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How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches

How to get rid of cockroaches is a question many pest controllers get asked from time to time.

Here we will explain what you as a customer needs to do to prepare for a Brisbane pest control treatment for cockroaches. Also, give some details of the different cockroach species found around the world. How a home is prepared before the arrival of the pest control technician can significantly depend on the success of the treatment.

Cockroaches need a source of food to survive, this can be food scraps from around the kitchen, and the kitchen area is the place cockroaches are mostly seen by homeowners and business owners.

They like to hide under appliances or even inside them, cockroaches have been found in the clock face of microwave ovens, this can sometimes be the cause of the oven malfunctioning.

Cockroaches are known in the pest control trade as cockies, there are many different types of cockroach in Australia, and none of them is welcome in our homes. Below are some brief details of the most common cockroaches found around homes and restaurants?

The smoky brown cockroach

Some Common Cockroach Species

Before anyone can be shown how to get rid of cockroaches they must first have a general understanding of the different species. Below are some of the main cockroaches found in and around our homes.

Australian Cockroach: This species prefers a warm environment and are found in areas where food is prepared; the temperature they prefer is between 30-36C. The average lifespan is between 120-180 days. They are located throughout the world.

The Oriental Cockroach: These household pests like a cool damp environment and can be quite often found in basements or cellars, and they may be found in large numbers around baths or sinks where there is a good water source. They live for between 60-250 days this will depend on temperature. They can be found the world over.

American Cockroach: This cockroach prefers a warm and moist environment to survive and is very common in restaurants where there are food preparation areas, and can also be found around drains and sewers. Their lifespan is between 250-350 days and the males don’t live as long as the females. They can be found all over the world.

Smoky-Brown Cockroach: this species prefers a warm moist environment, they are mostly found outdoors in garages or outbuildings, and from here they can find their way into homes looking for food sources. They can live between 250-300 days. They can be found in North America and Australia.

Brown-banded Cockroach: They prefer a warm environment and can be found both indoors and outdoors, they can become very populous and infest houses where a good food source is available. Their lifespan is between 90-115 days; the males tend to live longer than the females in this species. They can be found worldwide.

Giant Death’s Head Cockroach: this species prefers a warm moist environment and are usually found outdoors in gardens or where rotting vegetation can be found, they do occasionally find their way into homes, but are more common outdoors. They live for between 400-500 days and the female generally live the longest in this species. They are found in the American Tropics.

German Cockroach:  This is one of the hardest cockroaches to get rid of, they prefer a warm moist environment and are found in every situation from homes to commercial premises, mostly found in kitchens, and can cause significant problems for a commercial business such as a restaurant. Their lifespan is between 128-153 days and the females tend to live longer than the males. They are found all over the world.

How to get rid of cockroaches the German cockroach

The best way to get an understanding of how to get rid of cockroaches is knowledge. Professional pest controllers are always reading about new products that help to eliminate pests.

Each time a chemical manufacturer releases a new product it’s up to the pest controller to find out about it and do the research. The technicians that put in the work gain knowledge. And as mentioned earlier knowledge is key in the game of learning how to get rid of cockroaches.

The American cockroach

Preparation For Cockroach Treatments

The first thing that needs to be done before a Brisbane pest control company comes to your place to show you how to get rid of cockroaches is to ensure the areas being treated are clean and tidy.

The company being used should give a good idea over the phone of all the areas that they will be treating.

To have the best chance of eradicating cockroaches all food preparation areas will need to be thoroughly cleaned. Also, these areas won’t necessarily have any spray applied to them, but it does help in the overall process of doing a successful cockroach treatment.

All floors should be pre-vacuumed skirting boards and kitchen kick boards wiped down clean; this will allow for a longer residual effect when the insecticide is applied, it won’t rub off as easily as if it was to be applied to a dirty surface.

It’s important to clean under all appliances such as fridges, microwaves etc., these areas are known hot spots for cockroaches to harbour inn. The best way to clean under a fridge is to simply slide it out, then use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dirt.

It’s amazing how much dust and old food scrapes get caught under fridges, freezers and other household appliances. It is recommended to clean under appliances once a year to prevent any serious problems from occurring with cockroaches.

