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5 Best Roach Killers for Apartments in 2023: Reviews & Top Picks

spraying cockroaches with insecticide

spraying cockroaches with insecticide

When you live in an apartment, close proximity to other households with varying levels of cleanliness can contribute to a roach infestation if the situation isn’t dealt with properly. Roaches might find their way into your kitchen by smelling last night’s leftovers or seeking refuge from your neighbor’s insecticide. There are different methods of getting rid of roaches. The best way depends on your preferences for duration, budget, and type, such as whether you’d rather set off a fogger or lay out traps. You’ll also need to consider any children or pets in your household to make sure you pick a product that’s safe to use around them. Here are our 5 top picks for roach killer in 2022, with a more detailed explanation of the different types of products in our Buyer’s Guide.

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A Quick Look at Our Favorites of 2023

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Harris Roach Tablets, Boric Acid Roach Killer with Lure Harris Roach Tablets, Boric Acid Roach Killer with Lure
  • Cheap
  • No toxic fumes
  • Starts working within days
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait
  • Child-resistant design
  • Relatively safe for use around dogs and cats
  • Comes in a pack of 18
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Bengal Roach Spray 9 oz Bengal Roach Spray 9 oz
  • Kills on contact
  • Positive reviews
  • Low toxicity to humans and dogs
  • Best Choice For Use Around Children & Pets
    Raid Essentials Ant & Roach Killer Aerosol Spray Raid Essentials Ant & Roach Killer Aerosol Spray
  • Kills on contact
  • Geraniol and lemongrass essential oils are safe for kids, cats, and dogs
  • Inexpensive
  • Best for Large Infestations
    Hot Shot Fogger with Odor Neutralizer Hot Shot Fogger with Odor Neutralizer
  • Kills instantly and lingers for months
  • Easy to use
  • The 5 Best Roach Killers for Apartments

    1. Harris Roach Tablets with Lure — Best Overall

    Harris Roach Tablets, Boric Acid Roach Killer with Lure (6oz, 145 Tablets)

    Type: Tablet
    Safe for children and pets: No
    Duration: N/A

    Our best overall choice, Harris Roach Tablets with Lure, discreetly solves your roach problem with boric acid tablets that you can tuck away out of sight from company or curious children. These chalky capsules spell slow death for roaches by poisoning them upon ingestion. Since roaches are cannibals, they’ll eat their fellow perished pests and thus the poison gradually spreads through the rest of the nest, spelling their doom.

    Roach tablets are a classic method of cockroach extermination that’s moderately safe for pets and children when used as directed. You should never allow a child or pet to come into contact with a boric acid tablet since this chemical is very dangerous to them, but tablets are considered moderately safe in the sense that you’re in control of where they reach. In other words, they’re not forcing anyone to inhale toxic fumes like foggers or sprays.

    The duration depends on how fast the roaches chow down, but since the package comes with 145 tablets, we think one order should last for a long time. To use, simply place the tablets in areas of high moisture or places where you’ve seen roaches, making sure to keep the tablets out of reach of children and pets. Wait a few days, and then you should start to see dead bugs accumulating in your home, which can be swept away and forgotten.

    Pros
    • Cheap
    • No toxic fumes
    • Starts working within days
    • Good for mild to severe infestations
    Cons
    • Keep out of reach of children and pets
    • Doesn’t kill on contact

    2. Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait — Best Value

    Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait

    Type: Bait
    Safe for children and pets: Yes
    Duration: 12 months

    These compact killing stations are the best form of roach control on a budget, which is why we selected them as our best value choice. Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait comes in a 18 count package and each unit lasts for 12 months. If you live in a small apartment, a single purchase will probably outlast your lease! However, if you have a large infestation that quickly eats away at the bait in the traps, the products might not last as long as suggested.

    This product doesn’t kill roaches on contact. Rather, the food in the bait attracts roaches to the trap, where they nibble on the poison-laced snack. Before they realize the end is near, the roaches share the leftovers with other members of their nest, who then also eat the bait and die.

    Fipronil is the active ingredient. While you don’t want any members of your household to ingest roach bait, the good news is that fipronil is actually the main ingredient in Frontline, the tick and flea prevention product for dogs and cats. Thus, it’s relatively safe if a pet accidentally comes into contact with it. Thanks to the child-resistant design, it’s unlikely that anyone will be able to reach the ingredients anyway—except for the roaches.

    Pros
    • Child-resistant design
    • Relatively safe for use around dogs and cats
    • Comes in a pack of 18
    • Each unit lasts for 12 months
    Cons
    • Doesn’t kill instantly
    • Size of infestation depends on duration

    3. Bengal Roach Spray 9 oz — Premium Choice

    Bengal Roach Spray 9oz

    Type: Spray
    Safe for children and pets: When used as directed
    Duration: 1-4 months

    Our premium choice, Bengal Roach Spray, can be applied once a month to areas where you commonly see roaches. As with all chemical insect control products, avoid spraying directly onto food or food contact surfaces such as dinner plates. Pyrethrin is the active ingredient, which is a relatively expensive insecticide. It’s safe for dogs but should be used cautiously around cats because it can be deadly in high amounts.

