If you live in the South, you know what I'm talking about when I say, "Giant Flying Cockroaches...Oh my!" If you live up north or out west, just be grateful for yourt ignorance.:P Unfortunately, I not only live in Georgia, I have a flying cockroach phobia! Much of my time in the Summer is spent trying to make sure I never have to see those creepy, gigantic nemises of mine. Here are the ways I try to combat them without poisoning myself, my kids, or my dog. As an added bonus, these methods are also frugal!
CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN
Being clean won't keep ALL of the roaches out, but it will certainly make it harder for them to hide and survive if they do choose to move in. Never ever leave food out, or dishes in the sink overnight. Don't leave food in the garbage disposal, or beverages (ESPECIALLY BEER) around. For some reason, beer attracts pretty much every bug and slug on the planet. Soda will also attract them, so beware. Sweep up all crumbs every night and wipe the counters. I never let my kids eat anywhere but the kitchen or the dining room. I figure containing the mess makes it a lot less likely that I'll overlook a pile of tasty crumbs and then walk in on a palmetto bug dinner party some night.
Don't let clutter accumulate around the house. Piles of papers, toys, and dirty laundry make excellent places for bugs to hide. Nothing is worse than picking up a pile of dirty clothes and then seeing a bug so huge you think it might actually be TWO buge that have somehow morphed together skittering away.
Keep your bathrooms clean and clutter free. Bugs really like to hang out in the bathroom, so the cleaner it is, the less likely it is that you won't see them and kill them. If they escape, they will go forth and multiply, and by multiply, I mean laying 26 eggs every eight days.
BUY SOME BORIC ACID
Boric acid is great, because you can use it to make laundry detergent, clean your house, and kill roaches! You can find it in the laundry section under the brand name, "Borax." To use it to kill roaches, just spread a thin layer along base boards, under appliances, in cabinets, and anywhere else you think a roach might like to hang out. Boric acid is not toxic to humans or pets, but it is very toxic to bugs. From what I've read, they walk on it, it gets on their hairy little legs, they groom themselves, eat the boric acid, and then die from an exploded stomach.
IF YOU DO SEE ONE, HERE'S HOW TO KILL IT
When I see a baby roach, I just spray it with soapy water to kill it. Soapy water won't kill the adult ones, though. For the adult ones, I spray them with a LOT of soapy water to soak their wings so they can't fly. I've also read that hairspray works. Then I chase them down and smash them several times with something heavy. I say several times, because they can take quite a pounding and not even seem injured. Then I pick up the roach with a big wad of toilet paper and flush it down the toilet. I don't use commercial bug sprays, because they are horribly poisonous to humans and pets as well as bugs. When you spray something like Raid, you breathe it in too.
Well that is my non-toxic and frugal method for preventing and killing bugs!