How to get rid of giant water bugs

Written by s.c. palmer
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How to get rid of giant water bugs
Water bugs are disgusting creatures but fairly easy to get rid of. (jumping roach image by Adrian Hillman from

Finding that giant water bugs are in your home is a shocking discovery. You might keep a tidy home, but these nasty bugs can still find their way inside and take over your living area. Water bugs, also known as Oriental or American cockroaches, are large and disgusting, but thankfully fairly easy to get rid of. Before you call an exterminator to take care of your pest problem, there are a few simple things that you can try on your own.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Window screens
  • Pyrethrum
  • Borax
  • Dish soap
  • Vinegar

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  1. 1

    Clean your home thoroughly. Water bugs and other roaches like to feed off of decaying food particles in your home, so getting rid of them is crucial. You want to make sure that dark and damp areas, such as under your sink, are especially clean. If you find any standing water in your home, clean that up immediately, as water bugs love damp environments.

  2. 2

    Repair cracks in your walls and fix any leaky pipes. Roaches will sneak into your home through these cracks and will stay if they find food and a damp place to live. Fixing these things will ensure that no more can enter your home. For the same reason you will want to make sure that every window in your home has a screen in it. Window screens will prevent water bugs from crawling in.

    How to get rid of giant water bugs
    Water bugs can slide through cracks in the walls of your home. (cracked wall image by Abrie Viljoen from
  3. 3

    Use pyrethrum to kill existing roaches in your home. You can easily kill water bugs and other insects with pyrethrum sprays, which you can find in home stores. You can either spray it directly on the bugs or spray it in an area where the bugs might be hiding, such as under a sink. Be sure to ventilate the room while spraying and dispose of the bugs properly so that your children or pets can't get at them.

  4. 4

    Sprinkle borax around the outside of your home. You can also use it inside your home if you have no pets or small children around, as it is toxic. Borax is poisonous, and the granules stick to the water bug's legs. When it goes back to the colony, it will eventually kill all the water bugs.

  5. 5

    Put a few drops of dish soap into any water around your home. Water bugs come from the water, so if you have any standing water in your home you must treat that to ensure that the bugs don't stick around. Pour a few tablespoons of the soap on the surface of the water. When the bugs swim in the water they will try to come to the surface for air, but the layer of soap will prevent them from doing that.

  6. 6

    Pour vinegar down drains in your home. Water bugs love the dark, damp environment of drains, and pouring vinegar down them will instantly kill the bugs.

    How to get rid of giant water bugs
    Vinegar is a more natural approach to killing bugs. (oil and vinegar image by Julija Sapic from
  7. 7

    If all else fails, call an exterminator. Sometimes you can't get rid of all of the bugs in your home. An exterminator can kill these bugs quickly and easily.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have pets or small children, it is best to call an exterminator immediately to take care of the situation. The methods listed here can take some time and use dangerous chemicals which are harmful to animals and kids. An exterminator can finish the job in an afternoon without the fear of nasty toxins sitting around your home.

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