How to Kill Roaches & Water Bugs

The cockroach, often referred to as a water bug, is a type of insect found throughout North America.

They can reach a size of several inches. Not only are roaches attracted to household food messes, such as those in trash areas, but roaches can also emit a bad smell and carry diseases. Take immediate steps to kill roaches in your house to preserve your home's smell and appearance as well as your family's safety. .

Place roach traps in problem areas, such as inside kitchen cabinets and near trash bins. Roach traps are typically either glue traps that capture the roaches or poison traps that kill the roaches with poisoned bait but do not contain them. Examples of these products include Springstar's Biocare Cockroach Trap and Raid's Roach Trap & Egg Stop.

Douse the roaches with roach pesticide spray. This option is best if you see a live roach running through an area. The pesticide works on contact, typically killing the bug within 10 minutes. Examples of these products include Raid and Bengal. For an organic alternative that doesn't depend on toxic chemicals, try a product like Kleen-Free's Insect Eliminator.

Mix your own roach-killing treatment at home for a more cost-effective method. Mix a cup of Borax, half a cup of white flour and a fourth of a cup of cocoa powder. Borax is a natural roach killer, while the cocoa attracts the bugs.

Sprinkle the powder wherever you have a roach problem. Roaches tend to congregate in dark areas near food sources. Lightly dust the powder in an even layer.

Remove the problems that are attracting roaches. Clean up trash, wipe food spills on counters and store food in sealed, airtight containers. Roaches multiply quickly and travel far. Killing roaches without fixing the original problem will simply cause a recurrence of infestation.

Things You Will Need

  • Roach traps
  • Roach pesticide
  • Borax
  • Flour
  • Cocoa powder
  • Plastic bowl


  • Keep pets and children away from areas in which you are trying to poison and kill the roaches or water bugs.

About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.