Different species of cockroaches respond to different extermination tactics, and a tactic used for one species will not be effective on another. This means you need proper identification of the cockroach, which can be difficult to those not familiar with these insects and you will most likely go through a few methods before being successful or just giving up.
No matter the species of the roach, prevention and sanitation are the keys to successfully controlling them. Vacuuming will eliminate cockroach skins and feces that cause cockroach allergies. Cockroach feces also contain a chemical (aggregation pheromone) that attracts cockroaches to an area. Eliminating the cockroach feces by scrubbing with hot, soapy water will decrease the amount of aggregation pheromone available to attract cockroaches to the area.
Eliminate Water. Water is the most important factor in cockroach survival. They often come indoors during periods of drought because they are looking for moisture. Eliminate water sources by doing the following:
Repair plumbing leaks especially in kitchen and bathroom areas.
Do not let water stand in sinks for long periods of time.
Empty pans under refrigerators used to catch water from condensation.
Be aware that pet drinking dishes and pipe condensation (under sinks, in wall voids) can also be sources of moisture.
Eliminate places outside where water can collect, such as cans, tires and tree holes.
Eliminate Food Sources. Cockroaches do not need large amounts of food to survive, especially in the presence of water, but availability of food can cause populations to increase rapidly.
Store and dispose of garbage properly. Seal garbage can lids and keep the area clean. The highest concentration of cockroaches in a home is usually where food is found, around the garbage can and around the refrigerator.
Wipe off counters tops often and wash dishes immediately after use. Dump sink strainers to prevent food buildup.
Keep kitchen appliances - such as toaster ovens, microwaves, stoves, and refrigerators - and the areas around them free of crumbs and other food debris.
Reseal all food after opening (including pet food). Place it in a tightly sealed container or store in the refrigerator.
Regularly vacuum or sweep the areas where people eat. Vacuuming can also remove cockroach egg cases that will not be killed by insecticides.
Eliminate Harborages (shelter, refuge, etc.). In addition to food and moisture, it is essential to their survival that cockroaches require a place to live. Cockroaches prefer dark places that are warm and moist. Common places that provide tight spaces include stacks of newspaper or cardboard, piles of clothing, or cracks and crevices in structures.
Keep clutter such as newspapers, bags, and clothing from accumulating.
Pull mulch away from the house. The large, outdoor cockroaches breed effectively in pine straw mulch and poorly in gravel or on bare soil.
Stack firewood off the ground and well away from the house.
Keep shrubbery and ornamentals well-trimmed and away from the house. Ivy is a favorite breeding place for outdoor cockroaches.
Seal holes, cracks, and crevices. Cockroaches can enter your home from the outside in many different ways. Adult cockroaches can fit into cracks only about 1/16 inch and prefer spaces of about 3/8 inch. Check around windows and doors, vents, around plumbing and electrical lines, sewer and drain pipes.
Dwellings such as apartments that are separated by a common wall are particularly difficult situations. An infestation can migrate between apartments via the plumbing within a common wall. Therefore, cockroaches from one apartment can easily migrate to another apartment, infesting a "clean" dwelling. To help prevent this, caulk holes in common walls and around plumbing.
Over 4,000 species exist worldwide, with one species or another either creeping around in your basement, flying right at you, dropping on you from trees and ceilings in the dark of night or others scattering in throngs of thousands, when caught invading your kitchen, cockroaches are one of our most terrifying pests.
With Halloween just around the corner, its time for larger-than-life creepy, crawly creatures skittering across lawns, lurking in dark alleyways and dropping out of nowhere to frighten their hapless victims.