In the southeastern United States, Asian cockroaches and so-called palmetto bugs love to infest your lawn and then migrate into your home as well. While these particular forms of roaches prefer the outdoors, they are not opposed to invading the house. And, nothing spoils the barbecue faster than a lawn covered in roaches.
Dish Soap and Water; Baking Soda and Sugar
Mix dish soap and water. The mixture should be heavy on the soap, about 1 cup of soap per gallon of water.
Spray the entire lawn, using the sprayer attachment on your hose.
Concentrate on area the roaches like, including the tips of leaves on your trees and shrubbery. The soap will coat the insect and smother them. This application will also help rid your lawn and ornamentals of other pests, including Japanese beetles.
Check to see if this method was successful. If not, consider using another option.
Combine baking soda and sugar and sift together with a flour sifter. Roaches will eat the sugar and by accident get the attached baking soda. The soda causes them to bloat and die.
Sprinkle the lawn several times to get each new batch as the eggs hatch. This may also attract other pest insects, like ants.
Purchase Diatomaceous Earth (DE) at an organic gardening or home store. DE is odorless and nontoxic and a great option for controlling yard pests.
Sprinkle the entire lawn with DE. The finely milled fossilized shells of minuscule organisms called diatoms are used to make DE and will kill the roaches and other insect pests. Though DE feels soft to the touch, its sharp edges cut the exoskeleton of pests and their digestive tracts when it is consumed, causing them to dehydrate and die. DE is non-toxic to most natural wildlife, pets, and people.
Concentrate extra DE around the foundation of the house and walkways to prevent the roaches from invading your home. As an alternative to DE, consider importing natural predators.
Buy a gecko or other native lizards. Lizards feed on roaches and other pest insects, so they can be a wonderful addition to your pest control options, if they are native to your region.
Landscape in a lizard-friendly manner. Provide sources of water and shelter for the lizards as well as rocks that they can sun themselves on and let them eliminate your roach problem.
About this Author
Lucinda Gunnin is a trained and experienced print reporter with almost two decades of experience in the media business. She holds a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield and undergraduate degrees from Adams State College in Colorado. Gunnin has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines and has her fiction published in the anthology "Elements of the Soul."