How to get rid of cockroaches for good - DIY

Do it yourself: Fight and kill roaches

I got rid of mine. So can you!
Although diatomaceous earth itself is not harmful like with any other dust breathing it can cause trouble. Thus do NOT follow my advice if you have small children, pets or respiratory conditions such as asthma!
General information
Active approaches
Passive approaches
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COVID-19: Can cockroaches, mosquitoes or other pests infect humans with the novel Coronavirus?

While pests, like mosquitoes or ticks can transmit certain viruses, like malaria, the Zika- or West Nile virus, cockroaches and other insects cannot spread COVID-19. At least some good news.

General info

Cockroaches, often simply called roaches, are insects of the Blattodea order. About 30 of its about 4,600 species are found in human habitats. Some if these are well known pests. These are known as hardened insects, thriving in a wide range of climates, tolerating tropic heat and arctic cold. Often they are depicted as dirty pests as being attracted by it. That can be experiments and other dirt emitting odour. As food source they prefer starch (wheat flour), as found in various types of bread. They're also attracted to water. That's why they are often found in or under sinks. Nests are most likely found nearby in dark and for humans inaccessible corners. Hating vibrations, creating these should drive them out. Don't be afraid of them, they won't attack you. Once they sense you they will run off to a hiding place.

The life cycle of cockroaches is up to one year. They can go without food for weeks, or live from very little food for a long time. Every female has 30 to 40 eggs in her ootheca per cycle. After hatching the babies or nymphs are almost translucent at first but get darker soon. Their development to adults takes between three to five months.


There were ever so often roaches in my apartment. Once in a while I saw one crawling on a wall or ceiling, sometimes a table. When I could reach them I killed them squashing with my hand or stepped on when on the ground. When I could not reach them I gave them a brief shot with a big killer like Raid ®. Of these some stayed on the spot, playing dead and later moved on in erratic, eventually dropping down. I then stepped on them. Those or falling down I ignored knowing they'll die soon anyway. But most of them were probably blown off walls and ceilings from the quick blast and dropped on the floor where I killed them. Many hide under sinks, behind or even in stoves, behind the fridge and other furniture, as well as in cluttering, like newspapers stapled somewhere. That's were people can also suspect to find their nests. Unfortunately these areas are hard to reach; suppose roaches "know" that...

But later there were more. Some pregnant cockroach must have entered my apartment. There were some tiny insects I first thought to be saw bugs or bed bugs. But when I saw mid sized bugs I knew I was about to have a cockroach infestation. Was time to do something before it gets out of control.

Active approaches

In contrast of killing bedbugs with Raid ®, which is not effective, because they are hidden inside of materials, like mattresses, I had a good success rate spraying areas where I suspect them with insecticides.

Passive approaches

Green House bedbug killer dust

Canadian product example
This passive approach combined with some active approaches might actually kill most roaches. Most important is to apply it on surfaces you noticed bugs prefer to crawl. Like niches they run off to while threatened.

It seems bug dust (Diatomaceous Earth (DE) [food grade], mixed with an insecticide), is killing them, as well as any other bug. It is available in most of the home department stores. Ask for bug dust or similar. Those are usually found where other insecticides are.

DE dust (powder) consists of algae, non toxic (you can even inhale it, although you will cough, or get it on your skin). It doesn't leave stains. But not advised for people having respiratory conditions!

DE is taken in (digested) by bug pests. It then digests the lipids on insect's exoskeletons, thus killing them. They do not die right away though (instructions on my bottle say 24 to 48 hours). The method of using Diatomaceous Earth is fairly cheap compared to "professional" solutions like hiring an exterminator. I paid about $12 for one bottle (better get two - you'll never know) in a home improvement store (Home Depot, Canadian Tire). Better wear a mask when applying to avoid inhaling the dust.

I'm glad if this information helped with your cockroach problem. If you are grateful I wouldn't mind a donation.

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