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How to Get Rid of American Cockroach - Roach Control Guide [2023]

how to get rid of american cockroach

Have you seen an American cockroach in your home? If so, you're not alone. These pests are one of the most common types of roaches in the US.

While they're not as dangerous as some other types of roaches, they can still spread disease and cause allergic reactions in some people.

Just when you think you've finally gotten rid of them for good, another one seems to pop up out of nowhere. But don't worry, we're here to help.

In this roach guide, we'll give you some tips on how to get rid of American cockroaches for good.

What is an American Cockroach?

american cockroaches

The American cockroach is arguably the most widespread roach in the country. This bug is also sometimes referred to as water bugs, Bombay canaries, or palmetto bugs.

Even though it has no native name the American cockroach has been reported in many places throughout the world as being native in the United States.

American cockroaches are normally reddish brown. The back of the head is yellowish in color.

The average American cockroach, Periplaneta americana (Linnaeus), is the largest common peridomestic cockroach and measures 4 cm in length.

American Roach Identification

The American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana) is sometimes called the "water bug or palmetto bug". America's roach is reddish-brown with wings and is usually a bit bigger than 1.5 inches.

Male wings are shorter than male wings. American roaches are reddish-brown with wings that reach 1.5in or larger and rarely fly.

Male wings have longer wings than females if they have wings in their body length. Young nymphs have a gray to brown colour.

When the cockroach larvae mature, it turns reddish-brown. They have strong wings and do not fly unless temperatures reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit (90°C). They are called flying water bugs.

See Also: Signs of Roach infestation: Preventive Methods

American Cockroach Diet

The American Cockroach likes to devour decay and organic material and is scavenging for anything. Sweets attract American roaches. They also eat starchy items like books, binders, or wallpaper.

Do American Cockroaches Bite?

Even though American cockroaches can bite, it's rare. They are, however, capable of doing so if they feel threatened.

Cockroaches generally only bite humans when their food sources have run out and they're desperate for something to eat.

Are American Cockroaches Dangerous?

Yes, American cockroaches are a dangerous problem when they enter your house. Their bodies and feces contain many viruses, bacteria, and parasites which can cause severe health problems such as diarrhea, dysentery, and salmonella.

What Attracts American Cockroaches to Your Home

Whatever kind of roach you've got, it seems like it is unlikely you'll want it here. The roaches can cause allergies, spread diseases & create a dirty living environment.

Luckily you can start by knowing how to attract roaches into your property and get rid of them.

Here is some common culprit:

1. Dirty dishes in the sink

Cockroaches are attracted to dirty dishes in the sink because they provide an easy food source. So, if you want to keep cockroaches away, make sure to wash your dishes regularly!

2. Crumbs on the floors or counters

Just like dirty dishes, crumbs on the floor or counter are an easy food source for cockroaches. Make sure to vacuum and sweep regularly to avoid attracting them into your home.

3. Garbage

Garbage is another attractant for cockroaches because it contains food scraps that they can easily access. To keep them away, be sure to empty your garbage cans regularly and keep them clean.

4. Pet food on the floor

If you have pets, their food is another thing that can attract cockroaches into your home. Be sure to clean up any spilled food and store pet food in airtight containers so that cockroaches can't get to it.

5. Excess moisture

Finally, excess moisture is something that will attract cockroaches into your home. They're known for being able to survive without water for long periods of time, but they still need it to live.

So, if you have leaky pipes or other sources of excess moisture in your home, be sure to fix them as soon as possible to avoid attracting cockroaches.

Signs of an American cockroach infestation

cockroach infestation

The presence of American cockroaches in the area is a sign. First time homeowners see frightened insects in dark places.

Second cockroach dropping leaves a dark space where they hide.

They have slits at the bottom with sharp ends; they have sides ridged in some areas.

Many people mistake dropping mice, so contact a qualified pest control specialist in your area to identify these critters.

Another sign of American cockroach infestation can be seen by egg capsules that measure approximately 8 mm wide and dark in color.

Damage Caused By American Roaches

What some people are worried about is how many roaches bite humans. In truth, American cockroaches are not very aggressive though their pests can attack.

The bite also causes no problems when bitten and is harmless. This cockroach however damages your health as it is attracted by dead materials and lives in sewers.

The organisms spread over 33 different species and include E. coli salmonella, 6 types of parasitic worms, and 7 human diseases.

Why do some insects cause so many illnesses and diseases in humans?

How to Get Rid of Roaches Naturally

You could eliminate roach larvae with no chemicals, like sprayers or bombs. Many effective home remedies can keep these annoying critters out of the way, but many don't hurt pets or children.

Among the suggestions we have is the following:

1. Diatomaceous Earth

diatomaceous earth

One of the most effective—and inexpensive—ways to kill roaches is by using diatomaceous earth.

This powdery substance is made up of fossilized algae and is deadly to insects but completely safe for humans and animals.

All you need to do is sprinkle it around the areas where you've seen roaches and they'll ingest it as they walk through, which will kill them.

Just be sure to use food-grade diatomaceous earth and avoid inhaling it, as it can be harmful if inhaled in large quantities.

2. Baking Soda

baking soda

Another commonly found household item that can be used to get rid of roaches is baking soda.

Baking soda works by dehydrating and killing the roaches when they ingest it.

