How to treat Cockroach Infestation

Jan 3, 2022

How to Treat a Cockroach Infestation Successfully

Cockroaches are a major problem for home and business owners alike. They are a major source of disgust and they present a number of health issues. Indoor cockroaches are known as significant pests of public health, and outdoor species that find their way inside are considered serious nuisance pests as well as potential public health pests.

Cockroaches range in size from less than 1/2 inch long to almost 2 inches long and are mostly nocturnal insects that feed on a wide range of organic matter. Most cockroaches harbour within moist, dark crevices when not foraging for food. They crawl quickly and may climb rough surfaces. A few species can fly short distances or glide as adults during warm nights, but most have no wings, reduced wings, or otherwise do not fly.

People are repulsed when they find cockroaches in their homes and other buildings. Indoor infestations of cockroaches are also important sources of allergens and have been identified as risk factors for development of asthma in children, especially within multi-unit housing environments. The levels of allergens present have been directly correlated to both cockroach density and the conditions that contribute to heavy infestations, such as housing disrepair and poor sanitary conditions.

There are a variety of cockroaches found in South Africa, but the three main species of cockroach-related concerns comes from the: German cockroach, Oriental cockroach and the American cockroach

How Do I Effectively Control a Cockroach Infestation at a Customer Account?

Managing cockroaches is not easy. To be successful, you must first determine which species is present and where they are located. The more hiding places you locate and manage, the more successful your control program will be. Remember that most cockroaches are tropical and like warm, dark hiding places with access to water. Some of these locations may be difficult to access.

To prevent cockroach infestations, it is essential to reduce food and water sources as well as known and potential hiding places. If cockroaches have access to food, baits (which are primary control tools) may take longer to provide satisfactory control. Insecticide sprays alone will not eliminate cockroaches.

An integrated pest management (IPM) approach that uses several control methods is usually required.

How Do I Monitor for Cockroaches at My Customer Account?

Traps: Insect glue boards offer the best way to detect and monitor cockroach populations. By placing traps in several locations and inspecting them regularly, you can identify the most severely infested areas and know where to concentrate control efforts. Traps can also be very helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of control programs. PES Africa offers an Insect Monitor that is open at both ends and can be lined inside with an insect glue board.

To be effective, traps must be placed where cockroaches are likely to encounter them when foraging. The best places are at the junctions of floors and walls and close to sites where cockroaches are suspected. Good potential monitoring sites can be determined by accumulations of fecal matter (e.g., dark spots or smears), cast skins, egg cases, and live or dead cockroaches.

Place traps in all corners of the room to give you an idea where cockroaches are entering. In the kitchen, put traps against walls, behind large appliances and in cabinets. Number the traps so you can keep records for each trap separately.

Check the traps daily for several days until it is apparent where the greatest number of cockroaches are being caught. Many times, cockroaches will be caught within the first 24 hours of placing a trap. Discard sticky traps by placing them in a sealed plastic bag in the trash. To evaluate success, keep records of cockroaches trapped in different locations before and after you start your management efforts.

You can also detect a cockroach infestation by using an inspection torch to inspect cracks, underneath counters, around water heaters, and in other dark locations. A inspection mirror on a long handle can be useful in hard-to-see areas.

Gel Bait: For crack and crevice treatments, gel baits can be very effective. Apply gel using a gel bait gun or syringe in small dabs in cracks and crevices where cockroaches will find it.

Gel baits are very effective when placed in or near locations where cockroaches harbour or forage. In some cases, gels may need to be reapplied since deposits harden over time. Gels are very effective when applied to manage German cockroaches and other species living inside structures. Research suggests that gel baits, applied within bait stations and in-ground utility ports, can also be used to effectively manage outdoor cockroaches.

Foggers, Sprays, and Aerosols: Applications of aerosol insecticides and total-release foggers (‘bug bombs’) are often ineffective since they don’t reach the crevices where cockroaches harbour and breed and can be hazardous due to flammability and exposure concerns.
Although sprays may provide a quick, temporary knockdown of cockroaches, they do not give long-term control. They may also repel and disperse cockroaches to other areas of the building from which they may return later.

Cockroaches have also become resistant to many insecticides in common sprays and aerosols that formerly controlled them. Sprays should not be necessary if an IPM program is followed that uses sanitation, exclusion, and appropriate baits.

Insecticide treatment of harbourages sites for Oriental, German and American cockroaches may be required when populations of these species are high and cockroaches are moving into buildings.

Always Do a Follow-up:

After a cockroach IPM program has been started, evaluate the effectiveness of the methods that are being used with regular monitoring. Use traps or visual inspections to help determine if further treatment is necessary.

If populations persist, re-evaluate the situation. Look for other sources of infestations, make sure that all possible entryways are blocked, be certain that food and water sources are eliminated as much as possible, and continue sealing and eliminating hiding places. It may be necessary to move bait stations to other locations, use more stations, apply more bait, or consider a different bait product.

When cockroach populations are under control, continue monitoring with traps on a regular basis to make sure re-infestation is not taking place. Maintain sanitation and exclusion techniques to avoid encouraging a new infestation. If severe re-infestations continue to recur, consider having the infested areas modified or remodelled to reduce the amount of suitable habitat for cockroaches

What Products Does Pes Africa Offer to Treat Cockroach Infestations?

  • Avispray Aerosol: Avispray is an aerosol spray for the control and elimination of cockroaches and other crawling/flying insects.
  • Generis Cockroach Gel Bait: Generis Cockroach Gel Bait is a ready to use cockroach gel used for the control and killing of cockroaches.
  • Insect Monitor: Sturdy plastic insect trap that can be used to catch and kill cockroaches.
  • Insect Trap Glue Boards: Pack of 10 replacement glue boards to be used with our Insect Trap.
  • Rossi Gel Bait: Rossi Insect Gel Bait is ready to use cockroach gel used for the control and killing of cockroaches.
  • Advion Cockroach Gel Bait: Advion cockroach gel bait is a high-performing bait. It targets all prevailing pest species of cockroaches, including gel bait-averse.
  • Tempo Hot Fog: A ready to use thermal fogging solution for the control of flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches, bedbugs, fishmoths, fleas, ants, crickets and stored product insect pests in buildings and empty food storage rooms.

Visit our website at for more information on the products mentioned in this article or send an email to for more advice on how our products can help eliminate unwanted cockroaches!