1. Hide your food. Keep food containers sealed, and don’t leave food out for extended periods. Don’t leave dirty dishes out overnight, and don’t leave fruit on the countertop.

2. Make your own, natural cockroach bait. Mix three parts boric acid with one part powdered sugar. The sugar lures the roaches, while the boric acid kills them. Although the boric acid isn’t toxic to people or pets, it can be irritating so keep it away from counters and places where little fingers and noses can reach. Sprinkle it under and behind the refrigerator, stove and dishwasher, under the sink, and into cracks along the edges of cabinets and pantries.

3. Clean your house thoroughly. A clean house is key to keeping cockroaches away, and the first place to start is the kitchen. Wash your dishes and put food away promptly after meals. Clean up crumbs and spills right away, and generally keep the area clean. Pay special attention to range tops, as cockroaches love grease.

4. Cut off water sources. Cockroaches must have a source of water. Depending on the temperature and their size, they can live for a month without any food, but no more than a week without water. Find all the water leaks in your house, and fix them. Once their water source(s) have been eliminated, they will be much more interested in eating gel-based baits you set out.

5. Take out the trash regularly. Have one trash can for food in your house. Don’t let it sit for too long. Use a trash can with a lid, rather than one that stays open. Keep it in sealed containers that aren’t sitting right next to your house.

6. Use a solution of soap and water. This is an easy way to kill adult roaches. Make a light solution of soap (bath soap is fine) and water that is thin enough to spray through a spray bottle. You can splash it, spray it or just throw it on the roach. Just 2 or 3 drops of a soapy water solution can kill a roach. Ensure that it makes contact with the roach’s head and lower abdomen. If you can turn the roach over, hitting the belly is best. The roach will run or try to run, but will suddenly stop and die or be almost dead in one minute.