Do you live in an apartment rather than a house? Apartments are great when you aren’t able to afford a house yet or if you don’t want to be tied down to one space with a long-time mortgage. There are also other great perks like amenities and on-call maintenance to address issues. However, one of the cons of apartments is that they are a lot more susceptible to having cockroach infestations and are much harder to get rid of than if you were to live in a house.
Cockroaches in apartments have been a large problem for a long time, especially in big cities. They are a nuisance for apartment tenants to deal with, especially if they keep their home neat and tidy and still suffer from an invasion. They are also a headache for apartment managers to deal with as they try to cycle through all the cockroach complaints from apartment residents, resulting in bad reviews and loss of revenue from people ending their lease and leaving and having to hire exterminators to try and mitigate the issue.
Often cockroaches in apartments have become so commonplace that it’s almost expected that you may have to deal with the negative of cockroaches if you choose to live in an apartment. Even a pair of cockroaches can quickly become hundreds to even thousands of cockroaches in a short time span. If they started up in one apartment unit, before long, they will spread to adjacent units with ease and you may find yourself dealing with an infestation.
Why Cockroaches Are Such a Problem in Apartments
A common misconception is that cockroaches are the result of the apartment resident being untidy or lazy when it comes to having to do cleaning chores. They may leave food containers open, have crumbs accumulating under the toaster, oil and grease splattered on the stove and water pool up in their kitchen sink. While this may be a recipe for cockroaches, you can keep all of these areas squeaky clean and still have cockroaches crawling around in your kitchen and making themselves at home.
This is largely because, while you are in control of the cleanliness of your unit, you are not in control of the cleaning habits of your apartment neighbors. Unfortunately, cockroaches take full advantage and you suffer from infestations as a result of your neighbors.
The inconvenient part of apartments is that even if you are enjoying your own living space, you and your neighbors in units above, below and beside you share walls and floors. Between these dark areas are plumbing connections, electrical wiring, vents and other common components that cockroaches use to travel from unit to unit. They essentially use them as a super highway. If one unit is squeaky clean and has no food or water for them to enjoy, they can easily migrate to another unit to get their food and water fix.
Cockroaches are very persistent; they don’t give up easily when it comes to getting nourishment. They will seek out faucet leaks, backed up drains, un-emptied garbage disposals, un-closed trash cans, dishes that haven’t been cleaned and put away to get their food and water sources.
So, unfortunately, this is why cockroaches thrive so supremely in apartment complexes. They have plenty of options. For them to be gone, every unit in the building has to keep their home clean and clear of food and water sources, which is often not the case. While there isn’t much that can be done about your neighbor’s cleaning habits, there are things you can do to lessen the chances of cockroaches infesting your unit, which we will touch on near the end of this article.
The Most Common Cockroach In Apartments
Recommended Read: Ultimate Cockroach Guide
Here’s a few interesting statistics: There are about 4,500 species of cockroach that have been discovered in the world. A scary number right? Fortunately, only about 30 of these species are actually considered pests to humans and invade human dwellings. The rest, thankfully, stay in the wild and prefer to be outdoors and away from us.
Of the species that do invade homes and apartments there is the American cockroach, Oriental Cockroach and Brown-Banded Cockroach, to name a few. However, the cockroach species that is the biggest problem for apartments with without a doubt the German cockroach.
Recommended Read: German Cockroach, How to Identify Them
German cockroaches are known as domestic cockroaches. This means that they have evolved and adapted to the point where their survival and preference is to live inside a man-made structure. German Cockroaches usually first invade a home or apartment be hitchhiking their way in on some infested item, whether it be an infested piece of furniture, a game console or electronic, or some other item that wasn’t thoroughly cleaned out before being brought indoors.
German Cockroaches are amazing multipliers, with their reproductive rate beating all other home dwelling cockroach pest. They breed constantly, non-stop! A single female cockroach in their short lifespan can give birth to thousands of cockroaches in just a year. A single oothecae, or female egg will carry 30 to 40 baby cockroaches, which once hatched will develop into reproducing cockroaches of their own.
