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How to Get Rid Of Roaches In an Apartment

Four Methods:

No matter which of the many species of roaches you may have in your apartment, you have probably noticed that they are quick, sneaky, and difficult to get rid of. These pests are adaptable and efficient, and they breed quickly. There is no one simple solution to a roach infestation, but a combination of approaches can be effective. Get rid of roaches in an apartment by using pesticide dusts, setting up bait stations, or trying additional methods like setting traps or bringing in a professional exterminator. You can also take steps to prevent them from returning.


Using Baits

  1. Purchase some baits.Baits are one of the safest and most effective ways to eliminate roaches. They work over an extended period of time and can either kill roaches directly (when roaches eat the bait) or indirectly (when roaches eat the poisoned feces or corpses of those that have already sampled the bait).
    • You can purchase baits in the form of small containers filled with bait (bait stations) or dispensable gels. A variety of bait gels and baited traps are available from most hardware stores, drug stores, and supermarkets. Common brand names include Avert, Blue Diamond, Combat, and Max Force.
  2. Make your own baits.You can make effective baits out of a variety of household ingredients. Try one of these bait recipes:
    • Mix small, equal portions of white flour, cocoa, oatmeal, boric acid, and Plaster of Paris.
    • Mix 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of citrus pulp, ¾ teaspoon (about 4 ml) of brown sugar, ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of corn meal, and ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of boric acid.
    • Bait mixtures containing boric acid should be kept out of reach of children and pets.
  3. Place bait stations in identified problem areas.Bait stations are most effective if set up in areas where cockroaches are known to gather, such as cabinets, the spaces behind and under appliances, and areas where food and moisture are readily available (such as bathrooms and kitchens).
    • Avoid leaving your bait stations out in the open. They are more likely to be effective (and less likely to be found by pets and children) if they are placed under or between appliances, in dark corners, and inside cabinets.
    • If you made your own bait, put it in a small container, like a shallow bowl or a plastic food storage container lid, and place it as you would a commercial bait station.
  4. Use bait gels in small spaces.Bait gel is ideal for cracks and crevices where cockroaches like to hide, but where regular bait stations will not fit.
  5. Change and replace your bait stations frequently.Since bait stations serve as food sources for roaches, they will become empty quickly in areas where roaches gather. Empty bait stations can serve as hiding places for cockroaches.
    • How quickly your bait stations become empty will depend on how many roaches you have. Commercial baits may include instructions to replace your baits every 3-6 months, or more frequently if roaches return before the recommended period ends.
    • If you make your own baits, inspect them every few weeks and replace them once the bait is depleted or cockroaches begin to reappear.
  6. Make sure other food sources are not available.For baits to be effective, they must serve as the roaches’ primary food source. Clean up and put away food in areas where your traps are set up.

Using Pesticide Dusts

  1. Purchase one or more pesticide dusts.Three basic types are available: silica (as found in products like Delta Dust or Safer Ant & Crawling Insect Killer), diatomaceous earth (Roach and Ant Killer D-E Dust), and boric acid (Borid, Pic Boric, or Roach Prufe). Silica and diatomaceous earth work by damaging and desiccating the cockroach’s exoskeleton, while boric acid is highly toxic to roaches when ingested.
    • Borax (sodium borate) is often used as a homemade roach pesticide. Borax contains the same element (boron) as boric acid, but may be less effective as a pesticide.
  2. Place pesticide dusts in places where roaches hide.These dusts should be used sparingly. Roaches will notice and avoid big piles of dust. Use a small pesticide powder duster to puff a thin (barely visible) film into cracks, void spaces around cabinets, and underneath appliances. Re-apply your dusts every 3-4 months, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  3. Keep pesticide dusts away from pets and children.Although these pesticides are relatively safe, they can still be harmful. Be especially cautious when using dusts that contain boric acid. Do not use these dusts on surfaces where food is prepared or consumed.

Using Other Approaches

  1. Vacuum up roaches when you see them.This is a quick and effective way to “spot treat” your roach problem. If you see live roaches, droppings, or egg cases, vacuum them up and dispose of your vacuum bag or the contents of your vacuum canister in a garbage container outside of your building.
  2. Set sticky traps and jar traps.These types of traps can help reduce the number of roaches in your apartment, and can also be useful for helping you identify areas in your apartment where roaches are most likely to gather.
    • You can purchase sticky traps in most hardware stores, drug stores, or department stores.
    • You can make your own traps by lining the inside of a jar with Vaseline and placing a slightly moist piece of bread and some slices of raw potato inside as bait. You can kill the roaches you trap in the jar by filling the jar with soapy water.
    • Dispose of the trapped roaches in a garbage container outside your building.
  3. Hire a licensed professional to treat your apartment.Pest control experts are permitted to use chemicals that private citizens are not, such as Avermectin. Contact your landlord to find out if they already have a working relationship with an exterminator in your area.

