About cockroach insecticides and poisons
Even if a roach poison claims to be effective against all types of roaches, chances are that it is more effective against some roach species and less effective against others. For example, German roaches and Brown-band roaches are notorious for being some of the most stubborn cockroach species that most insecticides can’t kill. That’s why there are specialized roach poisons for them, that are more narrow in their effect and targeting, which in turn means that they are less powerful against a lot of the other roach species and other insect pests.
So, simply put, whenever you’re considering buying a certain brand and model of insecticide or roach poison, your first task should be to look up their active ingredient and research which insects it is strongest against.
Aside from the differences in their active ingredients, most insecticides and roach poisons work on a more or less similar principle – when the insects pass through the poison line, the poison attaches to its body. From here on, there are two main scenarios:
- The poison works only when ingested and not by contact. So, the insect is all right at first, but once it gets back to its nest and it starts cleaning itself, it consumes the poison that’s on its body and dies. From there, other insects often eat their corpse and get poisoned as well. Alternatively, if the insect has dragged a piece of food through the poison, then all roaches and other insects that eat the food will die. Roaches, in particular, eat the feces of other roaches, which also leads to contamination
- The poison starts working immediately upon contact. The insect panics and runs toward its colony or nest, infecting and killing every other insect it touches. Regardless of whether the insect reaches its nest or not, it is bound to infect a lot of others on its way, which in turn will infect a lot of others as well
Either way, a well-placed bit of poison can easily exterminate entire nests and colonies, with each roach or insect that touches the poison, potentially contaminating dozens, hundreds or even thousands of other insects on its way.
From this brief summary, it should be clear that roach poisons and insecticides don’t work well with roach repellents but can do wonders with a well-placed bait. Roach poisons can also work well in conjunction with other roach-killing tools, as long as they don’t kill the roaches on the spot and leave them time to return to their nests.
Additionally, it’s a smart idea to try using a couple or more roach poisons at the same time, to reduce the chance of using an ineffective insecticide.
The main drawback of roach poisons and insecticides (other than the fact that they are usually highly toxic) is that they need to be kept up for as long as possible.
You should keep the poison from being washed away and not clean it yourself. Also, make sure that your pets or kids don’t come into contact with it. As roach poison and insecticides need to be kept up for days and weeks, managing your pets’ and kids’ contact with them can be troublesome, depending on the situation and location of the poison.
If this is too much of a trouble, there are alternatives, of course. As roach insecticides and poisons are typically used for serious situations only, here are some other alternatives that work well with severe infestations:
- Roach powders. These roach powders have a little overlap with some roach poisons and insecticides and are often applied in a similar way. They always come in powder form and need to be placed directly on the path of the pests
- Roach bombs and foggers. Often used as last resort measures, bombs and foggers work by gauzing entire rooms with gas that goes into every surface, and every nook, crack and crevice. Ideally, a good bomb or fogger can go as deep through said cracks that it reaches the insects’ nest and kills them all inside. This method’s drawbacks are that foggers and bombs are annoying to use, they require a lot of cleaning afterward, and so on. Additionally, they have a questionable success rate. Often times they will reach deep enough into the cracks and crevices to send the insects running amok but they won’t actually exterminate the eggs. As a result of that foggers and bombs can cause roaches and other insects to go around and create new nests and colonies
- Dry roach sprays work in a similar way as roach powders, roach poisons, and insecticides – roach sprays contaminate roaches that pass through them, go to their nests and kill multiple other roaches there
- Professional exterminator. When all else fails, there’s no shame in calling professionals to help. Sure, they will use similar products to what you might have used, but they have the know-how to use them adequately, place them correctly, and bring any infestation to an end. If the worst comes an exterminator can also dig out and torch nests and colonies with a flamethrower or other similar tools
Poison and insecticide buying guide
- What are the exact insects you’re having problems with? This doesn’t just mean determining whether you’re being invaded by cockroaches or ants. There are over 4,000 species of roaches, as well as thousands of species of termites, as well as ants, and other types of insects. And the annoying part is that different species are resistant to different chemicals. What kills German roaches can be tolerated by Brown-band roaches and vice versa. What exterminates all roaches can be survived by a lot of termites. What eliminates all subterranean and surface pests may not work on wasps. The examples are almost endless. Of course, most pesticides and insecticides claim that they work on all types of common household insects. And most of them do… to an extent. Only a few of them are actually equally effective against all manners of pests, however. Even if a product has a wide-spectrum, it will usually still be more effective against some pests and less effective against others. That’s why identifying the exact nature of your pest problem and adequately researching which chemicals deal with it most effectively and efficiently, is key to solving your problem in the best possible way
- Do you want the insecticide for outdoor or indoor use? A lot of roach poisons are applicable both outside in the open and inside residential areas. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t better suited for one and less suited for the other, however. Depending on how they are applied and what’s the climate outside, you might do well to get one product for indoor use and one for outdoors. Thing such as rain, sunshine, and wind can all have an effect on the work of a pesticide
- Do you want your product of choice to be more or less toxic? Maybe you want it to be completely non-toxic?These are traditionally less effective but they can spare your flowers, bushes and fruit trees a lot of chemical damage that you really don’t want. Buying high-quality non-toxic products and applying them correctly is key as you don’t want to further undermine their lighter effectiveness. Even indoors such natural roach poisons have their merit – if you have children or pets, or if you need to apply roach poison around food handling facilities and items, you really want to go non-toxic. If, however, you don’t have a garden to worry about, nor do you have kids and pets running around, getting a highly-toxic pesticide may be your best bet of dealing with the problem quickly and efficiently
If you want to treat your garden for any garden-crawling insects or you want to create a barrier around your home for any indoor invaders, you might want to look for a non-toxic insect poison.
