resistant roaches
November 19, 2011 4:14 PM   Subscribe

Help me kill my super-roaches.

For years I've kept my kitchen more or less roach-free with Combat products. However, New York City roaches are now becoming immune. A couple of weeks ago, I very thoroughly scrubbed my counter and cutting board and put out two entire six-packs. But when I come into the kitchen at night, the little b*st*rds are everywhere.

I've also tried other brands, and also boric acid.

Is there anything newer, or stronger?
posted by KRS to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Ugh, that sucks. I don't know about newer/better products, but as far as I can tell the only thing that gets rid of roaches is dehydration. I don't have a better answer for killing them, but your place will be less appealing to them if you don't have standing water anywhere. So make sure not to leave dishes with water in them in the sink, and if you have any leaks make sure to get them fixed.
posted by butterteeth at 4:22 PM on November 19, 2011

I live in NYC too, and I've had good results with the Combat gel that you put tiny blobs of in hidden corners in cabinets where they congregate (like under the sink). If that doesn't do it, you can also try Invict Gold Cockroach gel. Make sure you don't use any other kind of poisons or sprays with this stuff or the Combat gel, since it can reduce the effectiveness of it.
posted by wondermouse at 4:23 PM on November 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Bengal Gold Roach Spray. The only thing that ever worked in my 100+ year old New England apartment, despite meticulous kitchen cleaning. You spray around the baseboards, corners, and crevices. ZERO roaches for six months. Then I saw one peek out, spray again, and they're completely gone for another six months. Probably not good to use if you have pets or babies, but otherwise the stuff is gold. Bengal, gold.
posted by raztaj at 4:24 PM on November 19, 2011

Oh yeah, make sure you're already doing stuff like what butterteeth said. No standing water, no dirty dishes in the sink, seal up any cracks with caulk or expanding foam, take out stinky trash (if you can't be bothered to take the trash out every night, if you have a covered garbage can you can sprinkle baking soda on top of the trash in there. if roaches eat it, they die, and it reduces the trash odor).
posted by wondermouse at 4:29 PM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Have you considered calling a professional? That's what I did when I was in NYC. An exterminator can do a more complete job, and might be able to find roach invitations you hadn't noticed.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:55 PM on November 19, 2011

seconding bengal roach spray...but beware! if nyc (german?) cockroaches behave like the ones in louisiana (the bigger'palmetto bugs'), then prepare yourself...they will crawl out of the walls to die...and when they say 'if you see one, there's 50 you don't see"..believe it! and prepare yourself for a jarring afternoon.
posted by sexyrobot at 5:22 PM on November 19, 2011

Did you use boric acid, or Roach Prufe? Because I believe Roach Prufe has powdered sugar mixed in, to attract them, and that makes a difference. I tried boric acid once, and it did nothing, but the Roach Prufe wiped them out.

The other thing I've done, in an extreme case, was to drop some broken pieces of toast on the floor and then turn off the lights. Wait 5-20 minutes, then turn on the light and STOMP LIKE HELL. Sounds crazy, but by doing that repeatedly I managed to do a fair amount of damage to their population. But it was Roach Prufe that ultimately got rid of them foe good.
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:39 PM on November 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

and when they say 'if you see one, there's 50 you don't see"..believe it! and prepare yourself for a jarring afternoon.

Literally keep the shop-vac handy. I also had one of these zombie jamborees for about four hours the last time I used the Bengal. Good stuff, though.

I also use boric acid mixed with yellow corn meal because they love that yellow corn meal.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:42 PM on November 19, 2011

Clean things with bleach. Bleach is your friend. Your little nuclear friend.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:35 PM on November 19, 2011

Do your walls or counters have a baseboard or edging board on them? You can pry that off and get the RoachPrufe behind it then put it back on.
posted by CathyG at 7:45 PM on November 19, 2011

Diatomaceous Earth, the food grade kind.
posted by it's a long way to south america at 10:11 PM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Clean up, caulk everything. Don't forget to caulk at, say, the interface between a decorative baseboard or wainscot and the wall. Then fog (unless you have a strong reason not to). Pro-Control Plus is sort of a "top shelf" brand that you may have to ask for at a hardware store that caters to building supers. It comes in a white can. Or you can buy it on Amazon. There were no words for my situation (also in NYC) and it restored the apartment to the hands of the tenants actually paying rent, as in, the ones not made mostly of chitin.

The grocery store foggers/bombs are not anywhere near as good. Don't buy them.

After bombing, THEN put the Combat out, for I hear that the fog destroys the delicious taste of the Combat, as wondermouse says. I would believe it, too, because it sure does have a grody smell.

I have seen MaxForce gel as an alternative to Combat, but after caulking plus Combat, I never had to go there.

Earlier in a roach cycle, I have had success with a fleet of Mediterranean house geckos ($5 each at Petland or Petco), and, as an experienced pet owner of many species, I can say I've seldom seen such fat, happy creatures. I could not get some of the more humanist household members to sign on to a Tokay gecko, though.
posted by skbw at 11:19 PM on November 19, 2011

Seconding diatomaceous earth...that stuff works wonders, and you don't really have to worry about using it around pets or people :)
posted by PlantGoddess at 5:28 AM on November 20, 2011

Thirding diatomaceous earth. Non-toxic and effective and bugs don't develop an immunity to it.
posted by yoink at 7:40 AM on November 20, 2011

Just moved away from NYC, where I spent some time in a building that was old and poorly run enough that the best I could hope for would be to keep them away from my particular kitchen island. The cost was the fact I guess it looked like there was cocaine on the floor all the time. I surrounded the base of the cabinets with diatomaceous earth. Then in every crack, nook, crevice or cranny I sprinkled the boric acid. And every night I made sure the kitchen area was cleaned of any food or liquid (the hard part because of stupid roommates).
posted by melissam at 8:15 AM on November 20, 2011

Big roaches or little German fuckers? Makes a difference. Ugh I hate those things.
posted by radioamy at 5:23 PM on November 20, 2011

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