How To Get Rid Of Roaches
Cockroaches are absolutely disgusting, right? They are are pretty quick and can give you quite a scare when they scamper across the floor. It can also be rather embarrassing if you have company over and they encounter one of the cockroaches staying at your home.
If you have a roach problem in your home you will know, the minute you see one of those awful little pests scampering through your house you will be immediately put on alert as to their presence- cockroaches have that affect. So what are some of the ways to get rid of these pesky and persistent creatures? Below are a number of steps that will ultimately lead you to a roach-free home, but there is just one thing you need to note- once you have decided upon your course of action you need to strategise somewhat.
Now I know planning a battlement attack upon a bunch of cockroaches seems like something crazy (yes, actually crazy) but you don’t want to implement too many methods and tire yourself out, or not implement enough and then all the work you have done is a waste. Perhaps it is best to keep this army attack to yourself, but know exactly what steps you are going to take, what you are going to need and how you are going to make them happen.
Step 1: The first trick is to find their source. Unfortunately cockroaches don’t tend to show themselves until nightfall (which of course adds to the overall dislike of them). When you spot one you will have to attempt to find where it is coming from. So put your brave face on and do some sleuthing. Look for cracks and holes which they may be moving in or out from, check under piles of newspaper, cardboard or wood, and they are even prone to use drains and vents so inspect these as well.
Step 2: Once you have located their source you have to take the decided course of killing-action. Here are a few ideas and recipes to help you set your traps:
i) Use a cockroach labeled insecticide spray: spray this on any of the spots where they may be hiding or entering the house (so all the spots you’ve identified). Also spray along the walls and cracks of the house. For your own safety wear a mask while you are spraying and keep your pets and kids out of the house. Also follow all the instructions on the bottle- they are there for your guidance.
ii) Make use of cockroach bait: this is a cockroach cocktail premade and ready for you to apply, it normally comes a gel form where you can apply it to the cracks and crevices. It contains a slow working poison and an appetising food that the roach’s love, they will carry it back into the nests where the rest of the nest will feed on it and suffer their ill awaited fate.
iii) Use a cockroach trap. These traps are designed to lure the roaches in and then trap them there with an adhesive, you will have to buy a few of these and place them around the house where you know they will come into contact with them. Many people choose this option because of how child and pet safe they are.
iv) You can also create your own recipe’s of cockroach poison- the first is made with one part powdered boric acid, one part flour and one part sugar. The boric acid is available at most pharmacies (sold as a pink-eye wash) or even in the supermarket as a cockroach killer. The sugar is there to lure them in, the flour is there to make it stick and the boric acid is the poison that will kill them. Dust this cocktail at the back of draws and cupboards, under stoves and along the wall. This solution takes a while but it will eventually kill the entire cycle and infestation of roaches in your home. Continue to use it until they are finally not reemerging. Boric acid is not highly toxic but it is still best not let your children or pests ingest it, so just be cleaver about where you place it. Note: the mixture may also cake in humid climates, so you will have to remake and spread the mix if this happens.
v) If you want to zap the roaches as you see them one incredibly effective solution, and in keeping it old school, is a simple mixture of soap and water. Mix the soap (ordinary cleaning soap will do) and water in a spray bottle and keep it at the ready for when you see the critters. Spray it down upon them as you see them, making sure that you cover their heads and body (and if you somehow manage to flip them over coat their underbellies as well). The roach will scamper for a minute but suddenly stop dead in its track, literally dead in it’s tracks. Cockroaches breathe through their skins so the soap acts as a suffocator and creates a thin film around their bodies, therefore cutting off their air supply. You just have to make sure that you have sprayed enough, because if the coat is too thin they will recover after a few minutes and promptly run to safety.
Step 3: Prevent re-infestation. This is so important to do. It is far easier to act in a preventative manner than to actively try and rid your home of roaches. So here is what you have to do:
i) Roaches love dirt- so keep a clean kitchen and living space. Clean all your surfaces and floors regularly. They love sugar and grease so make sure you don’t have any oily spills hanging around and wipe down your cooking surfaces as soon as you are done using them.
ii) Do not leave any food out, or any dirty dishes. If you are hard pressed for time to clean them simply rinse everything and leave it in the sink with some soapy water. When you are done with food place it in a container and store in the fridge.
iii) Remove your trash as soon as it is full and if this takes a while then do it at least once a week. If you have any large bins that you empty your trash into, keep these as far away from the house as possible.
iv) Place some mothballs in the corners of draws or cupboards (if you don’t mind the smell) or in the corner of your home (if there is no unsuspecting pet that may eat it). Roaches do not like the way these smell and are quickly repelled by them.
v) If you think that the roaches are coming through the drain you can pour a bleach solution down their once a day. It is a pretty overpowering smell so do it in the morning before you leave for work, or before you know you are going to be out for a while. Any cheap household bleach will do the trick.
vi) Move around the outside of your house and locate any cracks you may have running through the walls. Seal these with a polyfiller so that you block their gateway into your humble home.
vii) The same is true for any cracks inside your house. You don’t want to trap them in the walls and then the only route they have is straight into your home! Fill every cracker in every wall, cupboard, floor and window molding. Again use an interior pollyfiller (it is smoother and less grainy than the exterior). By doing this you are wiping out their favourite breeding ground and essentially letting them know exactly how you feel about them turning your home into theirs.
viii) Use a liquid concentrate. This solution is a deterrent chemical diluted in water, which can be sprayed, wiped or mopped onto any surface. Simply put, they don’t like it and it will end up poisoning them if they scuttle along the applied surface.
ix) Rid your home of any piles of cardboard boxes, stacks of paper or piles of wood. Cockroaches like to nestle there too so chuck out any unnecessary piles (and recycle them, because that’s what you should be doing anyway).
4. Calling in the professional. This is the step I never like to add because hopefully the long list of information above has been informative and helpful. But sometimes you’ll find yourself in a situation where the infestation is just too dense and impossible to solve through your own devices. So you would have to call in an expert. Do your research before letting just anyone into your home and see if all their references check out. A good exterminator will use stronger chemicals but distribute them more widely in and outside of your home, and still keep your home environment safe (and not smoke you out with their chemicals).
If you want to know more about cockroaches and their role as pests, check out this article on Wikipedia.