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The Best Roach Traps (and How To Use Them)

Cockroaches are notorious survivalists. You’ve probably heard that after a nuclear apocalypse has wiped out most of the other life on Earth, cockroaches will still be going strong. This is why you need the absolute best roach traps to monitor and control a cockroach infestation in your home. 

Cockroach traps come in all shapes and sizes. They have a variety of deployment requirements and can be used in different ways. Traps are just one tool in your arsenal to fight a serious infestation, so follow along with us as we break down everything you need to know about cockroach traps and battling a roach infestation!

What you need to know about Cockroach Traps…

The most important thing you need to know about cockroach traps is that they are a monitoring solution, not a single tool that can solve your entire problem. You may need several different tools to completely eradicate a cockroach infestation, and you can learn more about the other tools in the section at the end of this article. However, cockroach traps are a necessary part of battling a full-scale infestation.

Most cockroach traps do lead to the death of the cockroaches that enter the trap… But think about this: for every cockroach you find, there are likely dozens of cockroaches still hiding out-of-sight.

cockroach infestation

To battle a serious cockroach encroachment, you will need some sort of bait or spray that can kill more than a handful of cockroaches at a time. What the roach trap is useful for is monitoring your infestation to answer questions like “do you still need to spray more pesticides”?

In fact, studies have shown that cockroach traps effectively determine how much bait or insecticide should be used, and give you a tool for monitoring the effectiveness of the bait you are using!

By placing a series of cockroach traps around your home and monitoring how many cockroaches you catch overnight, you can estimate how much bait you will need to distribute! Check it out:

  • ≥500 cockroaches, the units received 60–66 g of bait (2 tubes)
  • 100–499 cockroaches, the units received 30–33 g of bait (1 tube)
  • 50–100 cockroaches, the units received 15–16.5 g of bait (1/2 tube)
  • 1–50 cockroaches, the units received 7.5–8.75 g of bait (1/4 tube)
  • 0 cockroaches, the units received 0 g of bait

*These numbers are based on apartment units, so you may need to increase the dosage of bait based on your catch if your home is much larger, or if you are trying to eliminate an infestation in a business that deals with food.

Where to Place Cockroach Traps:

Cockroach traps should be placed as close as possible to where cockroaches live to accurately survey the population. Cockroaches prefer areas that are warm, dark, and moist.

All of the rooms in your house or apartment that have water or store food are therefore important to place traps in. Placing traps in a bedroom or office may give you misleading numbers and lead you to put out less bait than you need to effectively control the population.

Here’s a breakdown of all the places you should put traps in each room:

Kitchens

Kitchens are the most likely place that cockroaches will live in your home. There is typically access to food, enough moisture to keep roaches happy (especially if you have some leaky pipes), and plenty of dark cabinets to hide in.

If your trashcan or composting bin is easily accessible, this can be a huge attractant to a hungry cockroach. 

You should place traps under the sink, in any cabinets where you store food, in the drawer below the oven, near the trash can, and near the dishwasher. All of these places offer cockroaches food, water, and shelter. So, it is very likely that a cockroach harborage has been established somewhere nearby.

Bathrooms

Though bathrooms offer less food for roaches, they are often found in bathrooms due to the high humidity and access to water. Place a few traps under the sink, behind the toilet, and in any cabinets that you have seen cockroaches in or have seen signs of cockroaches.

Roaches may frequent shower drains in order to grab a drink, so you may want to place a trap near the shower in order to catch any roaches making their way there. 

Laundry Rooms

Laundry rooms are often equipped with floor drains that can make a great place for roaches to live. Plus, if they can find their way into your washing machine they may set up a harborage.

You should place traps around any drains and behind your machines. Be sure to check for any water leaks that could be providing roaches with fresh water while you are at it!

The Best Cockroach Traps

There are literally hundreds of cockroach traps on the market that have all sorts of different bells and whistles. After reviewing many of them, these are our top picks that will make the job of monitoring your infestation much easier!

Victor Roach Pheromone Traps

Victor Roach/Insect Pheromone Traps
Active Ingredient: None (Glue Trap)

This trap will help attract more cockroaches due to the scents it’s made with..

Why DoMyOwn?DoMyOwn.com offers professional-grade insecticides to DIYers while ensuring proper storage of chemicals. Couple that with their impressive customer service and knowledgeable staff, it’s the #1 choice.

These traps are simple, cheap, and effective. At less than a dollar per trap, the fact that these traps use both food scents and pheromones to actively attract cockroaches is pretty impressive!

Each trap consists of a small cardboard box with a sticky floor, which has a shelf life of 3 years as long as you keep it in the package. These traps are about 3 inches long, 2.5 inches wide, and 1 inch high. As with most traps, you shouldn’t use these traps in the same exact places you deploy a bait or insecticide as it may deter roaches from the area.

