Cockroaches and Ants: How to Control Them

A cockroach eating a pear.

There are all kinds of pests that may invade your home—eight legged, four legged and even two legged—but some of the most common and most bothersome are the six legged ones. I'm talking about cockroaches and ants. Once they're entrenched, they can be hard to get rid of, but if you're plagued by cockroaches or ants, here's how to show them the door.


Ants are much easier to guard against and eradicate than cockroaches. They usually invade in springtime.

Prevent Infestation

Ants are drawn from far away by sugar. Consider keeping all sugar canisters, bags, and bowls in the refrigerator. To avoid ants, you should do this no matter what part of the country you live in.

Also, don’t leave any open food around. After each meal, clean up the table completely, and make sure to remove any food scraps from the floor. Don’t leave out any partially eaten candy or any other sticky sweet items. Put any layer cakes or pastries in the refrigerator.

Thoroughly clean out any cabinets where sugar was stored. If you follow these steps, you should remain ant free.

Exterminate Them

If ants still invade, the small ant poison feeders work well. Put them any place you see ants. This should take care of your ant problem.

If you see a few ants, spray them with Windex. It will kill them, and it is not very toxic. These few ants are scouts, and if they don’t return to the ant hill, then the chance of more invaders is lessened.

How to Make Homemade Ant Killer


There are things that can both prevent and eliminate cock roaches.

Prevent Infestation

These steps are your best protection against a cockroach infestation.

First, don’t keep trash indoors any longer than necessary. Put it outside. You should also avoid leaving a lot of trash bags full of clothing or other things sitting around the house. Roaches don't just want the food in trash bags; they can also breed and nest in plastic bags.

Most importantly, get rid of all cardboard boxes. Cardboard boxes make great cheap or free storage containers, but they also are the cockroach’s favorite breeding tool. Instead, buy plastic storage containers at a discount store. The expense is well worth it.

Roaches also love clutter, so try to keep your home neat and clean. In the kitchen, don’t leave food or scraps laying around. Keep the strainer in your sink clear of food particles.

Cockroaches need water, and they are attracted to it. Don’t leave dishes soaking in the kitchen sink unless absolutely necessary. Keep kitchen counters clean.

Set Traps

If you see some cockroaches, but are not completely infested with them, there are things you can buy to eliminate them.

There is a gel you can buy that comes in a syringe that is effective for killing roaches—much more effective than the plastic roach cafeterias you place around. Remove all switch plates and outlet covers, inject some of the gel in the into each area, and replace the electrical covers. Put some of the contents of the syringe along the top of baseboards as well.

Make sure to keep pet feeders and water in the center of the room, and if you have a toddler, don’t treat along baseboards.

Try Roach Bombing

If you have a full-blown cockroach infestation, you need to take the drastic step of using roach bombs.

Before you do, you must turn off all flames and fans. Turn off the gas to kitchen ranges that have pilot flames. Also turn off the gas on hot water heaters and gas furnaces. Turn off the refrigerator and freezers. Turn off smoke detectors.

Don’t leave any food out. Put everything in the refrigerator, including open cereal boxes. Take all dishes and pots and pans out of the cabinets, otherwise, you'll have to wash them before using them again, as there will be poison on them. If possible, load up your car with dishes and cookware. If there is any room in the refrigerator, the dishes will stay clean there.

Read the instructions on the bombs carefully. Usually, you can't return home for three hours.

If you have a drop ceiling of the track and panel type, remove some of the panels. It may be a good idea to put a roach bomb right in the ceiling. Use two roach bombs on each floor of your home. Before bombing, remove all switch plates and outlet covers.

When you return home, there will be dead roaches everywhere. Vacuum carpets and clean up all the roaches elsewhere.

Then, use the gel syringe in all the switch and outlet openings, then put the plates back. This should eradicate the pests. Keep treating with gel once a month for three months.

You should now have a roach free home.

Warning: If roaches survive the fumigation, they will breed right back, so a second bombing may be necessary if the gel doesn’t kill all survivors in a couple of weeks.

How to Make a Homemade Roach Killer