If you’ve spent any amount of time researching how to get rid of cockroaches in your home, it is highly likely you already have run across sites showing you ‘natural and pesticide free’ methods of getting rids of cockroaches with simple household items as well as various herbs and vegetables. If you read about these methods with a skeptical look on your face and your internal monologue going “does this really work?”, that’s a good thing because it means you judge things critically. Well, we’re here to tell you that your skepticism is warranted; most of these methods are ineffective and in this article we will break down a few of these methods and explain why they don’t work as well as finishing off with some methods that will work in getting rid of those pesky roaches in your home.
Coffee Grounds Trap
In this method, you are supposed to place used coffee grounds in a jar, making sure the grounds are still moist. The strong smell of the grounds is supposed to attract roaches into the jar and trap them there. Why is this method ineffective? Coffee grounds themselves are not the most attractive roach bait and further, this sort of trap only addresses the roaches you do see; remember if you see even one roach during the day, that is a sign of a serious roach infestation.
Bay Leaves Repellent
The smell of crushed bay leaves is supposed to be able to keep roaches at bay and the idea is to place these bay leaves at strategic locations to keep the roaches out. Why is this method ineffective? First, there is no evidence that bay leaves actually repel roaches and further, even if they worked, it will just cause roaches to migrate to different areas of your home and does nothing to reduce their numbers.
Drunk Cockroach Trap
Probably the most hilarious of all these DIY ‘natural methods’. You are supposed to soak a cloth with stale beer and leave it out as bait. Roaches consume the beer and are rendered immobile which prevents them from returning to their hiding places before you wake up. Why is this method ineffective? First, the only thing you want to feed roaches is poison and further, waking up to step on drunken roaches is no way to start off the day. Also, this trap only addresses visible roaches.
Did you know the smell of citrus is supposed to repel roaches and other pests? Yes, apparently unnamed housewives have been adding various citrus essential oils to their soap and mopping the floor with them making them a no-go zone for roaches. Why is this method ineffective? While roaches may actually dislike the smell of citrus, there is no evidence that it is sufficient to keep them out. Also, as previously mentioned, repelling them doesn’t equate to eliminating them.
Out of all the natural herbs and vegetables that are supposed to repel pests, this one has got to be the most ridiculous. Apparently cucumbers can keep out roaches and ants, just place them as a barrier at their entry points. Why is this method ineffective? First off, there is absolutely no proof this method works, repelling is not eliminating, and finally, you’ll have soggy slices of cucumber all around your house.
So What Works Then?
The problem with most of these natural remedies is that even if effective they can only reduce the amount of visible roaches (a tiny percentage of the population), and that is if you manage to trap them in your homemade traps. If not, you will be relying on wilted pieces of vegetables lying around your house doing nothing. In the meantime, the roaches continue to breed in places you can’t see, worsening the infestation as under the right conditions a female roach can produce up to 300 to 400 offspring over its lifetime (which is only about 100 days).
The most effective weapon against roaches is poisoned bait, with slow acting poisons (meaning that it will take anywhere from 2 to 7 days to kill a roach) working best. This is because of the habits of roaches, which feed on other dead roaches as well as each other’s feces. As such, even one poisoned roach can have a multiplier effect, resulting in multiple dead roaches. Because of this habit, poisons are even more effective against roaches compared to other pests such as ants or fleas. Check out this guide on how to exterminate roaches and get rid of them permanently.
What are the most common roach pesticides then? You can find many options at your local hardware store but ingredients to look out for are: boric acid, pyrethroids, abemectin, fipronil, and hydramethylnon. These all come with some risks of their own and thus it is important to read the labels carefully. We also prefer newer pesticides such as fipronil as many roaches have developed resistance to the more common and older pesticides such as pyrethroids.