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How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Your Kitchen Cabinets

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Kitchen cabinets are perfect shelters for roaches.

They are dark with plenty of little cracks and crevices that they can slip their small bodies to hide.

Kitchen cabinets also give roaches easy access to food and water.

Unfortunately, kitchen cabinets are also where we store our food and utensils.

And they’re the last place we want these tiny critters to be hanging around.

But how do you keep roaches from the kitchen cabinets that they love so much?

The good news is there’s quite a bit you can do.

In this article, tell you step by step how to get rid of cockroaches in your kitchen cabinets for good.

Let’s dive in.

1. De-Clutter and Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets

Roaches are drawn to food and water.

So the first step to eliminating them is by cleaning up.

Remove all items on your cabinet and do a deep cleaning.

Vacuum any crumbs and wipe down any spilled food and debris inside every shelf.

You’ll also want to keep your cabinets tidy.

Throw out any items you don’t need.

Remove any boxes of food that you don’t intend on eating.

The fewer items you have inside your cabinets, the less hiding places there are for cockroaches.

Neatly stack your dishes to limit the number of hiding places that cockroaches have.

2. Seal Your Cabinets

As mentioned, kitchen cabinets are perfect shelters for roaches.

For one they are dark with plenty of holes and crevices for hiding.

Two, many cabinets are rarely opened, making them a great place for cockroaches to breed without being bothered.

Kitchen cabinets also give roaches easy access to food and water.

To keep cockroaches from using your kitchen cabinets as a harborage, seal up entry points.

Look for any holes and cracks and caulk them.

Do the same to any drawers you have.

3. Apply Gel Bait Inside Cabinets

Gel bait is one of the most effective ways to eliminate cockroach infestations.

This control method is highly effective because it implements tertiary kills.

Here’s what I mean.

Gel baits turn cockroach feces into poison.

But, when cockroaches ingest gel bait, they don’t die right away.

Instead, they return to their homes where they defecate.

Because juvenile roaches (nymphs) rely on feces to survive, the toxic wastes will kill them.

But the termination doesn’t end there.

Once the nymphs die, they pass on the poison to the other cockroaches that eat their bodies.

Bait gel can take one of two forms.

  1. Bait Stations
  2. Syringe or Tube

When treating cabinets, I recommend using both bait stations and syringes.

Bait stations are ideal because they are easy to move around.

Place one bait station on each cabinet.

Use syringes on small crevices behind, on the bottom, and the sides of your cabinets.

Apply a pea-sized drop about every two feet so that the roaches can access the bait quickly.

3. Apply Repellent

To keep roaches from coming back inside your cabinet, I recommend using a repellant.

Some of the most effective repellents are essential oils.

The four most effective are

  1. Orange Oil
  2. Oregano Oil
  3. Rosemary Oil
  4. Peppermint Oil

Place several drops of essential oil on cotton balls.

Place these inside your drawers and shelves to keep cockroaches out of your kitchen cabinets.

If you want to learn about more natural repellents read this article

4. Apply Gel Bait Throughout Your Kitchen and Home

If you see cockroaches in your cabinet, you likely have a more extensive infestation in your home.

So, to remove roaches from your cabinet for good, apply treatment throughout your home.

Since the roaches are hanging out in your cabinet, you’re likely dealing with German or American cockroaches.

These two types of roaches are the most common household roaches.

They also love being near warmth, water, and food.

As such, they are likely hiding around your kitchen and bathroom.

To rid your home from these critters, apply gel bait to the following areas:

Tiny cracks and crevices on your kitchen and bathroom floors and walls.
Under kitchen and cabinet sinks.
Apply a drop at each corner where your cabinet hinges.
Under appliances. For this, I recommend putting the gel on a 2×2 inch wax paper.

Apply a pea-sized drop about every two feet so that the roaches can access the bait quickly.

Gel bait remains effective for two weeks, so reapply accordingly.

5. Apply Dust Bait Around Your Home

Dust bait is similar to gel bait, except it comes in the form of powder.

Apply dust bait in locations that gel bait is unable to reach.

Some ideal areas to target are wall voids, crevices between cabinets and appliances.

You’ll also want to apply a thin layer of dust under kitchen appliances.

