Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Quick Tips
Adult and nymphs of the German cockroach.
Adult and nymphs of oriental cockroach.
Cockroach sticky trap.
Cockroaches thrive in warm environments that provide food, water, and shelter. Roaches hide in cracks, crawl spaces, and other dark places
during the day and come out at night to feed. Pesticide sprays
alone will not control roaches and are not usually required. Baits
provide better control. You must integrate several strategies to
make your home a less roach-friendly environment. Thoroughness
is essential for effective control.
Identify your cockroach species first:
- Effective management options vary according to species.
- Cockroach traps provide an easy way to catch roaches for identification.
- Control practices for outdoor invaders (American, oriental
roaches) and indoor residents (brownbanded and German roaches)
- For help with identification go to UC
Statewide IPM Program Pest Notes.
Remove food and water sources:
- Even tiny crumbs or liquids in cracks provide good food sources.
- Store food in sealed containers.
- Keep trash in containers with tight lids.
- Eliminate plumbing leaks.
- Vacuum cracks and crevices and clean floors and counters daily.
Remove roach hiding places:
- Seal cracks and other openings to prevent invaders from the
- Seal cracks in false bottoms of cupboards and other indoor
- Seal or clean up other areas where you find roaches or their
egg cases hiding.
- Remove old newspapers, boxes and other clutter in kitchens
- The oriental cockroach hides outdoors under ivy and other shelter.
Check to see if you have this roach and remove outdoor
hiding places or bait.
Use traps to identify and track cockroach populations:
- Cockroach traps are available in hardware stores.
- Place traps on the floor around edges of walls, in cupboards
and other places where you think roaches are foraging. Place
bait stations at locations where you trap roaches.
- Check traps daily.
- Sticky traps with pheromones may provide some control of German
Using chemicals to control cockroaches:
- Avoid use of foggers, bombs or aerosol sprays— they just
- Boric acid powder blown into cracks, crevices, hollow walls,
under refrigerators, or other undisturbed hiding places is very
effective (allow seven days or more for an effect to be seen)
- Bait stations containing boric acid, abamectin, fipronil, or
hydramethylnon placed near hiding places can be effective if
other food sources are removed (allow seven days or more for
an effect to be seen). Replace stations as needed as long as
roaches are being caught.
- Insecticide sprays alone do not give long-term control. They
are not necessary if other methods such as baits and boric acid
powder are combined along with cleanup and removal of hiding
- Contact a professional pest control operator for very serious infestations,
but be sure they use an integrated program as described above.
Minimize the use of pesticides that pollute our waterways.
Use nonchemical alternatives or less toxic pesticide products whenever possible.
Read product labels carefully and follow instructions on proper
use, storage, and disposal.