The idea of a cockroach skittering across the floor or flying right at you is enough to send shivers down your spine. Cockroaches are hard to kill and survive even the toughest elimination attempts. They can contaminate your food and in rare cases, transmit dangerous diseases.
Is it possible to get rid of cockroaches? Yes, there are many ways to kills cockroaches and keep them from coming back. Here are the best ways to get rid of cockroaches.
Simple Ways to Keep Cockroaches from Your Home
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to dealing with these pesky little pests. These following are some easy ways to keep cockroaches away from your home.
Keep Your Kitchen Neat and Tidy
- Grease and food residue attracts cockroaches, its best to sweep the floors, wipe the counters and stovetop and wash dirty dishes.
- Cleaning up appears like a lot of work to do regularly (it is) but worth it.
- Clean the food waste and any spillage and disinfect the kitchen surface.
Deny the Cockroaches Food and Water
Just like people, cockroaches need food and water to survive, and they do all they can to get it. Denying these pests sustenance is easy, keep your food in sealed plastic bags and containers and wipe any spilled water and leftover food. Also, do not leave any dishes on the sink or the kitchen counter.
Take it up a notch by checking behind the kitchen appliances and the cabinets. One place that you should check is behind the refrigerator because it’s a warm and dark place.
Keep your garbage in a bin that has a tight-fitting lid and take the trash out regularly.
Seal the Holes and Cracks
Cockroaches pass through the tiniest of cracks and holes and it’s important to seal them. Sealing the holes and cracks may take a lot of time, but you should do it especially if you live in a neighbourhood where people don’t maintain the level of cleanliness as you do.
Get a tube of caulk and a caulking gun and seal the cracks on the walls, countertop, and baseboards. Other than caulks, you can use steel wool, and door sweeps to seal any gap between the inside of your house and the indoors.
Fix the Water Leaks
Leaking water from pipes attract roaches. Water is the reason you’ll find these bugs under the sink. Some species of cockroaches go for months without food but only days without water.
Repair any water leaks in your house, close all the water sources, don’t leave any standing water in the sinks and don’t overwater your indoor plants.
Keep Your Living Space Cool
Cockroaches are fully active when the weather is hot, and since you cannot control the weather, you can keep your home cool to confine them to the ground.
Getting Rid of Cockroaches
If the roaches are already skittering inside your house, it’s time to exterminate them and here are some ways to do this.
Buy Cockroach Baits and Traps
Baits and traps kill cockroaches for up to three months. They attract these pests and kill them together with their eggs, ending the breeding cycle. Any cockroach that makes it back to the nest infects the others and their eggs and die.
The best place for baits and traps is under the washing machine, fridges and bathroom cabinets. The cockroach bait and traps work, and they don’t emit fumes or create a mess. Keep the bait away from your pets because they can be hazardous.
Bug bombs are useful when you cannot find where the roaches are hiding. Read the instruction before using a cockroach bomb to avoid contamination.
You will need to turn off the electricity and leave your house for two hours while it works, then open the door and windows for about 30 minutes for proper ventilation.
The after-effects of a cockroach bomb can last up to three months, so it’s not advisable to use them if you or one of your family members is sensitive to fragrances and chemicals.
Use Cockroach Sprays
If you spot a cockroach and you want to stop it on its tracks, use a cockroach spray. It is a fast-acting product that kills crawlers for months.
Use a Cockroach Repellent
There are many sprays and sands available in the store that repel cockroaches. Spray them around the entry points and key areas to keep cockroaches at bay.
Natural Cockroach Repellents and Killers
Powerful pesticides get the job done, but they have toxic chemicals that can cause harm. The following are some natural remedies that act as roach killers.
Sugar and Baking Soda
These two are effective and readily available ingredients that you can get at the store. For the best results, you need to know where the crawlers are hiding and plant the bait. The following is what you need to get started:
- A bowl
- Baking soda
Mix equal parts of baking soda and sugar in a bowl and sprinkle them where you’ve seen the roaches. Sugar attracts the bugs and the baking soda acts at the toxic agent and reacts inside the roach’s stomach causing its death.
Boric acid is poisonous, and you should keep it away from children. Also, long-term exposure can make you ill.
Natural fabric softener kills roaches but requires a little action from your part. Put the natural fabric softener inside a spray bottle and spray the bugs.
Mix a cup of fabric softener with a three-quarter cup of water, give it a little shake and put it in a spray bottle. The solution is thick but sprayable.
Squirt the solution on any roach skittering around, and it will slowly die. Roaches breathe through their skin, and the thick spray covers them causing suffocation.
This solution works best when you have a massive infestation. It can look messy but its better than stepping on roaches.
If killing cockroaches is not your style and you prefer to keep them away from your home, use bay leaves. Cockroaches cannot stand the smell of bay leaves. Bay leaves are safe on humans, and you can place them wherever you want.
Grab the bay leaves and crush them to make a powder. Once you get the powder, sprinkle it around where the roaches love to nest. Bay leaves are available in stores, especially the Asian and Indian stores.
Lemon Juice or Lemon Peel
Lemon is a widely used ingredient in household cleaners, but most people have no idea that it repels cockroaches too. Citrus fruits such as lemon, have anti-pathogenic properties that keep roaches at bay.
Take lemon juice and sprinkle it into those hard to reach places that are favourite for cockroaches or place lemon peels where roaches next. If you want to turn it up a notch, which is what we recommend, you need the following:
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- A bucket
Dilute the lemon juice in a bucket (make sure that it has the strong lemon smell). Soak the sheets in the diluted juice and clean everything from the floor to the countertops.
Your home will have a lovely lemon smell that roaches cannot stand.
Essential oils can prevent and kill cockroaches. Mix some peppermint, tea tree and cypress in water and put it in a spray bottle. Spray directly on cockroaches around the entry points and nests.
Bring in the Experts
If you have a big infestation and you want to get rid of cockroaches fast, contact a pest control expert. Using a pest control expert will ensure that the pesticides used are safe for your home and environment-friendly.
FAQs About How to Get Rid of Cockroaches
Are cockroaches a health risk?
Do not allow cockroaches to roam free inside your house because they pose a serious health risk for you and your family. Roaches can carry diseases such as typhoid, gastroenteritis, dysentery, poliomyelitis and many more. Cockroaches can also induce asthma, and their faeces cause eczema and other allergic reactions. Quickly respond to any sign of a cockroach in your home.
What attracts cockroaches?
Cockroaches are attracted to food sources and are particularly fond of dirty dishes. Do not leave dirty dishes, plates or food around. Wash the dishes and keep the garbage bin covered at all times. Roaches love humid and warm places like bathrooms and kitchens. Check the sinks and drains to make sure that there are no leaks.
Which is the best, chemical or natural cockroach control methods?
The natural cockroach control methods are not as effective as the chemical ones, but they are safe and environmentally friendly. The DIY methods solve an immediate problem, but the infestation will likely re-occur mainly because of the surviving eggs. Use chemical cockroach control methods or better yet, contact a qualified pest control technician for a long-lasting solution.