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Should you worry about cockroaches in Costa Rica?


Should you worry about cockroaches in Costa Rica?When I moved to Costa Rica  a while ago, the last thing that came to my mind were cockroaches in my house. The first cockroach I met in Costa Rica was in my house in the Santa Ana mountains and the animal was huuuuge. I’m not so crazy about insects, but they really don’t bother me much, unless the bite me. That’s when I fight back. 

Some of my readers hate it when I write about topics like cockroaches, but if you want to live in Costa Rica, you either have to get used to them or find a way of getting rid of them. So apologize for the topic, but here we go.

I had never thought cockroaches did exist that large as my hand. But in Costa Rica, you have many types of cockroaches and they each need a different type of fumigation if you have them in your house. 

Our last tenant left our rental apartment full of cockroaches and they’ve been almost impossible to kill. It seems she brought the eggs with her when she moved from another building. Only by fumigating over and over again can you get rid of them and we’re still at it, many months later. These cockroaches are what they call the German cockroach and they’re VERY difficult to get rid of.

A bad recommendation

I had a laugh about something an ex-pat in San Ramon wrote a while ago on a forum: Just by accident I found a low cost way to eliminate cockroaches. I had an empty pop-up can of mango juice sitting on my living room floor maybe for a month (!). When I was cleaning up today I felt something inside. I emptied the contents in the kitchen sink and out tumbled about 8 cockroaches, one still living. I recommend leaving some juice inside the can–maybe it is what attracts the roaches.

The guy must have been eaten by the roaches by now….


A handful of cockroaches

A handful of cockroaches

A better recommendation

Keep a clean house in Costa Rica, especially in the warm and humid places of the house. The kitchen is of course the most important place and where you keep your garbage. Make it an issue to clean behind the fridge and behind the stove even if it means you have to pull the appliances from the wall. 

The first and most direct approach to killing these bugs is simply to step on them (or swat them with a rolled-up newspaper). 


Before you move into your new house, ask your GoDutch agent  to connect you with a good fumigation company in the area.  Repeat the fumigation process twice a year. Your fumigation expert will be able to tell you right away what kind of roaches you have and what needs to be done to get rid of ‘em.


Find out out to get rid of the cockroaches in your house in Costa Rica

Find out out to get rid of the cockroaches in your house in Costa Rica


If you’ve already moved in and you find your house in Costa Rica has cockroaches, there is a way! Even for those of you who do have youngsters and/or pets. The most effective (and safest) way to exterminate cockroaches is by putting out dishes of plain old baking soda, called “bicarbonate de sodio” in Costa Rica. Put out another dish with water nearby. When the slender brown bugs consume even the tiniest amount of this substance, they get gassy and, since they can’t burp, their innards explode. Mix a little sugar with the baking soda and set the mixture behind the refrigerator. This gets them every time!

Buying a house in Costa Rica and hate cockroaches? Contact us now

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I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. I know you all meet people on the plane, in the supermarket, at yoga, at the gym, at the Blooms ladies club, at the potluck organized by your community. Please remember the GoDutch Realty agents when you talk about your home in Costa Rica, when you meet someone who wants to purchase one, we appreciate it.

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Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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