How to Get Rid of Roaches | 12 DIY Solutions and Top Pest Control Companies

Cockroaches are resilient pests and uninvited guests that can be difficult to get rid of. They breed quickly and can carry harmful diseases that may lead to food poisoning and severe allergies. 

Roaches are more likely to be found in hot and humid climates, and especially in areas near large bodies of water.

In the United States, the following cities suffer the most from roach infestations:

  • New Orleans, LA
  • Memphis, TN
  • Miami, FL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Washington, DC
  • Riverside-San Bernardino, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York City, NY
  • Dallas, TX
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Houston, TX
  • Kansas City, MO

If you live in one of these cities you will want to be on your guard and use some preventative measures to deter roaches from infesting your home. But, if you don’t live in one of the cities outlined above, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re off the hook.

Where roaches come from

Roaches are looking for food, water, and shelter, and in your home they can find all three. In some cases, roaches may have been in your house before you moved in, but they can enter your home in grocery bags, cardboard boxes, furniture, etc. They can also get into your home through plumbing, sewers or drains.

How to get rid of roaches

There are multiple DIY options for getting rid of cockroaches, but the most effective approach can be contacting a pest control company to come and take care of the unwelcome pests.

Keep in mind that some options are only used as a preventive measure against cockroaches and won't necessarily kill them or stop them from coming back. Some DIY options include the following:

1. Glue stripsidentify problem areas

Glue strips are an effective trap method, allowing you to identify high traffic areas for roaches in your home. Roaches will stick to the strips as they travel through your home and are an effective way to catch a few roaches. If you have a more serious roach problem, glue strips may not be the most effective option. 

2. Caulkingprevent roaches from entering your home

While glue strips and other roach traps can be effective at killing the roaches in your home, that doesn’t stop new ones from entering. To prevent more roaches from getting into your home, caulking any possible entry points (gaps in door and window seals, and weather stirpping, for example) is a good place to start. 

3. Trapskill roaches

There are a variety of cockroach trap types. You can choose from sticky traps, similar to a glue strip, or other options like gels, sprays, foggers, or sprays.

4. Cockroach gelkill roaches

Small dots of cockroach gel should be placed in small cracks or crevices where cockroaches are entering the home. Cockroaches assume that the gel is a source of food, but upon eating it the insecticide kills the cockroach. Gel can be an effective way to rid your home of cockroaches, but it is worth noting that not all cockroaches will eat the gel, and it can dry out over time.

5. Cockroach spraykill roaches

You can purchase cockroach sprays at many hardware or department stores. Popular types of roach spray include Raid, Bengal, and Ortho Home Defense.

6. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)kill roaches

While Diatomaceous Earth doesn’t sound like something you could purchase at a store, it is an effective roach powder that you can apply in your own home. Powder should be applied in areas where roaches have been seen, and should kill roaches upon contact — DE dehydrates pests to death. It is typically safe around pets and children, but it is always a good idea to read the directions and precautions before applying.

7. Boric acidkill roaches

Boric acid is a powder that acts similarly to DE. The powder should be applied to areas where cockroaches have been seen in the home, as well as likely hiding spots. 

8. Boraxkill roaches

A more organic powder option that you can try is Borax. Spread borax in areas where cockroaches have been seen in the home. To entice cockroaches to eat it, borax should be combined with sugar or honey — roaches like a sweet treat.

9. Baking sodakill roaches

Combining a small amount of sugar with baking soda is a safe and effective way to kill cockroaches. The sugar will attract the roaches, and the baking soda will kill them once ingested.

10. Fabric softenerkill roaches

Mixing three parts fabric softener and two parts water can be an effective homemade cockroach spray. Fabric softener will only only be something safe that you can spray, but it suffocates roaches making it an effective defense mechanism.

11. Citrusdeter roaches

Roaches hate the smell of citrus, and so using citrus-scented cleaners in your home can be a good way to keep roaches at bay.

12. Essential oilsdeter roaches

Some essential oils can be a good cockroach repellent. Some oils that are most effective include rosemary or peppermint oil.

How to get rid of roaches in an apartment

If you rent an apartment and notice some unwanted visitors, you can approach the situation similarly to the options outlined above. Since you don’t own the space and will have to answer to some sort of management or landlord for any damage to your apartment, it is best to use DIY options such as cockroach traps or baits.

Since cockroaches typically aren’t a controlled issue in an apartment building, it could also be helpful to notify building management. In most cases it is a landlord’s responsibility to take care of any pest problems; or, at least it’s in their best interest, since tenants won’t want to continue living in a space infested by roaches, and that’s also a hard sell for a prospective tenant.

If an entire apartment building has a cockroach infestation, a professional exterminator will likely be hired — whether or not you own your own home or not, contacting a pest control company can be the best way to get rid of roaches in the long term.

