The 6 Best Cockroach Gel Baits
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If there is one thing everyone can agree on, it's that cockroaches don't belong inside the home. (And, when possible, they don't even belong in the same country.) If your property has been overrun with these resilient critters, fight back with an insecticide that roaches can't resist and can't survive. These lethal gel baits are effective quickly and good for long-term pest control. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best cockroach gel bait on Amazon.
A Brief History Of Cockroach Traps
In New York in the 1990s, a particularly bad infestation even caused city dwellers to start snatching up geckos, as the lizards were capable of eating hundreds per day.
Nobody likes seeing a cockroach skittering across their floor.
This has been true throughout most of human history, as in ancient times they were considered disgusting, even as they were being used in medicine; in fact, Pliny the Elder, an early Greek physician, recommended squishing them and using the resulting goop to treat ear infections.
Go ahead — try it. We'll wait.
However, while humans have always detested the bugs, for most of recorded history there was no good way of dealing with them short of giving them a good stomping. Thus, preventative practices (such as keeping your home tidy) were the only defense.
In fact, it wouldn't be until 1969 that the first deterrent was created. A gentleman by the name of Arnold Mallis recommended coating tin cans with Vaseline, with the idea being that the bugs would crawl in and get stuck. Of course, while this may have worked for individual critters, it would do next to nothing to curb an invasion.
Still, individual traps — usually cardboard boxes coated with a strong adhesive — became big business in the ensuing years, earning millions of dollars annually.
In 1975, researchers at the University of Florida unveiled a new insecticide that purported to kill cockroaches. Made of a chemical found in chrysanthemums, the poison (called pyrethroid) quickly became popular, largely because of its effectiveness and low toxicity in mammals.
About 11 years later, a man named Carl Djerassi created a birth-control formula for roaches (presumably because it was far too difficult to teach them to practice safe sex). His chemical didn't kill the bugs, but prevented them from reproducing, eventually causing the entire colony to wither and die.
In New York in the 1990s, a particularly bad infestation even caused city dwellers to start snatching up geckos, as the lizards were capable of eating hundreds per day. While this is undoubtedly an adorable solution, it's still not effective, as it's merely a form of population control.
Today, gel baits are quite popular, as they're capable of decimating an entire nest. Roaches snatch up the gel and take it back to their relatives at home, who then share it among themselves. This allows you to target the problem at its source, wiping out entire generations in one fell swoop.
Gel baits are currently your best bet for finally getting a handle on your roach problem. We say "currently" because there appears to be evidence that some species are evolving to avoid them.
Lousy jerks. They're always one step ahead!
Everything You Probably Didn't Want To Know About Cockroaches
Most people only want to know two things about roaches: where they are and how to kill them. However, these bugs are actually quite fascinating, and are worth learning more about.
Ok, you got us — the only reason to learn about them is to be able to kill them more effectively. So, read on.
Still, they can survive a long time without any chow — up to one month, in fact.
Roaches are social creatures, and they tend to congregate in large nests. However, there isn't traditionally a queen like you'd have in an ant colony. Instead, males and females mate individually, and each female is capable of producing as many as 400 offspring in her lifetime.
Naturally, when you have that many kids, finding food is imperative. Luckily, roaches will eat almost anything — including the droppings of other roaches. This is another reason why gel bait is so effective, as you can kill multiple bugs with a single serving.
Still, they can survive a long time without any chow — up to one month, in fact. This even enables them to live for up to a week without a head! They use their bodies to breathe, and chopping their heads off only eventually kills them when they become dehydrated, so maybe put away your plans for that tiny cockroach guillotine.
As you might already know, they're notoriously hardy creatures. They can survive being submerged in water for up to 40 minutes, and can often walk away from a good stomping completely unscathed.
However, it's a myth that they can survive a nuclear blast — but only because the heat would kill them.
So there you go. Now you just need to get your hands on a warhead somehow.
Tips For Eliminating Roaches From Your Home
The bad news about roaches is that, if you've seen one in your home, there are likely a lot more that you haven't seen. Fortunately, it's relatively easy to get a handle on the problem, provided that you're willing to do a little work.
Buying a gel bait trap is a good start, but if you do, resist the urge to spray any individual bugs you see. Many gels lose effectiveness when combined with other insecticides, and you want the little menace to survive long enough to make it back to his nest anyway.
With a little bit of time and effort, you should be able to rid your home of pests relatively quickly.
Beyond that, it's primarily a matter of making your home unattractive to six-legged guests. That includes disposing of food promptly, vacuuming regularly, and not allowing liquids to sit out.
Also, make sure they don't have any easy entry points into your home. Caulk up any gaps in your tile or walls, and use weather stripping on your doors and windows. You should also canvas the perimeter of your home with a flashlight, looking for any holes or crevices they may use to break in.
Once you find these entry points (and after you seal them up), coat the area with a little boric acid. While not suitable for eliminating the problem on its own, boric acid does wonders when combined with other treatment methods. Just don't sprinkle it around your food.
With a little bit of time and effort, you should be able to rid your home of pests relatively quickly. Of course, roaches are nothing if not persistent, so it's unlikely that any solution will be a permanent one.
Except that nuke we told you to get. That will let 'em know you mean business.
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