Best Cockroach Killers

  • Written By Dan Edwards on August 22, 2018
    Last Updated: November 25, 2020

Cockroaches in your house can be a terrifying thought. They multiply fast and can get into just about everything. To eradicate them from your home, you need to use a good roach killer. If you don’t, the problem will likely return.

With so many treatments to choose from, finding an effective roach killer can be a difficult task. You may even have to use more than one product to fight the problem. This article covers some of the best roach killers available and helps you understand how they work.

How Do Most Roach Killers Work?

Many people think that cockroaches are indestructible and they can survive anything—even a nuclear explosion. This is not an accurate fact. They would perish in the same way as the rest of us. They are, however, far better equipped to tolerate ionizing radiation than us humans.

Roaches are pests, but they are also pretty amazing creatures. They have been around for millions of years, and they’ve learned to achieve great things.

They can live without food for up to a month and without water for a week. You could submerge a roach in water for 40 minutes, and it would survive by holding its breath. Another bizarre fact is that they can live for around a week without their head.

These insects sound nearly indestructible, yet this is not the case. There are many effective treatments capable of killing roaches, with the most efficient ones being baits. They attract the roaches and encourage them to leave their hiding places.

When a cockroach takes the bait, it doesn’t instantly kill it. Instead, it will return to its place of refuge. Each roach which then comes into contact with the contaminated roach, becomes affected by the same toxin that was present in the bait.

This can be through feces, direct contact, or when they eat the dead carcass of the infected roach. It is estimated that each roach ingesting the bait can kill up to 40 other cockroaches.

The baits usually contain indoxacarb or hydramethylnon—both of which are toxic to cockroaches. Although the substances are toxic, the roaches cannot resist the smell and taste. They think they’ve stumbled upon a gourmet meal, not knowing it will be their last.

Best Roach Killers

To treat a cockroach infestation, you need to choose a treatment that works quickly and efficiently. The problem for many people is deciding which one to choose. Some formulas can be weak and ineffective, and will do nothing to solve the problem.

We’ve compiled a list of the best roach killers on the market that will help to treat an infestation in your home or business. If killing isn’t your style, then we’ve put together a list of cockroach repellents, too.

Advion Cockroach Gel Bait

Advion is a gel bait proven to be successful when it comes to getting rid of roaches. You can use this both indoors or out and it is suitable to use in either homes or commercial properties.

Using this gel will help you get rid of an entire colony of roaches. It works like a domino effect. Foods and sugary items are what attract roaches, and that is how the gel works.

It entices them with a delicious smell and a delightful meal. When the roaches ingest the bait, they go back to their nest, taking some with them to share. The bait contains indoxacarb, which doesn’t kill them instantly.

When a roach comes into contact with the bait, any other cockroaches that it comes into contact with will also become affected. Within a few hours, they will become dehydrated and die. Other roaches may then eat the dead roaches, which means they too will be infected.

How to Use

The gel is easy to apply and comes in a syringe to help get the bait in the smallest of cracks. Before use, make sure the home is thoroughly cleaned and all foods are sealed and covered.

Apply the gel in dots on different surfaces around the space, such as:

  • Behind large appliances
  • Under sinks
  • Floorboards
  • Cracks or crevices

For a heavy infestation, use around three to five dots every ten feet, and for a light infestation, one to three dots. You should see results within one or two days. If you see the gel has gone after a few hours, it means they are taking the bait.

Refrain from applying the gel to areas where pets or children may come into contact with it. You can use the gel after other treatments, such as bombs, but not at the same time as sprays.

Avoid areas where temperatures could exceed 130 degrees Fahrenheit, as intense heat will melt the gel. You also need to be mindful of areas where there are drafts or wind, as this will dry the gel up.

Invict Gold Cockroach German Roach Control Gel

As the name suggests, Invict Gold bait targets German roaches. Its active ingredient is imidacloprid. Before using this one, you need to correctly identify that the roach problem you have, is German cockroaches.

It comes supplied in a syringe, allowing for easy application. You can put it along skirting and floorboards or into cracks with ease. It is a slow acting killer and contains eleven food attractants to lure the roaches.

You can use this bait indoors and outside, and it’s suitable for residential and commercial establishments. The gel works by impeding stimuli transmission in the nervous system. When those that have eaten the bait come into contact with others, it then passes the toxin to them.

It works fast and effectively to manage an infestation of German cockroaches.

How to Use

This is specifically for German roaches. Ensure your problem is with this species before using or it won’t work.

Before use, you need to clean the area and make sure all food debris and stains are cleaned up. The gel should be applied in dots of between 10 and 20 per 100 square feet.