Once deployed, the pheromones will stay active for about 30 days. The glue should remain active until it is completely loaded with bugs or until it becomes too dusty to work.

One issue with these traps is that the pheromones used are specific to German cockroaches. If you have a different type of cockroach in your home, these traps will still attract them – but not nearly as well as they attract German roaches.

Another issue is that these traps do not fold flat, so you can’t place them under appliances easily.

Catchmaster 100i Insect Monitors

Catchmaster 100i Insect Monitors
Active Ingredient: None

A glue trap to catch roaches and other insects in your home.

Why DoMyOwn?DoMyOwn.com offers professional-grade insecticides to DIYers while ensuring proper storage of chemicals. Couple that with their impressive customer service and knowledgeable staff, it’s the #1 choice.

These simple cardstock traps are much cheaper than more advanced traps that use pheromones. Baited with molasses, these traps are sure to attract cockroaches (and probably other insects). Another benefit is that these traps can be applied in a flat position, making them easy to slide under appliances and hard-to-reach spaces. 

The traps also come in sheets that include 3 traps. Perforations in the cardstock allow you to tear off individual traps, or use all three together as one “super trap.” Each of the traps also has a small glue strip on the outside of the trap that can be used to attach the trap to a vertical location – such as the wall of a cabinet or a wall next to an appliance.

This can be a great way to monitor where and how cockroaches are entering a particular room.

Exterminator’s Choice Large Glue Stick Traps

Sale
Exterminators Choice Large Glue Sticky Traps - Professional Quality Glue...
  • Professional Quality Trap
  • Safe To Use Around Pets and Kids
  • No Toxins or Chemicals Used

While these traps are much more expensive than the other traps we suggest, they have several advantages. They are very large, allowing you to trap many more roaches per trap. They also have a covered design that helps keep dust out of the glue, allowing the trap to remain effective for longer. Plus, at around 1.5 inches tall, you can still slide them into some tight spaces.

One disadvantage to these traps is that you have to bait each trap individually using a small package of bait provided. But, the traps come with a great little handle that makes the traps easy to pick up and discard!

Don’t Forget the Other Tools You Will Need!

As mentioned previously, traps are simply one tool you will need to monitor a cockroach infestation. Though sticky traps may be able to prevent a major infestation, they are no match for an established cockroach population. To effectively battle cockroaches, you will need to employ one of the tools below:

Gel Baits

Gel baits come in a tube, and they are sticky enough to apply to almost any surface below sinks, behind appliances, and around your trashcan. Gel baits use a substance that is attractive to cockroaches as a food source, that is laced with a powerful insecticide.

As roaches eat, they get the insecticide on their face and body and can carry the insecticide back into the harborage – making them a great way to wipe out many cockroaches with one application.

As long as cockroaches keep eating the gel, there are more roaches that need to be exterminated. If you are still trapping roaches in glue traps but none have taken the gel bait, you may need to try another location or a different bait. 

Bait Stations

With large populations, you will have to reapply gel baits regularly for a month or more before the population is exterminated. In this case, you will probably not want to apply gel baits directly to the surface of your cabinets or walls. You can buy bait stations that are essentially plastic dishes. Some bait stations come pre-loaded, while others are simply dishes where you can reapply a gel bait many times. 

If you are working on a budget, you can also create your own bait stations using wax paper. Simply cut the wax paper into squares, fold corner-to-corner, and apply the gel in the crease. These “bait tacos” can be placed in cabinets, under sinks, and anywhere else you would need to apply bait. You can also easily see if roaches have been feeding because they will likely chew on the wax paper after the bait is gone.

Pesticide Sprays/Insect Growth Regulators

Cockroaches are susceptible to most commercial grade pesticide sprays, and these are a powerful tool for treating large areas. Typically, pesticide sprays come as a concentrate and must be mixed to the proper concentration. Then, you simply spray at a low level around the corners of the room and in cracks where insects like to travel.

Since these pesticides are powerful and potentially toxic, it is best not to use them around food or pets. Cockroaches will also learn to avoid most pesticides over time, so you shouldn’t use both pesticides and baits in the same locations. 

Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) are a much more targeted treatment. These chemicals target metabolic pathways specific to cockroaches and other insects, so they are typically harmless to pets and humans. These substances essentially inhibit the current roach population from reproducing.

While they may take a little time to effectively kill the whole population, they will certainly get the job done. So, they may be a better option than a general insecticide for your home – especially if you have pets or children!

Written by Gabe Buckley

Gabe Buckley is a professional science writer with a Bachelor's of Science in Zoology and a Master's of Professional Natural Sciences from Colorado State University.

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