cockroach on a table

How To Get Rid Of Roaches In Your Western Massachusetts Home

It is difficult to get rid of cockroaches. Cockroaches are tough insects with characteristics that help them survive conventional treatment methods. Before we explain how to get rid of roaches, it is best to start by talking about what makes them so hard to get rid of.

Survival Skills

A cockroach can live without its head for up to seven days. This is what you're up against. You might wonder, "How on earth can it hold its breath that long?" It doesn't. Cockroaches breathe through holes in their thorax. A roach doesn't need its head in order to breathe. This is only one of many ways it can survive in startling ways.

  • You can swat a cockroach with a rolled-up newspaper and watch it crawl away unharmed. This is because a cockroach has a strong exoskeleton and the ability to compact that exoskeleton.

  • You can spray a cockroach with a pest control product and watch it walk away. This is because cockroaches are able to adapt genetically to chemicals that would otherwise kill them. Over the last century, we've thrown a lot of stuff at pest roaches and they have altered their bodies to be more resistant to products that have been used on them.

  • You can put bait down and the cockroaches in your home can completely ignore the bait. Some roaches have developed bait aversion. Their taste receptors have been altered genetically to sense the sweet component in cockroach baits as bitter, rather than sweet.

  • You can put something down on your floor and in your cracks and crevices and cockroaches may completely avoid the areas you've treated. They work together as a group to avoid toxins.

There are many more we could include, but you get the point. Cockroaches are not easy to exterminate. So how do you get rid of them? It takes a multi-pronged approach.

Using IPM To Control Cockroaches

Cockroaches are like all insects. They are motivated by water, food, and habitat. If you alter conditions, you can naturally deter cockroaches, stunt their population growth, and protect yourself from cockroach-related illness. This method of cockroach control can be broken down into the following categories.


It is important to determine where cockroaches are active, and to what extent. You can do this by searching in dark spaces, cracks, voids, and humid locations both inside and outside your home. Search for:

Black specks, streaks, or stains. While cockroaches aren't the only pests that will leave black feces around your home, they are prolific at doing so. You'll find specks all over surfaces where roaches are active.

Shed skins. Cockroaches shed their skins many times.

Oothecae. These are the egg pouches of cockroaches. You may also find the shed skins of casings after eggs have hatched.

Scent. Cockroaches have an oily, musky smell. 


Cockroaches prefer to live in unsanitary conditions. If you have any rotting organic matter in your home, cockroaches will be drawn to it. Before they get into your home, they'll be drawn to rotting organic matter outside your home. This is often how cockroach infestations begin. Locate anything that is rotting and remove or clean it. Inside your home, take the time to clean and deep clean. 

Food Sources

The list of foods cockroaches can eat is long. While you can't remove all food options from your home, you can limit them enough to stunt population growth. You'll also be limiting contamination of food products. Here are a few things roaches eat:

  • Human food

  • Rotting human food

  • Pet food

  • Glue

  • Paper

  • Cardboard

  • Hair

  • Dead Skin (dust)

  • Feces


It is impossible to seal your exterior walls enough to keep cockroaches out, but sealing obvious entry points can significantly deter roaches. The cockroaches on the outside of your home don't know that there is anything inside your home that they desire, unless they catch a scent in the air. Here are a few common places to address.

  • Seal around exterior doors and windows

  • Seal around foundation penetrations

  • Foundation cracks

  • Protect vents or louvers with screen material

  • Fill in holes created by wood-destroying pests


It is important to track your progress. There are a few ways you can do this. One key way is that you can inspect the areas you've cleaned. If you notice black specks of feces, you know roaches are still active. You may also lay sticky traps down to catch roaches.

Control Products

When cockroach control products are needed, it is best to contact a licensed pest management professional. A mixture of products must be used, and strict protocol must be followed to achieve full extermination. Alongside traditional pest control, we also provide a green pest control solution for your home or business needs.

For assistance with cockroach control in Western Massachusetts, contact American Pest Solutions. Our team uses field-tested methods and we have the experience to tackle this tough pest control job. Reach out to us today.

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