JAMES E. BROGDON
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
CONSIDER THESE IMPORTANT POINTERS IN THE
CONTROL OF COCKROACHES IN THE HOME
1. Sanitation is important. Deprive roaches of their food
supply by keeping the kitchen and other premises clean.
2. Make it difficult for roaches to enter buildings. Fill small
holes and cracks with putty or plastic wood and inspect all bas-
kets, bags or boxes of food and laundry brought into the house.
3. Learn how and where roaches develop. Learn where they
crawl and hide. Apply the correct insecticide to those places.
4. Know what insecticides to use.
5. Learn how to apply a residual spray. The manner of ap-
plying an insecticide is as important as what to use.
6. Repeat applications of insecticides as needed. One applica-
tion will not last indefinitely.
7. Avoid contamination of food, water and cooking and eating
utensils when applying insecticides.
8. Store roach-control chemicals out of reach of children, pets
and irresponsible people.
9. Dispose of empty containers promptly and safely.
WHY CONTROL ROACHES IN THE HOME
Cockroaches are troublesome pests throughout the United
States. They are not only annoying but, when abundant, they
may also be destructive. These insects, sometimes called water-
bugs or palmetto bugs, destroy food and damage fabrics, book
bindings and other materials. When roaches run over food they
leave filth and may spread disease germs. An oily liquid that
is offensive and sickening is secreted from scent glands of these
pests. This odor may ruin food and be imparted to dishes that
are apparently clean. Excrement in the form of pellets or an
ink-like liquid also contributes to this nauseating odor.
The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of
providing specific information. It is not a guarantee or warranty of the
products named and does not signify that they are approved to the exclu-
sion of others of suitable composition.
B C D E F
Fig. 1.-Common Florida cockroaches. A, common woods roach and
egg capsule; B, American adult with egg capsules; C, Australian adult;
D, Australian nymph (immature); E, brown-banded adults; F, German
adults with egg capsules; G, German nymph (immature). (Photograph
by Frank W. Mead, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agri-
KIND OF ROACHES
The four kinds of roaches commonly found in Florida dwell-
ings are shown in Figure 1. The German and brown-banded
cockroaches are about the same size and the adult females are
never more than 5/8 inch long. The adult female American
cockroach may be 11/2 to 2 inches long, including wings. The
Australian roach resembles the American very much but is
slightly smaller. The common Florida woods roach sometimes
enters dwellings from the outside area or from beneath the
house, but does not become established inside the house. It is
very clumsy and has no wings. It is often confused with the
Oriental cockroach, which is a major household pest in other
sections of the country.
HOW ROACHES REPRODUCE
The female roach lays her eggs in a leathery capsule which
she forms at the end of her body and carries around for several
days (see Figure 1). Before the eggs are ready to hatch, the
female roach deposits the bean-shaped egg capsule behind pic-
tures or baseboards, in desk drawers, under sinks, underneath
tables or around water pipes. Each capsule contains a number
of eggs. There are from 30 to as many as 48 eggs in the capsule
of the German cockroach; other kinds contain about 12 eggs.
The German and brown-banded cockroaches may have two or
three generations a year, but other kinds require about a year to
develop from egg to adult.
WHERE TO LOOK FOR ROACHES
Roaches hide in dark, sheltered places during the day and
come out and feed at night. They may be found around the
kitchen sink or drain board; in cracks around or underneath
cupboards and cabinets or inside them, especially in the upper
corner; behind drawers; around pipes or conduits, where they
pass along the wall or go through it; behind windows or door
frames; behind loose baseboards or molding strips; on the under
side of tables and chairs; in the bathroom; and in radio and
The German roach is usually found in the kitchen and bath
room, while the brown-banded roach may be found all over the
house. Look for brown-banded roaches in the upper part of
cabinets or closets and book cases, behind mirrors, in drawers
and behind pictures, in radio and TV cabinets and other similar
Other kinds of roaches prefer damp, warm places and usually
develop in basements, storerooms and similar locations.
CONTROL OF ROACHES
1. Prevent infestations by inspecting all baskets, bags or boxes
of food, fire wood and laundry brought into the house and de-
stroying any roaches or egg capsules that are found. Make
it difficult for roaches to enter by filling with patching plaster,
putty or plastic wood all openings around pipes passing through
floors or walls, as well as cracks leading to spaces behind base-
boards and door frames, particularly if roaches are coming in
from adjoining apartments or from outside. Keep door and win-
dow screens in good repair and make sure that there are no
cracks between them and the frames.
2. Sanitation or cleanup will aid considerably in roach control.
Take away their food supply. Store food in tight containers
and avoid spilling flour, cereals and other dry materials in cup-
boards or on pantry shelves. Do not leave remnants of food
on tables or in kitchen sinks overnight. Sweep up any crumbs
or bits of food from the floors of kitchen, pantry and dining areas.
Put table scraps, vegetable parings and other waste materials
in tightly covered garbage cans.
3. Chemical Control:
a. Sprays and dusts applied properly will control roach in-
festations; however, German cockroaches develop resist-
ance to chlordane, dieldrin and lindane. Diazinon, mala-
thion and ronnel (Korlan) will control resistant roaches.
