesticides into the air as a fog that slowly but surely spreads throughout the house and kills any cockroach that comes into contact with it.
Sounds brilliant, right?
The thing is: even the most effective roach fogger will have difficulty penetrating into the tiniest cracks and crevices of your home – and that’s exactly where roaches like to hide.
Do Roach Foggers Work? The Truth About Choosing the Best Roach Fogger or Bomb
That means you may kill lots of roaches…but you won’t get them all.
And that’s just not good enough. Because when it comes to roaches, missing even a few of them can result in a full-blown re-infestation.
Nobody needs to be fighting this battle forever.
That’s why when it comes to killing roaches, fast and easy isn’t the best solution. You don’t want to simply kill one or a lot of them. You want to kill them all. And yes, that takes a little longer but it is worth it.
How long does it take to get rid of roaches?
Once you know that you’re sharing your home with roaches, you fear you will never sleep again until you know they are gone.
You also know by now that spraying and bombing loads of roaches isn’t going to solve the problem entirely.
So naturally you want to know: how long does it take to get rid of roaches for good?
How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Roaches?
We wish we could say that the process will be quick, but we can’t lie to you.
You see, cockroaches haven’t survived so long by being easy to kill. And the secret to their survival success? They are masters at breeding.
Here are a few quick facts to open your eyes to the reality of roach reproduction.
- Female roaches are capable of mating once and then storing the sperm to stay perpetually pregnant.
- Roaches are capable of asexual reproduction and virgin roaches have been shown to be able to reproduce without even needing a mate.
- One female cockroach can produce hundreds of offspring in her lifetime.
- Cockroach eggs don’t take long to hatch. American roach eggs typically hatch in as little as 44 days and German roach eggs are even faster, at barely a month from inception to hatching.
Cockroach Eggs 101: How to Kill Roach Eggs and Wipe Out the Infestation
You can start to see why a cockroach infestation can grow exponentially.
Hopefully, you’ll also start to understand why you’ll never be rid of roaches without killing off the young. It’s estimated that 75% of any roach infestation is made up of cockroach eggs and nymphs so it’s crucial that these roach babies are properly dealt with.
How to Get Rid of Baby Roaches (And Why You Want to Get Them While They’re Young)
And that, my friends, does take some time. Which is precisely why roach infestation can take weeks, even months, to clear up.
But as long as you’re using the most effective methods to get rid of cockroaches and their babies, there is a light at the end of this tunnel.
It’ll all be worth it to live a cockroach-free life.
Do I need an exterminator for roaches?
Cockroaches are not a fun problem to deal with. So nobody will think any less of you for outsourcing it to the professionals.
That being said, professional cockroach control may cost you a pretty penny.
If you want to attempt the DIY route, know that it is definitely do-able. But it is going to require more than simply spraying pesticides around your home and calling it a day.
How to Get Rid of Roaches Without an Exterminator: Ultimate DIY Guide
Cockroaches require a multi-pronged, comprehensive approach to get rid of – you’ll need a proper battle plan before you roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Can you get rid of roaches naturally?
We’re going to be very blunt with you: the most effective cockroach killers are not natural.
That being said, there are several all-natural methods that you can make use of that both prevent and kill roaches.
How to Get Rid of Roaches Naturally: 10 Creative Solutions That Work
You’ll find the best of them above. But please remember: when it comes to roach infestations, time is of the essence. Feel free to try the natural route but give yourself a time limit.
Afterwards, you’ll want to bust out the big guns.
What are the best roach killers?
Because cockroaches have been living with humans for so long, a lot of myths have grown up around them. One of the scariest myths? That cockroaches are impossible to kill off in their entirety.
But while these insects are extremely adaptable and very good at surviving, their reputation for being un-killable is a little exaggerated.
Yes, roaches are remarkable creatures with an incredible capacity for survival. But we’re smarter and we’ve come a long way when it comes to killing roaches.
