Cockroaches are both unpleasant and unsanitary. Getting rid of roaches can be tricky because the two most common roach types (German or American roaches) are eliminated using different techniques. After determining what kind of cockroach you have, follow the recommended treatment plans. We have tips on how to inspect for roaches, critical sanitation/exclusion procedures, and best treatment options to get rid of roaches.
- Roach Identification: The first step to get rid of roaches is to identify which type of roach you have. To determine which type of roach you have, first look at their sizes. Afterward, compare physical features and habitats from the information and links below. You may need a flashlight or glue boards to catch them. When in doubt about their identification, please email us.
- Inspection: Proper inspection is critical to success in a roach control treatment plan. Are the roaches the smaller type of roach (an inch or less)? Do they scurry over your kitchen counter when you turn on the light? These are typically German Roaches. Do you have the larger roach (about 1.5 inches) that lives mostly outside and come inside occasionally? Larger roaches require a different treatment plan.
- Sanitation: The third step in getting rid of roaches is to investigate sanitation issues. Since roaches need food, water, and a harbor location, it is important to eliminate these sources as much as possible.
- Get Rid Of Roaches (Treatment Plans) - Based upon identification and inspection, choose your best treatment plan for the type of roach that is a present.
How to tell the difference between the smaller German Roaches or the larger American Roaches
Are they the smaller type of roach (adults - 1/2 - 1") you see on the kitchen counters when you turn on the light?
Smaller Types of Roaches such as German Roaches (Inside)
Ultimate German Roach Bait Kit
Are they the larger type of roach (adults 1.5 " or more) that you occasionally see in the kitchen or other areas in your home?
Larger Types of Roaches such as American Roaches (Inside and Outside)
LambdaStar Ultracap 9.7(Broad label, long-lasting and odorless). It may be used inside or outside and will dry invisibly. LambdaStar Ultracap will last longer outside and adhere to the surface better due to its encapsulated technology. It will yield 20-40 gallons; spray every 2-3 months.
Cyzmic CSis also odorless, long-lasting, and has a broad label. The 8 oz container yields an average of 15 gallons; spray every 2-3 months.
Roach Identification by Adult Size and Habitat
The first question that we ask when someone says that they have roaches is, “Where are they living and how big are they?” Correctly identifying what kind of cockroach you have is vital and a key to successfully treating a roach infestation. Getting rid of smaller-sized adult roaches is different than getting rid of larger-sized adult roaches. Cockroaches are nocturnal and will scatter if disturbed. The young, immature roaches look like adults but do not have wings. Once you have correctly identified the cockroach in your area, you can successfully choose treatment options to get rid of your roach problem. Within these pages, we have provided examples of the most common types of roaches found in the USA.
Smaller Types of Roaches
Smaller adult roaches include the German roach and the Brown-Banded roach. The most invasive of these two types of cockroaches is the German Cockroach .
The smaller German roach is just 1/2"-1 " in the adult stage with a light golden brown color. They have two distinctive bands behind their heads. The other smaller roach, Brown-Banded roach, has bands along their wings.
Both of these smaller roaches live and breed inside, and the treatment plan would be the same.
The German roach is the most common of the smaller roaches and the most difficult to control. You find these roaches in places that have water or food, such as kitchens and bathrooms. These roaches commonly live behind and under sinks, stoves, and refrigerators. Find these roaches in floor drains in commercial kitchens. They live in dark places and are nocturnal. It is widespread to spot these roaches when you enter a kitchen or bathroom and turn on the light. You can see these small, golden-brown roaches scampering on the counters.
Habitat and Entry
These roaches do not forage from the outside but travel from one apartment/ suite to the adjoining unit. They are brought inside or hitchhike in items such as luggage, boxes, and grocery products. German roaches live and breed inside; they can live all season long since they are in a warm, comfortable environment. German roaches are brought in via luggage, furniture, handbags, or boxes from an infested location. During the warmer months, they can move from building to building. In commercial settings, they can move from one connecting unit to the next thru drop ceilings and standard plumbing and electrical elements.
Health hazards of the German roach and Brown-Banded roaches
- German cockroaches and Brown-banded cockroaches are health hazards; they carry bacteria that are transmitted to humans.
- The primary diseases are gastroenteritis, including food poisoning, dysentery, and diarrhea.
- Asthma and allergies may be triggered by the German roaches' feces, body parts, or salvia that are circling in the air.
How to get rid of German and Brown-banded roaches
Identifying the presence of German or Brown-Banded roaches is essential for proper control measures. They breed inside and contaminate their living environments while most larger adult cockroaches do not reproduce inside. The most common larger roaches breed outside, and target treatment areas would be different.
