Get Rid of Cockroaches

To get rid of cockroaches, you must take away their:


  • Keep food in sealed containers or in the refrigerator.
  • Paint cabinet shelves and drawers with enamel and keep them clean.
  • Rinse all recyclables clean and take them out every few days.
  • Put garbage in tightly covered containers and keep them outside.
  • Wash dishes, tables, counters and stove tops every day.
  • Store flour, sugar, cereal, pasta and crackers in tightly covered plastic or metal containers.

Hiding Places

  • Clean out junk and clutter from storage shelves, drawers and closets.
  • Don't use shelf paper.
  • Get rid of unused furniture, appliances, food and clothing.
  • Do home repairs: fill in cracks, seal openings around pipes, and remove chipped paint using care not to make dust if paint contains lead.
  • Remove or repair loose wallpaper and plaster.


  • Fix all leaks.
  • Clean drains.
  • Keep all areas clean and dry.

Get Them Out!

Basic steps:

  1. Remove clutter.
  2. Vacuum well and often. Clean floors, furniture, walls, cabinets, moldings, baseboards, etc. Sponge mopping floors is very useful, too.
  3. Wash hard washable surfaces with cleanser (ammonia and water works well).
  4. Dust out of sight spaces with boric acid powder. Dust and seal any cracks and openings closed with caulk.
  5. Use roach baits near hiding places like behind pictures and wall hangings, under sinks and undersides of furniture.
  6. Check for roaches that may still be there with (sticky) glue traps.

Pesticides should be used carefully, and as a last resort. Use the least toxic product that works, follow label instructions and keep out of reach of children and pets. Vacuuming can easily remove many roaches, but it raises dust. A special filter (called HEPA) is available for many brands of vacuums to help control dust. Most roaches will be killed by vacuuming, but it's a good idea to change the vacuum cleaner bag often and dispose of it in a double garbage bag.


  • Place screens (insect mesh) in windows.
  • Vacuum (or sweep), then sponge mop kitchen floor every week.
  • Be sure to mop up all the water.
  • Seal cracks and openings with caulk:
    • where the wall and the ceiling meet;
    • where the wall and the floor meet;
    • baseboards;
    • door and window moldings;
    • splash board at sink;
    • inside cabinets.
  • Add draft sweeps to bottoms of outside doors.
  • Encourage everybody who lives in the building to work together.

If you have asthma, cockroaches can make it worse.