Roaches are pesky, unsanitary, and tricky insects that have a way of creeping into our homes without notice. But once they’re there, it spells trouble, as they usually come in groups. So you may ask yourself, If I saw one cockroach, should I be worried? The answer is a resounding yes!
Is one roach a sign of infestation? Probably. Maybe you brought the cockroach home from the market. But if you see one cockroach, you probably have more. They can be found behind the walls, in cupboards and closets. There are 4 signs of infestation. You’ll want to get rid of them right away.
While it’s good to hope for the best, maybe that little guy just got lost and strolled in, unaccompanied; that’s likely not the case. Once you see a roach, you have to take action immediately to prevent an infestation from getting out of hand.
This comprehensive and straightforward guide will give you all the tools and knowledge you need to stop a roach takeover in its tracks.
Is One Roach a Sign of an Infestation? Are There More?
The first thing that you usually think when you see one cockroach in your home is, are there more?
While there is a slight chance you caught the culprit in time, one cockroach typically means more are near. Even seeing just one insect is a sign that you have an infestation problem on your hands.
This doesn’t mean that it’s a severe problem, but there’s probably a nest somewhere in your home that you need to find and eliminate.
4 Signs of a Roach Infestation
Immediately search the home for additional signs of an infestation when you see the first cockroach.
These signs include:
Cockroach feces are a huge indicator that you have an infestation. Look behind various appliances in the kitchen, for starters, as cockroaches are drawn to food sources.
Look behind the refrigerator, stoves under the sink, and inside your cabinets and pantries for cockroach droppings.
They may appear as:
- Specks of pepper
- Coffee grounds
- Brown stains
- Small oval-shaped pellets
Baby cockroaches continually shed their skin as they become adults.
If you see those light brown skin casks lying around your home, it’s an indication that the roaches are breeding, and there’s a colony in the vicinity.
3. Egg Casings
Cockroaches breed quickly, which is why it’s an urgent matter to find the source of the infestation as soon as possible.
Roaches don’t just lay one egg at a time. Instead, they make what is called oothecae, or egg cases. They are capsules that appear long and brown, full of eggs.
These cases are usually found near other signs of roach colonies, such as feces and skin casks.
4. Bugs That Are Dead or Alive
When you see one cockroach, check the corners of your home, as well as other dark areas.
You’re looking for other roaches that are dead or alive that will hopefully point you in the direction of the nest. You’ll need to know what area to target when trying to get rid of these pests.
What to Do if You See a Cockroach
If you see a cockroach, don’t hesitate to start cleaning your home so that you can do a thorough investigation.
You’ll need to understand where they may be hiding, and you have to devise a plan to draw them out and kill them off.
Find More Cockroaches in Your Home
One thing that roaches do well is hiding. They’re aware that predators are always lurking nearby.
Where do roaches hide?
- In the home, you’ll typically find cockroaches in places that are hard to reach, dark, and near water and food.
- It’s critical to hunt these down before they start getting into your bags, boxes, and other food items in the refrigerator and stored up.
- Don’t be hesitant to check literally everywhere in places like that.
- Look under (and behind) the refrigerator, in trash cans, near pet food bowls, and anywhere there’s a crevice.
- Also, check with a flashlight under the sink in the kitchen and bathroom because roaches also congregate near leaky pipes.
- Depending on the species of cockroaches, they could be so small that they hide in gaps under floorboards and sink drains.
- Roaches like to hide in microwaves and game systems. Here’s how to get cockroaches out of electronics.
Do a thorough examination of your living space!
8 Ways to Get Rid of Cockroaches
You’ll know you’re in the right place where you see a high number of skin casks, dead bugs, live bugs, droppings, and egg cases in a specific area—time to fix the problem.
1. Use Bait Stations
Bait stations kill cockroaches almost as soon as they come into contact with them. The bait usually comes in a long time, and you can put them anywhere you suspect a lot of roaches.
The cockroaches are attracted to the smell of the bait, and they’ll consume the poison inside.
When they return to their colony and die, the other roaches will get poisoned when they eat the dead cockroach.
This inevitably poisons the whole group, which should die between one and three days after they eat the poison.
This 18-pack by Combat claims to keep roaches from returning for 18 months.
2. Glue Strips
These sticky strips are an efficient and effective way to determine your highest problem areas for rock activity.
The roaches are attracted to the smell, and they get stuck to the trap once they step onto it.
Place these traps wherever you think there are a lot of roaches, like under the sink or behind the fridge.
This 12-pack by TrapperMax has peanut butter scented glue boards. And they also trap bed bugs, spiders, and other insects.
3. Roach Spray
Roach spray is an obvious solution to the problem.
Raid Ant & Roach Spray is a pretty popular product that one can use to kill roaches immediately when you see them.
This works best for minor issues, as it can get costly to purchase bottles of roach spray continuously. However, it works great to kill the problem on-site.
If you find yourself without pest control products, it’s perfectly fine to use your shoe.
