Cockroaches—Vector Control

To report cockroach infestations in Tucson and Pima County, call Vector Control at 520-724-3401 or fill out the online form.

Vector (Roach) Control Program is an automated voice messaging system. Their technicians treat sewer manholes to reduce the number of roaches. Find information about prevention and treatment there as well. Before you call, have the following information ready.

  • Full address - so they can check the closest manhole
  • Your name and phone number - they will call with a status update

To help keep American (Sewer) Roaches out of your house:

When sinks and tubs are not in use keep drains closed.  Run water down your drains daily, roaches cannot swim through water, so water in your traps will keep roaches from entering your home.  Pour about 1/4 cup of bleach down your drains once a week, roaches hate bleach. ***

The two most common types of cockroaches in the Tucson area are:

German Cockroach

This type of cockroach is more invasive. This roach prefers kitchens and bathrooms where there is a supply of food and water.  This type of cockroach cannot survive in the sewer. These roaches are pale brown and about 1/2 to 3/4 inches long. These cockroaches cannot enter a home through the sewer.

American Cockroach

These cockroaches do live in the sewer. These cockroaches are also known as sewer roaches.  These cockroaches are reddish brown and about 2 inches long. American Roaches prefer moist areas and can enter homes through open drains.

*** According to Carl Olsen, associate curator at UA Department of Entomology,  bleach is unnecessary. Keeping water in your traps should be enough to stop the cockroaches.

There was only one study done on cockroaches under duress that found they can manipulate their way through a water-filled trap. Use your sinks, tubs and shower regularly or plug your drains to keep cockroaches out.


Vector (Roach) Control Program | Pima County, opens a new window

Davis, Tony. "Roaches’ spraying cuts stir concerns." Arizona Daily Star. July 13, 2004.  Page 1.

Olsen, Carl. "Don't let those silly myths bug you." Arizona Daily Star. August 17, 2006, Page A1.

Wastewater News. July 2006. (Newsletter insert with Tucson Water Bill in July 2006)

Find the information you need by calling the library's Infoline at 520-791-4010 or by sending your question to Ask a Librarian.