The Best Products for Eliminating Roaches
Take care of any roach infestation with these tried and tested products.
Cockroaches are one of the most pervasive pests in the world. They find their way into houses, apartments, sheds, and even vehicles. Unfortunately, cockroaches are resilient creatures and cannot be eradicated without intervention. Read on for more info about the options and to learn why the below stand out as our top favorites among the best roach killer products available.
- BEST OVERALL: Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait
- BEST SPRAY: Bengal Chemical Gold Roach Spray
- BEST TRAP: Black Flag Roach Motel Insect Trap
- BEST GEL: advion Roach Pest Control Gel
- BEST FOGGER: Raid Concentrated Deep Reach Fogger
Types of Roach Killers
Roach killers come in several different variations, with the most popular and effective being traps, gels, sprays, and foggers.
Traps are one of the most common roach killer products, with so-called “roach motels” as a go-to for treating infestations. Some traps feature a bait within an enclosed space containing poison, such as hydramethylnon, effectively luring and killing the roach. Other designs use a one-way door to trap roaches inside, without using poison. This design isn’t as effective as poisoned traps, but it does offer the benefit of being safe for children and pets.
Gels are substances that are attractive to roaches, containing a powerful insecticide known as fipronil. Attractive scents and tastes lure the roaches to the poison. After eating it, they go back to the nest and die, where they are then consumed by other roaches. This seals the roaches’ fate as the poison spreads through the nest. Gels can be easily applied on the ground, walls, behind appliances, or inside cupboards. You can use gels in conjunction with traps for better results. However, households with children and pets should take precautions by avoiding placing gels in easy-to-access areas.
Sprays are handy for covering wide surface areas and spraying into crevices that traps and gels can’t reach. Sprays normally use pyrethroid chemicals to shut down the roach’s nervous system. These substances kill most insects that have come in contact with them in less than a day. Although, some roaches have been known to live for up to two weeks after treatment.
Another popular type of roach killer is the fogger, otherwise known as a “bug-bomb.” Foggers are cans of pesticide that you place in a room and open to activate. The can releases a steady stream of gaseous poison that seeps into the cracks and crevices in your home that are out of sight and otherwise inaccessible. Foggers generally use pyrethroids to attack the roach’s nervous system in the same way that sprays do. You need to cover all foods, cooking implements, and cooking surfaces before using the fogger, and vacate the home for a minimum of four hours after using it.
Key Shopping Considerations
When choosing the right roach killer, there are a handful of factors to keep in mind before you buy.
Length of Efficacy
Length of efficacy refers to how long the roach killer will continue to work requiring replacement. A roach killer’s length of efficacy depends on two things: how quickly the active ingredient breaks down and how much of the product you apply. Most roach killers have a minimum efficacy period of approximately one month and a maximum efficacy period of two years. Big infestations will call for additional traps, as the poison will deplete quickly if a large number of roaches are eating it. Always check and follow the directions on the package for when to replace roach killers.
Types of Pests They Eliminate
The types of pests that a roach killer will eliminate depends on the active ingredient in the product, the type of product used, and the bait used to lure the pests. Some larger traps will use a glue sheet that can trap anything from small insects, like ants, to mice or rats—and everything in between. Because roaches are so adept at surviving, most roach killers use high levels of pesticide that can kill a wide variety of other pests, such as bees, ants, hornets, mice, spiders, rats, and silverfish. For this reason, it’s important to keep your pets and kids away from roach traps and areas where you’ve applied roach killer, thereby avoiding trips to the hospital or vet clinic.
Type of Bait
Roach bait comes in two main types and can include fipronil, hydramethylnon, indoxacarb, or boric acid. The first uses a mixture of sugar (to attract the roaches) and poison (which kills the insects quickly). This method is frequently seen in roach motels and other traps that are intended to kill the roach on the spot.
The second type of bait uses a similar mixture of sugars to attract the roaches, but the death process is slower. This form of bait uses a delayed transfer toxic action that kills the roach over several days. During this time, the roach leaves poison-laden feces around the nest that other roaches consume. After the roach dies, the other roaches also eat the corpse, transferring the poison throughout the nest. This style of bait is very effective for handling an ongoing infestation.
Safety Factors for Pets and Children
When treating a roach infestation, you need to first consider your safety and the safety of your family and pets. Roach traps and gels can be attractive to pets and kids due to their bright colors, sweet smells, and sweet taste. Sprays can be absorbed through the skin, and foggers create a toxic space for several hours after use.
Child- and pet-friendly roach killer alternatives are available, but they tend to be less effective than regular roach killer products. These safer options use methods to trap, kill, or repel roaches, such as by using one-way doors, glue paper, and ultrasonic pest repellents that you place around the home to drive insects away.
Our Top Picks
1. BEST OVERALL: Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait
Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait includes 18 bait stations that can be set up under sinks, behind toilets, appliances, and any other locations where roaches roam. Once set, they remain effective for up to 12 months before needing to be replaced. The bait contains fipronil, which is ingested and slowly begins killing the roach. As a nest killer, the fipronil is transferred through the roaches’ cannibalistic behavior, eventually eliminating the entire nest. The hard plastic casing acts as a minor deterrent for kids and pets, but the bait stations should still be kept in less accessible areas.
2. BEST SPRAY: BENGAL CHEMICAL Gold Roach Spray
BENGAL CHEMICAL Gold Roach Spray lasts for six months after application. Simply spray the odorless and non-staining formula into cracks and crevices where roaches hide, and allow the poison to be carried back to the nest on the bodies of the roaches. An Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) breaks the life cycle of the cockroaches by sterilizing the adults and preventing immature roaches from reaching breeding age. This spray is also effective against ants, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and spiders.
3. BEST TRAP: Black Flag Roach Motel Insect Trap
Roach motels have been go-to roach-ridding products for years, and with Black Flag’s Roach Motel Insect Trap it’s easy to see why. The trap contains no pesticides, making it safe for any room of the house and for use around kids or pets. A powerful lure is combined with a strong adhesive on the inside of the trap, drawing roaches in, where they become stuck and die. Once one side is full, flip the trap over and fill up the other side before discarding it. As is the case with most traps, the product is effective for minor infestations, but major infestations likely need a stronger alternative.
4. BEST GEL: advion Roach Pest Control Gel
advion Roach Pest Control Gel can be applied under appliances, sinks, in cupboards, or even outside, but be sure to keep it beyond the reach of pets and kids. Roaches consume the indoxacarb in the gel, which inhibits sodium ion entry into their nerve cells, resulting in paralysis and death. The included plungers and tips make application quick and easy, and the formula has been approved for use on boats, planes, or any other vehicle with a roach infestation. This nest-killer lasts for up to two years and is effective against roaches, ants, fleas, and ticks.
5. BEST FOGGER: Raid Concentrated Deep Reach Fogger
Raid Concentrated Deep Reach Fogger is a powerful solution to an ongoing roach problem. You need to take safety precautions when using this product, by vacating the space to be fogged for a minimum of four hours. The fog disperses throughout an entire room and seeps into the most difficult to reach cracks and crevices. The cypermethrin in the fog is a fast-acting neurotoxin that kills roaches quickly and lasts for up to two months before requiring another application. While the health risks posed by this product may be concerning, the guidelines are devised to keep you as safe as possible. This fogger is highly effective, making it worth the hassle of covering all surfaces and vacating the premises for a few hours.