The three keys to effective cockroach management are prevention and sanitation, detection and chemical control. Satisfactory cockroach control will not be achieved unless each of these steps is followed.
Prevention and Sanitation

If cockroaches are migrating into a building or from another part of a building, install weather stripping and caulking where plumbing passes from infested areas into uninfested areas. Eliminate hiding places. For example, caulk cracks and crevices in dark, moist areas to discourage cockroaches. Inspect items brought into a building, especially food containers, furniture, appliances and clothing. The adults and young are easy to recognize. Because some cockroaches glue their egg cases to various surfaces, take particular care to look for the eggs.

Cockroaches need food, water and shelter. Water is particularly important, which is why infestations are most common in kitchens and bathrooms. Make any plumbing repairs and modifications needed to eliminate as much standing water as possible.

Do not allow food particles to accumulate in areas accessible to cockroaches. Common feeding areas include unwashed dishes, pet dishes, uncovered pet food containers, litter boxes, waste containers, and areas under refrigerators, stoves, sinks and furniture. Repair faulty plumbing and eliminate unnecessary sources of water. Reduce shelter for cockroaches; do not store unnecessary newspapers, boxes, rags and similar items that provide hiding places.

Detection is an important element of cockroach control. Cockroaches tend to concentrate in certain areas. Controls are more effective if they are targeted at these spots. Cockroach traps, small, open-ended boxes, contain an attractant and sticky substance that retains the insects once they enter. Use them to locate infestations and to determine when populations require additional treatment. Traps can be effective in catching the occasional invader, but they will not eliminate established colonies. Traps are most effective when placed against walls under sinks, in cabinets and in basement corners. If two nights pass without a capture, move the trap to another likely area.
Chemical Control

Cockroach insecticides include residual sprays, nonresidual sprays, dusts and baits. Use a combination for effective chemical cockroach control.

All cockroach insecticide labels contain important instructions and precautions to ensure effectiveness and to protect the safety of humans and pets. Read, understand and follow all label instructions when applying any residual spray, nonresidual spray, dust or bait.

Residual insecticide sprays leave a toxic deposit on surfaces and will kill cockroaches for a certain time period, usually two to four weeks. Apply to cracks and crevices where cockroaches hide and areas where they walk in search of food. Spray until the surface is wet, but avoid overapplications that puddle or run off.

Insecticides are poisons and should be treated as such. Used improperly, they can damage linoleum, carpets, drapes and paint. Various insecticides, under a variety of commercial names, are available for residual treatments against cockroaches. Some products are available to homeowners, while others are limited to licensed pest control operators. Residual insecticide treatments are generally effective, but cockroaches, especially the German, have developed insecticide resistance in many parts of the country.

Nonresidual insecticide sprays eliminate cockroaches only on contact. They will not eliminate an infestation but are quite helpful when used with residual treatments. Several short-lasting aerosol insecticides contain the active ingredients pyrethrins or resmethrin. They irritate cockroaches and can flush the pests out of their hiding places and force them into areas treated with a residual insecticide. This flushing action also is useful to determine whether or not cockroaches are present. Flushing agents, however, can drive them into previously uninfested parts of the building.

Insecticide dusts can penetrate cockroach hiding areas that other insecticides will not reach. When applied to dry locations, they have a longer useful life than residual sprays. Some dusts contain conventional insecticides, while others contain no organic chemicals.

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Author's Bio: 

Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"