Attack of the Cockroaches!

All this wet weather has apparently made our house haven to all sorts of vile critters. A week ago, I was opening the door to the garage from the office/den when I spotted a cockroach scurrying about. I killed it, thinking it was a sole roach that had lost its way. Wishful thinking — where there’s one roach, there almost certainly are dozens more!

We bought some Roach Motels, and two more checked in. A couple of days ago, I spied a roach inside the office! They had breached our defenses and were inside the house! This meant war, so I purchased a box of Hot Shot MaxAttrax Nest Destroyer Roach Bait and a tube of Boric Acid. Rae, Randy, and I positioned the baits and sprinkled the boric acid in strategic locations throughout the garage.

When I returned home from work this evening, no dead roaches were present near the baits, but I noticed something small, something dark in the back of the garage. Sure enough, it was a roach. I proceeded to encircle him with boric acid. After creating the boric acid moat, my eye started itching. I went inside to wash it and when I returned, the roach was gone!

With Randy’s help, we found another roach underneath the wheel of Rae’s road bike. I’m not sure if it’s the same roach or not, but I poured a bunch of boric acid powder on top of it. I felt like Donovan spraying the red dust on the V aliens!

Looking from the photos, what type of cockroach has taken residence in our house? American, German, Oriental, Brown-Banded, or Wood? I’d have to say that our roaches are either American or Oriental. Your opinions? Any thoughts on how our roach control strategy?

Cockroach Identification

If I see any more elsewhere in the house — such as the kitchen or bathrooms — I’m calling the exterminator! Ghastly things!

Update 4/12/2006: Randy and I ventured back into the garage yesterday and found several more roaches. There were three of them entering the house from underneath the garage door. They must be drying to stay dry from the wet weather! We lined the length of the garage door with boric acid and placed additional baits near that area. Later that evening, I even saw two roaches dining on MaxAttrax!

36 thoughts on “Attack of the Cockroaches!

  1. DaHamster

    Adam, It is extremely difficult to get rid of cockroaches. I lived in a nice apartment complex 18 years ago until it became infested with German cockroaches. From my personal experience, Asian cockroaches are generally larger (1-2″ in length) and can they fly! At one time, I found a roach egg in the kitchen drawer so I placed it in an empty Fuji film container for observation. Within a few days, 16 baby cockroaches came out of the egg. It took them a week to die(without water or food)! The entire apartment complex was fumigated three times and those dirty little pests kept coming back. My wife and I couldn’t take it anymore so we bought a house and moved out. I wish you luck.

  2. Steve

    Adam, I would suggest going back over your home inspection report. If there isn’t anything in there about the roaches, I’d give the company a call. They could be responsible if they failed to mention the roaches and you weren’t able to ask the previous owners to fumigate. Give it a try and see, it can’t hurt.

  3. We don’t seem to have Roaches here in England. One of the many good things about ol’ Britian ;-)

  4. Eww. That pic with all the different roaches makes my skin crawl! You can even see the hair on their legs … gross …

    I laughed out loud at the pic of the roach with boric acid sprinkled all over it. Sadistic, yes. Thank you for the entertaining captions :)

  5. with all those chemicals around, don’t forget to protect your testicles!

  6. The Boston Suburban Guy

    Hi there.

    We just tried CVS brand (4 pack) of roach killer. We have a recent infestation in our apartment here in Wellesley Massachusetts. I’ve had 4 roach sitings in 4 weeks and zero in the 2 years prior. I’ve gonie and purchased the MaxAttrax stuff and hope it works as well as Combat did for me in Miami. The MaxAttrax was cheaper by $3 per box at Home Depot, so now in a 2 bedroom apartment, 24 traps later, and some powder to go all over the attic, we’ve also launched war.

    Tell me did the MaxAttrax work? I’ve had the opposite happen from others, with regular replacements of Combat, I was successful in keeping a Miami apartment in the eighties, Roach free! Miami is home of the Palmetto Bug…picture a cockroach as big as your hand!

  7. House lizards (geckos) are very effective for getting rid of cockroaches as they are natural enemies. You can get one from a pet store

  8. Richard

    Does anyone know what the possible health problems are associated with exposure to roaches?

  9. dcbprime


    Children can develop asthma from breathing roach droppings (and probably from their moltings, too, I’m not sure). That’s the only thing I’ve ever heard about being an health hazard from roaches.

