Pest control pros share how to get rid of cockroaches from the kitchen properly

Cockroaches are one of the most stubborn and persistent pests that can easily infest a home, especially the kitchen. Getting rid of cockroaches requires a strategic approach that focuses on proper sanitation, sealing entry points, using baits and traps, and employing professional pest control when necessary. Pest control professionals have a wealth of knowledge and experience in eradicating cockroach infestations effectively. In this comprehensive guide, we share insider tips from pest control experts on how to get rid of cockroaches from the kitchen properly.

Understanding Cockroach Behavior in the Kitchen

Cockroaches, especially the German and American varieties, are strongly attracted to food sources and moisture which make the kitchen an ideal environment for them. Knowing their behavior patterns in the kitchen can help focus control efforts:

Why Cockroaches are Drawn to Kitchens

  • Abundance of food sources – crumbs, spills, garbage, pet food
  • Access to water from leaks, dripping faucets etc.
  • Warmth from appliances and activities like cooking
  • Places to hide like cracks, crevices, gaps in cabinets, shelves etc.

Where to Focus Inspection and Treatment

  • Under and behind appliances like refrigerator, stove, dishwasher
  • Kitchen cabinets, drawers, shelves, especially edges and corners
  • Cracks and crevices along walls, floors, ceilings
  • Around plumbing and electrical access points
  • Pantries, storage areas where packaged and canned food is stored

Thoroughly inspecting these key areas and treating them properly is crucial for controlling cockroaches in the kitchen.

Sanitation and Cleanliness

Maintaining high standards of cleanliness is the first critical step recommended by pest pros for keeping cockroaches away.

Reduce Clutter

Cockroaches thrive in cluttered and messy environments. Keep counters, floors and other surfaces clear of food crumbs, spills and other organic debris.

  • Wipe kitchen surfaces, tables, stovetops daily
  • Sweep and mop floors
  • Avoid leaving dirty dishes overnight
  • Take out garbage frequently

Store Food Properly

Cockroaches can easily get into improperly stored food.

  • Keep food items in airtight containers
  • Avoid open bags of flour, cereals, crackers etc.
  • Refrigerate perishable foods, fruits, vegetables
  • Regularly clean pantry shelves and cabinets

Fix Moisture Sources

Cockroaches cannot survive without water for very long. Fix dripping taps, pipes, leaky refrigerators and AC units.

Remove Pet Food at Night

Pet food left out overnight is an open invitation to roaches. Remove bowls with pet food and water before going to bed.

Diligent sanitation and hygiene practices day after day goes a long way in discouraging roaches.

Seal Cracks, Crevices and Gaps

Cockroaches can squeeze into the tiniest spaces and gaps. Sealing these entry and hiding points is crucial.

Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers

  • Caulk along edges, corners and where cabinets meet the walls
  • Use child-proof locks to seal gaps between drawers and cabinets

Walls, Ceilings and Floors

  • Seal gaps around wiring, plumbing lines with caulk or putty
  • Use concrete filler for gaps in wall corners or where cabinets meet walls
  • Seal expansion joints and crevices along cabinets and appliances

Doors, Windows and Vents

  • Weatherstrip below doors and windows
  • Add door sweeps to block gaps at bottom of doors
  • Seal openings around AC vents and pipes with mesh screens and caulk

Take time to thoroughly search and seal every crack and crevice that a credit card can slide into. This denies roaches access, shelter and breeding spots.

Traps and Baits

Insecticide gels, baits and traps are effective tools that pest pros use along with the sanitation and sealing tactics.

Bait Stations and Gels

Cockroach bait stations containing insecticides are designed to attract and kill roaches. The bait works slowly, roaches share it with others in their hiding places and eventually the whole population is eliminated.

  • Use baits like Maxforce, Advion, Combat in kitchen cabinets, under large appliances, other infested areas
  • Refresh baits every 2-3 months for sustained control

Insecticide gels like Gentrol applied into cracks and crevices provide long-lasting control.

Sticky Traps

Sticky glue traps catch cockroaches traveling between hiding and food sources. They help confirm the presence and gauge population size to target treatments.

  • Place sticky traps under sinks, behind appliances and insecticide bait stations
  • Also along pantry shelves and in cabinets
  • Check and replace traps frequently

Using gels, baits and traps together attacks roaches’ breeding cycle and brings numbers down over time.

Professional Pest Control

Calling in reputable pest control pros is highly recommended if cockroach infestations persist despite your sanitation and DIY efforts.

