Keeping Roaches Out of Your House
Let’s be honest here. Roaches are nasty little creatures. They crawl all over your stuff and hide in all those areas that are hard to reach. It’s not just that roaches are creepy with those long antennae and six legs. They can cause a variety of health issues. Research has shown that roaches worsen the condition of childhood asthma and can spread bacteria all over your house. Roaches can become a serious infestation if left unchecked and once they get in your house, they can be difficult to get rid of.
So what are some of the best solutions to getting rid of roaches and keeping them away? What techniques work best? Should you call an exterminator? Here are some of the best ways to fight off Periplaneta americana and all its scuttling cousins.
Step 1: Find Their Lair
When you find roaches in your home, the first thing you should do is track down their colony. You can do this one of two ways. You can either start opening cabinet doors and looking around or you can wait for night. Cockroaches do not like the light which is why they tend to scurry away when you turn on the kitchen light. Cockroaches are much more active in the dark. So wait until night and turn off the lights for awhile. When you come back intot he room and turn on the lights, watch and see where the roaches run to. This will give you a good starting point in dealing with them. Next you have to decide hwo to deal with them.
You could always call an exterminator but they are not cheap. Even for a small home, a single visit could set you back a couple of hundred bucks. However, for a bad enough infestation, sometimes you need to call in the big guns. Weight your options and try some other methods of getting rid of them (the roaches, not the exterminator) before you call the professionals.
So now you know that you have roaches and you know where they live. How to get rid of them? The best optionj os to try a pesticide. There are several to choose from.
Borax, or Boric acid, is very effective against roaches. The best thing about it is that it attracts roaches. Borax is widely available and very simple to use. It is intended for indoor use and can be placed around the corners of cabinets and behind appliances. It is also much less toxic than other pesticides. But don’t be fooled. It is still dangerous and less than 5 grams is a lethal dose for children and animals. No matetr what kind of persticide you use, always keep kids and pets away. Be sure to only buy boric acid that’s specifically sold as a pesticide.
Roach baits are also effective in getting rid of the roaches.. Roach bait contains a mixture of poison and roach food. You can apply the bait anywhere you’ve seen roaches such as under the refirgerator or other appliances or inside cabinet. The bait is usually sold in small plastic containers that are child-proof. Roaches will take the poisoned bait back to their colony where the poison will spread. You can use what are called “roach motels” which are plastic containers that have a sticky adhesive inside. Once the roaches crawl into it, they stick to the adhesive and die.
A solution of soap and water is also lethal to roaches. You can make your own trap and bait it with food such as coffee grounds, chocolate, or grease. Use a jar or something similar and set out where you have seen the roaches.
Insecticide sprays such as Raid can be effective but you should be cautious with them. You can spray around baseboards, under the sink (never next to) and beside any vent openings. You can also buy aerosal bombs. These are smaller cans of spray that basically fog the room. They are effective but you have to leave your house for a few hours and then air it out when you return.
You also have to cover up or remove all food, eating utensils, children’s toys, and pet toys before you spray. Insecticide sprays can be harmful to people so you should alsways use precautiosn when spraying with them.
There are also liquid concentrate that you can buy. A concentrate is a poison that you dilute with water and apply to areas where you have seen the roaches. Generally works for about two weeks before you have to reapply it.
Step 2: Cover the Perimeter
You need to apply pesticides to more than just the inside of your home. Roaches come in from the outside so you need to cover a perimeter around your home. You can apply an organic desiccant like diatomaceous earth to the perimeter of your house. This is a product made from fossils and is very harmful to the exoskeletons of roaches. There is also a kind that is sold for swimming pools so make sure you get the kind specifically sold as an insecticide.
There are some professional grade insecticides that you can buy to apply around the perimeter of your home. They last for a couple of weeks before you have to reapply them.
Step 3: Clean Thoroughly
After you have treated both the inside and outside of your home and hopefully gotten rid of the roaches, you need to make sure you stay rid of them. The best way to do that is to make sure your house is clean. Roaches are mostly attracted to food and grease. Don’t leave dirty dishes lying around. Keep them picked up and wash them, either in a dishwasher or the sink. Picking up the dishes and leaving them in the sink is not good enough. Wash them and put them away.
You should sweep and vacuum anywhere there has been food. Crumbs and other food particles will attract roaches. If you eat at the dining table, make sure you swep up afterwards. Also, sweep and vacuum under all the furniture where roaches like to hide.
Take out the trash regularly. Roaches love the trash. Don’t overfill the trash can where it starts to fall out on the floor. Take the trash out every night and you will eliminate one of the roaches best hangout spots.
If you have any food leftovers, seal them up properly and put them away. Don’t leave them out for the roaches to detect. Anything in your pantry or cabinets should be protected to keep the roaches out.
And lastly, seal up any cracks around your house. Pay attention to baseboards and around the cabinets. Roaches can fit through the smallest of spaces so don’t underestimate their ability to infiltrate your home.