    Saw a big black one (about 1″ long) in our tub the other morning, just a couple hours after that earthquake in Illinois. (In Dayton, Ohio, our house vibrated from it.) I hope we’re not infested. This is the first one we’ve ever seen, and we’ve lived here for 8 1/2 years!

  10. Cockroaches are the indicators of the cleanliness of a house. They are harmless to human beings. Some times they will scraping our toes when we are in sleep. They are like scavengers. Though they are harmless they are unwanted guests to children. They can be removed by using some bait traps. Natural biological control by some egg parasitoids (wasps), spiders and lizards also keeps the population of cockroaches under check.

    1. b

      totally not true. roaches carry mulitple diseases. they are disgusting and creepy to most people for a very good reason. EW, they touch your feet in your sleep?? omg. thats nasty. that means they can crawl on your body and lay eggs in your orifaces, any open cut or wound esp. Wow. what terrible information you’ve given this community. bait traps and biological defense mechanisms are not the best way to treat roaches. do some reasearch before making such bold statements like, “cockroaches are indicators to cleanliness of a house” wow. i’m not trying to directly insult you, but its not cool to share BS made up info on the web for others to use as a reference.

  11. It is now 2008. This is Menorca, Spain.
    The villa sees no roaches at all during daylight hours, but go into the kitchen after a quiet half hour after dark with bare feet and you wish you hadn´t !
    Roaches up to 2 and a half inches long scuttle for the darkness – under the oven, the refridgerator, the kitchen cupboards etc and there are generally three or four.
    The knives and forks drawer often contains a couple no matter how much bleach and insecticide has been applied. They just keep coming.
    They fly in during the day or early evening, settling on walls, and creeping in through windows and shutters. They can flatten themselves to paper thin and seem to be devoid of all body fluids. Yugh !!
    Traps with sticky interiors do work, but it´s pretty unpleasant to have to deal with a dozen struggling roaches when you get up to make your early morning tea. However, it´s better to know they are in a trap than crawling over your face when you are asleep !

  12. Kelly

    My 8 yr. old son found a bug on the floor this morning, he said it looked like a cockroach, so i looked my self, and sure enough it was. My house is only 3 years old and we have never had a cockroach before, the only thing I can think of is that it came in with my neighbors. they brought there trailer from there other property and everyone that went in to look at it came in my house right after. there has been sitting for 10 years without being used. Do you think that was the only one. They trailer had only been here for 1 day. What are my chances

  13. Michael

    We have lots “O” roaches out here in the desert…Nevada…they are tough to get rid of but what I have found that works is spraying with “hot Shot” (blue bottle at home depot) every 2 weeks for 1 month and then every other month after that seems to work very well. The bottle is not very expensive (under $9 bucks) and it is a concentrate that will make 2 gallons. Also, when spraying be sure to open up any water closets (sprinkler boxes) and spray them thoroughly as well. I would also purchase some Home Defense indoor spray and hit all of the door ways and base boards…the stuff is pretty much oderless and is made to spray indoors….good luck!

  14. I’ve had good luck with ‘Home defense’ by ortho

  15. Liz Kasameyer

    that is an adolescent Oriental cockroach – they invade from the outside during this time of year.
    Good luck
    (I work with these little guys every day)

  16. Liz Kasameyer

    cockroaches can carry MRSA, Sallmonella, Strep & Staff. They cause and exacerbate asthma esp. in young children and the elderly. The sentization cutoff for cockroach allergen Bla g1 is 2u/g of vacuumed dust – the asthma morbidity cutoff is 8U/g – if you’re having an cockroach problem I would seriously recommend that you try an Integrated Pest Management approach – check out the National Center for Healthy Housing web site – they have some great stuff – IPM controls cockroaches a lot better than any other method and it’s the least toxic way of taking care of things which is a benefit to you , your family and your environment, not to mention cockroaches can quickly become resistant to toxic chemicals (i.e. the Cinncinnati cockroach) – IPM relies on denying them food, water and harborage – it takes a little while – but it’s also the best bet for long term on control, as well as your health.

    Liz Kasameyer, RN, BSN
    MSN/MPH Candidate 2008
    Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
    Bloomberg School of Public Health
    Baltimore City Health Department,
    Division of Healthy Homes

  17. Thanks for the information, Liz! We’ve only seen a couple in the garage this past year. There’s a friendly lizard who lives there that seems to be controlling the population, along with our traps. I’ll take a look at IPM too!

