How to Get Rid of Asian Cockroaches

Asian cockroaches, also known as Blatta asahinai, are an invasive pest species that can be difficult to control once established in a home. Often confused with other cockroach species like the American cockroach, Asian cockroaches are identified by their shiny brown or black body color and distinct yellow band around the pronotum (upper shell). Left unchecked, they can reproduce rapidly and infest structures. Getting rid of an Asian cockroach infestation requires diligence and an integrated pest management approach.

Understanding the Asian Cockroach

Before getting rid of Asian cockroaches, it’s important to understand some key facts about these pests:

Origins and Spread

  • Native to Southeast Asia, hence the name “Asian cockroach”
  • Believed to have spread through international maritime trade and transport
  • First detected in Florida in 1986, now found in at least 9 US states


  • Adults are 1 to 1 1⁄2 inches long with dark brown to black coloring
  • Distinctive yellow band around the pronotum (upper shell)
  • Nymphs are wingless and resemble adults but smaller

Behavior and Habits

  • Prefer warm, humid environments between 75-86°F
  • Attracted to light and often cluster near lighting fixtures
  • Nocturnal and avoid light
  • Omnivorous generalists but prefer starchy foods and grease
  • Mainly live outdoors but can infest buildings through cracks and gaps

Threats and Risks

  • Rapid reproducers with egg cases containing up to 18 oothecae
  • Can transmit pathogens like salmonella and E. coli by contaminating food
  • Allergens and waste droppings can trigger allergic reactions or asthma
  • Unpleasant odor from waste buildup in infested areas

Preventing Asian Cockroach Infestations

Prevention is the first line of defense against Asian cockroaches. Here are some key prevention tips:

Inspect Home Exterior and Landscaping

  • Trim back foliage and tree branches touching the home
  • Keep mulch, wood piles, and leaf litter away from the foundation
  • Seal cracks, holes, and gaps in the home’s exterior with caulk
  • Repair leaky faucets, pipes, or downspouts near the home

Improve Sanitation Indoors

  • Eliminate plumbing leaks and water accumulation in kitchens or baths
  • Fix leaky appliances like dishwashers that add moisture
  • Keep indoor spaces clean and dry, especially under appliances
  • Vacuum and mop tile or vinyl floors regularly

Manage Food Sources

  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly
  • Clean up spills and crumbs immediately
  • Avoid leaving pet food out overnight
  • Install tight-fitting lids on trash cans and dumpsters

Modify Environmental Conditions

  • Reduce indoor humidity below 50% with dehumidifiers
  • Use air conditioning to keep rooms under 80°F
  • Seal off potential nesting sites like appliance motors
  • Install mosquito screens on windows and vents

Killing and Removing Asian Cockroaches

If an infestation already exists, killing and removing the cockroaches is the next step. Combining multiple control methods is most effective:

Apply Insecticidal Dusts or Sprays

  • Treat harborage areas like under appliances, cracks and crevices
  • Use products with active ingredients like diatomaceous earth or fipronil
  • Follow all label instructions carefully

Use Baits and Traps

  • Place bait stations or gels in secluded areas like under sinks
  • Use sticky traps or pheromone traps to monitor and catch roaches
  • Concentrate traps and baits near moisture and food sources

Vacuum Removal

  • Target egg cases, nymphs, winged adults, and waste droppings
  • Use the brush attachment to dislodge roaches from cracks and crevices
  • Seal contents in bags and dispose immediately

Heat Treatments

  • Use portable heaters to raise affected rooms over 120°F
  • Lethal temperatures kill all life stages including eggs
  • Best for whole structure treatment of severe infestations

Professional Pest Control

  • Hire licensed exterminators for whole-home treatment if needed
  • Technicians have access to stronger insecticides and IGRs
  • Can provide follow-up visits to monitor effectiveness

Persistence is key, as it takes time to fully eliminate an established infestation. Monitor traps and perform regular spot treatments until roach populations are under control.

Natural and DIY Remedies for Asian Cockroaches

For those looking to avoid chemical pesticides, there are some natural and DIY options that can help control Asian cockroaches:

Diatomaceous Earth

  • Composed of fossilized diatoms and abrasive to insect exoskeleton
  • Apply powder under appliances, along baseboards, around pipes
  • Kills roaches through desiccation when they contact treated areas

Essential Oils

  • Oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree deter roaches
  • Mix 20-30 drops of oil with water and spray infested zones
  • Can also soak cotton balls and place around suspected nesting sites

Boric Acid Powder

  • Low toxicity to humans but ingestion kills roaches slowly
  • Sprinkle powder into wall voids, under appliances, around pipes
  • Causes death in 1-2 days after roaches groom boric acid particles

Homemade Traps

  • Create sticky traps using petroleum jelly applied to cardboard
  • Use peeled banana skins or slices to attract roaches to traps
  • Combine sugar-yeast mixtures with water to tempt cockroaches

Seal Entry Points

  • Caulk and seal cracks, crevices, gaps around windows and doors
  • Apply weatherstripping around potential entryways
  • Deny access into the home’s interior to prevent infestations

Monitor effectiveness and reapply products regularly when trying natural remedies. Results may take longer compared to commercial insecticides. Consider combining approaches like trapping and essential oils for best control.

FAQs About Getting Rid of Asian Cockroaches

How long does it take to get rid of Asian cockroaches?

It can take 2-4 weeks to fully eliminate an existing Asian cockroach infestation through vigilant cleaning, trapping, and insecticide use. Ongoing prevention is key to keeping populations away long-term.

What scent do roaches hate?

Strong essential oils like peppermint, tea tree, bay leaves, and eucalyptus can deter roaches. Citrus oils are also repellent. Apply these diluted oils in infested areas.

Does boric acid kill Asian cockroaches?

Yes, boric acid is an effective and affordable way to control Asian cockroaches through digestion. The particles adhere to their body and slowly kill them over 1-2 days once ingested during grooming.

Do Asian cockroaches come out during the day?

Asian cockroaches are primarily nocturnal and avoid daytime light. They may occasionally be seen out in the day if a heavy infestation exists and they are seeking food and water sources.

Do cockroaches play dead?

Cockroaches do not intentionally play dead as a defense mechanism. However, when exposed to insecticides, roaches can experience muscle spasms that flip them onto their back and leave them paralyzed briefly before death.

What home remedies kill cockroaches instantly?

Unfortunately, there are no foolproof home remedies that kill cockroaches instantly. Fast-acting chemical insecticides are the only control methods that kill roaches immediately.


Getting rid of problematic Asian cockroaches requires an Integrated Pest Management approach combining prevention, sanitation, and population reduction tactics. Seal off entry points, eliminate food and water sources, and utilize desiccant dusts, traps, baits, and vacuuming to attack infestations from multiple angles. Vigilance and patience provide the keys to successful Asian cockroach control and keeping populations away long-term. Implementing preventive measures is critical to avoiding future infestations of this invasive and destructive pest.

How to Get Rid of Asian Cockroaches

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