Find Easy Solutions to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Your Home
Your house is supposed to be your sanctuary; a safe zone where no unwanted guests are allowed. We may spend big money on security systems, locks on our doors and windows, gates and fences, all in an effort to protect our biggest investment. These measures may keep crooks and burglars out, but what about the pesky intruder that we can’t really call the cops on—cockroaches?
Of all the household pest problems that you may experience—houseflies, ants or even rodents, by far the toughest infestation to get rid of is a cockroach infestation. And unfortunately, it is because these ugly pests actually prefer to live in houses. If they are firmly established, they will not be going anywhere anytime soon and the problem will only get worse as the population grows and grows, which doesn’t take long.
In this guide, we will cover why cockroaches are such a frustrating pest to endure in a house, why knowing the cockroach species can help you in eliminating the pest and what practice applications you will need to carry out to drive cockroaches out of your home and make your house a cockroach-free zone.
The Most Common Cockroach Invaders
Cockroaches have been around for millions of years; they were even around before the coming of dinosaurs. While the T-Rex and all other dinosaurs have long been extinct, cockroaches continue to live and thrive due to their mastery of survival and adaptation skills.
Cockroaches are natural survivors. They don’t need much to sustain themselves, just the bare essentials: food, water, and shelter. Cockroaches are also great at adjusting to their environment and the conditions of the area. In fact, cockroaches can survive in almost any type of climate and setting—jungles, deserts, forests, urban settings, wildernesses, you name it. The only place cockroaches are unable to survive are the arctic regions of the world because of the freezing temperatures.
Out of the near 4,000 species of cockroaches in the world, only about 30 are encountered by humans. The rest like to stay far away from human civilization. An even smaller number of that 30 are frequent pests in indoor areas. In the United States, the most common cockroach species are the American Cockroach, German Cockroach, Brown-Banded Cockroach, Oriental Cockroach, and the Brown-Banded cockroach.
The biggest cockroach species in houses is by far the German cockroach. This small-sized roach has a short lifespan of a year but in that span of time can create such a massive infestation that their problems can never end if there is no direct intervention. You would literally have hundreds of thousands of German roaches in your home if you left them to their devices.
German cockroaches are excellent hiders, performing all their foraging activities at night when everyone is fast asleep. A female cockroach is constantly producing eggs that are stored in capsules of 30 to 50. You may see the egg capsule hanging out of her rear end, which, when ready, will be dropped and soon after the baby roaches hatch out and become adults in as quickly as 4 months.
The fast turnaround time of the reproduction cycle means that a small handful of German cockroaches can become a full-blown infestation in a short period of time that will be hard to control.
Why Cockroaches Love Our Houses So Much
The German Cockroach has adapted to where they can only survive and thrive in man-made structures. The reason why is because our homes give German cockroaches easy access to all the comforts of life. Why try to struggle to survive out in the wild when food, water, and shelter come easy inside a human house?
German cockroaches love warm, damp areas that are close to food and water sources; this is why 9 times out of 10, they are going to be shacked up in your kitchen. Cockroaches are not picky eaters and will basically live off of anything you happened to leave behind in your kitchen: crumbs, the caked-on food on dirty dishes, syrups, and grease spills.
If you do happen to keep the area clean, these cockroaches may still thrive off of the water that has not been dried off. If you leave your skin a wet mess overnight, have plumbing leaks, leave pet dishes with water in it, or your refrigerator has a moisture problem that accumulates, cockroaches will take full advantage to drink the water and stay alive.
Lastly, we come to shelter, which there is no shortage of inside a home. Cockroaches will squeeze their way into any nook and cranny to hide during the day time because they are nocturnal. They don’t want you seeing them, so they snuggle in wall voids, behind the fridge, under sinks, behind cabinets and any other dark, secluded area where they won’t be disturbed.
Cockroaches will even gather around your precious electronics, crawling inside your media players, computers, internet routers, game consoles, and power supplies because these devices radiate heat to keep them warm and toasty as they rest.
So, while you enjoy your home, cockroaches may enjoy it a whole lot more because of all of these enticements. A large part of cockroach control is cutting off access to these comforts to lessen the appeal of your home to cockroaches so they don’t have an easy time trying to get comfortable in your house.
Signs You Have A Cockroach Infestation
If you have a small cockroach invasion, you may not be able to notice it right away. Over time as the cockroach population multiplies and builds up, signs of their presence will be undeniable.
