chemical-free roach control

Eradicate Roaches without Polluting Your Home

A tube of caulk and a little patience will kill cockroaches much more effectively than a cloud of chemicals, a new study finds.

Eradicate Roaches without Polluting Your Home

Bug out: Get rid of roaches by understanding where they come from and what they want.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Toxic bug bombs that leave a cloud of chemicals lingering in the air are far from the only way to rid a home of a serious cockroach problem. In fact, according to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, the most effective way to kill cockroaches is to swap the bug bomb for a magnifying glass.

THE DETAILS: The researchers looked at roach-control methods used by three North Carolina school districts. One district used a professional exterminator, who sprayed organophosphate or pyrethroid chemicals (the same synthetic chemicals used in Raid and other commercial insect sprays) to baseboards once a month, and occasionally used baits in cracks and crevices, but didn’t inspect the property to see where the bugs were likely to be living (or if there were any to spray for).

The second district left the chemical spraying up to the janitorial staff, who applied boric acid and bait gels along baseboards, but called in professionals on an as-needed basis. The professionals used pyrethroids as well as insect growth regulators (chemicals that don’t kill an insect but disrupt its breeding process).

The third district used integrated pest management (IPM) tactics, which use chemicals only as a last resort. Specially trained technicians visited schools monthly and performed visual inspections for pests, documenting conditions that may have been conducive to roaches (for instance, food on countertops, or leaky pipes) and asked the school to fix those problems. They used sticky traps to monitor cockroach activity between visits. If eliminating a roach-friendly condition didn’t solve the problem, they would use bait traps, or spray chemicals into cracks and crevices where insects were found to be living (rather than on surfaces with which children could come into contact).

To see how well each system worked, researchers set out cockroach traps in cafeterias, kitchens, bathrooms, and teachers’ lounges, and performed visual inspections at each location. At the IPM schools, the researchers’ 41 cockroach traps didn’t catch a single insect, while the 80 traps set out at the conventionally treated schools caught an average of 82 insects per trap per week.

WHAT IT MEANS: If chemical-free pest control methods can work that effectively in schools with all those kids, crumbs, and cockroach-friendly hiding places, just imagine how well they’ll work in your home. IPM does require a bit more effort, but as this study found, what you pay in time and effort, you get back in a bug-free home.

Put down the can of toxic spray and try these IPM methods to keep roaches and other pesky bugs away this summer:


Published on: May 27, 2009

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Clinical depression from

Clinical depression from faulty brain chemistry is real and disabling. Meds work, altho' they do have side effects, and also lose efficacy over time. Yes, they have to be monitored closely by a medical professional.

My opinion is that if you

My opinion is that if you have problems with roaches, you call a professional pest control service company because roaches can become a problem real fast. They can multiply in a matter of days and you don't want to have roach infestation on your hands.

I think that it would be

I think that it would be really interesting to create such discussion with other this website visitors. Anyway thanks a lot one more time for the great and informative publication.

Roach Strategy


I think what Terry is proposing is not super cleanliness, it's blocking off access points where roaches get into your dwelling, and into the places they like to colonize.

The borate insecticide he suggests placing before sealing is harmless to humans and pets, as long as they don't eat it. It's similar to washing soda.


Hi folks,

It is possible to get and maintain an apartment roach free even in an infested building. It takes thorough sealing of the walls, floors and ceiling that bound the apartment; sealing likely harborage sites (e.g. the crack between the quarter round and the floor); good food control (it's a mighty tough life for roaches living on cardboard) and judicious use of borate based pesticides (like to very lightly dust the crack between the quarter round and floor before you caulk it, or to use a boarate gell inside the smoke alarm box). It takes two or three rounds of sealing before you get it (something like 90% first round 95% second round). The hard part is stuff in the way. The hard locations to seal are under and behind sinks, utility chases). Roaches will still get carried in on stuff but there's very few places to live or or find a date.


We lived in a lower flat that did not have roaches. People moved into the upper flat next door and went away while they were filling their waterbed. The waterbed burst and the entire house was drenched in water. That brought roaches. We moved out within a few months, but I was already starting to see roaches trying to move into the house was had lived in. Since houses were very close together (You could touch both houses by stretching out your arms in the gangway!) it was very easy for them to move from house to house.

yes, clean is good, but it doesn't have much to do with whether roaches are present. they can live on anything - or next to nothing - including paper and building materials. speaking from experience, once they are introduced to one apartment, they will infest all apartments in a building. i lived in an insect-free apt for years; then one unit (of six) changed hands, and soon after the whole bldg was roach-ridden. multiple attempts by professional exterminators hired by the landlord were ineffectual. my final solution was to move (leaving behind various personal items, including the electronic gear they loved to colonize). the idea that high cleanliness standards will prevent roaches may be comforting - until they move in and you realize it has little validity.


Don't want bugs? don't leave out invitaions. Clean is good.

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