Keeping Roaches out of Your Apartment

  1. Talk to your property manager or building supervisor.Even if you eliminate roaches from your specific apartment, they will keep returning if the building is not treated. Roaches can inhabit the walls and spaces between units, or travel between units in a building.
  2. Eliminate all roach food sources.They love the carbohydrates and sugar found in your food, soaps, and even plants.
    • Keep food (for humans and pets) in glass or plastic containers, with lids that fit tightly. Transfer any food that you keep in bags, boxes, or other materials that are easy for roaches to chew through.
    • Replace bar soap with liquid soap dispensers, and spread a bit of petroleum jelly on plant holders and pots to keep roaches away from the plants in your apartment.
    • Keep garbage, compost and recycling in tightly sealed containers, and take out your garbage frequently.
  3. Keep problem areas clean.Crumbs, spills, and stains will attract roaches. Clean kitchen surfaces thoroughly after preparing food. Sweep up crumbs and mop up spills immediately. Scrub inside cabinets and around and under appliances.
    • Take extra care to sweep and scrub up any roach droppings that you find, since these can attract other roaches.
  4. Pick up clutter.Roaches like to hide in boxes, stacks of paper, or piles of laundry. Avoid storing paper bags, magazines, or newspapers on the floor or in cabinets.
  5. Eliminate sources of moisture.Keep your bathroom and kitchen as dry as possible. If you have leaky pipes or worn grout, bring them to your landlord’s attention. Mop up spilled water immediately, and wipe down sinks and bathtubs immediately after use. You may wish to empty pet water dishes overnight.
  6. Check for cracks and holes.Roaches travel in and out of walls, doors and windows through cracks as small as 1/5 inch (0.5 cm). Check your window screens, doors and walls for holes or other damage. Put weather stripping over any cracks in your doors. Cracks and holes in the walls can be repaired with spackle or caulk. You may wish to consult with your landlord before attempting any repairs yourself.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How can I kill cockroaches and rats at the same time?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Do them separately. If you do it at the same time, it won’t work. Do roaches or rats first, and then do the other one.
  • Question
    Can roaches come up through my sink?
    Traéa Bowden
    Community Answer
    Yes, they love moisture! Keep your sink and pipes as clean as possible. Try using bleach in your drains every night.
  • Question
    Do roaches travel through the sink drain?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, some roaches do come in and out through sink drains.
  • Question
    How do I know where the roaches' nest is?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Whatever trap you find more roaches in can be a clue. The higher the density of roaches in an area could indicate where the nest is.
  • Question
    I'm going home to visit. I don't want to bring roaches to my parents home. How can I make sure of that?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Make sure to transport your belongings in clean, dry luggage. When your luggage is not in use, store it in a clean, dry space, off the floor. Check your luggage for signs of roaches, such as egg cases, droppings, or carapace fragments, before use. Vacuum the insides of your bags and cases before packing them.
  • Question
    What do I do when I tried all of these options but they still don't go away?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Call an exterminator.
  • Question
    How can�I get a parent to clean a roach infested home filled with trash?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Try talking to your parents about the connection between roaches and trash, especially food waste, in the home. Cockroaches thrive where they have access to plenty of food, moisture, and dark places to hide. Mention the health risks associated with having roaches in the home. Roaches may carry diseases or allergens.
  • Question
    Is it safe to exterminate roaches when you have a 7 month old baby living in the home?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Keep children and small pets away from any insecticides you apply to your apartment. They can be harmful to the respiratory system of babies and small children, and fatal if consumed. If you have children, send them off to a relative's house or a day care and preferably have them sleep over somewhere to ensure that the potency is low on their return.
  • Question
    Will bay leaf kill roaches?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It is possible, but bay leaf acts more as a deterrent than an actual pest killer.
  • Question
    How do I approach my surrounding neighbors who have cats and have cat food and litter that may be a factor in my being inundated with roaches?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    If you are not comfortable approaching your neighbors directly, try talking to your landlord or apartment manager about the issue. Proper containment and disposal of pet food and waste may be addressed in your building's pet policy.
Unanswered Questions
  • I am moving into an apartment where the garbage chute is located right next door. I have begun to clean the areas and repair exposed cracks etc. There are still some roaches that get in, what can I do?
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  • Roaches are unfortunately a fact of life for many people who live in apartment buildings. Before you move into an apartment, ask about the pest control policies and what is done to ensure that your apartment is not overrun by roaches.


