Finding Cockroaches? Needing tot find the best way to get rid of them?
You may not be someone that would be quick to openly admit it, but a lot of people have cockroach problems. Whether you live in an apartment of a stand alone home, cockroach infestations are increasingly common and are an embarrassing pest issue that people would like to keep secret. However, if you have company over, cockroaches may present themselves by crawling over the coffee table or up a wall in the living room, and then the secret’s out!
We are here to tell you to not be ashamed. You are not a dirty, despicable person if you have roaches. Cockroaches have been on the move and are becoming a more common present indoors and it really doesn’t matter if you are a little unkempt or if you keep a neat home, cockroaches can find a way in and make themselves comfortable.
If you are dealing with a cockroach infestation, you may have tried some remedies or may have even gone to the pest control aisle of your local department store to find a solution, only for the problem to reoccur. Do not be discouraged as it is possible to get rid of cockroaches from your property regardless of where you live just by equipping yourself with a bit of knowledge about cockroaches and their tendencies.
The more you know about how cockroaches operate, the better your chances in eliminating an infestation by making modifications in your home and applying the right kinds of pesticide products, which we will cover in this helpful guide.
Educate Yourself About Cockroaches
One of the best ways to get rid of roaches is by correctly identifying the cockroach that is intruding upon your household and then doing your homework on that cockroach species.
Cockroaches have been around since before human beings existed and even before dinosaurs. While dinosaurs have gone extinct, cockroaches have survived and stuck around and may very well still be around long after we are gone. That’s because cockroaches are natural survivors. They adapt to whatever living condition they find themselves in and find a way to make things work.
Having long been outdoor dwellers, nearly 4,500 species of cockroaches have been discovered worldwide. While the majority prefer to stay outdoors and away from human beings, there are about 24 species that have been regarded as pests and frequently come into contact with people or intrude upon human dwellings. In the US, there is namely two types of cockroaches that are a problem: the American cockroach and the German Cockroach.
Recommended Read: Ultimate Cockroach Guide
American cockroaches are large cockroaches which can be over an inch or two long and are known to startle and frighten people when found in the home because of their size. American cockroaches prefer to be outside but because of their affinity for moisture and darkness, often find their way indoors via plumbing and drains.
American cockroaches are often found in bathrooms, basements, boiler rooms, laundry rooms and around dumpsters and sewer areas. Luckily, American cockroaches don’t breed as quickly as another common problematic roach and thus are not as big of a frequent home invader.
German cockroaches are the most common cockroach known to invade homes because they have been fully domesticated. This means that they prefer to live near humans or in man-made structures. Their survival is based on sticking close to us, unfortunately.
German cockroaches are smaller sized than American cockroaches, measuring less than an inch long when mature. They are light brown colored with two dark stripes that go parallel down the sides of their back.
German cockroaches find their way indoors usually via already infesting some item that is brought into the home. If you live in an apartment, you can get a German cockroach infestation by simply cockroaches infesting a neighboring unit near you and the cockroaches migrating from that unit to your apartment to explore and forage for food and water.
The main reason why German cockroaches are such a frustrating problem is because of their amazingly rapid ability to reproduce and multiply in a short span of time. A lone female German cockroach can potentially produce hundreds of offspring in a single year.
A pregnant female lays 4 to 6 egg cases containing 30 to 40 eggs each which hatch and reach adulthood in quickly as 50 days. So if those 40 eggs contain many females that also mate and reproduce, an infestation can very quickly develop.
This is why even seeing a few German cockroaches in your home should not be taken lightly and action should be taken to kill the infestation before it inevitably grows. Identifying your roach is usually best handled by professionals but you can do it yourself by just observing a cockroach closely and noting their physical features and then comparing them to images online.
Know Their Common Tendencies
Once you have correctly identified the cockroach that has infested your home, you will then need to become aware of the common tendencies of the cockroach species. If you notice a significant infestation in your home, it is most likely German cockroaches but even if it is not, most domestic cockroaches behave similarly.
It all boils down to what cockroaches are there to begin with, which is quite simple: they want food, water and shelter. Our homes provide plenty of all of these needs and as a result, cockroaches stick around.
