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Oriental cockroaches (Blatta orientalis) are a common pest in many homes and buildings. Often referred to as "water bugs" because of their tendency to seek out damp hiding places, these shiny black roaches can become a major problem if left uncontrolled. The Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences notes that oriental cockroaches can carry gastrointestinal diseases and can cause allergic reactions in humans. Oriental cockroaches are most commonly found in basements or on a building's ground floor, often near pipes and drains or in other cool, dark and damp areas.
Non-Chemical Oriental Cockroach Control and Prevention
Determine where the oriental cockroach infestation is most severe by placing sticky traps in various areas throughout the dwelling. The University of Minnesota Extension suggests placing the traps flush against the wall or baseboard to prevent the roaches from going around them. Monitor the traps and note where the ones with the highest number of captured roaches were placed to determine the areas with the largest roach population.
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Check the exterior of the structure where an infestation has occurred for any cracks, gaps or other possible entrance points at ground level. Use a caulking gun and sealant to seal these potential entry points.
Repair any leaking or dripping pipes and faucets to control the amount of moisture that is available. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services also suggests allowing for proper ventilation in areas where moisture accumulates, like basements or drainage areas.
Remove any leaf litter or other decaying organic matter from around the exterior of the dwelling, focusing on areas around doors and windows.
Keep garbage well-sealed and away from areas that are prone to dampness or moisture accumulation.
Remove clutter (e.g., cardboard boxes) from damp spaces like basements.
Chemical Oriental Cockroach Control
Coat internal cracks and crevices with a small amount of pesticide dust developed specifically to control roaches, like boric acid or silica aerogel. Only use the pesticide dust in dry areas, as it is less effective in water, and avoid any areas where the dust may come into contact with food.
Spray the outside perimeter of the dwelling with a pesticide spray, making sure to follow the directions on the label carefully.
Place prepackaged cockroach bait in areas where you have found the largest population of roaches.
Fogger-type residual pesticides are ineffective at controlling oriental cockroaches, according to Penn State University's College of Agricultural Sciences.
If the infestation persists, call a pest-removal specialist.
Always use care and read all labels when handling any pesticides.
Do not apply pesticides in areas where pets or children may come into contact with them.