Will Pest Control Get Rid of Roaches — Sydney’s student essay

Will Pest Control Get Rid of Roaches?

Pest control itself is a broad term. When it comes to pest control in a household, pest eradication is the more direct way to put the desired result. Getting rid of cockroaches is a difficult task in itself. 

Even when cockroaches are eliminated from a residence, they leave behind life-threatening pathogens and allergens. Not only should the cockroaches be removed from a residence, the infected areas should be thoroughly cleaned as well. In order for pest control to effectively get rid of cockroaches, the elimination of these roaches is more than simply removing cockroaches, it is removing the environments within the home in which cockroaches can survive.

In an experimental kitchen, old methods of pest control for the removal of cockroaches were shown to remove the cockroaches themselves, but, after 5 years, cockroach allergens were still present (Weller, 1998). 

These allergens are feces, saliva, eggs, and even the shells themselves. The traditional method of pesticide spraying roaches does not remove these allergens. Richard Brenner, creator of the kitchen experiment, teamed up with Terminix and developed a non-toxic approach to eradicate cockroaches (Terminix, 2021). 

They came up with using hot air to lure roaches out of their hiding places and a vacuum with a HEPA filter to suck the roaches and the allergens up.

cropped view of exterminator in latex glove holding toxic spray can near cockroaches

Current methods of cockroach removal include sticky gels, insecticides, crushing or freezing roaches, suffocation by dish soap, and some other methods (Ledoux, 2011). While these work to temporarily remove cockroaches, these do not effectively get rid of them. 

The use of gel bait to kill cockroaches has been observed to not work long-term. Cockroaches will ingest and defecate the gel then perish. Since cockroaches love to eat other cockroaches, they will eat cockroaches who ingested the gels and become ill. They have been observed to make the connection between their deceased comrades and the gels (Ledoux, 2011).

To really get rid of cockroaches, one needs to change the environment. To effectively get rid of cockroaches, one needs to take proactive measures, not reactive ones. Cockroaches might be run out of a house for a time, but so long as there are still conditions for them to survive, more will find a way inside. 

Cockroaches or their eggs can be introduced to a home in things like newspapers, firewood, or cardboard. To prevent them from making homes inside vacuum regularly, reduce clutter from newspapers, magazines, paper, or cardboard, and make sure to clean unused areas in the house (Terminix, n.d.). 

Cleanliness is the starting point for the long-term eradication of cockroaches. If cockroaches are still finding their ways inside, checking windows, cracks, door seals, and any other entry points that can be sealed up is another step of pest control. Once these proactive measures have been taken, there should be a significant decrease in the presence of cockroaches.

Pest control can work to effectively get rid of roaches but it is more than the simple spray and pray techniques of the past. In order to effectively eradicate cockroaches and prevent them from future infestations, maintaining a clean environment and utilization of environmentally sound, targeted methods are paramount.

Author: Sydney Harper

Arizona State University


  • Ledoux, D. (2011). Pest Control Simplified for Everyone: Kill, Repel or Mitigate Pests With or Without Pesticides. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=WVS89SjEGW8C&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=Will+Pest+Control+Get+Rid+Of+

  • Terminix. (2021). “All About Cockroaches”.

  • Terminix. (n.d.). “Why is it so Hard to Kill a Cockroach”.

  • Weller, K. (1998). “A Multiagency Effort to Reduce Pesticide Use, Eliminate Pests: Curbing Cockroaches and Their Allergens”. https://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/ar/archive/1998/jun/cock0698.pdf

Student Scholarships

Every year Thrive Pest Control hosts an essay contest and the reward is a 1-year scholarship at a 4-year university in the United States. This blog post is one of those scholarships.