Make sure kitchen cupboards are clean and also tidy, it’s best to remove plates, cups etc.; and wipe down the shelving, and then the items can be replaced.

Opened food packets, this is one of the worst things any homeowner, tenant or restaurant owner can have in their cupboards; is unsealed or open packets of food.

Use food ties to ensure the contents aren’t exposed, or place foods such as flour, porridge biscuits etc. into lockable plastic containers, this is the best way to keep cockroaches and other pests out of your food.

Always ensure that dirty dishes are not left out overnight in the sink, or left in the dishwasher dirty for too long, this will make for an awesome feast for scavenging cockroaches looking for an easy meal.

Some of the above suggestions may seem a bit severe, like having to remove the fridge out to clean under it, and remove all the plates from cupboards, but it’s essential in some situations, especially in the case of a cockroach infestation; then the above advice is absolutely crucial.

In many situations, though a general clean-up will be fine for a cockroach treatment, it’s still important to make sure the floors and bench tops are clean, and any opened packets of food are put away.

A cockroach treatment starts by trying to educate the customer and giving advice on why they are getting cockroaches. By simply applying a cockroach spray won’t get rid of the problem.

It may get rid of the initial problem, but without letting the customer know why they are having troubles, it won’t stop them from coming back.

Cockroach Treatment

Before starting a pest control treatment of any kind, the technician should advise the customer to empty any food and drinking bowls they may have down for pets, such as cats and dogs, and also cover up any aquatic life they may have in tanks.

A cockroach treatment is generally made up of three different processes, the first will be to apply a spray to all the kickboards around the kitchen and to any skirting boards throughout the property being treated, this is a very important process in the prevention and eradication of cockroaches.

The second process is to apply a cockroach gel to some of the kitchen cupboards, this is done with a small syringe, and only very small amounts are applied for cockroaches to feed on. The gels last for a very long time; in most situations, they stay active for well over 12 months.

The third process of getting rid of cockroaches is to use the aid of dust, in most cases it’s permethrin dust. The dust is applied using a handheld device, which omits small quantiles into small cracks and crevices, and under appliances.

The dust is also blown into the roof void, this is done using a machine it omits a very fine dust that lands on the rafters and other surfaces within the roof void, it is a very effective way of controlling cockroaches and many other pests, such as lice, mites, spider, silverfish that may be harbouring in the roof void.

The brown banded cockroach

Is It Safe For Family & Pets

The question of how to get rid of cockroaches is not the only thing that concerns many homeowners the other question asked is will it be safe for my family.

All pest control treatments done today are safe for the family and any pets if applied properly. Pest control technicians have to hold a license in order to be able to spray insecticides around residential and commercial premises.

That being said there are still a lot of pest control companies that have a no care factor for their customers, so it is very important to choose your pest control company wisely.

As far as the products go these days, they are odourless and pose no real threat to customers if applied into the correct places; they are mixed at a very low rate, usually around 30-50mls to 10 litres of water. The mix rate will depend on the situation and the pests being treated.

As with all poisons they should be treated with care and respect, and the correct clothing should be used at all times.

Unfortunately, there will always be some pest controllers that don’t abide by the rules, and it’s these ones that give the pest control industry a bad name and put the customer at risk.

Warranties How Long Does It Last

If treatment is done properly and in accordance with the Australia Standards, a cockroach treatment will last for at least 12 months.

In the case of an infestation a few follow-up inspections will apply, these are usually done within the first month of the initial treatment. After this; a clean-up will have to be done of the treated areas, then a final treatment is done and then a 12-month warranty can be given.

In general, most pest control companies will give a 12-month service warranty, but ask them what species it covers, some won’t warranty the German cockroach. So it’s important you use a trusted and professional company that will cover all cockroach species.

So if a cockroach treatment is carried out by a professional company that understands the habits of the many different types of cockroaches, they should give a full 12-month warranty; or your money back.


Cockroaches are an ever-evolving pest and knowing how to get rid of cockroaches is only the start. Without ongoing maintenance and daily cleaning of a home by the owner the problem of cockroaches will one day return.

This is why it is so important to have a basic understanding of cockroaches so that that knowledge can be put into practice around the home.

After having a professional pest controller treat your home for cockies you will never have to ask “how to get rid of cockroaches” again.

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