  18. Liz K

    No problem Adam – just an FYI boric acid is ineffective if you use it other than as a fine dusting. The way that it works is that roaches crawl through the dust on their journeys foraging for food. The dust then gets attached to them and when they clean themselves (like a cat) they ingest it. It is a slow stomach poison for them. If it’s used in other ways it really isn’t going to do you any good. The Combat gel and Maxforce baits are great. Good luck – if you really wanna make sure they don’t get in your house make sure you take a look – a very close look in your garage – at where the seams may have cracked, or any holes, you can use caulk to fill holes and copper mesh to fill any holes bigger than a dime.

    Liz K.



  20. Liz K

    FYI – a waterbug is a cockroach…not confused with

  21. concerned

    i work as an in home therapist and some of my clients have infestations. I was wondering how I can protect myself from carrying them back into my own home.

  22. raquel

    They dont like bleach, it burns their feet. I moved into an apartment building when I was younger that was infested only finding out after I had paid and started moving in. They were out of control. I started bleaching the counter and floor every day, they left. ALSO there is something called combat that is about 10 or 15 bucks that looks like brown toothpaste, this will get rid of them. I made the mistake of parking my car by the garbage dumpster, and they infested my car so badly that I coud not drive after nightfall. I put this “gel” on pieces of cardboard, and got rid of them. Do not let it touch your skin and keep up from cats, dogs, and of course children. They like electric heat, so put one around the fridge (under or on top). Good luck they are nasty.

  23. Debbie

    I hate to admit but I have roaches in my home and am reading that I am not the only one, however it is quite imbarrasing when someone comes over and see’s them. I bought the boric acid and am cleaning out my house better than spring cleaning. It’s cheaper to go and buy an new birthday bag and tissue paper rather to store it for recycling I found out. What I haven’t read about though is the wood furniture. I notice them on my livingroom tables. Do they burrow themselves in the wood?

  24. ryan christian A. tan

    cockroack in cycle

  25. You can’t beat Cockroaches. They will out live everyone.

  26. María Donoso

    Hola, soy chilena y quiero ir a Miami en julio, pero me da pánico porque me han dicho que hay muchas cucarachas y `¡qué vuelan! ¿es así ? Les tengo fobia a estos insectos, ¿^creen que lo resistiré? Cuéntenme lo que sepan!!! Gracias

  27. I too hate cockroaches, especially the ones lurking inside kitchen cabinets. They’re disgusting. In our household we spray insecticide every two weeks to keep them away and for maintenance purposes. We also install those cockroach motels in certain places in our home.

  28. They’ll by no means get much though, simply because the gas
    will ultimately poison them. In the morning, simply screw a lid on the jar and
    put it into the freezer for a few hours to kill the roaches.
    I know this is sort of disgusting to some of you, but you
    have to get a better look at them so you know what you are dealing with and know how to
    act accordingly.

  29. Baking soda, on the other hand, causes gas
    and since roaches do not belch, their digestive. Eradicate, comes from
    the Latin “eradicare,” meaning to root out. Thus, you need to get rid of German cockroaches once
    you notice these insects in your house.

  30. Remove lumber, firewood, or other debris from around the walls
    of your home to keep the roaches from inhibiting themselves
    in the crevices. This does not bode well for people who
    have a tough time killing one cockroach, much less attacking a colony of
    them. Each and every single one of the people in this
    world should know how annoying it is to have pests at their

  31. Well, I really doubt roach egs can survive long time outside
    their hive, but I do afree clean the scene immediately and thoroughly would be wise to help
    prevent health issues. Traps can also bee used as it is helpful in catching roaches by
    attracting them and then trapping them by adhesive.

    You can doo your part to ensure that it survives
    without your own personal help byy following thee easy-to-implement

  32. Putting it directly on ant piles is also effective.
    If you are unsure who to call, look forr listings for pest or termite control
    companies. There are around 3,500 recognized species of cockroaches all-around the globe.

  33. At the same time, there may be less than you think. Regardless
    of which area of the United States yoou live in, one of the most
    common pesky problem of your apartment are cockroaches.
    The above are some of the natural cockroach repellent methods I have personally used in order to get
    rid of cockroaches in my apartment.

  34. Marshall

    Clean up all debris, then dust the floor with a FINE coat of boric acid. Harborage spaces, drawers ect. anywhere they can breed or hide should also be dusted. Cleaning up the dead roaches will be you main roach problem if you keep that up.

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