Use primarily roach baits and insect growth regulators to treat German roaches and Brown-Banded roaches.
Treat other types of roaches, such as the larger American roach with insecticide concentrates sprayed outside and entry points to your house.
Using Roach baits and using growth regulators are kets to getting rid of these roaches. We have both roach baits and insect growth regulators (IGRs) combined in kits for greater savings.
Click Here: German Roach Treatments
If you need help identifying the type of cockroach, call us at 1-800-476-3368, and we can explain the treatment options. You can also place sticky traps such as Victor Pheromone Traps #327RPT on the kitchen counters at night to catch them and take a picture. Send email with the picture attachment and we will be glad to help you with identification. Refer to this Roach Treatment Chart or MGK's PDF of Roach Identification for a quick comparison glance.
Larger Types of Roaches
Large adult roaches include the American roach, Australian, Smoky Brown Oriental Roaches, and Woods Roaches. The most common of the larger sized roach is the American roach. The American roach is second only to the German cockroach in abundance.
Smoky Brown Roaches
The American roach is reddish-brown and is about 1.5 " or longer. Many people refer to these types of roaches as water bugs or palmetto bugs. These larger sized roaches are not known to spread disease as compared to the German roach. All the treatment options are similar to the larger roaches.
Habitat and Entry
The American roaches are common in warmer climates or during the warmer spring, summer and fall months. They mostly live and breed outside and wander inside for water and food. They are often found inside after extreme weather conditions, like heavy rain or drought conditions. They mainly live outside in organic, mulch material. They will also be found in basements, woodpiles, attics, hollow trees, under roof shingles, and in attics. They are common in steam tunnels in the northern states in the USA. Most of the time, they breed outside. However, if conditions are right, they will reproduce inside. For example, you may find an American roach population behind a wall that has had a water leak causing a moist environment.
Health hazards of American roaches
Since American roaches move from sewers into homes or commercial establishments, they can be a health concern. They carry bacteria, viruses, and parasites on their bodies, which lead to dysentery, diarrhea, and salmonella. These health concerns are not at the same magnitude of the health concern from German roaches since most of the time, they live and breed outside.
How to get rid of the American and larger-sized roaches
Spraying a residual insecticide and using granular baits are the best options for preventing and removing these larger types of roaches. This type of roach is easier to treat than the smaller type of roach like the German roach. Certain roaches gain resistance over time to pesticides. We stay current with the best treatment options available on the market.
Click Here: American Roach Treatments.
Sanitation and Exclusion
Sanitation and exclusion techniques are important tools in your roach control program. Roaches need food, water, and a safe place to harbor. As much as possible, eliminate the food, water, and harbor sources as you choose and apply your roach control treatment plan.
German and Brown-Banded Roaches
For the German roach type, it is critical to clean your kitchen and bathrooms while beginning a roach baiting program. This cleaning includes some deep cleaning in both the kitchen and bathrooms. Pay attention to crumbs and grease in the kitchen and unclean tubs, showers, bathroom countertops in the bathrooms. If you do not clean well, getting rid of these types of roaches will be more challenging.
- Keep clean dishes, kitchen sinks, counters, and cabinets.
- Keep pet food picked up.
- Remove all grease and food particles by cleaning and vacumming. Do not leave any food out in the open and seal all food containers.
- Remove indoor trash.
- Get rid of cardboard boxes, empty soda bottles, and stored paper bags.
- See more tips at: German Roaches
American Roaches and Other Larger Roaches
For the American type and larger roaches, it will be helpful to remove any harborage area outside and seal cracks and crevices that they may be entering. Eliminating food sources and blocking entry points is the first defense to preventing these types of roaches in your home.
- Remove trash regularly and kitchen clean
- Keep dumpsters clean and use a tight lid on garbage cans.
- Keep gutters clean and move stored firewood as far as possible away from the house
- Keep dishes clean
- Seal cracks and crevices to the outside on the ground level.
- Inspect window and door frames for gaps and seal.
- Inspect the exterior of houses such as pipes or any appliance that goes into a home; caulk and seal if necessary.
- See more tips at: American Roaches
Pictured are the Brown-banded , American , German , and Oriental egg capsules.
If possible, inspect at night, since roaches are usually nocturnal. If you see German cockroaches during the daytime, it is an indicator of a significant infestation. When there is a musty type of smell, it indicates a roach infestation.
