Does Vacuuming Cockroaches Really Kill Them?

  • Written By: Phil Hawes
  • Time to read: 7 min.
vacuuming cockroaches

Finding cockroaches in your home is never a pleasant sight, and obviously, you want to get rid of them as soon as you can. As with other unsightly dirt and grime, the go-to item to use is your vacuum cleaner. The question is, does this effectively get rid of cockroaches in your home?

Cockroaches can be killed during the process of being vacuumed but it isn’t a 100% effective method when using household units. Using an anti-roach product on the captured roaches after vacuuming can increase the extermination rate however. This being said, using a vacuum alone cannot quell a large roach infestation in your home.

As you can see, there is a little more to the idea than just getting your vacuum out and sucking up cockroaches. So, to find out more I invite you to read the rest of this article.

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Where do cockroaches normally hide?

Cockroaches are scavengers and they prefer to hide in food-related areas of your home, such as pantries or cupboards. They also like dark places that provide shelter from predators. ​They stay close by wherever there is a food source but choose one main area where they see the most activity so that can get the sustenance they need.

In addition to food, these insects also need a water source. This is why they can also commonly be found in bathrooms as well as kitchens or pantries. In order to get rid of them, you need to understand where they are coming from.

In your kitchen, you are most likely to find cockroaches hanging out under the fridge, stove, or dishwasher. They are attracted to these areas because of the warmth and humidity that they provide for their habitat.

In your bathroom, you can find them hiding in dark corners like under a tub or sink as well as around pipes where water is running through. This is due to the abundance of moisture and moist surfaces found there.

So, these are the areas to target with your vacuum cleaner.

How do you vacuum roaches?

In order to capture and actually kill cockroaches with a vacuum cleaner, you need to be organized. The job involves flushing these pests out of their hiding places, sucking them up, and then swiftly dealing with any survivors before they can escape. Having a buddy to help you is useful, along with some chemicals too.

Always make sure that you start off with a clean vacuum or vacuum bag before using your vacuum against these pests.

Step 1: Locate the cockroaches

If you want to make a real dent in your cockroach infestation, you need to know where the vast majority of them are hanging out. As mentioned before, in the kitchen you’ll find cockroaches clustering around the oven, sink drain, and dishwasher. Other spots to check are in closets where you keep your foodstuffs stored, as well as garbage bins and pantries.

Step 2: Flush them out of their hiding place

If possible, have someone else lift or move the larger items such as fridges, so you can immediately pounce with a vacuum cleaner. Using a vacuum fitting that is thin enough to get under counters is also a bonus. Cockroaches are more likely to escape from the suction of a regular vacuum cleaner, and you’re also unlikely to be able to get down into crevices with one.

Step 3: Deal with remains and survivors

Although vacuuming may kill some cockroaches with the tumbling movement, many will survive. Now, you have to deal with these survivors and fast. There are three main ways I can think of, disposing of the vacuum bag or contents, burning it, or using a cockroach-killing product.

If you don’t really want to deal with killing the roaches directly, seal them in the thickest plastic bag you have and throw them in the trash as far away from your house as you can.

If you are allowed to do so, burn the contents of your vacuum on a fire or in a fire pit, preferably not near your home. However, this isn’t the best option for your carbon footprint.

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The third option is to use an anti-roach chemical on these pests which will kill them. You can use boric acid, which is an insecticide that will kill the cockroaches if they ingest it.

Either, pour the boric acid powder into the vacuum bag before sealing it up tight and throwing the contents far away, or place the boric acid directly into your vacuum cleaner.

I have a Dyson vacuum that doesn’t need a bag, so pouring some powder on the floor before vacuuming it up is an effective way to coat cockroaches with boric acid.

You can then leave the cockroaches in your vacuum for a day or so, making sure you block the exit up, letting the roaches gorge on the only food available to them.

This method takes time but ultimately ensures you kill off a lot of roaches all at once.

What kills cockroaches instantly?

Boric acid is one of the best ways to kill roaches quickly. Despite the name, it isn’t a dangerous product to use and is very effective against these pests.

I recommend mixing boric acid with flour or sugar and then putting it in areas where roaches are likely to appear. You can also sprinkle the mixture on surfaces that cockroaches frequent. This will ensure they pick up the powder through physical contact, not just smell.

Boric acid can also be made into an effective insecticide spray. There is a great and simple solution for getting rid of cockroaches: boric acid and sugar. All you need to do is mix the ingredients into a spray container of water, stir it thoroughly, and then spray the mixture onto the baseboards around an entryway where cockroaches were spotted. Use 2 tablespoons of boric acid and 2 cups of sugar for every 1 cup of water. 

Both methods work by dissolving boric acid into a liquid, then spraying it on roaches and other insects. They will die through dehydration in as little as two hours. Once they are dried up, the cockroaches can be easily swept away or vacuumed up so that there is less chance of them coming back to life.

Can bugs survive in a vacuum?

Bugs can and often do survive a trip through a vacuum cleaner. This is why it’s very important to quickly change out your vacuum bag and thoroughly clean and empty it. Don’t keep any of the dust in your home, but throw it out to minimize the spread of any bug infestation.

The issue with using a vacuum cleaner on most bugs is that they have a hard exoskeleton, and the vacuum may not be strong enough to kill them when it sucks them up.

Some insects will survive in a vacuum cleaner because of this exoskeleton and if there are food morsels in the dust that’s been sucked up, they could survive for a long time in the vacuum bag. This is why it’s important for you to empty your bag quickly, change it often, and make sure everything gets cleaned after each use.

Will cleaning get rid of roaches?

Cleaning is by far the best deterrent for cockroaches as well as many other types of pests such as mice, rats, ants, and even wasps.

Cleaning can be done regularly to make sure there are no food sources for the roaches and that you don’t leave any water or crumbs on surfaces where they could thrive.

However, cockroaches can still make it into your home even when it’s spotless. This is especially true if you live in a state where cockroaches are abundant.

Cockroaches can also live in the cracks and crevices of your home, meaning that cleaning will only get rid of them if it’s done regularly. If you only clean once a year or less, roaches may still populate these areas as they’ll be well hidden from view.

What to pour down the drain to kill roaches?

Using vinegar and baking soda instead of bleach to remove roaches from your home is an easy way to keep your family safe. After pouring this mixture down your drains, let the faucet run for a while. Then pour hot water to clear out any cockroaches in the pipes.

To stop bugs from coming up the drains, fix any holes you can easily find in your pipes. This stops any roaches in your home from accessing water. These pests can live off just water, so restricting their access to it leads to dehydration and ultimately death for roach-kind.

It can be difficult to get rid of a large population of sewer cockroaches. You may need to hire a professional if you have an infestation that is out of control While it may seem that pouring roach kills as a final solution is the best way to end an infestation, this won’t work. The roaches will just go away after running into the sewer system, and any leftover solution could be dangerous to your health.

Covering your drain with a stopper will also prevent cockroaches from coming up the drain. You should also keep your kitchen clean to avoid any potential invasion of food-seeking bugs.

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