  • Keep children and pets away from any insecticides you apply to your apartment. They can be harmful or fatal if consumed.

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Quick Summary

To get rid of roaches in an apartment, purchase or make your own roachbaits and place them in problem areas where you've frequently spotted roaches. Don't forget to change and replace your bait stations frequently for the best results! Make sure you put away your leftover food, sweep frequently, and avoid stacking dirty dishes in the sink to eliminate their food sources and prevent the roaches from coming back.

Success Stories

Gaurav Kamath

May 15

"Using the bait methods are very effective!"

Gail Hack

Dec 20, 2019

"I liked the tips about putting food in plastic containers. It keeps bugs out. Eliminating food sources works. Idon't have a bug problem right now. The reason is that I stopped putting food in the garbage. The bugs smell the food and stick around. I decided to wrap all leftovers in plastic wrap or foil and put them in my freezer in a large container. When the container is full, I empty it into a bag and toss it down the incinerator. To my surprise, it has kept cockroaches out of my apartment. "

Pearl Jefcoat

Jun 13, 2019

"I never had a clue that leaving dishes unwashed and not plugging up your sink with a stopper attracts roaches. Iwill probably have to ask my superintendent to help me with caulking cracks, but regularly doing my dishes and drying off counters, sinks, and sealing off garbage are definitely some things I can attempt to do more of. Makes me think of a saying my sister used to say-- never leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. "

Karina Jones

Nov 5, 2019

"I live in an apartment where the landlord won't do anything about the roaches. They're getting unbearable. I'vespent /month on sprays that do kill on contact, but nothing to keep them away, so I'm trying the boric acid/sugar suggestion and hope that it works. I know the bugs are coming from next door and they're doing nothing about it, just complaining! I've been in their kitchen so I know why we have the problem!"

Veronica Villanueva

Mar 11, 2019

"Oh my gosh, I never knew they could survive on just plain water! I will make certain to dry things up beforebedtime. I use borax often with my laundry. Definitely will administer. I will also need to buy more food containers. Very helpful tips. Thanks."

Min Zan

Feb 10, 2019

"I didn't know about Borax, nor that roaches can eat through boxes of food. I will be going out out to buy Boraxtoday, and will put all the dog treat boxes in my cabinets in sealed plastic containers. Spraying alone has not worked."

Pete Norris

Apr 29, 2019

"I am just now starting my research. I didn't realize you can make your own roach bait. I have been buying roachbait stations at the local hardware store. This article may have saved me some money. Thanks."
Rated this article:

Priscilla Daniels

Jul 29, 2019

"Leaving the light on at night helps. Also putting Raid spray around all four legs of the bed to prevent thesecreatures from crawling on you at night!"

LaDawn Greene

Jun 16, 2019

"This article covered most information about roaches. Pointed out how to seal cracks in your apartment. Thank youfor your help."

Rafaela Luz

Apr 4, 2019

"The "how to get rid" section was helpful. I've been having a bit of a roach problem recently and thiswill surely help me."

Theresa Rowell

Apr 13, 2019

"Taught me that borax and bait stations along with the monthly extermination should be fine. Thank you."


Jan 5, 2019

"Getting rid of roaches with borax in our apartment. That worked quite well. Thank you."

S. Garcia

Mar 24, 2019

"The part on how to make your own bait station was informative and a great idea."

Jodi Maranville

Jul 22, 2019

"I am having a roach issue and it gave me several new things to try."
Rated this article:

V. H.

Nov 17, 2019

"All of it helped. I hate those things, they are disgusting!"

Wais Khan

Oct 3, 2019

"Cleaning and filling the holes will certainly help."


Aug 24, 2019

"Traps and bleach in sinks, as well as cleanliness."

Melanie Upchurch

Aug 29, 2019

"I like how it was written step by step."

Marcia Havkett

Jun 30, 2019

"I will try some of the suggestions!"
Rated this article:

S. P.

Aug 30, 2019

"The whole article is informative."


Nov 6, 2019

"Rubbing alcohol killing roaches."

Mercedes Garcia

Jun 14, 2019

"This was so helpful! Thank you."

Mo B.

May 31, 2019

"This helped out a lot."

Celeny Delacruz

Jun 13, 2019


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Date: 10.12.2018, 11:25 / Views: 52275