Seeing a tiny baby cockroach crawling on the wall is a lot less scary than a huge adult cockroach flying around you. But don’t make the mistake that these baby roaches (also called nymphs) aren’t as dangerous as their adult counterparts. If anything, they can be harder to track down and kill.
Baby roaches may be small, but they are just as hazardous as adult roaches when they make a home out of your house. They can spread viruses and bacteria wherever they go. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get rid of them or deter them from staying in your kitchen or bathroom.
Today, we’re going to teach you how to get rid of baby roaches. By the end of this practical guide, you’ll be confident enough to tackle your baby roach situation head-on. Keep reading to learn all the ways you can eliminate nymph cockroaches from your home once and for all.
Why Baby Cockroaches are a Bad Sign
When female cockroaches lay their eggs, it doesn’t take long until tiny baby roaches are crawling about. From the egg case in which they are lain (called the “oothecae”), these tiny baby roaches will hatch out and wreak havoc in your home.
Baby cockroaches look like adult cockroaches, but are much smaller at about a quarter of an inch long. Like their adult counterparts, they have spiny legs and their infamous antennae. They have a light color when they hatch but turn a dark, reddish-brown color just hours later.
These nymph roaches might be tiny but don’t write them off right away. Having baby roaches in your home is actually a bad sign. It means that your cockroach infestation has gone on for so long that the adult roaches are able to breed and reproduce.
Pretty soon, you’ll have way more roaches than you anticipate somewhere in your home. Unless, of course, you address the problem as soon as you can.
The thing is, it’s a lot more challenging to get rid of baby roaches than adult ones. They’re smaller and can move faster, even if they don’t have wings to fly yet. They hide by burying themselves in tiny crevices and cracks in the walls and floorboards, making it much harder to find and kill them.
8 Ways to Get Rid of Baby Roaches
Even if you only see one baby roach in your house, make a plan right away on how to get rid of them. The faster you eliminate the baby roaches, the more effectively you can prevent an infestation from growing further.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to kill baby roaches or deter them from staying in your home. Here are eight ways to get rid of baby roaches, and in the long run, stop your roach infestation from getting worse:
1. Eliminate their food sources
The first thing you should do to get rid of baby roaches is to eliminate their food sources. When you cut off their food, they’ll look for another place to infest instead of your kitchen counter or pantry. They may also die of starvation if they can’t find any other food sources.
Keeping your kitchen clean is of the utmost importance if you’re trying to eliminate baby roaches from your home. Never leave dirty dishes in the sink and take out the garbage as often as possible. If you have a pet, don’t leave their pet food lying around—clean it up as soon as you can.
Cutting off adult cockroaches from food also prevents them from breeding and laying eggs. As a result, you’ll have fewer baby roaches at home.
2. Use insecticide sprays
A quick way to kill baby roaches is by spraying the areas they frequent with insecticide. These aerosol sprays and baits are made with active ingredients such as permethrin, which causes muscle spasms, paralysis, and death in roaches at any life stage.
When using insecticide, always double-check the manufacturer’s instructions on the label on how to spray or apply it to the infested area. To be extra safe, wear gloves, pants, and long-sleeved tops when you use these chemicals to minimize the substance’s contact with your skin.
After applying the insecticide in the area you often see baby roaches, sit and wait. You may notice a decrease in their population in a few days. Spray insecticide in infected areas every couple of days.
3. Use an insect growth regulator (IGR)
Stunt the growth of those pesky baby roaches using insect growth regulators, also known as IGRs. If you can trick a baby cockroach into eating IGRs, it will stop growing into an adult cockroach. It interferes with the natural molting process of a nymph, keeping them from developing.
IGRs are great not just at inhibiting the growth of insects, but preventing them from reproducing as well. That means you’ll have fewer baby roaches on your hands.
While IGRs are effective at stunting the growth of baby roaches, it doesn’t necessarily kill them. That’s why it’s best to pair IGRs with other methods of killing roaches, like insecticidal sprays.
Learn about the different kinds of IGRs you can use to inhibit the growth of baby roaches through this quick video by Do-It-Yourself Pest Control:
4. Seal cracks and crevices they can hide in
Lock out the baby roaches from their potential entry points into your home by sealing every nook and cranny they might be hiding in. This can come in the form of simply closing windows at night or more aggressive techniques, like caulking up cracks and crevices in floorboards or walls.
You can use any material of your choice to close the gaps in your walls, cabinets, and flooring. Expanding foam sealants, putty, and caulk guns are some of the more popular options for sealing these tight spaces that baby roaches hide in.
5. Fix leaky sinks and faucets
Cockroaches love moisture. They gravitate toward humid areas because it gives them a reliable water supply. They also like when mold grows in these areas. So, if you have a leaky sink or faucet in your bathroom or kitchen, you can be sure that the roaches in your home love it there.
Fixing these leaky pipes and water sources cuts off the roaches (both nymphs and adults) from their water supply, which they need for survival. The lack of damp, dark areas also makes it harder for them to reproduce and lay eggs, as females love to keep their oothecae in moist areas.
Aside from keeping those roaches away, repairing your sink also improves the overall sanitation in your home. This will keep most pests away.
6. Kill them with boric acid
Boric acid is another way to effectively kill baby roaches. This insecticide attacks the roach’s digestive system by destroying the lining of its gut. This ultimately leads to the starvation of the cockroaches, killing them slowly but surely.
Sprinkle a bit of boric acid powder over the areas where you often see the baby roaches crawling by. In no time, you’ll notice a decrease in their population. Don’t worry—boric acid is low in toxicity to humans. Just make sure you wear gloves when you handle boric acid to be safe.
7. Deter them with citrus scents
The smell of citrus is a natural repellent that keeps cockroaches away. They hate the strong smell of lemon juice, orange oil, and citrus fruit peels. So, it might be wise to make your entire house smell like citrus to deter baby roaches from crawling about.
You can do this in many ways. Diffuse citrus essential oils to make your home smell refreshing to you but sickeningly strong to the roaches. Consider leaving orange and lemon peels in areas where you usually see the baby roaches. And when cleaning your home, use citrus-scented products.
8. Call a professional pest control service
When all else fails (or when you get the inkling that the roach infestation in your home is getting worse) call a professional pest control team to take a look at your home. They will assess the situation with a quick inspection and create a treatment plan to get rid of those baby roaches.
Pest control professionals may use some of the chemicals we’ve mentioned to kill the roaches in your house, like boric acid and IGRs. They’ll also give you prevention advice on how to deter roaches from coming back and infesting your home again.
If you spot one or two baby roaches in your home, it’s important to act right away. Don’t brush it off as something harmless, as baby cockroaches are almost always a surefire sign that there is a larger infestation of fully-grown cockroaches somewhere in your house.
Act fast and make a game plan to kill those pesky baby bugs with insecticide, insect growth regulators, or boric acid. To deter them from coming back, cut off their food sources and fix the leaks in your sinks. And if the infestation gets severe, call your local pest control team for help.
By staying on top of these tips to keep roaches away, you can get rid of baby roaches and ensure that they won’t come back. Follow all our tips to a T, and pretty soon, you’ll have a roach-free home once more.