The best defense against cockroaches is to keep them out of your home in the first place, for example by sealing potential entry points, eliminating food and water sources, and reducing clutter where they can hide. But cockroaches are resourceful creatures, having survived this world for hundreds of millions of years, so the occasional infestation is inevitable. In fact, 63% of homes in the US contain cockroach allergens, according to the National Pest Management Association.

The experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute work closely with entomologists and pest control professionals to come up with best practices for controlling all types of pests, including ants, mice, silverfish and more. For this report, we have introduced the best types of cockroach killer: gels, powders and bait stations. We did not look at sprays and bombs because, as Dr. Changlu Wang of the Department of Entomology at Rutgers University states: “Insect bombs are completely ineffective. Sprays can kill some cockroaches, but they are not very effective and can easily contaminate surfaces.”

Our top picks:

Once you’ve read through the roundup of winners, stay tuned for more information on how we pick the best cockroach killers, what to keep in mind when shopping, and answers to common questions about cockroach infestations.

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