To use baking soda, simply mix equal parts baking soda and sugar and place it in an airtight container with small holes punched into the lid.

The roaches will be attracted to the sugar but will die after ingesting the baking soda.

3. Boric Acid

Boric acid

Boric acid is another natural substance that's very effective in getting rid of roaches. When ingested, boric acid will kill the roach by causing dehydration.

It's important to note that boric acid can be harmful to humans and pets if ingested, so be sure to keep it out of reach and away from any areas where food is prepared or stored.

To use boric acid, mix equal parts of boric acid and powdered sugar and place it in a container with small holes punched into the lid.

The roaches will be attracted to the sugar but will die after eating the boric acid.

4. Borax


Borax is a naturally-occurring mineral that is often used as an insecticide. To use it to get rid of cockroaches, simply mix equal parts borax and sugar and place the mixture in an empty jar or container with holes punched in the lid.

The roaches will be attracted to the sugar and will enter the jar in search of it. Once they've ingested the borax, it will kill them.

5. Citrus


Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges contain compounds that are toxic to roaches.

To use this method, simply place slices of lemon or orange around areas where you've seen roaches or where you think they may be hiding out.

The citrus smell will also help freshen up your home!

6. Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Certain essential oils like eucalyptus oil and lavender oil can also be used to get rid of cockroaches.

These oils work by suffocating the bugs and causing them to die. To use essential oils, simply add a few drops to a spray bottle filled with water and spray it around areas where you think roaches may be present.

You can also add a few drops of oil to cotton balls and place them in areas where you've seen roaches or where they may be hiding out.

Just be sure not to use too much oil, as it can be harmful if inhaled in large quantities.

How to Get Rid Of Roaches in the House Fast

If you have roaches in your house, you may be wondering how to get rid of them quickly and efficiently. Use these 5 methods to get rid of American roaches.

1. Use Glue Traps to Identify Problem Areas

The first step in getting rid of roaches is to identify where they are congregating in your home.

You can do this by placing glue traps around your house and checking them regularly.

The traps will not kill the roaches, but they will give you an idea of where they are coming from and how many there are.

2. Set Bait Stations

Once you know where the roaches are coming from, you can set bait stations to lure them out and kill them.

There are many different types of bait stations available, so be sure to read the labels carefully to find one that is effective against cockroaches.

3. Caulk all Entry Points

Once you have baited and killed the roaches that are already in your home, it is important to seal up all entry points so that more roaches cannot come in.

Check cracks and crevices around windows, doors, and baseboards, and caulk any gaps that you find.

4. Use a Liquid Concentrate

In addition to caulking entry points, you can also use a liquid concentrate around potential entry points to deter roaches from entering your home.

There are many different brands of liquid concentrates available, so be sure to read the labels carefully to find one that is effective against cockroaches.

5. Hire a Professional Pest Control Expert

pest control expert

If you have tried all of these methods and still have a problem with cockroaches, it may be time to call in a professional pest control expert.

Pest control experts have specialized knowledge and tools that can help eliminate even the most stubborn cockroach infestation.

Find a reputable pest control company in your area and schedule an appointment today!

Don't let cockroaches take over your home! Use these five effective methods to get rid of them quickly.

Read Also: Does Bleach Kill Roaches?

How to Get Rid Of Roaches Outside Your House

If you have roaches outside your house, chances are you're wondering how to get rid of them. Here are 4 ways to get rid of cockroaches outside your home.

1. Clean Up

One of the best ways to prevent roaches from taking up residence in your yard is to keep it clean. Pick up any fallen leaves or other debris on a regular basis, and don't let trash build up.

If possible, store garbage cans in a shed or garage rather than leaving them out in the open.

In addition, repair any cracks or holes in your foundation so that roaches can't get inside your home.

2. Use Sticky Traps

Another effective way to get rid of roaches is to set out sticky traps. These traps are coated with a sticky substance that will trap any roach that walks across them.

You can find these traps at most hardware stores or online. Be sure to place them in areas where roaches are known to congregate, such as near garbage cans or in a dark corner

3. Spray Pesticide

As a last resort, you may need to spray pesticide around the perimeter of your home. This will kill any roaches that come into contact with it and should help keep them away from your property altogether.

Be sure to only use pesticides as directed by the label—improper use can be dangerous for you, your family, and your pets.

In addition, some states have restrictions on the use of certain pesticides, so be sure to check local laws before using them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to get rid of American cockroaches?

The American Cockroach is also known as the waterbug or palmetto and is approximately 1.5 feet long with wings that rarely fly.

It is essential that the invasive pest be eradicated by using non-toxic chemicals and combining them with patience.

How long does it take to get rid of American cockroaches?

If you notice a few cockroaches you're likely to find hundreds of them. But you could kill cockroaches in just 1-2 weeks if the population is wiped out by catching the cockroach. Almost all will be gone within days.


If you're dealing with an infestation of American cockroaches, don't despair - there are things you can do to get rid of these pests.

Start by eliminating food sources and using pesticides judiciously. If you need additional help, contact a pest control professional who can provide advice and assistance in getting rid of these unwanted guests for good.

About The Author:

Meet Mark Calhoun, a seasoned pest control expert in the realm our pest control company. With over 10 years of dedicated experience and Managing Editor. His primary mission is to furnish you with precise and invaluable DIY insights, ensuring your home remains pest-free while aiding you in distinguishing various household pests.
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