Doing so will ensure that you kill as many roaches as possible. Even the ones that didn’t eat your gel bait.

6. Use Insect Growth Regulators (IGR’s)

Not all cockroaches eat the same food.

Pregnant females and nymphs depend on the feces from other adult roaches.

To cover all your bases, use IGRs in conjunction with all the treatments mentioned above.

IGR’s are like “birth control” for roaches.

It stops infestations by making adult roaches unable to reproduce.

It also blocks the roaches’ ability to turn into an adult.

If juvenile roaches are unable to grow into reproductive adults, their population will eventually die.

I recommend using IGR packets instead of sprays for ease of use.

Break the pack to activate the hormone and place them in the kitchen or bathroom.

For most, one IGR packet treats 50-75 square feet and lasts about three months.

So, apply and replace them accordingly.

Don’t skip on replenishing your packets. Doing so is essential to prevent stragglers from repopulating.

It is important to note that IGR’s take time to take work.

Keep these packets active even after treatment.

It takes over 1-2 months for nymphs to molt and grow, so apply it for around 7-8 months.

Most IGR applications last between 3 months, so reapply at least 2-3 times.

7. Seal All Entry points

Seal all entry points to prevent roaches from crawling back inside your home.

Weatherstrip your doors and windows to seal gaps.

Use a door sweep to block the gap under your
apartment door to prevent roaches from crawling in.

For door sweeps, I recommend using the kind that sticks onto the door with an adhesive strip, so you won’t need to drill.

Seal the joint where your door frame meets the wall using a caulk.

Check for holes and tears on your door and window screens and repair them.

Seal any cracks from faucets and pipes so cockroaches can’t slip through.

Check for any crevices and holes in the walls, doors, or windows.

8. Apply an External Barrier Using Insecticide

Keep these pests from getting back applying insecticide outside your house.

Apply it to 3 feet tall on your house’s surface and 3 feet wide on the floor around your home.

Do this around your entire house.

The insecticide will typically last for 4-6 months, so re-apply accordingly.

Don’t forget this last step.

It’s much better to prevent cockroaches from getting back in than eliminating them once they are back inside.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why Do Cockroaches Hide In Kitchen Cabinets?

Kitchen cabinets are perfect shelters for roaches.

They are dark with plenty of little cracks and crevices that they can slip their small bodies to hide.

Kitchen cabinets also give roaches easy access to food and water.

Plus, many cabinets are rarely opened, making them a great place to hide and breed without being bothered.

Keep cockroaches from using your kitchen cabinets as a harborage by keeping them clean and tidy.

You’ll also want to seal up small crevices and holes that make it easy for roaches to enter.

Do Cockroaches Contaminate My Cabinets?

Common household roaches such as American, German, and brown-banded cockroaches carry diseases causing bacterias.

These critters live in sewers and walk around filth and feces.

When they live and travel in your kitchen cabinets, they spread bacteria and other pathogens on their surfaces.

These bacteria can cause salmonella and infections such as staphylococcus and streptococcus.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cockroaches can also cause dysentery, diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid fever.

Another often overlooked side-effect of cockroaches is the allergic reactions they cause in human beings.

Research by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation (AAFA) has shown that the enzymes found in excrement, shedding body parts, eggs, and saliva can trigger both allergic reactions and asthma attacks.

Having an American cockroach in your home is especially concerning if you or your family member has asthma.

How Do I Keep Roaches Out of My Kitchen?

The best way to keep roaches out of your home is to keep your house clean and eliminate any food and water sources for cockroaches.

You’ll also want to seal up all entry points of your home and apply a barrier insecticide for added protection.

How to Keep Roaches Out of My Drawers?

The best thing you can do to keep roaches out of your drawers is to keep them clean.

Remove any food crumbs, grease and debris that’s accumulated in your cabinet,

You’ll want to seal up all entry points, such as holes and crevices.

Finally, apply a repellent inside your cabinet.

Some of the most effective repellents are essential oils.

The four most effective are:

  1. Orange Oil
  2. Oregano Oil
  3. Rosemary Oil
  4. Peppermint Oil

Place several drops of essential oil on cotton balls.

Place these inside your drawers and shelves to keep cockroaches out of your kitchen cabinets.

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