What Methods and Chemicals Do Exterminators Use for Roaches

Finding an infestation of roaches on your property can come as a terrifying shock. These universally despised creatures are well-known carriers of diseases, due to their nasty habit of hanging out in drains and sewers. Besides walking bacteria all around your home, cockroaches can also cause big problems for allergy sufferers. Cockroach allergens (such as feces and skin cases) are a key cause of asthma and can trigger attacks in individuals sharing their homes with the bugs.

To put the icing on the cake, roaches also stink. They secrete an oily substance that has a disgusting, musty odor which, while initially unnoticeable, can quickly become overpowering as their numbers increase. Over time, this can even start to affect the taste of certain food items.

Unfortunately, roaches thrive in the company of humans and can be found invading homes and businesses throughout the world. These prolific breeders can also multiply with frightening speed. Just one or two cockroaches can become tens of thousands over the course of a single year and, before you know it, you’re dealing with a heavy infestation.

If you find roaches in your house it is crucial that you take immediate action. A small number of cockroaches can be dealt with relatively easily. An infestation, on the other hand, will require professional intervention.

If you find a nest of cockroaches on your property, the best thing to do is call an exterminator – quickly! They will be able to tackle the problem effectively, ridding you of roaches in no time at all. But what methods and chemicals do exterminators use to get rid of roaches? Read on for the most commonly-used techniques for eliminating everyone’s least-favorite insect!

Gel baits for cockroaches

Gel baits can be an effective way of eliminating cockroaches from your home and will often be used by pest control experts. These gels are formulated using various insecticides and are packaged in a handy syringe. This is then used to apply small amounts of the gel in cracks, crevices and anywhere else you find roaches around your home. Roaches will then eat the gel bait and die shortly after.

The best thing about gel baits is that they can kill several generations of cockroaches when used with certain insecticides. Roaches feed on one another’s bodies, transmitting the poison to the living insects. The insecticide is also passed on through the droppings of the roaches, ensuring widespread death.

Tent fumigation

Tent fumigation for cockroaches is not widely recommended. Cockroaches can cram themselves into tiny spaces, wedging themselves into cracks and crevices around your home. This means they can avoid the fumes, which settle only on exposed surfaces (such as the floor and furniture). Even if only a few roaches survive, their high reproduction rate means they can multiply in no time at all. Before you know it, you’ll be back to square one!

What’s more, the pesticides in these sprays can linger in your home long after the cockroach fumigation has been performed. This can present a fire hazard and exacerbate asthma symptoms in sufferers.

Cockroach control insecticides and chemicals

Boric Acid

Boric Acid is one of the most commonly used chemicals when it comes to roach control. This is often applied as a dust, which is scattered over surfaces around the home. Roaches then crawl over the surface and become coated in the powder, which they ingest as they preen their legs and antennae. As Boric Acid remains effective almost indefinitely (as long as it stays dry), this can be used for long-term roach control.


Indoxacarb is an insecticide that has been found to be highly effective in eradicating cockroaches. It is often used as a component of gel baits and may be employed by your pest control expert as a method of roach extermination. Indoxacarb is transmitted to other roaches as they come into contact with the feces and dead bodies of poisoned insects. This insecticide is, therefore, highly effective and can kill up to three generations of cockroaches.


Hydramethylnon is often used in roach bait formulations, as it must be eaten to have any effect. Once ingested by the cockroach it causes death by disrupting metabolic processes and energy production. This insecticide has been found to be highly effective against German roaches.

Cockroach infestations can be a nightmare to deal with. The lightning-fast reproductive rate of these loathsome creatures means their population can explode in a matter of weeks. This and their ability to squeeze into every tiny crack and crevice makes them a highly persistent pest and one that can be almost impossible to eradicate without expert assistance.

Calling in a pest control professional is often the best course of action to take if your roach situation is out of control. They will typically use gel baits containing various insecticides to effectively kill cockroaches. Chemicals such as Boric Acid are also sometimes applied as dust to exposed surfaces, but roach fumigation is not generally recommended.

Whatever method your exterminator chooses to use, make sure you also employ preventative methods to rid your home of roaches for good!


Main editor

Expert in mosquito control and the main website editor at InsectCop.net. Karen started InsectCop to help people get rid of mosquitoes. But now she gives advice an all things pest control.

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