The most apparent sign of a significant cockroach infestation is the appearance of cockroach droppings around areas where they constantly frequent. These droppings look like black pepper or coffee grounds. In areas where the droppings are concentrated, you will smell a strong, musty almost sweet but equally nauseating odor. That’s because the droppings are ripe with pheromones that communicate to other roaches that this is a hot spot to frequent.
Other evidence of a cockroach infestation are egg case sightings. If you see a cockroach crawling around in the middle of the day, this is another cause for concern because cockroaches normally should be resting and in hiding during the day. If they are seen crawling around, these means the infestation is so large that there is not enough room in their hiding spaces so they are looking elsewhere for a place to hide.
Kick Cockroaches Out Of Your House With These Solutions
When you have realized that you have a cockroach infestation, you shouldn’t panic but instead, spring into action. Any time holding off on a cockroach control program means the cockroach infestation will be growing larger and larger. Here are some solutions we suggest:
- The first thing that should be done to address the infestation is to cut off access to food, water and shelter areas by conducting a detailed cleanup of your home. Sweep your floors, vacuum your carpets, wipe away crumbs, wash and put away dirty dishes, take out the trash and keep your kitchen and bathrooms as dry as possible.
These action items should be conducted regularly and not as a one and done. You will need to make it a habit to clean your home up nightly before bed because as soon as you go to sleep, that’s when the cockroaches will be out scavenging.
- Keep the Place Dry. By consistently cleaning up and keeping your kitchen free of food, cockroaches will have a harder time surviving. What may be more important than clearing out food is dryness. Addressing plumbing issues, keeping sinks absolutely dry, and eliminating any water that may be around will take away the water that cockroaches need to survive.
- Use a Caulking Gun. To take away shelter areas, it is important to declutter pantries and cabinets of things you don’t need and sealing off areas that cockroaches will be using as hiding spaces with caulk. Go around the home armed with a caulking gun and apply to all gaps, holes, cracks, and crevices you can find.
- Apply a Cockroach Bait. Once you have conducted all the preliminary measures of cutting off food and water, cockroaches will be hungry and desperate. This is when it is crucial to apply an effective cockroach bait product. Whether it is a bait station or a gel bait, it is up to you. Applying bait in the kitchen in strategic areas where you have seen cockroaches active is a solid way to address an infestation.
Cockroaches will be desperate to eat anything after a drought of food from your good cleaning habits and will take and share the bait with other roaches. Cockroach baits are slow killing and very palatable so cockroaches won’t realize that the bait is what is killing them until it is too late.
- Use an Insect Growth Regulator to Address eggs and baby roaches. While killing adult cockroaches is a crucial part of insect control, they are only a small segment of an infestation. The majority of a cockroach invasion are the nymph (baby) roaches and cockroach eggs that are waiting to hatch. Insect Growth Regulators are a product designed to halt the development of baby roaches so they don’t reach adulthood. They also stop cockroach eggs from hatching. Using an IGR can significantly eliminate a cockroach population and prevent the constant need to reapply baits to kill roaches because more generations keep growing up.
- The more control options, the better. Cockroaches are a persistent pest that won’t give up easily and you shouldn’t rely on one lone product to deal with an infestation. Using cockroach control products with a different mode of action is a great strategy because if one method doesn’t do the trick, the other will. There are pesticide powders and dusts like Boric Acid and Insecticide concentrate that can kill cockroaches and repel them from the area. Combining these products with a cockroach bait and applying them strategically can be key to getting rid of an infestation once and for all.
Cockroach invasions are intruders that should be taken as seriously as other possible invaders in your home. Cockroaches can spread diseases, bacteria and allergies so it is best to be proactive on carrying out a control plan to remove them from your house. By implementing the tips and suggestions in this guide, you can protect your home from this disgusting menace.
Take a Look at Some of Our Popular Articles on Cockroach Control:
All About Cockroaches– Our ultimate guide on cockroaches, includes information on how to identify their habitats, food source and the specific type of roach you are dealing with.
How to Locate the Cockroach Nest – When you starting seeing random roaches around your house, it is time to locate their main location or the nest. This will help in your elimination of them.
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches – Our how to get rid of cockroaches guide offers you easy to follow guides to knock out your roach problem, in just a few easy steps. The experts at Harris make roach control easy and effective.
How to Prevent Cockroaches – Wondering how to prevent roaches in your home from even getting inside? Check out our roach prevention guide with easy steps on prevention, eliminating their food source and product recommendations.