Controlling German cockroaches requires a multi-step process of reducing available food and water along with using effective bait products or other low toxicity approaches. According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in Lancaster County, sanitation efforts alone are not enough to eliminate these rapidly reproducing insects.
Kitchens provide all that cockroaches need to survive. They are generally warm, filled with food and supply a water source. Limiting the pests' access to food and water is helpful in reducing populations. Storing foods in roach-proof containers, removing garbage and food scraps, and cleaning spills immediately are all helpful in making the kitchen less attractive to the insects.
Bait products offer better control than many of the fogger-type products. While foggers may reduce the appearance of cockroaches temporarily, they generally cause the insects to move to other locations. In multi-family homes, the pests return when another fogger is set off next door.
Nontoxic or low toxicity products offer another option. Boric acid, when spread as a fine powder across the floor, is effective against cockroaches. Diatomaceous earth helps to control the insects, but scientists remain uncertain of the mechanism. If the insects are in small electronic appliances, placing them in a plastic bag and in the freezer overnight kills the cockroaches.