If your home has been invaded by these much aligned creatures then you need to know how to get rid of cockroaches. These insects are considered one of the oldest unchanged species known; the cockroach has been around in it’s present form for more than 300 million years. These primitive insects are one of the most adaptable and efficient creatures alive. They thrive all around the world.
Cockroaches can carry and spread salmonella and other bacteria throughout your home. Their droppings can aggravate symptoms of asthma, especially in children. Once you have a cockroach infestation it is important to eliminate the environment that invited them in your house in the first place. You must also take the proper steps to eliminate the cockroach population.
Cockroaches, like all living things, need three things in order to survive: water, food and shelter. Eliminating the availability of these three things is the most important step in getting rid of cockroaches. If these resources are not available the cockroaches will have to seek them out elsewhere. This step will also prevent their return.
Prevention: Changing the Environment
Cockroaches feed on any spilled food. They prefer starchy carbohydrates like sugar, pasta and bread. They will also eat wallpaper paste and glue. You must clean up all spilled food and garbage. Wipe down all countertops and surfaces used in food preparation immediately after use.
Cleaning with a solution of water plus bleach or ammonia is an effective way of sanitizing your kitchen. Try to keep as much food in the refrigerator as possible. Store all other food in airtight containers. Pay attention to any pet’s feeding areas.
Depending on the severity of your cockroach infestation, you may want to replace all wallpaper with paint and remove shelf paper. Clean up all areas with standing water. Fix leaky pipes and dry all drains and drain covers.
To eliminate the cockroaches’ shelter and breeding grounds clean up all areas where there is dirt and debris. This includes underneath your refrigerator, between cupboards and in any dark corners as cockroaches prefer to stay out of the light. This is why they come out at night and usually stay hidden during the day.
Fill all cracks in walls, cover vents with screens and use drain plugs. The important thing is to prevent roaches from entering your house by closing off anything that allows them access to your home. You may also want to clean up outside your home. Remove all waste and organic matter.
Use trash cans with lids. Trimming back bushes and tree branches that touch your home will prevent cockroaches from using them as a means of access. Check for and correct any areas that retain water.
Once you have cleaned up the environment, the next step is to eliminate the current population. There are many different products available for the extermination of cockroaches. They range from common household ingredients to harmful insecticides that must be used by a professional exterminator.
Boric acid is available as Borax. You must make sure you buy the type that is sold to be used as an insecticide. It comes in a squeezable plastic bottle. Sprinkle it in areas where roaches travel. They will consume it after walking through it and become poisoned. Borax is harmful to humans as well as pets. Do not use it in areas where children and animals visit.
Borax can take up to ten days before killing the cockroaches but will continue to be effective as long as the powder is kept dry. While borax poisons them, diatomaceous earth kills roaches by damaging their exoskeletons and then dehydrating them through the wounds. It begins working immediately. Of the two insecticidal powders Borax is the better choice because cockroaches develop immunity to diatomaceous earth and its effectiveness becomes diminished.
A mixture of powdered sugar and baking soda placed in a shallow dish where cockroaches are known to frequent will attract and kill them. The mixture of these two ingredients is lethal to them.
Bay leaves, while not being toxic, can be a cockroach deterrent. Placing bay leaves in or near any area where they have been seen will help discourage them from that area. Bay leaves are a safe non-toxic remedy for children’s rooms and pet areas.
Roach motels or bait traps are usually very effective. They also begin to work very quickly. They are a good choice for homes with children and pets, but they should be kept out of their reach.. The cockroaches are attracted to the bait and then bring it with them back to their relatives. Bait traps are inexpensive and can last for months.
There are many sprays and foggers available for cockroach elimination. While the sprays are effective they also remain on any surface where used and are toxic to humans and animals. Foggers are not as effective. The cockroaches usually hide from the fumes and return after it has cleared. Foggers leave a residue on surfaces in your home and care must be taken to avoid exposure to humans and pets.
If the roaches are not eliminated through these do-it-yourself methods you may need to call a professional, licensed exterminator. There are several types of extermination ranging from professional grade sprays to whole home fumigation. With some work and consistency on your part, a cockroach infestation should be controllable without resorting to these highly toxic chemicals.