Roach problem

I have a couple of houses and about a year ago I purchased a 4 plex. The 4 plex has a roach problem that I can’t seem to get under control. I’m the type of landlord that likes to fix up the properites to where I wouldn’t have a problem living in the property myself. I can’t stand the roach issue and have had a pest control guy out several times. I’m having him out again tomorrow and putting him on a monthly basis until I get this thing under control but it seems like 1 tenant is the problem. She just refuses to live clean. She’s now on month to month so I think after viewing the property tomorrow and treating again, I’m going to give her 30 days notice and hopefully she’ll honor it. Has anyone multiunit property owner ever gotten roaches under control/eliminated them once they’re on the scene?



It is nearly impossible to get rid of roaches when someone is living in filth. I own many multi-unit buildings and have had many roach problems. I had one house that had roaches so bad that when I opened the front door, probably 100 roaches fell off it. As I was walking through the house, roaches were falling off the ceiling, landing on my head in going down my shirt. It was disgusting!!! I have found that the roach gel is the most effective way to get rid of roaches, but it is still difficult if people live like pigs. Evict your filthy pig and your roach situation should be easily fixed.



I had roach problems through the years.

You’ll need to think “the Vietnam war”, and the notorious and stealty “Viet Cong”. How did they win?? It was the inabilty to choke off supplies to the enemy. We ran away with our tails between our legs.

Looks like the roach “insurgents” got you beat, mainly because filthy tenants supply “aid and comfort” to the enemy.

I got rid of a tenant or two for this reason. In one of the worst cases, I went with an exterminator, and he lifted a rubber mat underneath the dish rack, and about 100 roaches ran in all directions. It’s the first time ever I saw an exterminator literally jumped.

Fortunately, when I rehabbed that house, and before the roach problem arose, I insisted on CAULKING all the opening between floors, particularly where pipes comes out of walls, or into the floors. The exterminator asked about doing the entire building, and was surprised to hear that neighboring units had no problems, and those tenants did not want the place treated. Normally, roaches would infest neighboring units, and you’ll have to treat all the adjoining rentals.

After I evicted this filthy tenant, I went though the unit:

  • I sprayed a loose molding above a wooden baseboard, and roaches were shooting out like bullets. So I caulked spaces between kitchen cabinets and the celings and walls, and I went around the unit caulking any cracks, especially around moldings.

  • I lifted up the “wall to wall” carpets, and roaches were crawling around underneath there too!! I sprayed and and I cleaned up roach eggs. I tacked down and reused the carpeting, and would’ve ripped up the padding below, replaced all of the carpeting, if the problem peristed. Turned out I didn’t need to

  • Cleaned underneath stoves, refigerators.

Took a month, and did not re-rent till I saw no roaches roaming the vacant unit. I then declared MSSION ACOMPLISHED. The enemy was crushed.

Had another tenant that I decided to keep, still with me, but only after we showed the “stay at home” mom how to "roach proof the place.

  • No dirty dished allowed in the sink. Wash dishes immediately
  • We keep a small quart size bag next to the sink where we discard all leftover foodstuff before we discard into the regular garbage, and we had the tenant do the same.
  • Do not leave food on table, keep everything in the fridge. Tenants tend to leave snacks laying around.

And we done frequent “roach inspections” since for this tenant, where we drop off fresh supplies of roach control supplies. The roach problem went down considerably, to almost non-existent now.

In the beginning, we had exterminators come, but we found the issue had to do with housekeeping.

No food, no roaches.

I rented a commercial space in N.Y.C. (famous for it’s roach problem) years ago and there were people in it all the time. But no food and never a roach. One day a guy came in with a ham sandwich from a deli. He ate the whole thing but left the empty bag and napkin etc. Within a few hours there were roaches all over that bag.

turn a couple of geckos loose in the house. they will live in the walls, and aren’t a nusiance even if you do see them.

I have seen this work as a young man in my sister’s house. You could literally hear them crunching bugs all night long inside the walls. 3 weeks - no bugs.

Well I gave my tenant her 30 days notice today and got an ear full this afternoon. Apparently I’m a very bad person for turning her and her 3 children out on the street. I sure hope I can get this thing under control once she moves out.

Thanks for the coments all.

You have insurance for that gecko?

Insurance is FROM the gecko, not FOR the gecko. :biggrin

Ps- I’ve heard reptile keepers saying they do the same thing with geckos when they are housing thousands of crickets for reptile food and some get loose.