5 Best Roach Killers to Buy in 2019

The best roach killer is situational. If you want to kill roaches in a car, you may not want to use sprays which will linger in your vehicle for weeks. Gels may work better or traps. When you have a roach infestation, you need to pick the best killer for the job.

Top 5 Best Cockroach Killer on the Market

The best roach poison will come in many different forms. You may use gel form, sprays or baits, and we’re going to cover all of these types in more detail below.

1. Roach Gel

Gel baits are a great option because they come in a variety of different formulas. You’ll want to look at the ingredient list available and see what insecticide is being used in the gel that you choose. The best roach gel will start working within a week to start eliminating the roach population.

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How to Use Roach Gels

Roach gel is beneficial because it can be applied in those hard-to-reach places that other poisons cannot be easily applied. If roaches are entering a space through cracks along a baseboard, gels can be applied to these areas.

Gels come with a syringe in many cases so that the gel can be applied inside of the cracks and crevices where bait and other insecticide cannot reach.

When using gel, the gel may already come scented or with some form of an attractant. The attractant is designed to lure in roaches so that they’ll consume the gel and eventually die.

But professional exterminators have another recommendation.

These professionals recommend placing smell bits of bait into the cracks where you place the gel. When the roaches come to consume the bait, they will also consume the gel which will lead to the eventual death of the roaches.

When to Use Roach Gels

The best roach gel will still take time to start working. Gels are not going to die immediately, so you need to commit time to applying the gel and reapplying as needed. A lot of manufacturers have made waterproof gels so that you don’t have to worry about rain disrupting the gel and causing it to be less effective.

Gels are ideal when you have time to combat an infestation.

You’ll need to check the gel every few days to make sure that the gel hasn’t dried. Gel will dry over time, and if the gel is dry, it will no longer be effective.

If you have pets, you’ll want to make sure that the gel you’ve chosen will not be hazardous to the pet’s health. A lot of gels can be toxic to pets and children, so when applying the gel, make sure that it is well-hidden and cannot be reached by a pet or child.

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Gel does need to be placed in the right places which may make the last recommendation hard to follow. You always want to place the gel in a space where the roaches are known to traverse. These spaces may be where you’ve physically seen roaches.

Gels may be a good option for automobiles, too.

You have full control over who goes into your automobile or not, and placing a gel along the vehicle’s flooring or seats may be able to kill off the roach population. Of course, roaches won’t enter a vehicle unless it’s dirty.

Clean the vehicle out thoroughly to be able to rid the vehicle of the roaches for good.

Best Practices

Gels should be applied when you see roaches in your space, but you can discontinue use when you haven’t seen any roaches in a few days. When using the gel, you’ll want to remember a few key points:

  • Avoid spraying or fogging near the gel because the gel can become contaminated and will be less effective as a result. When using gel, it’s important to keep any sprays or substances away from the gel to ensure that the gel substance does not lose its effectiveness.
  • Reapply the gel when the gel starts to dry. A lot of gels will dry over time, and when this happens, it’s key to reapply so that the gel remains effective at killing roaches.
  • Gels that claim to be water resistant often are not. The gel may be slightly water resistant, but a lot of water will dilute the gel and make it less effective.
  • Never use gels on electrical outlets. You can electrocute yourself or cause serious harm in the process.
  • Most of the gels that come with some form of an attractant will not be required to have another form of bait applied to the area. In fact, a lot of manufacturers do not recommend using another attractant because it can make the gel less effective.
  • Roaches will bring the gel back to their nest to share. You’ll find that some roaches die quickly while others can take a week or more to die with daily ingestion. Continue applying the gel until you have gone several days without seeing a roach in your space.

If you do happen to get the gel on your clothing or on your couch, you will want to wash with soap and water immediately. You may find that the gel will stain depending on the manufacturer. Washing off the gel is recommended.

2. Roach Fogger

Roach foggers, also called roach bombs, are often the best roach killer for apartments, but this is only when the rest of the apartments are empty. Foggers will use a fast-killing poison that enters the air and will kill anything in sight.

This poison will require you to leave your space for a long period of time.

Read our detailed product reviews: 10 best roach foggers of 2019

How to Use Roach Foggers

Foggers are designed to be used in confined spaces, and this means often room-by-room, but it depends on the fogger. You’ll want to read the instructions on the fogger to determine how to properly set off the fogger in a room.

