Best Roach Killer: The Complete Guide To Eliminating Cockroaches

Best roach killer


What is the best roach killer on the market? We’re going to take on that question today, and I know it’s a difficult one!

Nobody wants to discover cockroaches have infested their home. They’re everywhere in the urban sprawl. Garages, pantries, cupboards, behind kitchen equipment… nowhere is safe. And they’re disgusting.

Whether you use the best roach bait or the best roach spray, all that matters is that it’s effective. So today, we’ll break down the different methods of killing cockroaches, and I’ll help you find the best options available right now!

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Types Of Roach Killers

There’s many forms of cockroach killers on the market. Some of them mix and match from the below categories, blending different types into a single unit. Others are standalone. Here’s a short list of the different methods and how they work.

Roach Bait

Available in tablet and gel forms, roach baits are a common method of killing roaches. The best roach bait for outdoor use is the tablet stuff, whereas the gel performs better indoors.

Roach baits work by delayed poisoning. The scent of the bait entices the roach closer, where it’ll feed and carry some back to the nest. Gradually, the bait slowly builds up in their bodies and poisons them. It is also excreted in their waste.

When one roach dies, the others aren’t safe. Any remaining bait is still there, plus the droppings and the roach carcass itself are still poisonous. A single dose of bait can kill off potentially hundreds of roaches.

There are some drawbacks, however.

Gel roach baits are great but will wash away in rain or wet conditions. Covered gel bait stations may work outside in non-wet weather, as will tablets

You’ll need to keep pets and children away from the bait. While there’s versions which claim to be safe, you don’t want to find out the hard way that yours isn’t!

Initially, a roach bait may cause you to have more cockroaches appear than you’d expect. They lure roaches from multiple locations with an appealing scent. Your neighbor’s roaches may visit for a snack!

Over time the problem decreases. It may take a while, but everyone will be happier.

Finally, a colony of roaches may build up immunity over time to the bait you’re using, so you’ll need to switch between a couple types. Switching baits every 3 months is usually your safest bet.

Roach Traps

The majority of roach traps are sticky glue traps. These will catch cockroaches that try to scuttle through or across them, miring them down in a layer of super-sticky material where they will starve to death.

These are not the best roach killer options on their own, but they are fantastic in conjunction with other methods.

What roach traps are really, really good at doing is identifying the location of your problem. If you place roach traps around your home and one consistently gets filled the quickest, your problem likely originates in that area.

It’s important to realize that while roach traps are great at helping you pinpoint hotspot roach locations, they do decrease the effectiveness of baits. If a roach gets caught in a trap, it can’t take bait home and poison the rest of the colony.

Roach Sprays

A roach spray is an effective product if you can see the roach right in front of you and have the spray at hand. But what about keeping them at bay?

There are two forms of roach sprays that are commonly used at this point – roach killers and roach preventatives.

The best roach spray should combine aspects of both. It should kill the pest by getting on them, but it should also act as a barrier to prevent future roaches enterin the area.

Typically, a roach spray only has an effect on the roaches who make direct contact with the spray or the sprayed surface. This means you usually have a lot more hiding elsewhere that you may not know about.

Using multiple methods of control is usually your best bet.

Roach Powders

Most roach powders on the market consist of boric acid. This light poison is most effective when it’s in a location where the roaches must travel through the dry powder. It doesn’t work when it gets wet, and is not safe around children or pets.

However, if you don’t have small kids or pets to contend with, you may find that boric acid is a great option. Scentless, it provides a semi-permanent barrier along the interior of garages or patios.

Indoors it can be used as well, and is effective when dusted thoroughly into cracks in floorboards or walls.

Roach Growth Regulators

Finally, we have the growth regulators. These products inhibit the egg-laying process, ensuring that roaches won’t produce future generations.

While these in and of themselves are not roach killers, they ensure there’s many fewer roaches that need to be killed by other means.

How Effective Are These Methods?

Figuring out what is good to kill roaches isn’t enough.  You need something that will be effective at the job.

Of all the options that I’m covering today, the most effective tend to be the gel baits. They’re even better when they’re paired with growth regulators.

However, as noted earlier, roaches can build up an immunity to gel baits. And if you’re shopping for the best roach killer, you’ll want to combine multiple options for the best coverage.

Use a gel bait with a roach growth regulator indoors, combined with a barrier-type roach spray around roach entry points. This combination tends to be the most effective.

No roach killer is going to be effective if you don’t enact certain changes in the environment. If roaches are moving indoors, there has to be a reason!

Generally, that reason is readily-accessible food sources. Ensure your home is free of any stray food or water that might act as a lure. Keep it clean, and they’re less-likely to invade.

Use of an insect repellent device may also be beneficial.

There’s a number of ultrasonic pest repellers that are on the market now. While they’re marketed to handle a wide number of pests including mice and mosquitoes, many also claim to discourage roaches.

It certainly won’t hurt to pair a general ultrasonic repellent with other methods. You might even eliminate other pests!