Benefits of Professional Pest Control

  • Have access to more potent professional grade insecticides
  • Can apply insecticides to inaccessible areas effectively
  • Experts at locating difficult-to-find nesting and breeding spots
  • Monitor and tweak tactics until infestation is under control
  • Provide tips on structural improvements to help exclude pests

How Pest Control Pros Treat Cockroaches

  • Thorough inspection to identify extent of infestation
  • Apply targeted insecticide sprays and dusts into nesting areas
  • Use insect growth regulators to kill nymphs and eggs
  • Seal entry points and gaps with caulk, expanding foam etc.
  • Leave behind cockroach baits and gels for sustained control
  • Follow-up visits to monitor effectiveness

Calling pest control experts at the first signs of cockroaches will help knock down populations before they get out of control.

Preventing Re-Infestations

Getting rid of roaches is half the battle, preventing their return is equally important.

Maintain Sanitation and Clutter-Free Kitchen

Lapses in cleanliness, leaving spills and food scraps overnight will allow roaches to rebuild their colonies. Always maintain strict kitchen hygiene.

Inspect and Refresh Baits and Traps

Keep using baits, gels and traps continuously to intercept roaches. Check traps frequently and refresh insecticide bait stations.

Seal Newly Detected Entry Points

During cleanups and inspections, seal any new gaps and crevices that roaches can use to sneak back in.

Address Moisture Issues

Fix leaky plumbing, clean up spills quickly and eliminate other moisture sources roaches need.

Regular Professional Treatment

Schedule follow up treatments by pest control technicians every 3-6 months to prevent re-infestations.

Staying vigilant and disciplined with these steps will go a long way in keeping roaches out of your clean kitchen for good.

Frequently Asked Questions on Getting Rid of Roaches in Kitchens

What home remedies keep roaches away from kitchens?

  • Keeping the kitchen clean and dry is the most effective home remedy. Quickly wiping up spills, cleaning dishes, removing trash/clutter, and fixing moisture sources discourages roaches. Storing food in airtight containers also denies roaches an easy food source.

How do you get rid of roaches in cabinets?

Start by emptying and thoroughly cleaning the cabinets with soap and water. Allow to dry completely. Apply boric acid powder along the edges inside cabinets. Place insecticide bait stations or gels inside cabinets away from food. Monitor and replace baits monthly until roaches are gone.

What scent keeps roaches away?

Strong smells from essential oils like peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, and lemongrass oil can deter roaches. Mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle and spray around baseboards, countertops, cabinets. Their strong aroma repels roaches. However, scents alone won’t get rid of an existing infestation.

What home remedy kills roaches instantly?

There is no instant home remedy that can kill roaches immediately. Fast-acting chemical sprays containing pyrethroids can kill on contact but roaches can develop resistance. Baits and gels work slower but are more effective by attacking the entire population. Maintaining cleanliness and drying out their environment works best long-term.

What do exterminators use to get rid of roaches?

Professional exterminators use specialized products not available to consumers to control stubborn roach infestations:

  • Insect growth regulators like Gentrol prevent nymphs from maturing into adults
  • Stronger roach baits like Maxforce Impact kill roaches more effectively
  • Residual sprays like Demand CS get into cracks and crevices
  • Dusts containing boric acid applied into wall voids and cabinets

Combining techniques allows pros to eliminate roaches customers can’t get rid of themselves.

How long does it take for roaches to die after treatment?

After professional spraying or baiting, most roaches die within 3-7 days. Their egg capsules continue hatching young nymphs for weeks after. Pest control techs typically schedule 3-6 week follow up treatments to kill newly emerged roaches and monitor effectiveness. Within 2-3 visits over 2 months, roach populations can be eliminated completely. Preventative maintenance visits are recommended every quarter.

When is it time to call an exterminator for roaches?

Call a professional exterminator if you see large adult roaches regularly in the kitchen, find numerous nymphs and egg cases, or start noticing roaches in other rooms. Difficult-to-reach infestations behind appliances, in cabinets and wall voids also require expert help. If DIY remedies have limited impact over 2-3 weeks, bringing in the pros becomes necessary. They have the tools, skills and insecticides to eliminate entrenched roach colonies.


Getting roaches out of the kitchen requires diligence and patience. The key steps pest control experts recommend include intensive cleaning and decluttering, sealing openings used by roaches, strategically using baits, traps and gels, fixing moisture issues, and calling professionals when needed. Staying vigilant not only eliminates current roaches in the kitchen but also prevents frustrating re-infestations. Implementing these pest pro tips consistently can help take back a clean, roach-free kitchen for good.