Top pest control companies

There are many pest control companies across the country, and many are local and serve specific communities. When choosing a company, it is important to consider the following:

  • Covered pests — Most pest control companies will treat cockroaches since they are a more common and difficult pest. But, it is still important to double-check that a company covers the pest that you need to get rid of.
  • Cost — The cost of cockroach extermination can range from $100 to $400.
  • Service guarantees — It can be in your best interest to choose a company that offers some sort of re-service or money-back service guarantee. If the cockroaches come back, you’ll want to have the pest control company return with little to no extra cost.

To help you in your decision-making process, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top companies in the industry. 

Aptive Environmental

Aptive Environmental logo

Aptive Environmental is a fast-growing pest control company that was founded in Utah in 2015. The company offers environmentally friendly treatments for a variety of pests, and is known for its superior service and customer satisfaction.

  • Covered pests — Common pests and rodents, excluding bed bugs, termites, and moles.
  • Cost — Prices aren’t provided, but you can get a free quote online.
  • Service guarantees — Unlimited free re-services are available, and there is no cancellation fee for a treatment.

Aptive environmental reviews are primarily positive — 87 percent of reviews are 4 or 5 stars. Reviews frequently highlight helpful and professional technicians, as well as a high rate of success in getting rid of pests.

Learn more about Aptive Environmental

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Aptive Environmental Customer Review: Jeremy Bledsoe from California

"I've battled bugs for years as the house backs up to a field. We get everything. Finally broke down and called in professional help. First spray was this past summer. Good results. My next spray was scheduled for November. I called to move it up and instead they came out for a follow up spray and said see you in a month. No extra charge. Great company. Great experience."


Greenix logo

Greenix was also founded in Utah and treats a variety of pests in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Utah. As a green company, treatments are safe for you and the environment.

  • Covered pests — More than 50 different household pests such as ants, bedbugs, bees, wasps, beetles, snails, cockroaches, spiders, Indian meal moths, and earwigs. Rodent control is also available for mice, voles, and moles.
  • Cost — Service plans start at $139.
  • Service guarantees — Free re-services are available and a technician will come to your home within 48 hours of receiving your order.

Approximately 81 percent of Greenix reviews are 4 or 5 stars. Positive reviews frequently highlight quick and easy service. Some reviews mention that the first treatment wasn’t as effective as they hoped, but a Greenix technician was quick to respond and re-service the property.

Learn more about Greenix

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Greenix Customer Review: Michael

"It seems to be doing what was promised. I have not really noticed a whole lot of pests or anything else around. They always let me know when they are coming out and when they are completed. They are very attentive."

Insight Pest Solutions

Insight Pest Solutions logo

Insight Pest Solutions is based in North Carolina. A commitment to quality service is evident since the company offers five guarantees and offers add-on pest treatments depending on the area that you live in. However, Insight Pest Solutions’ services are only available in 14 states.

  • Covered pests — All common pests. But depending on your location you may be eligible for specific services, such as termite control, mole remediation, or mosquito reduction.
  • Cost — Prices aren’t provided, but you can get a free quote online.
  • Service guarantees — Surpassing other pest control companies, Insight Pest Solutions offers 5 guarantees: pricing guarantee, contact guarantee, re-treatment guarantee, smile guarantee, money-back guarantee.

Insight Pest Solutions has established itself as a top pest control company by ensuring superior customer service. This is reflected in Insight Pest Solutions reviews, 83 percent of which are 4 or 5 stars. Satisfied customers frequently mention attentive service, including calling to make follow-up appointments and being willing to work with the customer.

Learn more about Insight Pest Solutions

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Insight Pest Solutions Customer Review: Krista Griffith from Tulsa, Oklahoma

"They always let me know when they are on their way and when they have finished. They are courteous and professional every time. I have used them for over a year and have had no bug problems since."

American Pest

American Pest logo

Compared to other top-rated companies, American Pest has experience in its favor — the company has been operating since 1925. In addition, American Pest is QualityPro and QualityPro Green accredited, indicating that its services are high quality and also environmentally friendly.

  • Covered pests — General pests including rodents, bed bugs, and termites.
  • Cost — There are four service plans available with starting prices ranging from $49 to $69 per month.
  • Service guarantees — American Pest offers a Pest Free Pledge guarantee that provides free service if pests return between scheduled treatments.

It is interesting to see how positive reviews are for a company that has been in business for decades; typically, the longer a company has been in business, a wider range of customer sentiment is seen. However, it is worth noting that American Pest reviews on are outdated, with most recent reviews dating to two years ago. 

Approximately 88 percent of American Pest reviews are 4 or 5 stars. Satisfied customers frequently mention the company’s responsiveness and scheduling flexibility. 

Learn more about American Pest

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American Pest Customer Review: Carl from Lanham, Maryland

"You get what you pay for. It's a very good service from a good company. They notify you within a reasonable amount of time before they come out and they are flexible with your schedule. The technicians are very knowledgeable, and I like that they produce reports that tell you what chemicals they are going to use. And, now we have no pests thanks to them."

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