The inspection will help you identify the kind of roach that you have. Look for fecal droppings and egg cases. The smaller German and Brown-Banded cockroaches will leave fecal material that looks like black pepper. It is essential to remove these droppings as soon as possible because they can cause health problems such as asthma. Use a vacuum to pull up these droppings.
Picture from Univ. of Mn Extension
The smaller German and Brown-Banded roaches will leave fecal material that looks like black pepper.
It is important to remove these droppings as soon as possible because they can cause health problems such as asthma. Use a vacuum to pull up these droppings after inspection.
When inspecting for German cockroaches, it is essential to be thorough during an inspection. Apply the suggested roach baits, insect growth regulators, or insecticides as close to their active runs and harborages as possible.
German Roach Feces
Places to Inspect:
- Cracks and crevices
- Behind all appliances in the kitchen
- Switch boxes and electrical outlets
American Roach Feces
The larger roach, like the American roach, leaves cylinder shape droppings with brown or black ridges. If it is a small cylinder shape without the ridge, it may be mice droppings.
Places to Inspect:
- Under shingles and in gutters
- Mulched areas
- Flower beds
- Common wet areas outside
- Cracks and crevices
Getting Rid of Roaches with Professional Roach Control Products
Recommended German Cockroach Control Products
Both Vendetta Roach Bait and Invict Gold Roach Bait are proven effective on German roaches and are comparable in prices. Vendetta Roach Bait and Invict Roach Bait have great bait acceptance and are superior to other professional roach baits on the market and have seen fast results. The Tekko Pro IGR has two modes of action; it stops the roach reproduction and affects the molting process, decreasing the roaches' survival. The Gentrol Point Source IGR also prevents roaches from becoming adults (insect growth regulator). Gentrol Point Source IGR is easy to use with no mixing required.
Invict Gold Cockroach Bait Gel-InVict Gold Cockroach Gel, formulated for rapid control of roaches, starts working in about 20 minutes. The bait matrix in Invict Roach Bait contains 11 food attractants (without the top eight food allergens) to combat bait aversion and maximize roach control. Put pea size drops of Invict Gold Roach Bait wherever you see their fecal material (looks like pepper). Place about 10 to 20 spots per 100 square feet. Place out more drops when the roaches are in inaccessible areas like wall voids or if the infestation is heavy. Use the higher number of spots when infestations are heavy or when roaches are living primarily in wall voids or other inaccessible areas. Repeat in 1-2 weeks. We highly recommend combining Invict Roach Bait with an IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) like Tekko Pro IGR (See our roach kits that combine both products for reduced savings.)
This kit gets rid of roaches completely and gets rid of allergens that German roaches leave behind. It includes Invict Roach Bait Gel to kill the adult roaches, Tekko Pro IGR, to stop the population growth and Invade Bio Zap for allergen control. The Invade Bio Zap has a citrus odor. It is a natural probiotic liquid to eat away organic odors and sanitizes the area.
Vendetta Roach Bait Cockroach Bait Gel has both proven to be extremely effective on German Roaches. Vendetta roach bait quickly and effectively kills hard-to-kill cockroaches. Vendetta roach bait, with Abamectin B1 0.05%, attracts both bait-averse and non-averse cockroaches.
This economical kit combines the Vendetta Roach bait with a Gentrol Point Source IGR combination for German Roach Control. Killing the adult population and preventing new births.
| German Roach Treatment Plan and Application
Recommended American and Large Roach Control Products
LambdaStar Ultracap 9.7 (Broad label, long-lasting and odorless). It may be used inside or outside and will dry invisibly. LambdaStar Ultracap will last longer outside and adhere to the surface better due to its encapsulated technology. It will yield 20-40 gallons.
Spray outside around doors, windows, pipe openings, and dryer vents. Apply also on the inside on the baseboards near the entry points. On the inside, apply around the plumbing under the sinks and washer and dryer connections. You don't have to spray all the interior baseboards, just the corners, and baseboards inside the garage and basement areas.
Intice 10 Perimeter Bait not only works well around the perimeter but would also be excellent choices for crawl spaces and or attics.
Intice 10 Perimeter Bait has 10% boric acid combined with a proprietary bait matrix of both carbohydrate and protein oils for wide acceptance by roaches. It also will kill crickets, earwigs, sowbugs, and more insects.
This bait is a NOP-compliant insecticide and is considered a green solution.
This kit is ideal for the larger types of roaches, such as the American roach. It contains a residual insecticide (spray inside and outside), a granulated insecticide bait (as perimeter bait and in crawlspace and attic areas), and an aerosol with its crack and crevice tip to get into small hiding areas.