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How can I get rid of roaches?

My partner and I bought a house a few month ago. Yay! But we inherited a cockroach problem. The pesky little things live in anything warm: the electric cooktop, microwave, wireless router, you-name-it. They leave a mess in the kitchen cupboards.

Honest, it’s not our fault! Arrrrggghh!

My partner tried a gel that is supposed to be taken back to the nest but it doesn’t seem to work. I don’t want to spray nasty chemicals in our kitchen because we eat there.

Edit, disclaimer: These cockroaches are very small: mostly 10mm or less. We like to keep our kitchen clean and have never had a problem before.

What can we do?

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Get a reliable reputable Pest Control agent in. The Sprays and powders they use are going to be the best answer. I think you may have the German Cockroach. They don’t have a central nest they live anywhere they can. I understand your concern over the sprays in your kitchen area but have you considered the stuff the cockroaches are leaving behind when they crawl over all your house’s surfaces and food supplies.

The following information comes from the Rentokil Pages http://www.rentokil.com.au/cockroaches/species/#

"Cockroach Species

There are over 3,000 different species of cockroaches - some are considered pests while others are beneficial in their natural environment.

The three main types of cockroaches commonly found in homes in Australia include the German cockroach, Oriental cockroach and American cockroach.

See below for facts and information on types of cockroaches common in Australia:

Do you Think you Have Cockroaches?

Don’t waste time, book a treatment now with one of our experts

German Cockroach
(Blatella germanica)
German Cockroach
Appearance

Notorious for their world-wide distribution, German cockroaches are easily identifiable by 2 dark longitudinal stripes on their pronotum. Adults grow to approximately 12 – 15mm in length.
Lifecycle

Females carry 35 – 40 eggs in an ootheca (egg case) until they are ready to hatch.
Hatch in 1 month.
Nymphs take between 6 weeks to 6 months to develop into adults.
Generally 3-4 generations per year.

Habits

Most commonly found indoors.
Prefers wet, humid conditions and are typically found in kitchens and bathrooms in homes and commercial properties.

Get rid of cockroaches
Oriental Cockroach
(Blatta orientalis)
Oriental cockroach
Appearance

Dark brown or black in colour.
20 -25mm long.
The wings undeveloped in female and cover ¾ length of the abdomen in the male.

Lifecycle

Females deposit 16 eggs in an ootheca (egg case).
Hatch in 2 months.
Nymphs take 6-18 months to develop into adults.

Habits

Highly adapted for surviving in the natural environment, Oriental cockroaches thrive in cool, damp areas such as basements, drains and openings beneath porches.
Known for their preference for feeding on garbage and decay, these insects can most commonly be found in rubbish tips and leaf litters.
Runs rather than flies.

Get rid of cockroaches

American Cockroach
(Periplaneta americana)
The American cockroach is one of the largest pest cockroaches to invade homes and commercial properties.
American cockroach
Appearance

35 - 40mm long.
Shining red–brown in color.
Wings longer than the body in male; only just overlap abdomen in female.
Runs (may fly at very high temperatures).

Lifecycle

The ootheca (egg case) containing up to 16 eggs is carried by the female for several days before being deposited. Sometimes cemented down and tend to be grouped.
Hatch in 1 – 2 months.
Nymphs usually develop in 6 -12 months, but it can take up to 15 months.

Habits

Also known as the ‘Palmetto bug’ because they live on trees, the American cockroach prefers dark, humid and undisturbed areas and can be found in subfloors, basements, kitchens, roof voids and bathrooms of homes.

Get rid of cockroaches

Brown Banded Cockroach
(Supella longipalpa)
Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org
Appearance
http://cdn.rentokil.com/content/global/images/desktop/main_brown-banded-cockroach-image.jpg
One of the smallest pest cockroaches, brown banded adult cockroaches are approximately 10 – 15mm in length and characterised by yellow-brown stripes across their abdomen.
Habits

Brown banded cockroaches mostly stay on ground, but may fly in very warm climates. Their preference for warm, humid environments leads them to harbourages within heated buildings - ceilings, attics, inside and around appliance motors. Primarily active at night, these opportunistic feeders particularly enjoy materials with high starch contents.

Get rid of cockroaches

Australian Cockroach
(Periplaneta australasiae)

Lifecycle

Females deposit the ootheca (egg case) containing 24 eggs a day after production.
After hatching nymphs take 6-12 months to develop into adults.

Habits

Enter buildings at night from gardens/debris.
Generally prevalent in areas where winters are relatively mild.
Despite its name, it isn’t a native species.

Get rid of cockroaches

Smoky Brown Cockroach
(Periplaneta fuliginosa)
Appearance

3-35 mm mm long.
Shining dark brown in colour.
Wings longer than the body in male; only just overlap abdomen in female.
Runs (may fly at very high temperatures).

Lifecycle

Females deposit the ootheca (egg case) containing 22-26 eggs a day after production.
Nymphs take between 6-12 months to develop into adults.
The noticeable difference between nymphs and adults, apart from size, is the lack of wings in the young.