German cockroaches need food, water and shelter to survive and apartments provide plenty of each that they are nearly never unsatiated. They are constantly foraging and will readily travel away from an apartment unit that they have been enjoying food, water and shelter and search for new places to infest, even areas that normally don’t have cockroach infestations.
What Can You Do To End The Apartment Infestation?
All this information may be depressing. German cockroaches multiply like crazy, love apartments, and even if you’re not someone that is filthy, they can still infest your home. You may be discouraged that no matter how clean you keep your home, because of your neighbors, you’ll still have to encounter cockroaches foraging around in your home. So what are you to do? Just give up and let them have their way? Not at all.
While the best you can do is control your own unit, there are things you can do to make it so cockroaches don’t seek out your home or will not be able to so at least your unit if cockroach-free.
Here is what we suggest doing below:
Keep Your Apartment Clean
While this is a no-brainer, it is the most important task to regularly maintain. Routine sanitation of your home is paramount to keeping cockroaches away because they thrive on food and water sources wherever they can find it. If you’re not regularly wiping down your counters, keeping sinks and faucets dry, washing, drying and putting away the dishes, you’re going to be dealing with cockroaches for the duration of your apartment stay.
The best thing you can do is set a cleaning schedule before you go to bed where you take out the trash, vacuum, put food away in containers and dry off all surfaces. You cannot forget areas under your appliances either like your fridge, stove, toaster and microwave. Push them aside and wipe and clean under them as well. Doing this consistently makes it so cockroaches have no food or water sources to eat so they will likely go elsewhere because there’s nothing to consume in your unit.
Use A Cockroach Bait
By keeping regular about cleanliness. Cockroaches that are settled in your unit will be hungry and desperate. Cockroaches are only about to survive 30 days without food and when there is no food available, they’ll try to eat non-food items, their own feces and the dead bodies of fallen cockroaches to stay fed! You can present them another food option through a cockroach bait, which is one of the best and most effective options for apartment cockroach control.
Cockroach bait contains food grade attractants, so cockroaches will want to eat it because it tastes like foods that they regularly enjoy like greasy foods, proteins and sweets. The bait also contains a slow-killing lethal poison so that the cockroach will alert others of the bait and likely die at the nest where they are all gathered. Ideally, those that eat the bait die, and the cockroaches eat the poisoned cockroaches feces and their dead body, transferring the poison to them, and they also die, creating a domino effect that significantly kills the population.
This is only most effective when you have been good about cleaning your home of food crumbs, oils and other food items so the bait is all they have to eat.
Dust Cracks and Crevices
Cockroaches like to hide away in cracks and crevices and use this little gaps and holes to travel around. Treating these tight spaces with an insecticidal dust is a great option because dust can get to areas where the cockroaches hide more easily than other pest control products. Treat your baseboards, outlets, and any cracks in the floor or ceiling with light puffs of dust that you won’t be able to visibly see. When cockroaches walk over the dust, they will be poisoned or dehydrated and die where they hide.
Apply a Residual Insecticide
After you have applied the roach bait, such as Harris Roach Tablets, you can apply a residual insecticide to keep killing. Do not apply where you have placed the tablets, but you can spray in cracks and crevices, plumbing penetrations and around walls. Always follow product label instructions. Aerosol insecticide sprays are easy to apply and perfect for use in an apartment.
Seal Cockroaches Off From Your Unit
While all the options above are effective in killing roaches and stopping the infestation from growing, you still have to deal with cockroaches from other units that migrate to your unit. By sealing off points of entry to your unit, you shouldn’t have to any more. The use of caulk will be your greatest ally in ending the traveling cockroaches coming to your apartment.
Caulk is long lasting and effective and easy to apply. Go around your apartment unit, especially around the kitchen and bathrooms and find all the cracks, crevices and holes that need to be sealed off. You may be amazed by the amount of cracks and tiny slits there are that cockroaches readily use to hide and travel from unit to unit. You may not be able to get all of them but caulking off a large amount of crevices will make your home impenetrable and when combined with your better cleaning habits, baits and insecticides, you will see an end to cockroaches crawling around your home.