Apply where there are cracks that lead to voids, using the syringe to direct the gel into the crack, and squeeze small amounts inside. The bait can also be placed in dark, warm, damp areas. The product is best applied in places such as:

  • Cracks in walls
  • Baseboards
  • Garages
  • Where pipes enter
  • Where cabinets are joined to the walls

Do not put the gel in places where children or pets may come into contact with it. Also, avoid areas which will be washed regularly. Don’t apply where heat will exceed 130 degrees. If you also use a spray, refrain from spraying near the bait as this will cause the roaches to stay away from it. Inspect frequently and reapply when necessary for effective control.

Black Flag Roach Motel Cockroach Trap

Black Flag Roach Motel is free from pesticides and poisons. This is often the reason people choose to use it in their homes. It’s fittingly named as a motel, and although the cockroaches can check-in… they can never leave.

The trap works by enticing the cockroaches into the trap by using an attractant in the adhesive. Once inside, a strong adhesive imprisons them. As they stick to it, they’re unable to feed. This subsequently leads to their death.

The appealing glue proves irresistible to roaches and works effectively to lure them inside. There are no odors from the traps, unless you get pretty close to them. Even then, it is sweet-smelling scent, not unlike maple syrup.

The adhesive remains effective for months, unless it’s full of bugs. Dust and dirt won’t be too much of a problem either, as there is only one small opening.

How to Use

These are small traps, so for them to be effective you will need to use several of them to treat an infestation. The attractant will work for about two to four months, and will then need replacing—even if not full.

The traps should be placed in areas of high roach traffic, such as:

  • Dark corners
  • Beneath sinks
  • Under cabinets
  • Behind appliances
  • Along the walls

Be careful not to place them where children or pets could come into contact with them. The traps are very sticky and contact with the adhesive should be avoided. If you or someone comes into contact with the adhesive, then use vegetable oil to remove it.

If there are no bugs inside after three or four days, you will need to move the trap to a different location within the affected room. Once full, turn the trap over. When both sides become full, the trap needs to be thrown away.

These devices are best used alongside another treatment. Using the traps alone is not likely to solve the problem.

Advion Cockroach Bait Station

The bait stations contain indoxacarb and they are safe for use outdoors or indoors, at work or at home. Using them will help to effectively manage a roach infestation.

The stations can be attached to surfaces using the adhesive backs. This makes placing them anywhere, relatively easy. They work by attracting the roaches to ingest the bait, which slowly kills the contaminated insect.

This clever design then enables the infected cockroach to transfer the bait to more roaches, as it returns to the nest. Through contact or feces, many other roaches also become poisoned by the indoxacarb.

It could take several days for the first affected roach to die. In that time, it will have come into contact with many other cockroaches. This makes it an effective way to manage an infestation.

Indoxacarb works by preventing sodium ions from reaching their nerve cells. This results in impaired function and the roaches being unable to move or feed, ultimately leading to their death.

The label states that the stations will target any species, although they are often more appealing to the smaller ones. Brown-banded or German cockroaches are the breeds better suited for these bait boxes.

The stations come ready assembled, therefore, all you have to do is take them out of the packet and place them. They are a great way to protect the bait from contaminants, such as dirt and dust.

How to Use

The best locations for these stations are:

  • Behind cabinets or appliances
  • Around wall perimeters
  • Under sinks or baths
  • Behind furniture
  • Near pipe collars or where pipes enter the room
  • Window sills

You will need to use between three and 10 stations for 100 feet of horizontal space. When the infestation is big, place the maximum number of stations. Think about locations where the roaches are often seen and house the bait boxes in those areas.

You can position the stations vertical or horizontal. Each one comes with an adhesive patch you can attach it with. Don’t place in areas where spray has recently been used to treat, as this can deter the roaches, reducing the effectiveness.

You should check the stations at regular intervals and replace them when the bait has gone. For severe infestations, this could be daily, although the stations will last for up to three months.

They should be replaced after three months, even if the bait has not been taken. If placing the bait boxes outdoors, they should be located in areas sheltered from the rain and wind. Put the stations near doorways or on windowsills. Attach where water and main pipes enter the building. These are all areas which may provide access to your home for the cockroaches.

HARRIS Boric Acid Roach Killer

Boric acid has been used as a roach killer for quite some time. It’s likely you saw your grandmother or mother using it when you were young. You will even find professionals who recommend it as an effective roach killer.