Reviews Of The Best Roach Killer Options

Best Roach Bait – Gel

Vendetta Roach Gel

Vendetta Roach Gel Bait Insecticide - 4 Tubes x 30gms MGK1003
  • Highly palatable bait matrix
  • Attracts and kills bait averse and non-averse...
  • Fits standard bait guns

The best roach bait has a vendetta against pests. Or, in this case, it is Vendetta.

Extremely effective, Vendetta has an aroma that is utterly appealing to roaches but minimal to humans. The roaches find it appetizing, and within a matter of time, they’re all dead.

When paired with an insect growth regulator like Gentrol, the combination is particularly lethal. The growth regulator stops the roaches from having offspring, and they slowly die off from the Vendetta.

Having a Vendetta has never been such a good thing!

If you only want one option for killing roaches, this is the one you should choose.

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Best Roach Bait – Tablet

Harris HRT-4 Roach & Silverfish Killer

Harris Roach Tablets, Boric Acid Roach Killer with Lure for Insects (4oz, 96 Tablets)
  • Great Value - Minimum of 96 tablets included to...
  • EPA Registered - Registered with the Environmental...
  • Irresistible to Roaches - Active ingredient 40%...

Boric acid has long been a standard for killing roaches, and this traditional-style tablet roach bait makes great use of it.

Harris roach bait can be used whole in its pill-like tablet form underneath furniture or tucked into cabinets. Broken up into a rough powder, it can be pushed underneath baseboards and into tight crevices.

While it is less appealing to some roaches than a gel, using this in a well-cleaned environment usually does the trick. This style of killer works a bit more slowly than other forms, and should be combined with an insect growth regulator for the best effect.

For a tablet-style bait, this is the best roach bait you can purchase, and it’s well worth the money.

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Best Roach Bait Station

Combat Large & Small Roach Bait Stations

No products found.

I’m not a huge fan of the pre-filled bait stations normally. The gels do a much more effective job. But in the case of this Combat roach bait station, I’ll make an exception.

For a good option that’s available at most stores, this works surprisingly well. In fact, these can start eliminating the roaches while you’re waiting for your package of Vendetta to arrive.

I do recommend backing them up by using Vendetta or another product, especially if you have severe roach problems. But when all’s said and done, these Combat bait stations work well enough that they deserve a mention here.

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Best Roach Trap

Black Flag TAT Roach Motel Traps

Black Flag TAT Roach Motel Traps, 2-count Packages (Pack of 6)
  • Roach Motel Trap Small Box
  • Contains 2 Traps
  • Uses No pesticides and No pesticide Fumes and...

Again, the popular brand wins out! What the Black Flag roach trap offers is a quick, easy, compact and unobtrusive way to catch roaches. The little box doesn’t look horrible, and it’s easy to dispose of.

However, I need to reiterate that using a roach trap is best as a method of determining the area of highest infestation. Placing these should be your first step. Once you’ve found where most of your roaches hang out, place bait gel in the vicinity, as well as a growth inhibitor.

But I really do think that because the glue used has a light bait, Black Flag’s roach motel is one of the best roach traps you can buy. Definitely worth the money spent.

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Best Roach Spray – Killing

Bengal Chemical Roach

Bengal Roach Spray, Odorless Stain-Free Dry Spray, 9 Oz. Aerosol Can
  • 9 OZ. INSECT KILLER SPRAY: Proficiently flushes...
  • REACHES HIDING BUGS: Dry, powerful spray...
  • OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE: Reaches to fill voids behind...

Yes, the popular commercial brands of roach spray do work. But Bengal roach spray works a bit better.

What Bengal can offer you that other brands can’t is longevity. It’s an effective contact spray, and easily destroys any roach that it touches. But when dried, the spray continues to work as a barrier or preventative spray for up to four months indoors.

Be forewarned, this is potent stuff. I recommend having ventilation in the area where you’re spraying it, or to wear a mask while spraying. But if you want something that’s truly effective, Bengal Chemical Roach is the best roach spray you can get.

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Best Roach Spray – Preventative

Demon WP Insecticide

Syngenta - H-AP-2319890 - Demon WP Insecicide, 1 Envelope (9.5g) containing 4 (0.33 ounces) packets...
  • Ants, Carpenter Ants, Cockroaches, Crickets,...
  • drop, water-soluble packets, mix, each, packet,...
  • diy, pest control, self help pest control,...

Do you want a preventative roach spray that will work both indoors and outdoors?

Demon WP comes as a handy powder that you simply dissolve in water in a sprayer jug. Once shaken up to fully combine, it’s easily misted wherever needed. And you don’t need to make up a batch very often. One application lasts for up to three months.

This roach spray creates a barrier that will keep roaches, spiders, and a number of common pests at bay. Spraying a perimeter around the outside of your home prevents roaches from moving in, which reduces the chances you’ll discover one in the kitchen.

It can be used indoors as well, although you are going to want to be careful. Dark surfaces or furniture may get stained by this product, so use caution while applying.

For a preventative measure, this is the best roach spray you can find, and I highly recommend it!