Habits

Lives in tree hollows, under bark, under floors, and enters buildings at night.
Nocturnal (hides during the day in cracks and crevices or any other dark warm places).
Has a habit of entering houses and contaminating food with excrement, regurgitated salivary fluid and potentially harmful bacteria.

Get rid of cockroaches"

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Blow a light mist of boric acid powder into your walls, ceiling, behind drawers and around built-in appliances, and underfloor/underhouse areas. It is not instant, but effective if you do it well.

US centric product references, but

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We had a professional pest control company come out and treat our house for roaches - both big and small ones 2 years ago and honestly, it was the best $150 we ever spent. Two years later and its still seemingly working - none of the little roaches (that live in your warm areas in the kitchen) have returned! Although a few of the big roaches have come inside recently so we may need to get it redone soon.

If you are inner west sydney I can highly recommend: http://www.pestygirls.com.au/

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I second @SarahDavies - get a professional treatment if the problem is that bad. I had a similar problem with German cockroaches two years ago, but after a treatment (by Pestige Solutions) I’ve not seen any since.

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Hi, with pesky roaches I would suggest getting the pro’s in, you can get environmentally friendly ones that use chemicals that are safe around the home and humans. I used to have one and I could go back into my home just a few hours after, open my windows and sleep in our beds that night with NO awful smell and NO reactions. I have allergy problems and a young son that had asthma and we did not get any reaction what so ever. The company I used to use is no longer around now but if I want any advice on a good company I ring the Women’s Information Services, I am in S.A so if you two are in another state you will of cause have to find the same in you state. Good Luck.

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Thanks for all the advice peoples! @TheBBG boric acid looks interesting. I’ll keep that in mind.

I’m going to get some pest control people to kill them. This morning, I stepped on one with no shoes. Yuk!

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To be a little facetious my advice to get rid of cockroaches in your life is to move from Sydney.

In my working career I have worked in most east coast capital cities for extended periods and the place where I always encountered plentiful roaches was when I worked in Syd.

Other places obviously have them but are rarely seen but in my experience in Sydney i regularly saw the biggest ones and they seemed to be plentiful and ‘cocky’ enough not to care about our presence didn’t want to run went i went to stomp them.

Maybe they should fumigate the whole place :wink: ?

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I used to work for an industrial gases company. I used to bring home their pyrethrum bottled gas and spray our backyard, door entries, window frames, weep holes. To our delight, it kept the spiders and roaches from inside our home. Only when we stopped doing this did a few return. We were a new estate, so I think a lot was development disturbing their home to begin with. We stopped spraying as I no longer received the free product. Look for a professional pesticide company that uses natural pyrethrum products. It doesn’t always have to be chemicals. Good luck.

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“Don’t like the idea of dead roaches everywhere? You can try to keep them away with these electronic pest repellents instead.”

These have been proven to be a scam more times than I’ve had hot dinners. I’d immediately dismiss any site that recommends them.

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I use Systems Pest Management in Sydney. They sell sticky traps for cockroaches. All their consultants have degrees in science etc and you can arrange a pest inspection and they will advise you. They are probably more expensive than other pest companies but they are environmentally friendly and very thorough with inspections. They do not use chemicals.

Hope this helps. If you’re not in Sydney, you can still buy the sticky traps online. I use them.

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You can get a product containing Rotenone from most chinese owned stores. It comes in a small packet of capsules. Just ask for the cockroach stuff and they will give it to you. Usually $2 - $2.50 a packet. Put some behind fridge, stove, back of cupboards etc. You won’t have roaches for about 2 years.

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Rotenone is toxic to humans and is suspected to cause Parkinson’s disease. I’d personally avoid it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotenone

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It has some bad publicity. It works well for roaches though. It was used in the organic food industry until recently. I wouldn’t use it where it was going to be able to get on food or utensils to be on the safe side. You only need a few granules to do the job in a controlled environment.

In Indonesia there is a chalk, wonderful stuff! Ants and cockroaches are dealt with, no problem. Called Kapur Ajaib,

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I had pesky german cockroaches in our kitchen and I tried borax but it didn’t work. Got professionals in who placed a gel on cupboard hinges and other strategic places and they were instantly gone and didn’t come back. I used Promaster pest control.

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Roaches don’t like bay leaves - fresh or dried. Well worth a try and they are non toxic/

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You could get some of those sticky roach traps and place them where you think they are hanging around. You could also sprinkle borax near carpet edges preferably where it is dark. NOT where kids or pets can put their paws or fingers. If you google it there are quite a few suggestions to be had.

Have been following this conversation with lots of interest. Thank you for all the helpful advice!

What’s your view on having an apartment treated, assuming roachers would be a problem across the entire block (I doubt they’d stick to one apartment only, or do they)?

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I am on the Executive Committee for an apartment block and we had the entire block treated for all pests including mice. They did all the garages too (if the owners left them unlocked on the day). They would have done any individual unit too and this was the only thing individual owners had to pay extra for. As far as I know no individual unit had a problem or was treated but there was evidence of 'success in the common areas with dead bodies showing up after a few days. haha

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