- How much product do you need? A lot of these pesticides and insecticides come in large bottles of concentrates. When mixed with water they can make up dozens if not hundreds of gallons of roach poison. That’s all nice and good, but maybe you don’t need that much. There’s no point in buying more than you need. At the same time, you really don’t want to be left hanging and needing to go buy more product in the middle of “the battle”
- Do you want the pesticide to be odorless or not? Outdoors this may not be much of a problem. If you’ve found a great product that happens to have a slight odor, you likely won’t feet it in the yard. Indoors, however, this can be a problem, especially if you need to use a lot of the product. Getting a sense of what the insecticide smells like is always a good idea
- Are oily stains a problem? If you’re going to use the product only on soft soils outdoors then you probably don’t care whether it leaves an oily residue on the surface or not. If you want to use it indoors or in permanent solid surfaces outdoors, then you need to consider whether or not the product will leave stains behind it
- The price may not be your main concern but it’s still something to keep in mind. If you’re going to need a lot of pesticides for continuous use or for a vast surface area, then it pays to keep an eye on the price. Remember, however, that since a lot of these products are concentrates, to calculate their exact value you should consider how much final product they create when mixed with water and then calculate the price per gallon of that. Saving a few bucks may not be worth all the math trouble, but if you’re going to need large quantities of the product, it may be more than just a few bucks. Still, remember not to make a compromise with the quality of the product
- Are you going to need any additional application tools to help you set up the insecticide in the needed places? Some products come with their own accessories, while others come as just plain bottles of poison. Figuring out ahead of time where and how you are going to apply the product is a good idea for knowing which product to choose
- The brand name is also something you might want to consider. Of course, there are some well-known brands that actually offer sub-par products, as well as unknown brands that actually offer top quality products. Still, if you are new in this niche, following the names and brands of the bigger firms can help you find the best product for your situation. Here are some of the brands that we would recommend paying attention to first: Bayer, Demon, Martins Viper, Talstar, Bifen, Demand, Control Solutions, Taurus, and others
Other useful information about roach poisons
It is simply a tiny hole that is shaped in a very precise way. It works by stripping away the partially charged water molecules from the sodium ion and creating a favorable way for sodium-ion to pass through the insect’s membrane. Thus enters the axion and propagates an action.
When the Pyrethroid toxin keeps the channels in their open state, however, the insect’s nerves can’t repolarize, which leaves the axonal membrane permanently depolarized. The result? A full paralysis of the organism. Still, even this full paralysis doesn’t occur instantaneously, which is a good thing as it gives the insect enough time to run around, infect other insects, and potentially even reach its nest.
Many consumers can see the fact that insects keep running around after contact as a bad thing. They expect the insect to die instantly and are in fact hoping for it. However, you should actually want the insect to survive for a long as the toxin allows, giving it time to infect as many roaches and other insects it can come into contact with.
Different poisons and insecticides can work in slightly different manners – not every insecticide works by targeting the nervous system of the pest. Still, the general principle from the consumer’s point of view is usually similar – the insects start dying slowly after contact and keep running around in the meantime, killing their brethren without meaning to.
Usage tips for roach poisons
- The chief and most important thing to do when using insecticides are placing them correctly. Different products have different requirements, but generally, you want the poison to be placed as close to the roaches’ nests as possible. This means localizing their nests, the cracks and crevices they come out of, the regular paths they move through, and so on.The vast majority of complaints and negative reviews on pesticide products are due to improper placements and usage. This factor alone can cause even the most effective and powerful pesticide to not be able to deal with otherwise manageable insect infestations.
You want as many roaches as possible to go through the insecticides and you don’t want inefficiently placed batches of pesticides spread on places that roaches or other insects won’t touch. This can take some time to figure out as you’ll have to follow and inspect the move patters of the pests, but the extra effort is worth it.
