How to control cockroaches - Baits, Sprays, Gels & more

Cockroach on apple

Cockroaches are probably the most unwanted pest in the home. Their connection with filth and quick scurrying movements certainly create a lot of anxiety. For some, the appearance of just one cockroach can make them feel as if they are a bad housekeeper (although often it is not their fault). Fortunately with a combination of good prevention tips and suitable pest control products, most cockroach problems are easy to control.

Cockroach Control

A range of products are available to control cockroaches. Whereas a cockroach spray inside and outside the home may be good for large cockroaches, for small cockroaches (German cockroaches) and cockroach infestations, it is often necessary to use a number of different products in combination.


Cockroach baits are the best option for controlling infestations in kitchens and sensitive areas. They can also be used as a preventative treatment in properties which have ongoing cockroach problems (as is often the case in blocks of units where cockroaches can move between units).

Cockroach baits come into two forms; solid bait in plastic bait stations as found in most supermarkets and cockroach gel baits which are used by pest professionals. Whichever bait product you use, it’s important to know how to use a cockroach bait, so that you get the best results.


Cockroach gels are preferred by pest professionals as they are generally more attractive than solid baits but most importantly they are more flexible in application. Most homeowners will not have used cockroach gel baits before so it’s important to know how cockroach gels work.

Bait can be placed on vertical and horizontal surfaces and even in tight areas such as cupboard hinges, allowing you to target cockroach hiding places.

As German cockroaches don’t travel far from their hiding places (and you don’t always know where they are hiding!), lots of small bait placements rather than a few bait stations will deliver better results.

PestXpert 2 in 1 Cockroach Bait is a unique professionals style cockroach gel. With its highly attractive formulation is actually includes 2 active ingredients; one to kill the cockroaches and one to break the breeding cycle.

PestXpert Cockroach Gel Bait
Cockroach gel application
Lots of small gel dots around the kitchen will give the best results


“Cockroach bombs” also know as cockroach foggers or total release aerosols, are a great way to easily treat a whole room. The ultra fine mist they can get into the cracks and crevices where the cockroaches are hiding. Although they are great for cockroach infestations, they can also be used as a preventative measure. To ensure the cockroach bomb is used safefly and effectively it is important to know how to use a cockroach bomb.

PestXpert Pro Fogger is a unique cockroach bomb formulation as it contains a combination of 3 active ingredients to create a professional formulation:

  1. An insecticide to kill cockroaches and other pests on contact
  2. A synergist to magnify the effect of the insecticide so it works even at very low levels
  3. An insect growth regulator that breaks the breeding cycle and prevent pest outbreaks for many months
PestXpert Pro Fogger
PestXpert Pro Fogger


A cockroach spray is a must in any Australia kitchen cupboard! But to get the best performance it’s important to know how to use a cockroach spray and how surface sprays work.

PestXpert Pro Spray Crawling aerosol provides a professional formulation and aerosol delivery system to allow easy, accurate application for quick kill and long lasting protection.

  • Dual insecticide formulation for fast kill and long lasting protection
  • Extendable nozzle to access cracks and crevices
  • 360 degree valve, so you can spray upside down to get under cupboards and appliances
PestXpert Pro Spray Crawling
PestXpert Pro Spray Crawling can be sprayed upside down


Cockroach traps are sticky glue traps that are used for monitoring cockroach problems. Although they can certainly catch a lot of cockroaches (especially during a cockroach infestation), they will not control the problem.

Cockroach Control

  • Cockroach baits are often the best option for eliminating cockroach infestations, especially of German cockroaches (the ‘small ones’) which live inside. Indeed German cockroaches are one of the most difficult pests to control (even for professionals), so you need to know how to get rid of small cockroaches.

  • If you have a cockroach infestation, using a cockroach / flea total release aerosol (also called a fogger or “bomb”) is also a good option for getting numbers under control quickly and to also provide residual control. You will need one aerosol for each room. The treatment may need to be supplemented by an insecticide spray to get into some cracks / crevices / cupboards where the fogger may not have reached.

  • A crawling insect aerosol or ready-to-use pump spray are the best options for a preventative measure, particularly if you are trying to get rid of  large cockroaches which live outside and find their way inside. Spraying insecticide around the perimeter of rooms, in cupboards and other insect hiding places, as well as spraying the outside perimeter of the home, garbage bins and sub-floor areas, will keep the cockroaches out of the house, preventing a potential pest outbreak. These treatments may need to be repeated more than once a year.

  • Crawling insect aerosols are the best product to kill any cockroach you see. These are designed to coat the insect with insecticide providing rapid knock down and kill. Flying insect aerosols will work but are not designed for crawling insects and so take a lot longer to work.

PestXpert Outdoor Perimeter
PestXpert Pro Spray Outdoor Perimeter is a great option for outdoor cockroach treatments

Signs of a Cockroach Infestation

  • As cockroaches are nocturnal, often you many only see one or two cockroaches. But when you see one or two, you know there will be a lot more hiding in the cracks and crevices. If you are seeing cockroaches during the day, the chances are you have a significant infestation. Not sure where to look? Here are our tips for the top cockroach hiding places.
  • With a significant infestation you will often find “spotting” in the corners of cupboards or hiding places. This are the faeces and vomit of cockroaches.
  • Other signs of an infestation include old “skins” left behind when cockroaches moult and empty egg cases
  • If there is a significant infestation, there will often be a characteristic cockroach smell

Cockroach droppings

Cockroach droppings are obviously gross, but if you know what you’re looking for, they can be a sign you have a cockroach problem.

Large cockroaches produce more obvious droppings, more like a small pellet, whereas German cockroaches produce droppings which are more like spot, often with some liquid. When there are a large number of spots in one location, it indicates you have a major infestation on your hands!

Cockroach droppings are a major source of allergens that can cause asthma.

Cockroach droppings

Cockroach Prevention

Good hygiene is critical:

  • Clean away spilled food and dirty dishes straight away
  • Ensure rubbish is put in secure containers
  • Put on the dishwasher regularly (cockroaches love dishwashers – food and moisture a plenty!)
  • Don’t leave pet food out overnight
  • Fix any leaks / areas of moisture
  • Fill any cracks and crevices
  • Don’t store cardboard boxes in the sub-floor
  • Keep an eye out for egg cases coming in on cardboard boxes as this is a common source of infestation.
Cockroach egg case - ootheca
Watch out for cockroach egg cases in incoming cardboard boxes

PestXpert Products for Cockroaches