Fastest Ways to Get Rid of Roaches in Apartments

Cockroaches are one of the most dreaded pests that can invade homes and apartments. Getting rid of roaches requires using fast, effective methods consistently. This comprehensive guide covers the fastest ways to get rid of roaches in apartments.

Understanding Cockroach Behavior

Cockroaches prefer warm, dark places with access to food and water. They are nocturnal and avoid light. Roaches can squeeze into tiny cracks and crevices. They reproduce quickly, so stopping them early is key.

Common roach species like German and American roaches only need small cracks about 1/16 inch wide to enter apartments. Once inside, they spread rapidly.

Roaches contaminate food and spread bacteria. Their droppings and casings also trigger allergies and asthma. Getting rid of roaches quickly in apartments is important to prevent health risks.

Steps for Fast Roach Removal

Eliminating roaches rapidly in apartments involves taking proactive steps:

Inspect for Signs of Roaches

Check for signs of roaches during move-in and periodically after. Look for:

  • Live or dead roaches
  • Droppings that look like coffee grounds
  • Egg casings that are light brown and 1/8 inch long
  • Odor from roach scent glands
  • Roach poop stains and smears

Inspect cabinets, appliances, baseboards, and under sinks thoroughly. Use a flashlight to check cracks and crevices. Place glue traps or sticky traps out to detect roaches.

Finding signs fast lets you get rid of roaches before they multiply.

Remove Clutter and Food Sources

Roaches need food and shelter to thrive. Eliminating roach-friendly conditions helps starve and expose them.

  • Store food in sealed containers. Avoid open bags and boxes.
  • Clean up spills and crumbs quickly.
  • Take out trash and recycling regularly.
  • Limit cardboard boxes and paper items.
  • Fix plumbing leaks and drips.
  • De-clutter cabinets and storage areas.

Removing food sources and harborage sites makes apartments less inviting for roaches.

Use Bait and Traps

Using roach baits and traps speeds up killing roaches. Boric acid powder, gels, and commercial baits containing insect growth regulators work well.

  • Place baits in cracks along baseboards, appliances, and secluded areas.
  • Use traps and gels near appliances, under furniture, and in cabinets.
  • Check and replenish baits frequently until roach activity stops.

Using multiple bait placements targets roaches at different spots. Continual baiting kills roaches fast.

Apply Insecticide Sprays

Insecticide sprays provide quick knockdown of roaches. Spray product along baseboards, floor-wall junctures, and behind appliances.

  • Use sprays containing fast-acting ingredients like pyrethroids.
  • Apply sprays to areas where bait cannot reach.
  • Spray under and behind refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers.
  • Spray at night when roaches are active.

Combining sprays and baits provides a one-two punch to rapidly eliminate roaches.

Seal Entry Points

Sealing cracks shuts down the routes roaches use to enter apartments. Caulk and seal gaps around:

  • Pipes, vents, wiring holes
  • Under the sink, stove, tub, and cabinets
  • Inside closets near floors and walls
  • Around baseboards and molding

Sealing entry points prevents roaches migrating from other units. Apply silicone caulk and expandable foam sealant for best results.

Contact a Pest Control Professional

For serious roach infestations, contact a licensed exterminator. Professionals have access to stronger products and can treat entire buildings.

A pest control technician will:

  • Inspect and identify roach hiding spots
  • Use specialized equipment and commercial-grade chemicals
  • Apply treatments to shared spaces like vents and walls
  • Schedule follow-up visits if needed

Getting professional assistance offers the fastest way to eliminate severe roach problems.

Fast-Acting Methods to Kill Roaches

Using the most effective roach kill products and techniques helps eradicate roaches quickly.

Boric Acid Powder

Boric acid is a fast-acting roach killer. The fine powder sticks to roaches’ bodies and they ingest it while grooming. It causes death within 1-2 days.

Use boric acid along baseboards, under appliances, and in cracks and crevices. Apply light dusting into voids and hidden areas. Wear gloves and avoid inhaling the powder.

Boric acid remains effective for long periods if kept dry. The powder’s low toxicity and affordable cost make it ideal for do-it-yourself use.

Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) Baits

IGR roach baits disrupt roaches’ growth and reproduction cycles. They prevent nymph roaches from molting and becoming adults. IGRs cause roach populations to die out faster.

Some active ingredients to look for in baits include:

  • Hydramethylnon
  • Pyriproxyfen
  • Fipronil

Use IGR baits along with boric acid dust and sticky traps for fast results.

Pyrethroid Sprays

Sprays containing pyrethroid ingredients provide quick knockdown and killing of roaches. Pyrethroids interfere with roaches’ nervous systems on contact.

Effective pyrethroids for roaches include:

  • Cypermethrin
  • Tetramethrin
  • Lambda-cyhalothrin

Apply pyrethroid sprays to baseboards, behind appliances, and areas around pipes and vents to kill roaches directly on contact.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is made of tiny fossilized algae that cuts into roaches’ bodies. Roaches die from dehydration within 48 hours of contact.

