How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Extermination > How to Get Rid of Cockroaches
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Cockroaches aren't just gross, they're dangerous! According to the National Pest Management Association, cockroaches have been reported to spread "at least 33 different kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens." Additionally, the presence of cockroaches has recently been linked to allergies and even asthma in children. Aside from the health risks they pose, most homeowners simply don't like to see roaches in the places where they eat, shower, and put their children to bed. If you're dealing with a roach problem or are looking to prevent problems in the future, there are several things you can do.

  1. 1.Types of Roaches

    There are four primary varieties of cockroaches found in homes in the U.S.


    • The German Cockroach is about ½ inch in length and is the most common type of roach in the country. It is also the variety most commonly associated with health risks.

    • The American Cockroach is the largest roach variety known to infest U.S. homes, reaching lengths of 2 inches or more.

    • Brown Banded Cockroaches are about ½ inch in length and, unlike most other varieties, are commonly found hiding in high, dry areas like upper cabinets. They are also more prone to reside outside of kitchens and bathrooms than other roaches.

    • The Oriental Cockroach grows to about 1 inch long and prefers cooler temperatures than other cockroach varieties. Also known as a "water bug" the oriental cockroach prefers very moist areas and can be found in the northern United States.


    No matter what variety you are dealing with, the steps used to get rid of cockroaches are very similar.

  2. Taking away their hiding places is an excellent first step in eliminating a roach problem.
  3. 2.Organize

    The roaches we don't see far outnumber the ones we do. Taking away their hiding places is an excellent first step in eliminating a roach problem. Keeping living spaces, kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and basements organized and eliminating piles of materials inside and outdoors forces roaches to come out into the open--a situation they prefer to avoid. When they have fewer places to scurry off to, roaches are far easier to control.

  4. 3.Sanitize

    Little particles of food left on the floor, open indoor trash receptacles, and dirty dishes on counters and in sinks can all attract roaches. Eliminating these conditions makes you home less attractive to roaches, which makes infestations less likely.

  5. 4.Dehumidify

    All but the brown banded variety of cockroach prefer to inhabit moist spaces. Identify leaks quickly and have them fixed. Pay attention to areas around the home where standing water collects and have them filled in. Basements and garages are particular offenders, so pay close attention to the moisture levels in these areas and add new ventilation if necessary.

  6. 5.Seal

    Roaches might occasionally follow you in through the front door, but more often they find less obvious paths into your home. Having a professional pest control contractor examine your home to identify and fill gaps, cracks, and other tiny entrances can go a long way in reducing the chances of these unwanted guests entering your living spaces.

  7. 6.Bait and Exterminate

    Commercial baits and extermination products are highly effective--especially those used by professional exterminators. Pest control services are often able to completely eliminate a roach population in only a few visits, but following the above rules is crucial if a subsequent infestation is to be avoided. Some areas are more prone to have roaches than others, and while homeowners in some parts of the country may never require the assistance of a professional pest control service, others might need yearly (or even more frequent) visits.

Find Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 48 hours or less.