How to kill cockroaches

Cockroaches are an unwelcome guest in any home – find out how to get rid of cockroaches for good with our guide to pest control.

Updated

kitchen cleaned from cockroaches

Key steps

  1. Use bleach to thoroughly clean your kitchen and remove any lingering food smells or crumbs. 
  2. A tall glass jar filled with water is an ideal trap for cockroaches - they can get in, but they can't get out.
  3. If you don't notice a significant difference after taking measures, it may be time to call in an exterminator or use a pesticide. 

You’ve spent all morning working to get your home looking spotless – then, before you know it, you spy a sneaky cockroach crawling across your clean floor. Cockroaches certainly aren’t the most welcome of house guests, and they can actually make us quite sick with stomach upsets, diarrhoea, and allergy symptoms – so it’s important to get rid of cockroaches as soon as possible. But what’s the best way?

Cockroaches thrive on old food, and are attracted by the delicious smells of cooking (and your cooking is, if you don’t mind us saying, really rather good), so try to get rid of any crumbs and smells by cleaning regularly. When it comes to cockroaches, regular kitchen cleaning products just won’t cut it – heavy-duty bleach is what you need, so always keep a bottle of Domestos handy for roach invasions. Remember to follow the safety guidelines & wear protective gloves.

Getting rid of cockroaches

If you want to know how to get rid of cockroaches, we’ve got a simple, 3-part process that is sure to get your floors cockroach-free. Here’s what to do:

  • Step 1: Clean your home

The three essentials a cockroach cannot do without are food, water, and shelter. By removing these things from them, they’ll begin to look for a more suitable place to live. Use bleach to thoroughly clean your kitchen and get rid of any crumbs or lingering food smells. The bleach will also help to remove any waste the cockroaches have left behind. As cockroach waste is a very common allergy trigger, keeping your home clear of it will go a long way when it comes to keeping you and your family healthy.

  • Step 2: Trap the roaches

You can get rid of cockroaches by using bait to lure them out of their hiding places and into a trap. A tall glass jar filled with water is ideal—cockroaches can get in, but can’t get back out. Try adding some coffee grounds or chopped banana to the water – roaches love these smells and can’t resist coming in for a closer sniff. Studies suggest that this method has roughly an 85% mortality rate.

  • Step 3: Locate the nest

If you’ve trapped a few cockroaches but are still noticing more and more scurrying around, you may have a nest somewhere. Start by checking in dark corners, as these are ideal breeding grounds. If you don’t destroy the nest, new roaches will continue to cause a nuisance, so it might be time to call in an exterminator or use a pesticide. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and ensure children and pets are kept well away from the roach poison.

Getting rid of cockroaches is one thing, but it’s another to make sure they stay gone. One of the main reasons why cockroaches may be eyeing up your home as their new place to live is because your cooking smells so delicious they can’t resist coming in for a closer look. Try to keep any leftovers tightly sealed, and if any scraps get thrown away, take the rubbish out immediately and keep the bins as far away from your door as you can. It’s also worth trying to think like a cockroach – you may look a bit silly, but get down on the floor and look for any cracks in your doorframes where the roaches may be able to sneak inside – they really are sly little things.

If you're being pestered by other uninvited guests such as woodlice, we've got tips on how to get rid of them, too.

Originally published