Boric acid has many uses, and is not just for killing roaches. Other uses are:

  • Agriculture
  • Medical purposes
  • Applications of fiberglass
  • In LCD displays
  • Nuclear power plants
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Lubrication

It’s also worth noting that if ingested, it’s a dangerous substance. You need to be very cautious when using boric acid.

HARRIS Boric acid contains one percent lure and 99 percent boric acid. Using boric acid to kill cockroaches works when they come into contact with the powder. The small crystals damage the exoskeleton of the roach, but they can also harm cockroaches in another way too.

When the roaches clean themselves, they ingest the boric acid. This then works by dehydrating them, resulting in their death. As roaches are not fussy, cannibalism is not against their nature.

When hungry, roaches will feed on the dead carcasses of their friends. This means that they too will ingest the poison, and again it will cause their death.

When applying it, you should only apply a very thin layer. You don’t want to apply too much as the roaches will just avoid it. You also need to make sure you put it in the right places to ensure that they walk through it.

It needs to be used in areas where there will be high traffic from the roaches. You want them to spread it to as many others as possible. These are areas such as:

  • Underneath appliances and cabinets
  • Cracks in walls
  • Crevices or cracks in furniture

To get the best results, you should use boric acid alongside other control measures. Use it alongside baits that will attract them. This way you’ll end up killing more of them, and it will help you get rid of the problem faster.

How to Use

HARRIS Boric Acid comes with an applicator nozzle that can be used to apply the powder. You need to apply it sparingly to the area, with only a light dusting required.

Boric acid should be applied to the following areas for effective roach treatment:

  • Along baseboards
  • Near to drains and water pipes
  • Behind or underneath appliances and cabinets
  • Near to cracks and crevices or inside them

It is not harmful to humans or pets unless ingested in large amounts. To keep both children and pets safe, ensure it’s not placed where they may come into contact with it.

How to Choose the Right Cockroach Killer for Your Circumstance

With a cockroach problem, you want to make sure the treatment you choose will be effective. There is nothing worse than these horrible insects running around your home. Getting rid of them as quickly as possible is the ultimate goal.

There are many products to choose from. You want to use something that will reduce and eradicate the population. The products are available in different forms such as:

  • Gel baits
  • Powders
  • Glue traps
  • Boric acid
  • Liquid sprays
  • Bait stations
  • Roach bombs

Most of them work similarly, but some use different ingredients to others. They work by luring the roaches and poisoning them or preventing them from feeding. These methods help to target adults, nymphs, and their eggs.

Before deciding on which type to use, you first need to consider a few things like:

  • The species of the roaches
  • Pets in the home
  • Young children in the area

You don’t want the treatment of roaches to affect the health of your family. As most of them contain an insecticide, if they were to be used incorrectly, there is a potential threat to family and pets.


If you’re looking at using a liquid insecticide, then no matter which you choose, they all have some things in common.

Spraying them is designed to make a barrier. You don’t want to spray them at the base of the foundation, as this would make a wall. You would spray them close to the base, and also spray along windows to help improve the barrier.

You need to be mindful of when you apply the sprays, as UV rays reduce their effectiveness. This could mean waiting for a cloudy day, or spraying later in the day when the sun is going down.

When the liquid is wet, it’s important that children and pets are kept away. Not until it is completely dry should they be anywhere near the area. When wet, it’s easy to come into contact with them and could cause accidental ingestion. This can be very harmful.

Liquid sprays like this often come in large containers. You need enough to treat the entire perimeter of your home. This means hauling quite a heavy product around and might be another factor to consider.


You could use a powder insecticide around the outside of your home, like the liquid. This deters roaches from entering the home. The difference with powder is that it lasts much longer than the liquid.

diatomaceous earth
diatomaceous earth

You apply it into cracks and crevices around the perimeter of the home, and any potential areas of entry. It comes as fine granules or larger ones. The large granule powder has a slower release effect than the fine.

Many come with silica gel additives. The silica gel enables it to absorb into the ground without blowing away. This way you get an effective barrier formed around the home. Doing this deters insects from entering. Again, pets and children must be kept away from the powder at all times.


Bombs and foggers work the same, both spray pesticide into the air. These products are often used in confined spaces or rooms. They work by coating the surfaces insects may come in contact with.

These are not always the best solution, as the pesticide will only coat the areas you can see. Roaches often hide behind items of furniture or in cracks, and this treatment doesn’t reach these areas.

There are also safety concerns when these are used. The pesticides used in the products could be harmful. They leave residue behind afterward which covers the surfaces in your home or workplace. This means you can easily come into contact with the substances.

They are also flammable. If you use these bombs, it means you need to vacate the home first.

