Roaches of any size pose a health risk to infested homes. Their proclivity for dark, damp places means roaches proliferate in sewers and other disease-ridden areas, and they carry those diseases with them into people's homes. Cockroaches are quick to reproduce, with females laying about 30 eggs at a time. Females can give birth anywhere from four to eight times during their six month life span, making them a difficult pest to control. While the roaches in your home may seem nigh unstoppable, there are things you can do to control their populations safely and effectively that will help discourage them from coming back.
Things You'll Need
- Diatomaceous earth
- Boric acid
- Bait stations
- Sticky traps
Seal up any cracks, particularly in the kitchen, bathroom and dining areas where food and moisture are regularly found. Check underneath cupboards and at the back of cabinets for possible points of entry and close them off with caulk. Look for openings around pipes and electrical outlets, and close off drains at night.
Place diatomaceous earth around any cracks that can't be sealed off, as well as around doors and windows. Diatomaceous earth is harmless to humans and most family pets but will coat the legs of any roaches that crawl through it and dehydrate them. Boric acid is a viable alternative and kills cockroaches as they clean it from their legs but can be harmful to pets as well.
Place bait stations and sticky traps around areas where cockroaches are regularly sighted. Check the traps frequently and replace them when full.
Tips & Warnings
- Keep food in air-tight containers. Put fresh fruit in the refrigerator rather than a fruit bowl. If the original packaging doesn't reseal, purchase glass jars or other containers that will close tightly.
- Wash dishes shortly after use. Avoid leaving them overnight, even in the dishwasher, as dirty dishes are a favorite source of food for cockroaches. Avoid leaving standing water in the sink. Clean appliances, like microwaves, after use as well.
- Neaten up and clean messy areas, even if food is not present. Cockroaches love to hide in dark nooks and crannies, and a neat home provides them with fewer safe places.
- Hire professional pest control as a last resort, as many strains of roaches are now chemical resistant. Most foggers will do little to cockroach eggs, allowing the infestation to return not long after your home has been sprayed with pesticides.
- Photo Credit jumping roach image by Adrian Hillman from Fotolia.com
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