Usage will vary, but the same general idea applies to almost all foggers:

  • Place the fogger in the center of the room to offer the largest spraying radius.
  • Place the fogger on a chair or table so that the insecticide falls to the ground and coats the entire space.
  • Contents in the aerosol will cause droplets to form in the air which will remain suspended before they fall to the ground.

What’s interesting about foggers is that they do not get into the cracks and crevices where roaches are known to spend most of their time. You may need to apply a gel after you set off a roach bomb to ensure that any remaining roaches are killed in the product.

The fogger may have additional instructions, such as covering all of your appliances and electronics when you set off the bomb.

Clothes should also be removed or placed in a space where the droplets will not reach. Some formulas may cause staining, so you’ll need to cover your couch and furniture to be able to properly protect the space.

Always follow the directions exactly as the manufacturer states so that you stay out of harm’s reach when setting off a roach bomb.

All too often people will ignore these instructions putting themselves at serious risk of being poisoned. Animals will likely need to be removed from the home as well as any humans because the poison is extremely potent.

When to Use Roach Foggers

Foggers are not the go-to option for killing roaches for a few reasons. One, the fogger may work well and it’s very potent, but roaches hide in walls and in crevices where the bomb will not be able to penetrate.

You also have to be concerned with the immense radius of the fogger.

Insecticide will be everywhere in the space, and it takes a lot of preparation to cover all of your belongings. You’ll only want to use a fogger in an apartment if the other apartment units are empty.

The best time to use a fogger is when:

  • Roach infestations have reached high levels
  • Roaches are seen in open spaces often
  • You’ve sealed off all holes and crevices where the roaches are known to enter and exit

If the space is easy to block off and everyone is going to be out of the space, these foggers are a good option. You will need to stay out of the space for an extended period of time, so keep this in mind when choosing a fogger over other forms of roach control.

Best Practices

When using a roach fogger, you have to keep the following best practices in mind to keep yourself 100% safe:

  • Plan to spend several hours outside of the home.
  • Remove all pets and children from the home to ensure that they do not inhale any of the poison.
  • Air out the premises thoroughly. You’ll want to open all windows and doors immediately when getting back into the home.
  • Never enter the unit to check on the sprayer. You’ll want to remain out of the room for the recommended period of time.
  • Always avoid inhaling any of the vapor or mist that is being ejected by the sprayer. If you inhale any of this substance, you’re inhaling a dangerous poison that can lead to violent illness.

Foggers are more of a spot treatment than they are a full pest control treatment. It’s always a good idea to use foggers alongside some other form of slow roach control. You may want to use baits or gels that will kill the roach infestation over time.

The goal is to get to the core of the problem: the nest.

And foggers, while they’re extremely potent, will not be able to reach the nest which is likely inside of the home’s wall. Reaching the nest is best achieved when you have used poisons or bait which will be shared back at the nest to kill the roaches.

3. Roach Bait

Roach bait is just that – a bait. When you use roach bait, you’re going to be using an attractant that will lure roaches to the bait,. The roaches will think that the bait is food, and they will begin eating it and hopefully transport the bait back to their nest where they will share it with the rest of the nest.

Over time, the roaches will consume enough of the poison and will die.

When trying to reach roaches deep inside of their nest, this is a great option.

Read our detailed product reviews: 8 best roach baits of 2019

How to Use Roach Bait

Using roach bait can kill an entire nest of roaches, but you need to know how to use the bait properly. A few of the many techniques that you’ll want to follow to apply roach bait properly are:

  • Place the bait in key areas where you know that you have a roach infestation. You’ll want to place the bait in your closet, underneath kitchen cabinets and even in cabinets if you’ve seen a roach skitter by.
  • Bait will not kill roaches immediately. This is a slow killer, and you’ll need to replace the bait often. When the bait is eaten, continue to replace the bait so that roaches still have bait to eat to reach complete toxicity.
  • Keep bait away from animals although some bait is generally safe. Roaches are small, so the amount of poison needed to kill the roach is much lower than what’s needed to kill a human or dog. But keep in mind that you will want to avoid eating any bait despite the level of toxicity in the bait.
  • Baits are generally meant to be used indoors. When using a bait for outdoor use, you’ll want to make sure that the bait you choose is water resistant. If the bait isn’t water resistant, it may be better to use a bait station that is strategically placed under shelter to ensure that the roaches can access the bait.

Roach bait takes time to work, and you’ll want to make sure that you use more bait than you initially think you should be using.

