How to get rid of cockroaches in your home immediately

There are three main things that cockroaches are attracted to – dirt, food and moisture. They’re also always on a lookout for hiding spots during the day.

These unwanted pests can carry bacteria around your home and cause allergies, skin rashes and even food poisoning.

If you don’t want your home to become a hostel for cockroaches, here’s how you can get rid of and prevent them from coming back again!

1. Step-by-step guide to get rid of cockroaches in your home

Step 1: Identify common hiding spots

In order to determine a suitable solution for eliminating cockroaches, it’s time to whip out your torchlights!

Cockroaches love to hide in dark and hidden spots around your home, so a torchlight would come in handy to identify these areas.

Some common spots include the rubbish chute in HDB homes, under the sink, behind/around water pipes, behind the refrigerator, small openings in cabinets and in the oven.

Step 2: Eliminate the cause of cockroach infestation

Some common causes of cockroach infestations would include:

  • food crumbs left on the floor or tables
  • dishes in the sink left unwashed
  • garbage not cleared before bedtime
  • presence of moisture

Once you’ve identified the possible areas of concern, the next step is to establish how to eliminate them.

Tip: Change the seal of your in-home HDB rubbish chute 

If you have a rubbish chute in your home, this may be a breeding ground for cockroaches. A good practice would be to hire a professional to change the chute door to one with an airtight seal.

That way, when fogging or fumigation is done, cockroaches will not be able to escape to your house through the chute!

Step 3: Place roach killing baits at problem spots

From your torchlight inspection, you should have a better idea of where roaches may gather. Now, you can strategise and place roach baits in these high-traffic areas for the best results!

This is a common question. According to experts, insect baits won’t invite more cockroaches into your home.

Instead, they’ll do their job of luring existing ones out to feed on the bait and eventually kill them. It may seem like more are appearing, but this just indicates that the bait is working!

Step 4: Let the baits do their job!

Roach bait is essentially poison but these creatures have no idea — they’re in it for the taste. They’ll take the bait back to their nests and die within one to three days of consumption.

This contaminates the critters, their eggs and other cockroaches and effectively breaks the breeding cycle.

This begs the question – how do you clean up after they die?

In Singapore, there are two common species. If the ones you killed are German cockroaches, chances are it’s easy to locate them because they don’t roam around much.

However, if they are American cockroaches, these creatures are roamers. Thus, Steps 1 – 3 are crucial to map out their hideouts at home, so that you’ll know the hotspots to clean up after placing the baits.

If the above steps are done well, you can truly get rid of cockroaches and their dead bodies regardless of their species.

After placing the baits, keep a lookout for a week to see if there are still any roaches running around at night.

Note: Baits should be replaced every three months or as instructed on the product label.

Advice: When to get help from a professional pest exterminator

Roaches usually hide in unnoticed areas of your home and come out in the dark. So, if you see any running around in the day, it’s likely that they’ve been forced out of their hiding spots and there are a few others still hiding.

Another sign of a cockroach infestation is when you notice a strong, musty smell and/or droppings around your kitchen.

Try Steps 1 – 4 and observe for about one week. If the symptoms still persist, it’s time to get help from a pest exterminator!

2. How to prevent cockroaches from entering your home

As the saying goes: prevention is better than cure. Other than understanding how to get rid of cockroaches, here’s how you can prevent more from entering your home!

Clean your home regularly

Roaches love dirt, filth and sources of food. Thus, cleaning your home is one of the most effective ways of keeping them away! Some good practices include:

  • Cleaning your stove after cooking and cleaning the kitchen counters every night
  • Washing the dishes as soon as possible; don’t leave them overnight
  • Removing food crumbs promptly by sweeping and mopping regularly
  • Cleaning any food and drink spills immediately
  • Throwing the trash every night before bedtime.

Store food correctly in sealed containers

It’s easy for cockroaches to chew through and rummage thin plastic bags and cardboard for food. To prevent that from happening, whip out all the airtight containers you have and store food the right way.

Tip: Limit food consumption to one room of the house 

Imagine this: you’re snacking while watching Netflix in your room, your brother’s eating instant noodles while binge watching Disney+ in his room and your parents are digging in at the dining table.

Sounds familiar? You’re probably guilty of this, especially if you have a big family.

This practice increases the chances of crumbs being left around in multiple rooms of your home. Any unnoticed crumbs and spills will attract roaches. To curb this, limit food consumption to one or two rooms of the house!

Clear out clutter 

Another great strategy to prevent a roach invasion would be to declutter. Remove any unwanted newspapers, cardboard boxes and keep your home free of clutter.

A clutter-free home means less places for roaches to hide. Marie Kondo would be proud of you!

Tip: Vacuum non-food areas of the home every two to three days 

This is a great practice in general to get rid of any roach remnants (such as faeces and egg sacs) which would attract roaches.

Seal up any visible cracks or holes

Cockroaches are experts in crawling through the smallest cracks. If you notice any cracks or holes around your home, take action and seal them up immediately!

Some common areas to look out for holes are:

  • Around windows and doors
  • Around your sink
  • Around holes used for electric, gas, and plumbing lines.

It’s recommended to inspect your home at least once a year for any holes.

Fix plumbing issues and water leaks promptly

Another thing that attracts roaches is moisture. To tackle this, check your home for any plumbing issues and water leaks and fix them at once. This includes not overwatering your indoor plants as well!

Roaches can only survive a few days without water. So, be observant and remove any moisture from your home ASAP.

Use dehumidifiers 

As Singapore is really humid, roaches may still survive even if you’re on the ball about removing moisture.

The solution? Get a dehumidifier! This will effectively remove dust, moisture, mould and mildew – all of which attract roaches.

Place dehumidifiers strategically at high moisture areas such as under the sink, in cupboards and in the kitchen. A dry space would translate to an inhospitable environment for these pests.

Getting rid of cockroaches from your home

To keep cockroaches away, homeowners have to be proactive in ensuring the cleanliness of their homes. Adopt the above strategies and equip your home with our bait and spray products today!

Please note: The efficacy of the tips provided may vary depending on skill, quality of tools used and build of machines involved (if any).

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Did You Know?

Nurul Aini started her own food show Makan Maps on YouTube.