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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Bug Control / Insect Control / Pest Control Category: Cockroaches

Improvement Project:

How to get rid of smoky brown cockroaches and prevent their infestation.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):


To effectively get rid of smoky brown cockroaches and prevent any future encounter with them in or around your house, you'll need to know a little about them, and such pertinent information follows:

Physical Description:

Smoky brown cockroaches are colored dark mahogany brown, winged (once adults), have antennas, and grow to about an inch and a half in length.


Smoky brown cockroaches eat primarily plants, but, once inside a house, will eat any food left exposed, including sweetened foods, in addition to organic debris usually found in or near unsecure garbage cans.


Being nocturnal, smoky brown cockroaches, like other cockroaches, are generally most active when it is dark. 

Smoky brown cockroaches can mostly be found in the southern states of the United States, but also may be found in northern states by being inadvertently shipped there with produce stock.  They can readily move from a tree to the top of a house.

Smoky brown cockroaches seek to live in dark, warm, wet and dirty places, indoors and outdoors.  Indoors, they can be found in unkept kitchens, basements, and attics.  Outdoors, they can be found in shaded yards, gardens, decaying trees, piles of wood or mulch, and even greenhouses.

Because they come from dirty places, when smoky brown cockroaches enter your house, they are bringing with them numerous forms of germs and bacteria that, along with their own wastes, pose a serious health threat to all house occupants, especially children.  Among other illnesses, such cockroaches can cause adverse allergic reactions and even asthma.

Control treatment: (1) Store Product for Barrier Approach:

You may opt to buy insecticide products available at hardware stores, home improvement centers, department stores, and pest control supply stores.  You can buy a chemical-free, sticky-barrier product called Tanglefoot, which is specifically designed to stop insects, like cockroaches, in their tracks while in contact with such a sticky compound.  However, this sticky compound will not eradicate your problem, it will just take care of the pesky cockroaches that come in contact with the sticky compound.


You'll also need to consider buying residual insecticide products that are applied all around the outside perimeter of the house, around the house's foundation and up to 2-3 feet above the foundation, etc., and such products include the following:  Demon WP, Talstar One, Cynoff WP, Cyonara 9.7, Cyonara Lawn & Garden Insect Control, and Dominion 2L.  Some of these products that expressly specify that they may be incidentally used indoors should be applied in the most vulnerable interior areas of a house, such as around the baseboards and interior plumbing of the kitchen, basement, garage and attic, etc., in addition to being applied primarily around the outside perimeter of the house.

In addition to the above, you may opt to try insecticide products in the form of a non-liquid application, which are commonly referred to as gel-bait products, and the following are just a few of those available on the market that have been said to produce excellent control results:  Advance Cockroach Bait Gel, Avert Dry Flowable Cockroach Bait, Maxforce Roach Bait Gel, DuPont Advion Roach Bait Gel, and Combat Roach Killing Gel; depending on product specifications, such a type of gel-bait product may also be used both inside and outside your house.  These gel-bait products should be applied especially in and around the cracks and crevices from which you notice the cockroaches are coming.  Overall, these gel-bait products have been said to be more effective than any other cockroach treatment because of their lethal domino effect (of causing one cockroach after another in a colony to be annihilated).

These products usually not only kill cockroaches, but also have the same effect on other bugs/insects/pests; check product specifications for applicability.

Once applied, these products will offer their insecticide protection for a limited time before their effectiveness wears off and, consequently, another application is required.

Caution: Of course, when dealing with insecticide products, make sure you take precautions; read all product manufacturer instructions. 

Control treatment: (2) Store Product for Direct-Contact Approach:

If the treatment above is not enough, you may opt to buy insecticide products that are designed to have direct contact with every cockroach you see in sight.  Such a product includes Raid Max Roach Killer.  Of course, because cockroaches have grown increasingly immune to such insecticides, your most effective control treatment approach would be the use of the residual sprays and baits, as mentioned previously above.

Caution: Of course, when dealing with insecticide products, make sure you take precautions; read all product manufacturer instructions. 


Sanitation.  Keep your house, including primarily your kitchen, maintained.  This entails putting unconsumed food away in your kitchen in tight-lid containers; cleaning regularly with the appropriate house cleaning products and vacuuming; and regularly emptying the in-house garbage can outside into the outside garbage can, and closing the can securely.

Moisture-free.  Have your house become free of any unnecessary moisture that may be accessible to cockroaches.  This means regularly inspecting your house for any water leaks, and immediately repairing any plumbing leaks or roof leaks.  Also, specifically keep your drain traps capped or otherwise full.

Porous-free.  Make sure that your house is as sealed as can be, and this includes doing the following:  Using a caulking gun, cocked with a caulking tube of the appropriate caulking, seal all porous openings to your house, such as foundation cracks, window crevices, wall crevices in general, and particularly the crevices surrounding the utility lines that enter your house walls.

Wood maintenance.  Keep brush and specifically tree branches trimmed enough so that they do not make contact with the house.  Furthermore, if you store any sort of wood outside, be sure to keep such wood off the ground by laying it over bricks so that the bricks are the only objects touching the ground and not the wood, itself.

The above information should prove to be useful in attempting to learn how to effectively get rid of cockroaches and prevent any future encounter with them in or around your house.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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