Updated Nov 30, 2022
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A prominent misconception is that cockroaches only infest dirty homes — and that if you have a cockroach problem, your home must be dirty. This is absolutely not the case. Cockroaches will create a home for themselves anywhere they believe they can find food and places to nest. This can be a clean home, a dirty one, or any structure on your property. Wood sheds, tool sheds, barns, and other detached structures can also attract cockroaches.
While cockroaches may not be a surefire sign that your home is dirty, you still shouldn’t leave these pests to fester. Cockroaches can carry serious diseases, which can put your family’s health at risk. Whether you have a small cockroach problem that you can handle on your own or you need a professional exterminator, read on to learn everything you need to know about getting rid of roaches.
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There are several obvious signs of roaches you can be on the lookout for if you suspect you may have an infestation in your home. The first is roach droppings. Small cockroaches leave behind droppings resembling black pepper or ground coffee. If the roaches are larger, their droppings are cylindrical with a blunt end. You will see their droppings where they nest and feed.
Another sign of cockroaches that you should keep your eyes out for are smear marks. These are black or brown smudges along the floors or walls where the roaches have squeezed their bodies into crevices and openings. You may also see actual live or dead roaches near these openings, although since they’re nocturnal, it’s more likely that you’ll see a dead one before you spot a live one.
Before you call pest control services, there are several DIY methods you can first try to eliminate cockroaches in your home. Boric acid is an inexpensive white powder that you can purchase at any home improvement or hardware store, and even some supermarkets. Just sprinkle it where you suspect cockroach activity. Boric acid is safe for use throughout the home, including in the basement, near cabinets, windowsills, door frames, and around baseboards.
Boric acid is toxic to cockroaches After being exposed, they will lick it off their carapaces and it will poison them. Within a few days, you should see dead cockroaches begin to accumulate around your home.
Another option you can try is using glue traps. Simply place the traps in the same spots where you would place boric acid and leave them alone for at least two weeks. If they fill up, you get rid of them, and you notice no new roaches on the new glue traps, your problem has likely been solved.
But what if you can’t find a DIY solution for your level of cockroach extermination? If the severity of the infestation is too great and your at-home solutions aren’t working to eradicate the roach population in your home, it’s time to have a meeting with pest control professionals.
The average cost of cockroach extermination services is quite variable, ranging in price from $113 to $411. There are a number of factors that will influence the price that you’ll pay for cockroach extermination, which we’ll go into more detail below. However, the primary factor that determines the total cost you pay for service is the number of treatments you require.
Most exterminators are known for administering a single extermination treatment after making their assessment of the situation. A single visit usually costs around $200, and this may or may not be the final visit. If you have a more severe cockroach infestation, you may want to focus on finding a pest control company rather than an exterminator.
Pest control companies typically perform roach treatments on a subscription basis so that they can ensure the infestation doesn’t return. This type of schedule also allows the company to provide seasonal solutions for roach control. A subscription for pest control can be monthly, quarterly, or annually, and costs a few hundred dollars a year when you work with a nationwide company like Terminix or Orkin. Some homeowners aren’t so lucky — in the case of very severe infestations, they might end up spending around $1,000 to eliminate their roach problem over the course of multiple treatments.
One factor that affects roach exterminator costs is the cost of living in your area. Depending on your area, whether it’s rural, urban, or suburban, the cost of exterminators will reflect the local cost of living. Here are a few other factors that affect the price you’ll pay when calling for roach extermination services.
As we’ve mentioned previously, the size of the infestation and its severity affect how many exterminators need to come out to your property, as well as how much time they need to spend killing the roaches. It also determines how many traps, tools, and pesticides they need to deal with the problem effectively. If the roaches have squeezed into the walls, pipes, or the insulation of your home, you can expect to pay much more than you would if you had a small, localized infestation contained in a closet or pantry.
In the most severe cases, exterminators may resort to fumigation. In this event, you and your family must vacate the home for at least 48 hours. While wearing protective gear, the exterminators will seal up each and every hole in your house and put up plastic tenting. They will then pump in aerosolized pesticides in order to eradicate the severe roach infestation. While fumigation is the most expensive form of roach control, it is used only in extreme cases of infestation when the home is otherwise unsafe to live in.
Sometimes, the type of cockroach infesting your home determines the type of treatment you need, and hence how expensive the treatment will be. In order to exterminate German cockroaches, gel baits, insect growth regulators (which target adolescents and eggs), and select dust and pheromone traps are the most effective. For American cockroaches, insecticide sprays that kill on contact are great for small numbers of insects, but for larger infestations, you’ll need bait stations, traps, and a lot of patience. This means that an American cockroach infestation will be more time-consuming to correct — and thus more expensive as well.
The square footage of your home is a huge determining factor in how much you will pay for treatment costs. It’s also beneficial for pest control companies to apply diatomaceous earth, boric acid, and pesticides around the perimeter of your home in order to prevent more roaches from entering. The larger your home is, the more time it takes them to perform this treatment.
If your home is under 2,000 square feet, basic roach appointments begin at $200. Expect to pay around $300 for a one-time treatment for a moderately severe infestation or if your home is larger than 2,000 square feet. Additional costs may be added as the severity increases.
DIY remedies like bait stations and boric acid are popular among homeowners because they provide an affordable and effective fix for small cockroach infestations. However, when it seems like you see cockroaches each time you turn on a light or every time you enter a room, it’s time to let the professionals do what they do best. If you’ve attempted to fix your cockroach problem on your own and DIY solutions just aren’t enough, give yourself the peace of mind that comes with letting the professionals provide you with a clean, safe home for you and your family.
Get a free quote from any of the providers below to help with your roach infestation.
Cockroach extermination costs are worth it for several reasons. Firstly, unlike bed bugs and termites, roaches are especially persistent and may have an easier time getting into your home. Thankfully, cockroaches are also easier to kill than other pests, meaning that you’ll get a quick fix while spending less. Cockroaches also carry diseases like salmonella — this and other bacterial infections can harm your family, making an exterminator worth the cost.
It can take several weeks for cockroaches to die off or leave your residence after an exterminator visits your property. Insecticides continue working for weeks after application, and it may take several weeks to a month for bait stations to spread their poison to the entire roach colony (or colonies). Most pest control services include follow-up visits to check on the progress of the cockroach extermination, and many plans also come with a warranty wherein if you spot cockroach activity within a certain time after treatment, they will return with a free fix.
While professional exterminators are effective at removing roaches, no cockroach fix is a permanent solution. However, you can take proactive measures to make your home as uninhabitable to cockroaches as possible after clearing an infestation. Seal up all entry points and ensure that damp places (leaky sinks, under the fridge) are kept dry. Seal all food in airtight containers. Spread diatomaceous earth anywhere cockroaches may enter your home. This gardening soil additive will cut open their exoskeletons and eventually dehydrate them.
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