How to Kill Roaches: The Best Roach Killer to Kill Every Last Cockroach
Just keep in mind that when it comes to roach killers, a multi-pronged strategy works best. Check out the article above to find out exactly how various roach killers work and how to use them to kill every last cockroach.
If you want a quick shop to pick up one of the best roach killers around, you’ll want to get acquainted with cockroach baits.
>>>What’s the Best Roach Bait? Best Roach Baits and Traps of 2022
These ingenious devices do the majority of the work for you, slowly but surely killing its way through the roach population. Needless to say, roach baits are a must have in your roach killing arsenal.
What about home remedies for roaches?
The Internet is littered with tales of home remedies that wiped out entire roach infestations without spending a dime. From Listerine to cucumber peels, we’ve seen them all.
The problem is, of course, that most of them don’t work. At all.
5 Home Remedies for Roaches that Actually Work
And while you’re wasting your time with useless home remedies, the roaches are busy making the next generation of roaches to torture you in your home.
So get the scoop on what actually works – and what doesn’t – so you don’t waste your precious time.
How do you get rid of roaches forever?
Excellent question. Because you don’t want to just get rid of roaches, you want to make sure they’re out of your life for good.
How to Get Rid of Roaches Forever: The Ultimate Guide to Kill All Roaches
We’ve compiled the most thorough action plan to make this a reality for anyone with a cockroach problem. It combines the most pertinent cockroach facts we know with the best cockroach killers to use in order to completely wipe out the roach infestation causing you grief.
It’s a long read but it’s worth it. Promise.
How do you get rid of roaches in an apartment?
It’s one thing to wage war on roaches when you’re living in a stand-alone unit like a house but a whole other story when you share walls (and ceilings and floors) with neighbors.
That’s a whole lot of humans who roaches would be just as happy living with, all under one big roof.
How to Get Rid of Roaches in an Apartment: The Ultimate DIY Guide
It makes for a tricky situation since it’s easy for roaches to spread from one unit to another. Even if you manage to conquer the cockroach situation in your own home, if your neighbor hasn’t resolved his situation, it may be a matter of time before you are re-infested.
That’s why dealing with roaches in an apartment requires a little more finesse – and defense. But it can be done. Check out the guide above to stay roach-free, even if your neighbors aren’t.
How do you get rid of roaches with pets?
It’s tempting to go ballistic and unleash the most brutal pesticides on the roach infestation in your home. But if you’ve got pets, you need to reel it in because the very pesticides that kill roaches could be harmful for your furry family members as well.
So what’s a loving pet owner to do? Meet the most effective pet safe roach killers.
What’s the Best Pet Safe Roach Killer? 6 Most Effective Products
And of course, you need to know which roach killers to absolutely avoid.
Our favorite pet safe roach killers are the ones that are the ones that are extremely effective while being either completely pet tamper-proof or safe even when ingested.
Does roach repellent work?
While you’re fighting the good fight, you may be very interested in keeping roaches away from you and your loved ones.
So do roach repellents work?
Does Roach Repellent Actually Work? Here’s What Does and Doesn’t
Yes and no. Check out the above article for details.
How do you prevent roaches?
Once you fully understand what cockroaches do in your home, you will never want to let them in.
>>>Do Essential Oils for Cockroaches Work? The Only 5 That Repel Roaches
And when it comes to roaches, the old saying “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” rings very, very true.
It’s a wise homeowner who spends the time, energy and money to prevent cockroaches in the first place rather than waiting around to battle a roach infestation later on. Because not only will combatting an existing cockroach infestation cost you even more time, energy and money but also the hygienic condition of your home.
And temporarily, even your sanity.
How to Keep Roaches Away from Your Home: 5 Foolproof Ways
So if you’ve already gone through the trauma of a roach infestation and want to make sure it never happens again, check out the guide above.
And of course, if you want to spare your loved one from going through the same ordeal, be a good friend and forward them the article.