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Best Roach Powder

Zap-A-Roach Boric Acid Roach & Ant Killer

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Don’t want to use sprays or gels, and powdering up a tablet bait is just annoying? Pick up Zap-A-Roach, a boric acid powder that works as a functional roach bait.

This powder can be worked into the grooves in hardwood flooring, into tight and difficult-to-reach spaces, and underneath furniture. A very small amount is all that’s needed to work.

Just like the Harris tablets mentioned earlier, Zap-A-Roach is made from boric acid, which is a time-tested and proven way to eliminate roaches as well as a number of other pests. I consider it to be the best roach powder for most purposes, and it’s extremely reasonably priced.

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Best Insect Growth Regulator

Gentrol Point Source

Zoecon Gentrol Point Source IGR ZOE1007
  • Roaches and stored product pests
  • For areas where spraying isn't acceptable
  • Use in: Food Handling Establishments, Nursing...

Extremely easy to use, Gentrol Point Source is a two-step process. Simply squeeze the container to break open the regulator packet inside, then place it in a roach transit area.

From there, Gentrol will act much as a bait will, except that it doesn’t kill the roaches outright. Instead, it mangles their life cycle. Adults who eat Gentrol either can’t produce eggs, or produce eggs filled with sterile cockroaches. The sterile young will never carry on their species.

In combination with a good gel or spray, Gentrol will eliminate roach problems completely. It will work just as well on its own, but it takes much longer to be effective that way.

One point capsule will last for up to seven months of coverage. I usually replace mine twice a year, just to be on the safe side. It’s a good investment that will keep you roach-free in the future!

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Other Good Choices

Advion Roach Bait Gel

Advion Cockroach Gel Bait, 4 Tubes x 30-Grams, 1 Plunger and 2 Tips, German Roach Insect Pest...
  • COCKROACH CONTROL: Advion Cockroach gel bait from...
  • VERSATILE USAGE: Advion Cockroach Gel Bait is...

Extremely popular, Advion roach bait works in much the same way as Vendetta does. Put a tiny dab of this in a roach-traffic zone, and they will gobble it up.

It has a different formula than Vendetta, which is a good thing. I actually consider Advion as good as Vendetta, and it was a hard decision picking between the two for the best roach bait.

However, as roaches can build up a tolerance to different bait types, variety is not a bad thing. If your roach issues still exist after 2-3 months of using Vendetta, switch to Advion to clear out the remainder. Swapping back and forth after that should ensure you never have a roach problem again.

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Trapper Max Glue Traps

Trapper Max Glue Traps 12 Glue Boards Trap Mouse Bugs Insects Bed Bugs Spiders Cockroaches Non-Toxic
  • Great non-toxic way of catching rodents and...
  • The glue covered surface measures 4.5"X 6.5" (The...
  • Can be used as flat or folded and placed where...

If you’ve already got Vendetta or another roach bait on hand that you know works, and are just trying to establish where the pests are coming from, pick up the Trapper Max roach traps.

These traps are a basic glue trap that can catch everything from mice to roaches, crickets, and more. The adhesive is extremely strong, and they’re easy to dispose of. Tucked into a corner, this is a very effective option to find the vicinity of the roach nest.

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Raid Max Ant & Roach Spray

Raid Max Ant and Roach Spray,14.5 Ounce (Pack of 6)
  • Raid Max Ant and Roach Spray kills bugs on contact...
  • Kills: Ants, Crickets, Multi-colored Asian Lady...
  • Our two-way Raid Max Ant and Roach killer helps...

Ah, Raid. It’s a popular brand, and we’ve all seen the commercials with insects screaming in horror. But a lot of people find most Raid products just don’t work as well as they’d hope.

However, at least one does. Raid Max is a great option for picking up at your favorite big box store. It’s not going to last as long as Bengal or Demon WP will, only lingering for about a month. But as an easier-to-find option, it’s a decent choice.

If you’re looking for the best roach spray right this minute, and can’t wait for a package to arrive, consider this particular Raid product. But I definitely recommend ordering those roach baits as the Raid dries!

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Martin’s Insect Growth Regulator Concentrate

Control Solutions Martin's Insect Growth Regulator - 4oz
  • For Sale By PestcontrolPros See Pestcontrolpros...
  • Active Ingredient: 1.3% Nylar Target Pests: Fleas,...
  • Application: indoors and outdoors. Follow label...

Mix this as per the manufacturer’s directions, and Martin’s is an extremely effective insect growth regulator.

If you’ve got small children or pets, this might be your best choice, as there’s nothing they can chew on. Once dried in place, the only things it harms are pest insects. Roaches, fleas, mosquitoes, and other insects won’t produce future generations of annoyance.

While I prefer Gentrol as it’s self-encapsulated and easily thrown out and replaced, the perk of this option is that one bottle goes an extremely long way. However, it’s best to avoid using this in your pantry or near stored food products.

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Ready to be rid of the roaches? Combining a couple of these options will ensure you’re roach-free for the foreseeable future. And it might take out other pest insects, too!

Do you have another roach killer option that I haven’t mentioned that you swear by? Tell me down below in the comments!

Last update on 2024-06-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API