Cockroaches: An Earth-Wise Guide

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credit: Wizzy Brown


Oval-shaped insect with leathery wings and long antennae; can be tan to reddish brown to dark brown


When indoors, cockroaches can carry disease-causing organisms from bathrooms, garbage cans and sewers to kitchen counters and human food. Habits Generally hidden during the day in cracks and crevices; active at night; generally stay near outer perimeter of room. When cockroaches are visible during the day, the infestation is usually very large.

Least Toxic Solutions


  • Keep your home clean

  • Clean up spilled food and drinks immediately

  • Do not leave dirty dishes, food, or pet food out overnight

  • Sweep and vacuum often

  • Put garbage in plastic bags and take outside several times a week

  • Rinse recyclable items and recycling bins often

  • Empty refrigerator drip pans regularly

  • Store food and pet food in containers with tight-fitting lids

  • Repair plumbing leaks

  • Prevent pests from entering the home by placing diatomaceous earth (DE) in openings around pipes, windows and doors and then seal cracks with caulk or expanding foam

  • Trim trees that overhang or touch the roof

  • Clean gutters regularly


  • Identify hiding places by placing non-toxic sticky traps along walls near food and water sources

  • Use only products labeled for the location and pest to be treated

  • Try roach baits in child-proof, plastic stations first – they are safe, easy to use and effective

  • Use baits with fipronil, boric acid or hydramethylnon insecticidal gel baits in applicator tubes are also easy to use and very effective

  • Be patient – baits may take several days to get results

  • If you must use dusts or sprays, do not apply near baits – it might contaminate the bait

  • Apply dusts or sprays to baseboards, cracks & crevices, openings around water pipes, and in wall voids

  • If roaches remain a problem, hire a professional pest control service

Content and copyright permission generously granted by: 
Austin Grow Green: www.growgreen.orgwho works in close association with:
Texas AgriLife Extension Service:  http://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu
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This post was written by Marjory

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