Dusts can be purchased ready-prepared. So can most
sprays; others can be prepared according to directions on
the label. Sprays mixed in water should be used the
same day they are mixed, because they may lose their
(1) Chlordane-2% oil solution or water emulsion; or
5% dust--German roaches have developed resist-
ance; controls other kinds.
(2) Diazinon-0.5% oil solution or water emulsion; or
1% dust-controls German roaches as well as other
(3) Dieldrin-0.5% oil solution or water emulsion; or
1% dust- German roaches have developed resist-
ance; controls other kinds.
(4) Lindane-0.5% oil solution or water emulsion; or
1% dust-German roaches have developed resist-
ance; controls other kinds, but duration of effective-
ness is shorter than that of chlordane and dieldrin.
(5) Malathion-2 to 3% oil solution or water emulsion;
or 5% dust--controls German roaches as well as
(6) Ronnel (Korlan)-2% oil solution or water emul-
sion--controls German roaches as well as other
b. Baits alone should not be expected to control roach infes-
tations. They may be used to supplement residual sprays.
c. Application of insecticides indoors-Refer to the section
"Where to Look for Roaches" before applying insecti-
cides. Sprays are generally more suitable than dusts
and do not leave visible residues. Liquids may be applied
with any of the sprayers shown in Figure 2 or similar ap-
Apply sprays behind baseboards, back of the stove and
refrigerator, around pipes and under sinks, on exposed
surfaces where roaches crawl, on the under side of ob-
jects and other places where roaches may crawl or hide.
Hold sprayers about 6 inches from the surface being
treated and apply a fairly coarse spray so that the sur-
face will be wet, but not until it forms droplets and
puddles on the floor.
A paint brush is excellent for applying liquid insecti-
cides to baseboards, the inside of cabinets, the bottom
and outside of drawers and similar locations. Remove
drawers before treating thoroughly the inside of cabi-
nets, desks and similar furniture. Allow time for cabi-
net shelves and drawers to dry. Then replace shelf
paper before replacing contents of shelves and drawers.
The insecticide may be applied to the bottom and sides
of the drawers, but this usually is not necessary for
A small duster similar to the one shown in Figure 2
is excellent for applying dusts to the edges of baseboards,
in corners, in and around cupboards and similar places.
A B C D E
Fig. 2.-Some types of household applicators. A, paint brush; B, com-
mon household applicator; C and D, pump oiler type sprayers; E, puffer
duster. (Photograph by Frank W. Mead, Division of Plant Industry, Flor-
ida Department of Agriculture.)
Dusts may be effectively applied to hard-to-reach places.
d. Application of insecticides outdoors-To reduce the num-
ber of roaches going indoors, it is suggested that dusts
containing 5 or 10% chlordane, 5% malathion or 1 to
2% diazinon or dieldrin be applied under the house,
porches, etc. and to mulches in and around flower beds,
shrubs, etc. If the house is on a concrete slab, a barrier
can be made by applying the dust in a band 1 or 2 feet
wide on the ground around the House. Other outside
places where roaches are commonly found should also
be treated. If sprays are applied, use those formulated
to be mixed in water and applied to plants (not house-
hold spray mixtures). Follow mixing directions on the
COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Ready-prepared sprays containing one or more recommended
insecticides and equipment for applying them are available in
local stores. They are sold under various trade names with the
active ingredient given on the label. Read the label to make
certain that you get the chemical you want in the amount you
The Structural Pest Control Industry offers professional serv-
ices in the control of roaches and other household pests. Many
people prefer to use this service rather than try to control these
Avoid contaminating food, water, cooking utensils and dishes
with roach-control chemicals. Cover exposed food or cooking
and eating utensils in a room that is being treated to protect
them from spray. Remove fish bowls, pets, etc. from the
room or protect them while insecticides are being applied. Have
adequate ventilation in rooms being treated. If the insecticide
is spilled on the skin wash immediately with soap and water.
Oil solutions should not be used near an open flame. Oil solu-
tions that get on asphalt tile floors should be removed imme-
diately, as they will damage them. Store insecticides out of
reach of children, pets and irresponsible persons. Do not store
roach-control chemicals where they may be mistaken for a" food
product or medicine. Dispose of empty containers promptly and
Four Keys to
1. READ THE LABEL ON EACH PESTICIDE CONTAIN-
ER BEFORE EACH USE. HEED ALL CAUTIONS
AND WARNINGS. /,
2. STORE PESTICIDES IN THEIR ORIGINAL LABELED '/
CONTAINERS, AWAY FROM FOOD AND MEDICINE. /
KEEP THEM OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN,
PETS AND IRRESPONSIBLE PEOPLE.
1 3. APPLY PESTICIDES ONLY AS DIRECTED.
4. DISPOSE OF EMPTY CONTAINERS PROMPTLY
AND SAFELY. '
Acknowledgment is made to Clemson Agricultural College for use of the
cover drawing and other information; to entomologists of the U. S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture and Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations, and
others for their assistance in the preparation of this circular.
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida,
Florida State University and United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
M. O. Watkins, Director