Cockroaches and ants can be controlled with prevention and less toxic products. 

Use plain soapy water to kill crawling insects and clean up their trails.

Insecticidal sprays and foggers may kill some of your pests, but so will simple soapy water – without all the hazards of pesticides. Also, soapy water removes ants’ chemical trails, making it harder for them to find their way back inside your home. Don’t forget, just killing the pests in sight will not prevent future pest problems.


Seal out pests from your home and food.

For bugs, a crumb is a feast, so clean up spills! Store food in glass and stainless-steel containers. Seal holes and cracks that give pests access into your home. 


If pests persist, use ant or cockroach baits instead of sprays.

You may have to wait a week or two for complete control, but baits have proven more effective than insecticides and foggers. They also have less potential to harm your health than sprays.


Related Content

Pest Management for Residents
Managing Pests in Your Home (English) (PDF, 2 pages) / Manejo de Plagas en su Casa (Español)  / 屋內害蟲治理 (中文)

Additional Resources

Pest Management Factsheets (Our Water, Our World website) - Guidelines for specific pests
Pest Notes Library (UC Agriculture and Natural Resources website) - Guidelines for specific pests 
IPM Toolkit for Child Care Providers (Calif. Dept. of Pesticide Regulation) - practical information about using IPM to manage pest problems for child care providers, schools, and families
EPA: Benefits of Integrated Pest Management


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