How to Get Rid of Severe Cockroach Infestations

Cockroaches are a serious risk to your health! They carry disease-causing microorganisms like Salmonella Typhimurium, Entamoeba Histolytica, and the poliomyelitis virus. They can also trigger allergies, produce unpleasant odors, and spread droppings and filth throughout your home. The more cockroaches you have at home, the more vulnerable you are to these risks. Here is how you can get rid of severe cockroach infestations.

Signs of severe cockroach infestations

  • You see more than one cockroach at a time. Having fewer than five cockroaches at home can be considered as a light infestation, and having fewer than 25 can be considered moderate. Any number higher than that and you have yourself a severe one. But all infestations have one thing in common — cockroaches don’t want you to see them. If you see even just one cockroach, you should be worried. There may be more in hiding. You should even be more concerned if you see more than one cockroach at a time.
  • You see cockroaches even in the daytime. Cockroaches are nocturnal animals, so they are more active at night. If you see cockroaches even in the daytime, it’s an indication that they are desperate for resources, maybe because of their high population, and they are already willing to look for food and water even outside of their comfort hours.
  • The signs of light and moderate cockroach infestations are amplified. Cockroach droppings, eggs, and smear marks on your walls are the common signs of cockroach infestations. If you see an increase in these signs, the infestation may be becoming more severe.
Seeing many cockroach eggs is a sign of severe cockroach infestations.
Ootheca of a Pennsylvania wood cockroach. Source: Happy1892 (Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International — CC BY-SA 4.0)

How to get rid of severe cockroach infestations

1. Call pest control professionals

You can get rid of severe cockroach infestations yourself with commercial products like insecticides and DIY solutions like boric acid. But it’s not always so simple. Remember that these items kill and repel cockroaches. They have ingredients that can be toxic to you, your children, and your pets. It’s best to let pest control professionals deal with your problem.

Pest control professionals also have a methodical approach. They don’t just bomb your home with insecticides and pray that they work. They will inspect your home first, diagnose your problem, and come up with a solution that will work best for your specific case.

2. Clean your home

Even a clean house can have cockroaches. This is because cockroaches are attracted not just to filth, but also to food sources and shelter opportunities. And you have so many of these at home. Food sources don’t just include the food items in your cabinets, counters, and refrigerators. They also include food crumbs, spills, and leftovers in the sink and garbage can.

Shelter opportunities can be entire rooms, like bathrooms and kitchens. But they can also be specific parts of your home, like kitchen cabinets and furniture. When cleaning, give particular attention to these areas.

3. Throw away clutter

Shelter opportunities can also come in the form of clutter, like piles of old magazines and newspapers, worn-out shoeboxes, and old DVDs. Throw them away if they have no practical use or sentimental value. If you don’t, you might see a cockroach or two hidden inside them.

If you can’t throw them away because you are attached to them, at least store them in a place where they can’t be easily accessed by pests. Also, consider putting them inside glass or metal containers for an extra layer of protection.

4. Store your food and water properly

Don’t just have food and water out in the open, especially if you already know you are dealing with a cockroach infestation. This means you have to put everything in containers and refrigerators. You also have to clean up immediately after eating and practice proper garbage disposal. Don’t let your garbage cans overflow. Keep their lids down as much as possible.

5. Use insecticides

Insecticides are some of the most common and reliable commercial products you can use to get rid of severe cockroach infestations. But as said earlier, you should be careful using them because they are toxic to those you love too. Make sure to read the instructions first before using them.

Usually, insecticides come in the form of sprays. And they are used by simply covering yourself and spraying a generous amount directly on cockroaches or in areas with cockroach activity. Many of them come with residual effects. They will offer protection for quite some time.

Get rid of severe cockroach infestations with insecticides.

6. Try baits

Baits work by disguising themselves as food. Cockroaches eat them and they die. Other cockroaches nearby will eat the corpses of their dead friends, making them fall victim to the baits as well. Simply sprinkle the baits in areas with cockroach activity.

The best baits are store-bought. But you can also make baits on your own with baking soda or boric acid combined with sugar. And again, be careful in sprinkling these around your home because they can be toxic to humans and pets too.

7. Don’t rely on DIY and natural solutions to get rid of cockroach infestations

There are a lot of articles online suggesting DIY and home remedies for cockroach infestations. They can suggest natural ingredients like bay leaf, cinnamon, and essential oil. And they can also suggest commercial products like bleach. But here’s the thing — they are not very effective, especially for severe infestations.

Bay leaf, cinnamon, and essential oil may only repel cockroaches at best. They won’t kill them. On the other hand, bleach is ineffective against cockroaches. If you are thinking of stopping cockroaches from coming up the drain by pouring bleach, think again. You may be causing more harm than good.

8. Close all potential passageways

Doors and windows, cracks and holes, and drains and pipes are the common passageways for cockroaches. To prevent them from moving in, out, and around your home, make these passageways inaccessible.

Keep doors and windows closed. Consider putting weather strips on their gaps to prevent cockroaches from squeezing through. Seal cracks and holes on your walls. Make sure to use the appropriate sealants for the material component of your walls. Use drain covers and fix broken pipes. Hire professional plumbers if necessary.

Severe cockroach infestations are dangerous

Cockroaches spread diseases and filth around your home. They can also get inside your mouth while you sleep, which is already scary just thinking about it. The more cockroaches you have at home, the more you are at risk of these nightmares.

Get rid of severe cockroach infestations now by cleaning your home, using commercial products like insecticides and baits, and limiting their movement inside your property. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can always get the help of pest control professionals.

2 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Severe Cockroach Infestations”

    • Hi Joni,

      Thanks for your question. It depends on where you are located. If in the UK, you could contact your local Environmental Health Department. If US-based then I would imagine that a good place to start would be the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). I hope this helps.

      Good luck with everything.

      Best wishes,
      Deal With Pests


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