- Using the appropriate dosage of the product is also vital for your success. Depending on the exact type of product, you may be at risk of underusing or overusing it. A lot of pesticides need to be applied in such a way that they remain unnoticeable for the insects so that they keep passing over them. At the same time, you still need to apply enough of the product for it to be effective. Normally, you need to apply a thin but sufficient amount of the product, unless its descriptions state otherwise.
- You also want to be mindful of the possible side effects of the pesticides. If they are toxic for mammals you likely want to put them on places that are unreachable for your children and pets. If they are too toxic to be placed near food, dishes or food handling areas, then you’d want to avoid doing so. If the product’s description states that it can be poisonous for plants, then using in your yard or garden can be highly hazardous for your plants, vegetables, fruit trees, and others. Either way, using a toxic product in or around ill-advised areas should quickly be stopped and followed up by extensive cleaning. If your pet or child (or you yourself for that matter) come into contact with a highly toxic pesticide, an immediate visit to a veterinarian, pediatrician or other medical specialized is strongly advised.
- Using two or more compatible products at the same time is often a great idea. Because insecticides can sometimes be less effective for various unforeseen environmental factors or because the insects you’re targeting have a resistance against them, using two or more products at the same time can drastically improve your results. Besides, more often than not, people tend to have problems with not one but two or several insect pests at the same time. Even if you are just having problems with a couple of different types of roaches, a single type of insecticide is likely to only deal with one species and be ineffective against the other. Mix and matching two or more products is the most ignored advice by consumers that can, however, have one of the most drastic results.
- If applicable to the product in question, using a lure can also drastically improve your kill rate. Insecticides don’t really work unless the insects come in contact with them, so a nice, juicy bait can help with that immensely. Still, keep in mind that adequate placement is still your number one concern even if you’re using a lure. A good lure can compensate for bad positioning to an extent but it’s not a miraculous solution. Roaches have strong senses but they won’t cross half of your apartment just for one piece of bait.
- Make sure you’re not using counteracting products together. When we’re saying that using more than one product at the same time, we don’t mean “any two products”. A lot of roach-battling tools actually don’t work together. The easiest example is roach repellents and roach poison.Ill-placed lures can also create inefficiency as they can draw roaches away from the insecticide that they would have otherwise passed through. Even foggers and roach bombs can be a bad fit with insecticides – foggers ad bombs typically work by creating a fog that reaches the roaches’ nests directly. However, if the nests are too far deep and the fog doesn’t reach them, it can instead force the roaches to relocate, create new nests and basically move away from the otherwise adequately placed poison.
Roach repellents work by forcing roaches to leave the premises, while roach poison works by getting roaches to pass through it and return to their nests. If the roaches are repelled away, they won’t be able to contaminate the rest of their nests.
- Change the poison on the intervals that are recommended by the product’s description. Some roach killing poisons are meant to last a long time. Others are more of a short-term measure. Keep in mind the exact period in which the insecticide is supposed to work and replace it when it’s time. Forgetting to replace the insecticide or delaying with even just a little bit can open a window for a new infestation that can quickly get out of hand.
- Clean properly after you are done with the product. Especially in residential areas indoors, in food handling areas and facilities, and in other such crucial areas, properly cleaning the insecticide after you’re done with it is very important. The last thing you want is handling food and cooking over pesticide residue.
As you can see, there are quite a lot of factors to consider and keep in mind. Misusing insecticides in even one way can lead to either a drastic decrease in their performance or in really unpleasant side effects. If your bug problems aren’t that serious and you’re not comfortable handling pesticides, consider using a different type of product.
Whichever specific product you choose, what’s most important is dealing with the problem as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Pesticides and insecticides are typically cumbersome to use, they are annoying, they can be damaging to your yard and garden, and are generally not something that you want to pour in or around your house. However, when the job needs to be done effectively, they are among the best options out there.
So, to wrap things up, here are the Top 3 Best poisons and insecticides for roaches on the market right now:
- The Taurus SC is traditionally intended for combating termites but it’s also highly effective against cockroaches. It uses 9.1% Fipronil as its active ingredient, it has a noticeable effect in 1 – 3 days, where other similar products need a week to make a difference. It’s a wide spectrum insecticide that kills most of the common household insect invaders.
- The Martins Viper Concentrate uses 25.3% Cypermethrin as its active ingredient. This makes it highly effective against a wide range of common household insect infestations. As a concentrate, it’s enough for a lot of poison and it can be used both indoors and outdoors. One minor drawback is that it does have a noticeable odor, so test it outdoors first.
- The Bifen XTS Insecticide uses Bifenthrin XTS as its active ingredient in a dose of 25.1%. That’s 3 times higher than Talster and other similar products that use Bifenthrin XTS, making the Bifen XTS Insecticide one of the most powerful roach and insect killers on the market. It leaves no stains and no odor and it targets over 50 of the most common household pests.