How to Prevent and Get Rid of Cockroaches in Canada

Cockroaches are common pests that are incredibly hard to get rid of. They are famous for their intense survival skills, so it’s no surprise that there are over 3,500 species of roaches worldwide. Here in Canada however, we have 3 major species that homeowners have to contend with: the German cockroach, the brown-banded cockroach, and the American cockroach.

Below we share the best ways the get rid of roaches for good and all the key information you’ll need to make intelligent decisions about your cockroach problem. 


What Type of Cockroach Is in My Canadian Home?

German Cockroach 

Possibly the most common household pest globally, German cockroaches are what most people think of when they think of roaches. They are most easily identified by their patterning, sporting two dark parallel bands on the back of their heads and can grow to around 16 mm long. They typically infest kitchens and bathrooms or anywhere with access to water and food, and their favourite snacks include meats, sweets and starches.

Can cockroaches fly?
Though all cockroaches have wings, most species, including German cockroaches, can only use them to glide for a short period of time. However, some less prevalent species are adept at flying. 

Brown-Banded Cockroach

Brown-banded cockroaches are smaller than the other residential Canadian species (only up to 13 mm long) and like to hide anywhere they can wedge their slim bodies, such as under wallpaper, in walls or in electrical appliances such as fridges or TVs. You can identify the adults by the distinct tan or light yellow banding across their wings and their small oval bodies. 

American Cockroach 

The American cockroach is the largest roach we have in Canada measuring up to 40 mm in length. They are reddish-brown in colour and have a yellow band across the back of their head. American cockroaches are notorious for infesting North American sewer systems but can also sometimes be found in the basements of homes. Unlike the other species on this list, they mainly eat decaying matter including plants or small insects, instead of food from your pantry. 

Are cockroaches dangerous?
While cockroach bites are rare these creepy crawlies pose other risks to those living in close proximity to them – such as triggering asthma attacks or allergies, transmitting disease, spoiling food and generally creating an unsanitary environment.

How to prevent cockroaches:

All cockroaches need food, water and shelter to thrive – by removing access to these resources you make your home inhospitable to them. 

  • Clean up spilled food immediately and wipe down countertops after each meal 
  • Store food in sealed containers 
  • Don’t leave pet food out for longer than necessary 
  • Take out the trash regularly
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes out overnight
  • Fix leaky faucets, toilets and roofs 
  • Reduce humidity in bathrooms, kitchens and basements by using fans or a dehumidifier

Do cockroaches reproduce quickly?
Yes! The female German cockroach only lives for 100-200 days but in that time will lay between 120 and 320 eggs


How to get rid of cockroaches 

Cockroaches are incredibly hard to get rid of because they don’t die easily and they reproduce incredibly quickly. There are many products available designed to eliminate cockroaches however, they are not all created equal! Below we outline the effectiveness of the most common cockroach removal products. 

Bombs or Foggers – Not recommended! These “bombs” spray pesticides into the air so that they cover every surface in the room. However, they have not been shown to be very effective against cockroaches, as they miss a lot of the nooks and crannies in which roaches live. Pesticides can also be hazardous to humans if mishandled and should be applied by professionals when possible. 

Glue Traps – These traps cause cockroaches to get stuck in them and are a useful tool when it comes to identifying if you have a cockroach problem or where the roaches are coming from. However, it isn’t very effective as a control tactic because they simply can’t catch enough roaches to make a dent in the population. 

Gel Baits – Gel baits are one of the most effective means of cockroach control, but are more complicated to use than they may seem. Different cockroaches are attracted to different baits, the baits must be placed in all the correct places to properly target the population and they must be reapplied regularly. Once again, this is why they are significantly more effective in the hands of pest control professionals. 

Vacuum- While not a total control method on its own, regularly vacuuming an infested area, especially in little nooks where these bugs may hide can help get rid of eggs and make elimination faster. 

Ultimately, the best and fastest way to get rid of cockroaches is by calling on pest control professionals, cockroaches are simply too resilient for the average Canadian homeowner to overcome alone. Professionals will be able to identify your problem correctly and address the issue from the source. 

Terminix Canada offers expert pest control services for both residential and commercial properties. We have local pest control experts at locations across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today to learn how we can help.