The most common areas where cockroaches can find all of the above is in the kitchen and bathrooms, so that is where you should start to inspect for cockroaches. You can observe cockroaches themselves, mainly at night since they are nocturnal and will be most active looking for food then. In the day time, they will rest in a hiding space that you will not be able to see as it is often tucked away in a crevice or some other dark secluded area.
Aside from cockroaches themselves, other giveaways of where cockroaches are active is the smell of pheromones and where cockroach droppings are concentrated. Cockroaches leave a lot of droppings where they have been busy to mark an area to come back to or to alert other fellow cockroaches of some food or water source.
Recommended Read: How to Get Rid of Roach Smell
These droppings can be found around appliances, electronics, cardboard, a water dispenser, a fridge, basically anything that can be viewed as a good hiding place and that radiates heat. Cockroaches like to cozy up in these places and mark their territory as a place they should frequent. Note these areas as places that need to be cleaned up and where pesticides should be applied.
The 5 Best Ways To Get Rid of Cockroaches
Cut off their food and water sources
As noted, cockroaches stay in human dwellings because we provide them an ample supply of food and water. Your top priority would be putting a stop to this. Cockroaches can survive off any food left out in the open, no matter how insignificant, like crumbs. You must clean your home thoroughly on a nightly basis to take away all their sources of food.
This means wiping down counters, vacuuming, washing and putting away dishes (not letting them pile up in the sink overnight). Food should be stocked away in the fridge or tight-fitted containers and never left out in the open. And most of all, garbage needs to be thrown out every day.
Cutting off access to water is even more important as cockroaches can survive up to a month without food but will not last a week without water. Keeping your kitchen and bathrooms dry is key. Wipe down all counters, sinks, faucets and surfaces. Address any plumbing or leaking issues and maintain this dryness every night before going to bed. With water access dried up, cockroaches won’t be able to survive much longer.
Use a Cockroach Bait
You may have erroneous believed that the best way to kill roaches is to spray them directly. However, that is not the case and is largely ineffective. This is because sprays kill only cockroaches you see which is a small minority compared to the majority you don’t see.
The way to handle the majority of cockroaches is through applying cockroach bait around the kitchen and bathroom and other problem areas, like around electronics. Cockroach bait contains a slow-killing poison that cockroaches will enjoy eating and sharing with their fellow cockroaches until it kills them.
Cockroach baiting works best when the home is impeccably clean and all food sources are gone. You don’t want the cockroach bait to have to compete with food crumbs. With no food available, cockroaches will readily eat the bait and the poison will transfer to other roaches that didn’t eat the bait through bait transfer (because roaches eat dead cockroaches and cockroach feces when hungry).
Apply an Insect Growth Regulator
While baits and insecticides deal with adult cockroaches, they don’t do anything to stop cockroach eggs from hatching and a new generation of cockroaches from terrorizing your home. This is when it is effective to use an Insect Growth Regulator or IGR. This is a chemical hormone that interferes with the reproductive process of cockroaches.
Cockroaches exposed to the IGR are unable to lay eggs, eggs are unable to hatch and baby cockroaches are unable to develop into adults. This puts a total halt to the cockroaches strength of reproducing.
Seal off Points of Entry
If you don’t want to deal with the constant presence of cockroaches which may show up once again after killing them with bait and insecticides, you will need to make your home difficult to sneak into. Cockroaches are small and have flat bodies and can invade a home easily by slipping through cracks and crevices. By using caulk, you can create a barrier that cockroaches will not be able to cross.
Caulk can also take away cockroach hiding places. With Cockroaches unable to come out of hiding, they will die stuck in their hiding spots. Place caulk around doors and windows, cracks in kitchen cabinetry and other gaps and possible points of entry and travel you may find.
Be Careful what you bring home
After you have carried out the 4 above tasks, your cockroach infestation should be no more. However, you will have to be cautious of outsider items that you bring into your home. Items such as a second hand piece of furniture or a used game console or even your groceries may have a roach of two that has hitchhiked aboard.
Inspect items carefully and if you are afraid that it may be infested, don’t bring it in or sanitize the items and make sure it’s cleared out of cockroaches before you bring them inside.
No one likes dealing with cockroaches in the home, but an infestation is not hopeless to overcome. By following the best ways to get rid of cockroaches shared above, your home can be free of these disgusting intruders for good.