When to Use Roach Bait

When should you use bait? Whenever you notice more than one or two roaches in your home or space. Roaches are rapid breeders, and even one visible roach may be a sign of a much larger infestation.

You should do everything that you can to stop the infestation from growing larger.

Baits are designed to kill the source. You’ll find that the roaches will take the bait, carry it back to their nest and then the bait will be shared among the entire nest. The goal is to kill the roaches that you cannot see.

If you have a roach issue, bait is one of the best methods to kill the entire nest.

Best Practices

Placing bait is easy, but you will want to follow the best practices. The active ingredient in the bait is important, and I highly recommend doing your own research to determine which ingredients work best.

If a particular bait is not working well for you, swap it out with another bait that uses a different active ingredient.

You can use bait alongside natural roach killing methods, too.

A few key tips when using roach bait, include:

  • Place large quantities of bait around the home to ensure all key areas have bait placed.
  • Replace the bait when it’s no longer effective or if it has been eaten.
  • Allow bait products several days to weeks to start working.
  • Follow the baiting instructions that the manufacturer recommends.
  • Keep baits away from animals and children just in case that toxicity occurs.

While some baits can safely be ingested, it’s often best to place the bait in an area where your animals and children will not be able to reach it. Bait may be in too low of a quantity to kill a German Shepard or child, but this doesn’t mean that you should allow neither an animal nor a child to eat the bait.

4. Roach Sprays

Roach sprays are sold in many major retail stores, and you’ll likely find these sprays at the grocery store, too. We recommend a lot of roach sprays, because they quickly kill roaches. But there is a time and place to use sprays before using a bait or a trap.

Read our detailed product reviews: 12 best roach sprays of 2019

How to Use Roach Sprays

Roach sprays are common, and while some kill the roaches instantly, others are promoted as being a repellent. Sprays come in a can, and a lot of the roach sprays will also be promoted as ant killers.

When using this spray, you can use it as a repellent that will kill roaches for several weeks, or you can use it as an on-contact spray which will kill roaches quickly.

If you want to use a spray properly, turn over the can and read the instructions. A few steps you should take when using any roach spray are:

  • Shake well before each use to ensure the contents of the spray are well-mixed.
  • Hold the can upright and never spray directly up into the air.
  • Point the spray opening towards the targeted area and spray.
  • Hold the can around 18” from the surface to ensure that it is evenly sprayed.
  • Cover your mouth and never inhale the spray.
  • Apply the spray until the surface is sufficiently wet.

You’ll want to exit the area where you’ve sprayed. A lingering smell will persist in the area, and remain outside of the area until the sprays have fully dried. You risk inhaling the spray otherwise and can cause serious harm to yourself in the process.

When to Use Roach Sprays

Roach sprays are instant roach killers, and while the best roach killer may be bait or gel, there’s still room for sprays. When using a spray, you’ll find that the spray works very well as a contact-killer.

Spray the spray directly on a roach, and the roach will die a short time later.

But we know that this isn’t going to the source of the problem. When you kill a roach directly, the roach will not have the chance to go back to their nest and die. This is why it’s best to kill roaches with spray under two circumstances:

  • You want to directly kill a roach that’s roaming around the home or in a bathroom.
  • You want to use the spray as a repellent and future roach killer.

A lot of sprays will be able to remain on the sprayed surface for an entire month. The effectiveness will start to diminish during this time, but the surface will continue to kill roaches. There’s also the benefit of the roaches being killed in the long-term.

Let’s assume that you’ve used bait or some other form of a roach killer.

If you do not see roaches for a week, you may want to spray the spray in key areas just in case there are a few stragglers left to kill. Since the spray stays on the surface, it will kill future roaches so long as you reapply it every few weeks.

Best Practices

There’s a time and place to use roach sprays. You’ve learned how to use sprays and when to use them, but what are some of the tips that can help you use your sprays more effectively? There are a few ways to get the most out of your spray:

  • Use sprays after you’ve used bait or another form of roach killer that will go to the root cause of the problem.
  • Sprays can be used in cars that have a roach problem, but you’ll want to make sure that the vehicle is thoroughly aired out afterwards. Do not stay in the vehicle after it’s been sprayed.
  • Always keep your face turned away from the spray. Inhaling the spray is not recommended and can lead to serious health issues in the long-term.
  • When spraying, don’t just spray under the sink or around the toilet. You’ll also want to spray in those hard-to-reach places that other roach killers cannot enter. Cracks and crevices are key areas to spray because the spray will coat the area often better than a gel.
  • Do not spray on top of a gel. Gels contain attractants that lure roaches into eating the gel and eventually dying. You do not want to spray on top of the gel because it will cause the gel to be less potent.
  • Do not spray towards children or animals. The spray is harmful for anyone that comes in contact with it, so spray responsibly.
  • Always read the usage instructions because the spray’s manufacturer knows better than anyone else how the spray should be used.
  • Do not enter a room for a while until the spray has fully settled and dried. Keep all animals out of these rooms, too.
  • Use in areas where you can open a window or door to ventilate the space. If you spray in closed areas, it’s not recommended usage.
  • Fabrics may become damaged if sprayed, so be careful when spraying near coaches or curtains which may be stained in the process.
  • Use sprays when you’re unsure of a roach population being fully exterminated. Cracks and key entryways should be sprayed in an effort to kill off any remaining roaches that may be coming out of hiding.

If you follow the best practices, you’ll be able to kill more roaches and also stay safer when trying to control roach populations.

5. Roach Traps

Roach traps are another key product and method of killing roaches. But these traps are more or less simply places to put your bait. You’ll find that many of the same ingredients used in the leading baits are used in traps.

Read our detailed product reviews: 9 best roach traps of 2019

How to Use Roach Traps

Traps, also called bait stations, are fairly easy to use and designed to kill the nest. These traps vary from one type to the next, but the general idea is to place a bait station anywhere that you see roaches.

Place traps in key areas where roaches like to stay.

You’ll want to place multiple traps so that there’s more than enough bait for roaches to consume. Using traps is rather simple:

  • Read the instructions on the back of the trap.
  • Place the trap in key areas.
  • Pull the tap or cut the trap, or use any method recommended, to place the trap
  • Replace traps as needed

That’s really all that you have to do with traps. But there are also glue traps which can be used. Glue traps have a very strong adhesive, and you’ll want to place these traps on the side of refrigerators or other areas that are difficult to reach with other control methods.

Glue traps are baited, but the roach will never make it back to their nest.

When using glue traps, this is much like using sprays, but it’s also safer. The roaches will get stuck to the trap and eventually die. These traps will also work well to catch other insects and pests.

But the traps will not be as effective as a bait station.

When to Use Roach Traps

If you have a roach problem, use a roach trap. Traps will have enough bait and insecticide to be able to kill the source of the problem. There are some issues with traps, such as the traps being unsightly.

A lot of people don’t want to advertise to the world that they have a roach problem.

If this is the case, you can use gels or other forms of discreet roach management. Otherwise, bait stations can be used for a roach infestation in your:

  • House
  • Car
  • Apartment
  • Shed
  • Greenhouse
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Warehouses

Bait stations work very well, and when properly hidden, kids and animals will not be able to assess the station.

Best Practices

When using bait stations, it’s rather easy to get started killing your roach infestation. Roaches will be attracted to the bait, feed and then bring back some to their nest. It’s the perfect method to kill roaches.

A few of the best practices which can further aid in roach control are:

  • Place multiple traps out in an attempt to kill as many roaches as possible. If you purchase a six pack of bait, place all six stations in key areas where roaches have been seen.
  • Don’t place bait stations blindly. You’ll want to place these stations in key areas, and this means where you’ve seen roaches before. You may be able to see brown spots that roaches leave behind. If not, place them under sinks, near toilets and even in dark basement areas. Many traps will have a diagram where you should be placing the stations.
  • Place stations at least 1.5 feet away from one another for best results.
  • Child-resistant stations exist, so if you have children, you’ll want to make use of these bait stations.
  • Always place stations carefully in a corner or in such a way that they’re always touching a wall. This placement will ensure that roaches are unable to move the station around when they’re entering it.
  • Replace as necessary. Older items may be less effective and need to be replaced for maximum potency.
  • Use your traps and bait stations with other forms of treatment, such as gels for optimum control. Do not use sprays when using traps because you may end up killing roaches before they’re able to bring the bait back to their nest.

Roach traps, when they’re bait stations and not glue traps, work as a feeding area for roaches. The roaches will enter the trap and bring the bait back to their nest to share. You may see a lot of roaches at this time, but the population will start to decline after a few days of feeding.

Placing multiple forms of roach killers can be more effective, but make sure that you keep any sprays or baits away from gels. The gel insecticides that are used are already baited and may be made much less effective if contaminated with bait or a spray.

Once you have your roach problem under control, it’s time to seal off any cracks and crevices where roaches may be entering.

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