DE powder works against roaches when placed in dry spots indoors:

  • Under appliances
  • Around plumbing pipes
  • Inside wall voids and attics

Wear a dust mask when applying diatomaceous earth. It provides long-lasting roach control and is safe for pets when used properly.


Frequently vacuuming floors removes roach droppings and casings. Use the crevice tool to vacuum along baseboards, appliances, and furniture.

Empty the vacuum immediately after use. The vacuum bag or canister contents can be placed in a sealed plastic bag and disposed outside.

Vacuuming eliminates roach allergens and is a useful part of integrated pest management (IPM).

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Roaches

For those looking to avoid chemicals, natural roach remedies can be effective for small invasions:

Borax and Sugar

Borax mixed with equal parts sugar kills roaches that eat the mixture. The borax acts as a stomach poison.

  • Mix 1 cup borax and 1 cup sugar
  • Sprinkle in cabinets, under appliances, and hidden spots
  • Reapply every 2-3 days

The sweet sugar attracts roaches while the borax kills them. This affordable method helps cut down roach numbers.

Diatomaceous Earth

As mentioned, the microscopically sharp DE powder quickly kills roaches through contact and dehydration. DE is non-toxic and safe around kids and pets.

  • Apply a fine layer of food-grade DE along baseboards, cracks and crevices
  • Use a powder duster for best coverage
  • Wear a mask to avoid inhaling the dust

DE provides effective, natural roach control when placed correctly in dry areas.

Essential Oils

Strong smelling oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree oil repel and kill roaches.

  • Mix 5-10 drops of oil per cup of water in a spray bottle
  • Spray around entry points, appliances, baseboards, and furniture
  • Reapply daily for 1-2 weeks

The lingering oil smells deter roaches. Oils can help deter roaches but may not fully eradicate infestations.

Sealants and Traps

Sealing cracks shuts roaches out. Trapping with sticky glue boards catches roaches inside. Using caulk, expandable foam, and traps provides natural roach prevention.

Place traps along walls and under appliances. Focus sealing efforts along baseboards, under sinks, and around plumbing pipes.

FAQs About Eliminating Roaches Fast

How long does it take to get rid of roaches?

With diligent effort using effective methods, most light roach infestations can be eliminated within 2-3 weeks. Moderate or heavy infestations may take 4-8 weeks to fully clear.

What kills roaches instantly?

Roaches have a quick reaction to pyrethroid sprays, diatomaceous earth, and some insecticidal dusts. These products cause rapid desiccation or disrupt the nervous system on contact.

Do roaches come back after pest control?

Roaches may return after initial treatment if all hiding spots were not reached or entry points remain open. Sticking with pest control visits and sealing up can prevent roaches from bouncing back.

What time of day are roaches most active?

Roaches are most active at night and avoid light. Peak roach foraging occurs within the first three hours after sundown. They emerge from hiding spots to search for food and water.

What home remedy kills roaches overnight?

Boric acid powder and diatomaceous earth provide the fastest roach kill times for home remedies. Both cause desiccation that can kill roaches within 48 hours of exposure.

Will roaches eventually die without food?

Roaches can survive 1-2 months without food. Eliminating food sources forces them to spread farther in search of sustenance. Starving roaches completely requires sealing off all entryways shut so they cannot migrate to food.

How do you get rid of roaches in kitchen cabinets?

Use boric acid or diatomaceous earth dust inside cabinets and drawers. Remove all food items and scrub the interior. Place traps inside and seal any gaps around the kickplate and walls.

Preventing Roaches from Returning

Roaches often reappear after elimination if conditions remain ideal for them. Prevent roaches from coming back by:

  • Keeping the kitchen spotless and drying out sinks at night
  • Sealing up cracks and crevices
  • Inspecting regularly for signs of roach activity
  • Avoiding boxes and paper clutter
  • Using boric acid and diatomaceous earth dustings periodically

Fixing plumbing leaks, storing food properly, and decluttering also help keep roaches away for good. Contact a pest control company immediately if roaches return.

Staying vigilant and using integrated pest management techniques will help keep apartments roach-free long-term.

When to Call a Professional Exterminator

Severe roach infestations often warrant getting professional pest control assistance. Consider calling in exterminators when:

  • Roaches are widespread in multiple rooms
  • You are getting bitten by roaches at night
  • Seeing large roaches including breeders over 1 inch long
  • Traps and baits placed for over 2 weeks have not reduced roaches
  • Neighbors or previous tenants had roach issues
  • Pest control is not allowed in your apartment complex

Licensed pros have the experience, equipment and chemical potency needed to fully eliminate entrenched roach colonies.


Eliminating a roach infestation rapidly comes down to using the most effective methods consistently. Combining boric acid, IGRs, diatomaceous earth and pyrethroid sprays gives the fastest results. Sealing up entry points and removing food sources also speeds up roach removal. Integrating natural remedies and professional help ensures roaches are eradicated as quickly as possible.

Staying vigilant with preventative measures keeps apartments protected from future roach invasions. Addressing roaches right away at the first signs gives the best chance of getting rid of roaches fast before they multiply and spread.