How to use a cockroach spray

Pro Spray Crawling Low res.jpg

A cockroach in the house is bad enough, but there’s nothing worse than spraying a cockroach with insecticide only to see it run away and hide under a cupboard or appliance….. you’re never sure whether it has died or not! With a cockroach you want “instant” kill and if you just grab a can of “fly spray”, the chances are you won’t get it.

 The American cockroach - the largest pest cockroach in Australia

The American cockroach - the largest pest cockroach in Australia

Cockroaches have a hard waxy cuticle, which is difficult to penetrate. Normal “fly sprays” tend to be water based and the droplets sit of the surface of the cockroach without penetrating the cuticle (or doing so very slowly). As a result, the product appears not to work and the cockroaches run off to hide after spraying. However, crawling insect aerosols are specifically designed to work on cockroaches. Cockroach sprays are solvent based and the spray produces large droplets. When the droplets hit a cockroach they quickly spread across the waxy surface and penetrate the cuticle, getting the insecticide inside the insect for a “quick kill”.

Although fast knockdown performance is a must for those with a phobia for cockroaches, the real power in a crawling insect aerosol is to use it as a preventative treatment. Many cockroach sprays have “residual” performance, which means when it is sprayed on a surface it remains active for many months. It is not uncommon for some products to claim 6 months of protection, although this only really applies to treatments to surfaces that are not cleaned or exposed to the sun. Nevertheless, using your cockroach spray to treat the inside of cupboards, under the cooker, fridge and storage units and in the bathroom and laundry, will provide excellent protection against cockroaches.

When looking for a product that is easy to apply there are two key features to look out for.

1)    An extendable nozzle. This allows you to get into cracks and crevices and under cupboards and appliances – all the places cockroaches love to hide.

2)    A 360 degree valve. You cannot see a 360 degree valve and the manufacturer may not always say it has one on the can, but it is vital for a cockroach spray. A 360 degree valve allows you to spray the can upside down! Without it, spraying under cupboards can be tricky.

So here’s you checklist for success with your cockroach spray:

  • Choose a product designed as a crawling insect killer
  • Make sure it has residual performance (and carry out a preventative spray)
  • Look for a product that has an extendable nozzle and 360 degree valve

(Remember always read the label before use. Especially the safety directions and whether it can be used near food preparation surfaces).

Check out our cockroach page for the complete guide to getting rid of cockroaches


PestXpert Pro-Spray Crawling with extendable nozzle and 360 degree valve