By Chris Williams on July 28, 2017.

My mother lives in an apartment that has cockroaches – bad! She has breathing problems and we just found out that she won’t complain to management about the roaches because she can’t tolerate the spray that the exterminator uses. If they do come around, she says she’s sick and can’t be treated. Trouble is she isn’t using any other kind of cockroach control and things are getting pretty bad. What can we do to help? N. V., Boscawen, NH

I’m surprised that the exterminator for your mother’s property is still using insecticide sprays to control cockroaches. Or, maybe your mother just remembers that from the old days. Most of us rely on cockroach baits, and especially when people can’t tolerate sprays. In a situation like your mother’s, in addition to baits, we can use nonchemical controls such as sticky traps or even targeted vacuuming to collect cockroaches.


Cockroach baits have many advantages, including the fact that there are no volatile chemicals or odors in the air. The baits are most often applied as small spots of gel in cracks and crevices or in flat, plastic containers that are placed in out-of-the-way places. No spray needed. With cockroach baits, the resident doesn’t have to empty cabinets (another nasty chore from the old days) and very little to no preparation is required for pest control service. See Why is Cockroach Bait the Best Choice?

The bad news is that if your mother’s apartment now has a serious cockroach infestation, baits alone may not be able to do the job initially and some spraying may be necessary to knock cockroaches down to a manageable level. If her doctor agrees, you or the property should be able to make arrangements for your mother to be out of the apartment briefly during this one-time treatment. If the apartment is aired out well after and baits are then installed and maintained, she should have no further problems. Whether or not this intensive treatment would be necessary will depend on the results of a professional inspection.

For more information on our cockroach management programs using baits, give us a call, and see these Colonial blogs:

Photo Credit : By Clemson University – USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, / ©, CC BY 3.0 us, Link



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