Glue Traps

There are many different types of glue traps, and they’re available at most home stores. Some of them are designed to be strategically placed in high-traffic areas to catch the roaches. Other types also include a lure which will entice them into the trap.

When the insects walk over the sticky area inside the trap, it then sticks them to the surface. This leads to them dying of dehydration.

Sticky peanut butter roach trap
A sticky peanut butter roach trap

Glue traps will only catch a small number of the population, however. Using them alone will not be that effective in treating an infestation. Nevertheless, they are a good way to discover if there is a problem and finding out which species you are dealing with.

Another downside to using these is that you have to deploy quite a few of them if you want to treat an infestation. The other thing to consider is that you are only treating the adults. You will need something else to target the nymphs and roach eggs.


Cockroaches are often controlled by using baits, which contain poisons. You can get these as bait gels or stations. The gels will usually come in a loaded syringe for easy application. All you have to do is dot it around problem areas where roaches are.

Using a gel can help you get the bait into hard-to-reach places. The downside to using them is that children or pets could easily come into contact with them.

If you have pets or young children, you may be better off opting to use bait stations. They are like the gels, but in a solid form and are covered. The stations are generally made of plastic and sometimes referred to as “roach motels.”

Both work the same way, by luring the roaches to eat the bait. They then wander away back to their lair where the poison slowly kills them. As they come into contact with other roaches, these are also affected by the poison and will die as well.

The stations can work out to be more expensive than the gels, and you need quite a few of them to tackle a big problem. They can take longer to be effective than the gels. Another downside is that they are visible around the home, thereby alerting people you have a problem.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is an old favorite for many. This is a remedy which gets passed down from generation to generation. It is a chemical compound comprising of boron and water. Boric acid comes in a powder form which you can dust over surfaces.

It can be an effective method, but it has a few downsides. If exposed to moisture, it becomes less effective. Most people use roach treatments in the kitchen, which are often areas full of moisture.

Does Boric Acid Kill Bed Bugs

It can also become airborne, which could cause children and pets being exposed. While it’s not harmful in small amounts, it could be very harmful if larger amounts were to be ingested.

If you use boric acid, it is not recommended that you use it alone. It should be used together with other treatments, such as gels or stations.

You need to choose the option which will help you get rid of the most cockroaches as quickly as possible. Allowing these insects to roam inside your home could cause you to be sick. They carry many bacteria and pathogens on their bodies.

Risks & Precautions

When using chemicals and pesticides in our homes, there will always be some element of risk. Even with the safest of chemicals, if used incorrectly it could cause harm.

Whatever product you’re using, follow the directions of the manufacturer. Read the labels to identify hazards, risks, and what actions you need to take if something goes wrong.

Potential Risks

Using bombs and foggers will expose you to the ingredients of the pesticide. This will be through both inhalation and contact of treated surfaces. You need to make sure you follow all the precautions listed by the manufacturer.

It may be necessary for you to leave the home for a while after treatment, and it’s important you follow this precaution, if recommended.

If you’re using gel or the bait stations, it could be easy for a child or pet to ingest them. Young children are inquisitive and often explore with their fingers and mouths. If they find a station, it would be easy for them to touch it and then lick their fingers.

Boric acid is a substance toxic to plants, so be careful not to put it somewhere near to them or their water sources. If the water carries the boric acid to the plant, the plant will die.


When you’re placing gel or bait stations, think about the position. Make sure you put them in areas that aren’t accessible to children or pets. Remember not to put them in places where they could contaminate food either.

When using gel or bait stations, make sure you remove them all once the roach problem has been dealt with. The ingredients include attractants. If you leave them lying around, it could result in luring more roaches into your home.

To avoid any harm to yourself and others, always read the labels carefully before use. Follow the instructions fully and use any protective equipment they deem necessary.

When buying products, only buy those which are EPA registered. This way you know they’re safe for use and are manufactured using strict guidelines.

Make sure when you’ve finished using the products you dispose of them as directed. These products contain pesticides. To prevent other products from becoming contaminated, correct disposal is important.

If you’re unsure or cautious about using pesticides in your home, you may want to seek expert help. There are many pest control agencies that will provide you with a service or offer you advice.


There is lots of information on the internet about the best roach killers to use and how to use them. It’s important to remember to use them correctly. If not, they will be ineffective and could cause harm. Think about the species you’re trying to rid your home of, so you can find the most appropriate solution.

There are many roach killers on the market and lots of natural remedies as well. Using the right methods and materials, it’s likely your problem will be managed effectively. However, it’s also important to remember that roaches can become resistant. You may need to alternate products for better roach control.