Asked on Jul 23, 2013

Oh man these cockroaches

RobinChristineLeslie D


I live in an 50+ year old apartment complex and have a problem with roaches. The complex hires a company to spray and they will every 2 weeks if I put in a work order but I really don't like the chemicals they use not that I'm allergic but because I don't believe they do any good. Also most of the time they just use the gel stuff the roaches have to find and take back to their nest, Anyway I need a better solution. Any suggestions. I would say the problem is moderate but when I use my microwave and see one crawling in the LCD display it's time to take more drastic action. Thanks. Kat.
7 answers
  • The issue you have Kathryn is not due to the inaction of the exterminator that comes in, but all the other tenants that are not home when he or she puts down bait and sprays. While the live roaches are normally killed, its the eggs that hatch every few days that become the issue. To really properly remove these bugs and that is very hard to do, every apartment needs to be cleaned, sprayed and baited repeating this every few days for a few weeks. Until the life cycle is broken and the newly hatched roaches do not have time to breed, you will continue to have this issue. In addition every tenant needs to be clean, and careful about leaving food and crumbs around. But even with that, roaches will eat the glue on the back of wall paper to survive. In your case using a fogging device, combined with baits and sprays, followed again in a few days will remove most of the issue, HOWEVER, you must foam seal every inch of the home. Every pipe opening, every crack along the floor, around every outlet and around every light fixture mounted on the walls or ceiling. The smallest crack will allow them back in and your once again having that issue. We have had luck using our ozone machine and fogging with essential oils. But that is not a normal method of removal. The ozone creates a 2nd oxygen molecule which kills any living thing, from plants, to fish to rodents and bugs. Heavy doses of ozone along with a fine spray fog of the oils tend to kill them off quicker. it also has an effect on the eggs if left exposed to the ozone long enough. A great vacuum is important also. Using it and then disposal of the bag after each cleaning is a must. If not the eggs picked up during the cleaning process will only hatch inside the bag after being picked up and then climb right back out of the hose again.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jul 23, 2013

    To add just a bit to @Woodbridge Environmental great response. You will need to "isolate" your unit from the rest in the building. Foam sealing the larger openings is one option, but foam does not work well along some of the smaller cracks that may be present along the lower walls etc. Depending on the floor covering and trim, caulk will also help keep these bugs out. You need to seal every inch of place, and remove all food and water sources. Then once you have "isolation" combat the life cycle egg angle.

  • Kathryn
    on Jul 24, 2013

    Thanks for the advice. I must have some openings I haven't notice because my grandson caught a gecko in the kitchen today. Ha,ha. We put it back outside. I've read post that suggest mixing sugar (to attract the roaches) and baking powder (which would cause their stomachs to explode) then putting it in areas roaches use. Has anyone heard of this? Also read they don't like some chemical in cucumber peels. True or fantasy. I'll be looking for openings to fill in, should I use that expanding insulation that comes in a spray can? Thanks Again, Kat

    • Dulce
      on Feb 22, 2015

      Kathryn, I've used sugar and borax together for ants and roaches. I put the mix on a paper plate under the house, on the crawl space and it worked after a few applications. Good luck.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jul 24, 2013

    Caulk or depends on the size of the gaps...The foam works down to about 1/2 an inch. from 1/2" to 1/4" caulk paired with some "backer rod" for smaller than 1/4" just caulk.

  • Leslie D
    on Jul 24, 2013 This may help. It also mentioned the A/C vents. While it should be a closed system, there can be separation where the roaches can get it...perhaps not through the vent itself, but around the vent cover where it meets the ceiling. Also, a mixture of boric acid (kills them), along with Cayenne Pepper (deters them), in a thin line around the entire perimeter of your apartment may help, as well as under appliances, and even a bit inside the walls (remove outlet covers and just dust a little of the powder inside, using a ketchup/mustard bottle like you would get for camping). However if you have pets, don't use this method. They're never going to be completely gone in the apartment building, but hopefully you can make your apartment less prone to them. There is also a recipe for garlic/onion/cayenne pepper spray online that roaches hate. But then you have to live with the smell of it, too.

  • Christine
    on Sep 9, 2013

    Did you try boric acid? It works until it gets wet, so that's good. Cockroaches like dry places, believe it or not. You can get this stuff at the dollar store in containers that let you squirt/blow it into corners, etc. After you seal your house, go around and squirt this stuff into your baseboards, under your sinks, kitchen cabinets, any where you have paper products stored, and is dark. It also works on ants. It gets on their legs and they carry it back to the nest, committing huge bug-o-cide.

  • Robin
    on Oct 6, 2015

    Diatomaceous Earth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's cheap,no chemicals,safe around pets and kills fleas as well. This stuff is the BEST kept secret. It comes in a fine powder,almost like baking soda or baby powder texture. It's basically a ground fossil or crustacean. To a human its mostly soft in texture but when the bug walks through it,its like shards of glass. Wonderful product,works like a charm. To put in receptacles,dip a straw in it and blow lightly in those tight crevices. You will vacuum it up after a couple days,re-apply about a week later for any babies that have hatched. Do a few times and problem is solved 👾

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