    Bengal has a 1–4-month duration, which isn’t as long as some other products we reviewed. However, it has highly favorable reviews and kills roaches on contact. The quick response time enables this formula to handle an infestation in an afternoon.

    Pros
    • Kills on contact
    • Positive reviews
    • Low toxicity to humans and dogs
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Doesn’t last as long as some products
    • Not safe for cats

    4. Raid Essentials Ant & Roach Killer Aerosol Spray — Best Choice For Use Around Children & Pets

    Raid Essentials Ant & Roach Killer Aerosol Spray

    Type: Spray
    Safe for children and pets: Yes
    Duration: Kills on contact; repels for weeks

    Don’t confuse Raid with Raid Essentials. Unlike its chemically laced counterpart, Raid Essentials Ant & Roach Killer Aerosol Spray uses plant-based geraniol and lemongrass essential oil as the active ingredients. It’s safe for children and pets, which makes it a family-friendly alternative to traps, baits, and tablets. Since this product doesn’t contain toxic ingredients, you can spray this product in the kitchen, even near food. Since Raid Essentials costs less than $10 per can, it’s also a cost-efficient way to deal with roaches.

    The only negative thing is that while it kills on contact, it doesn’t continue to kill roaches past the initial spritz. As the spray dries, it’s not strong enough to kill the roach if they come across the residue, but since roaches don’t like the smell, we recommend spraying it near the entry points of your home to keep them away. Just be careful when applying around doorways because reviewers say this spray tends to leave an oil, slippery residue.

    Raid Essentials works great if you need something to instantly kill bugs when your toddler shrieks in terror, or if you’re looking for a natural alternative to roach traps and baits. It’s probably not our top choice for dealing with infestations however since you more or less have to target the roach directly in order to kill it.

    Pros
    • Kills on contact
    • Geraniol and lemongrass essential oils are safe for kids, cats, and dogs
    • Inexpensive
    • Repels for weeks
    Cons
    • Doesn’t continue to kill after it dries
    • Not good for large infestations
    • Leaves a slippery residue

    5. Hot Shot Fogger with Odor Neutralizer – Best for Large Infestations

    Hot Shot Fogger with Odor Neutralizer

    Type: Fogger
    Safe for children and pets: No
    Duration: 2 months

    If you want an insecticide method that you can set and forget, the Hot Shot Fogger is your best bet. To use, you’ll need to cover any food, and vacate the premises with your other household members and pets for at least four hours while the foggers do their work. When you return, you’ll probably already see some results, and the foggers will continue impacting the area for up to 2 months.

    Foggers are a little controversial. While they’re easy to use and ideal in tight apartment spaces, the chemicals used aren’t safe for humans or animals. Active ingredient tetramethrin is a category 2 carcinogen with short-term side effects such as dizziness and vomiting if inhaled. Cypermethrin is the other active ingredient which is also highly toxic to humans, and fatal to bees, fish, and other wildlife.

    We recommend this product as a last resort to deal with serious infestations when other products don’t quite solve the problem.

    Pros
    • Kills instantly and lingers for months
    • Easy to use
    Cons
    • Contains hazardous insecticides

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Roach Killer for Apartments

    All of the products we reviewed have overwhelmingly positive reviews. We tried to include a sampling of different types of roach killers since everyone has different needs. For example, when searching for roach killer, you might need to consider:

    Duration

    Some products kill roaches instantly, such as the Raid Essentials Spray or the Hot Shot Fogger. However, it’s worth considering the trade. Raid Essentials Spray only repels afterward to initial spray, although its repelling powers last for a while after application. While the Fogger lasts for a couple months, the active ingredients are highly toxic to humans and most animals, so there’s ongoing debate about their safety. You could set up a slow-acting bait that will last for months, such as Harris Roach Tablets, but this isn’t the best choice if you need results before tonight’s dinner guests arrive.

    Safety

    While you don’t want to risk your own health, it’s especially crucial to pay attention to ingredients and warning labels if you have pets or children who are more sensitive to toxic chemicals. Some products might even be safe for humans, but hazardous to dogs or cats. Raid Essentials was our safest choice since it uses pet-friendly active ingredients.

    Type

    There are so many different methods of killing roaches. We tried to include a sampling of foggers, baits, sprays, and tablets. The best type for you probably depends on the other two factors listed above, duration and safety. Foggers and baits tend to last longer than sprays and tablets. However, most products aren’t safe for children or pets, regardless of type or duration.

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    Conclusion

    We researched the best products for tackling roaches in your apartments and chose these top picks. Harris Roach Tablets was our overall best choice because it’s cheap, non-invasive to your space, and doesn’t leave any lingering harmful chemicals unlike foggers and most sprays. Our best value option, Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait, costs around $10 and equips your apartment with 18 units that’ll last for a year.

    Reviewers rave about our premium choice, Bengal Roach Spray, because it’s highly effective and lasts for about a month in between applications. All of these products and the others on our list will exterminate roaches, but the best choice for your household depends on the type of insecticide you prefer, and your safety requirements if you have children or pets.


    Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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