Granted, the scene will be a bit messy, but it is undoubtedly an effective way to kill a roach.
If you see a cockroach lurking in your home, come near the bug quietly and calmly.
After you’ve crushed the bug, procure some sort of anti-bacterial cleaner and clean the area to eliminate any germs.
5. Block the Entry Points
The other methods won’t be of much help if new roaches can enter the home with ease.
It’s good to use those methods in conjunction with caulking the gals and other entry points. If you have any cracks or gaps on the walls, tiles, door, window seams, etc., seal them right away.
6. Essential Oils for Cockroaches
While most essential oils are more of a cockroach repellent than a killer, peppermint oil is proven toxic to roaches.
7. Call in the Professionals
This is the most costly option; however, if the infestation is severe, you absolutely should solicit the help of professionals.
This is a situation that you don’t want to (or can’t) handle on your own.
A trained professional can effectively eliminate the infestation using certified bug-killing treatments.
If you happen to have children and pets, notify the professional to choose the safest option for the household.
8. Remove Roach Attractants
Try removing any and everything that could attract roaches:
- Be sure to immediately wash the dishes after use
- Be attentive to cleaning up spills and crumbs
- Garbage should be taken out daily, especially before going to bed
- Sweep and mop floors with regularity, including around and under large appliances
- Don’t leave your pet food out for long periods
- Pour out any water in cups or pet bowls
Products That Repel/Kill Cockroaches
Products designed to eliminate roaches can take on many different forms:
- Perimeter treatments
- Insecticidal dust
- Non-Residual sprays
- Residual sprays
Launching a full chemical assault for a few cockroaches wouldn’t be prudent. That would be overkill and not to mention a waste of money.
More appropriately, begin with setting traps. Taking some time to strategically set traps can give you a better understanding of what you’re actually dealing with in terms of magnitude and find the source of the problem.
Baits designed for cockroaches contain insecticides that are engineered to kill roaches after they’ve returned to their hiding place with the intent of poisoning the other bugs as well.
Using this in tandem with a residual spray that kills upon contact, using bait traps can decrease your cockroach numbers significantly without too much effort on your part.
5 Commercial Product Suggestions
These products range in terms of intensity, with some being light and others being more heavy-duty.
These products can deal with various issues from the outdoors to indoors.
- Syngenta Advion Cockroach Gel Bait
- HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Powder Duster
- Rockwell Labs CimeXa Dust Insecticide
- Gentrol Point Source IGR
- InTice Perimeter Insect Control Bait Granules
3 Natural Remedies
Below you’ll find both natural and potent ways to rid yourself of roaches:
Boric acid has a reputation for getting rid of cockroaches quite effectively.
- Just mix three teaspoons of boric acid, three teaspoons of water, and three teaspoons of sugar.
- Next, put the concoction at the base of a jar and be sure not to place a lid on it.
- Take the open jar containing the boric acid mixture and place it in an area heavily visited by roaches.
The cockroaches will consume the concoction and soon become dehydrated and die.
DE or Diatomaceous earth happens to be a proficient and natural insecticide. DE consists of fossilized algae that have pulverized, and these particles are very sharp and cause dehydration.
Therefore, when roaches consume DE, it harms their exoskeletons while simultaneously dehydrating them to death.
Simply buy some food-grade DE and sprinkle a bit on any surface where you’ve seen roaches meandering.
Baking soda is a fast and easy way to eliminate cockroaches—and it’s likely that you already have it in your home. First, dice a handful of onions and sprinkle them with baking soda to make this roach bait.
Put the bait in a shallow dish of some sort and place it anywhere you’ve seen roach activity. The roach will then eat the baking soda, this will then produce gasses in their bellies, and it will cause them to burst.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you’ll find answers to the most commonly asked questions concerning potential cockroach infestation:
Should You Kill a Roach if You See One?
The World Health Organization states that cockroaches are potential carriers of leprosy, dysentery, cholera, and more. Having said that, if you encounter a cockroach, your best bet is to kill it right there and then.
What Kills Cockroaches Instantly?
The laundry product Borax is a product that is easily attainable and happens to be great for eliminating roaches. To achieve the best result, mix equal parts sugar and borax together.
Place the mixture anywhere that there’s apparent roach activity. Once the bugs eat the borax, it will, in turn, dehydrate them to death quickly.
How Much Does It Cost to Exterminate Cockroaches?
It can cost anywhere from $100 and $650 for one cockroach treatment. The average cost is roughly $150 to $350.
Moreover, if you have a severe cockroach problem requiring additional resources and time, you could pay as much as $6,000 for the treatment.
How did your cockroach situation turn out? Did you have more than one? How did you end up getting rid of your roaches?
- About the Author
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Bryan Haines is a co-founder and writer at The Buginator. And is working to make it the best resource for taking back the outdoors from biting, stinging pests.
He also blogs about travel at Storyteller.Travel and photography at Storyteller Tech. Bryan is a partner at Storyteller Media, a publishing company he runs with his wife, Dena.