Cockroach infestations that pop up anywhere indoors is a nasty and annoying problem to get rid of, but unfortunately if you live in an apartment rather than a standalone home, it becomes much more difficult to totally be free from the pest because of how apartments are set up. How to remove cockroaches from your apartment when you discover you have a problem.
Cockroaches are not only an embarrassing problem to have if you have company over, since they are commonly associated with being filthy, but they can also be a threat to your health because of their disgusting habits.
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Cockroaches are usually found crawling in the most unclean of places, and they track the filth that they step over on their feet and drag it wherever they go. Cockroaches also leave their droppings everywhere which carry bacteria and pathogens so it’s of no surprise that people that have a cockroach infestation tend to get sicker more often than those who don’t. Cockroaches can even trigger asthma attacks with their presence and unsanitary behavior.
When you live in an apartment, cockroaches are almost a given, especially in big cities and parts of the country where it is warmer and more humid. Completely removing an infestation in an apartment can be tough because you are at the mercy of your adjacent neighbors that live next to you, under you and above you. If you live clean and keep things tidy but your neighbors habits tend to be more sloppy and messy, the cockroaches they incur could very likely travel to your unit whenever they wish to explore.
If you want to be free of cockroaches, this guide below will cover how you can successfully remove an infestation in an apartment and prevent cockroaches from infesting in the future by making your apartment unit an unappealing place to be.
How An Infestation Usually Occurs In Apartments
If you are a newly moved in resident of an apartment or a long-time apartment renter and you didn’t have cockroaches previously, you may be wondering how cockroaches just “came out of nowhere” so to speak.
The fact of the matter is, if you have a cockroach infestation you either:
1)Unknowingly brought the cockroaches along with you to your home,
2)Your neighbors have roaches and then moved on into your unit or
3) Cockroach infestation was always there.
Movers often bring cockroaches along with them to their new apartment, either via cockroaches hitching a ride in cardboard boxes (which cockroaches love) or via second-hand item you may have recently purchased or were gifted. This is why it is essential to closely examine items, furniture and other goods before you ever bring it into the new apartment. Chances are if you are buying a used item for a good price, the side effect may be a cockroach infestation.
If you move into a spotless apartment unit that had no indication of a cockroach infestation, the apartment maintenance may have done a good job to make things look good on the surface level but did not do enough to eliminate any cockroach invasions. Cockroaches may have been patiently waiting in cracks and crevices, biding their time until you were totally moved in before they would come out and explore your belongings for food.
In other cases if you had no cockroach problems upon moving in, that doesn’t mean that your adjacent neighbors don’t have one. If other apartment residents in your building have roaches, the chances of your having roaches skyrocket even if you keep a clean home. This is because cockroaches can move freely between apartment units in a complex through the shared walls and where water pipes are as well as through the interconnected electrical and ventilation systems.
We mention all this to tell you that more often than not, cockroach infestations can take place through no fault of your own. While inheriting cockroaches in your unit may have been out of your control, getting rid of them, though difficult, can be firmly in your control depending on the effort you put in to remove them from your apartment.
Locating Your Cockroach Infestation
If you have even seen one cockroach around in your apartment, you should be concerned because where there is one visible cockroach, there are likely many hidden cockroaches that you don’t see that are in hiding, waiting for the right opportunity to come out and scavenge.
Recommended Read: What Does a Cockroach Nest Look Like?
Cockroaches are nocturnal, so they do all their activity at night and use the day to find a hiding space for rest. In order to eliminate cockroach infestation you first need to locate where the infestation may be most concentrated. This should be quite easy because cockroaches are often gathered in the kitchen or bathroom because they want to be close to their source of food and water.
Open your cabinets and check behind and under appliances for evidence of a cockroach hiding spot. You may be surprised to see where they are all huddled up. When you can’t find roaches, you will certainly be able to find cockroach eggs or droppings because they leave them everywhere they are active. A dead giveaway is the distinct odor of their droppings which are unmistakable.
A helpful tool to determine the severity of the infestation of where they are most active is laying out a glue trap overnight in certain areas. If the next morning the trap you set captured a lot of cockroaches, then that is a cockroach hot spot where you should focus your cleaning and control efforts.
Cleanup Is Essential
Cockroaches are simple insects only requiring food, water and shelter for their survival. If they are unable to find any of the three, they will go elsewhere. By maintaining a clean home, you will have greatly reduced cockroach activity. Take away food sources by sweeping, vacuuming and wiping surfaces daily. Taking out the trash daily is also important. Clean under your appliances and make sure there are no crumbs, liquid spills or grease for cockroaches to consume.
You should also try to declutter as much as possible. Do not have your pantries and cabinets overstocked with food, especially if the items won’t be eaten for a while. Lots of clutter means lots of places for cockroaches to hide. Leaving dishes dirty and piled up in the sink overnight is also an invitation for cockroaches to come eat. Wash dishes nightly and put them away.
Along with taking away sources of food, you need to take away sources of water. Keep your kitchens and bathrooms as dry as possible. Wipe down sinks and tubs so there is nothing for cockroaches to lap up. If you have plumbing issues and leaks, these need to be fixed immediately. Fix them yourself or call maintenance to do it for you.
Seal Cockroaches Off with Caulk
Once you have cleaned your home thoroughly, cockroaches can still easily wander from your unit to another and back again until you seal off those points of entry. You can do so with caulk. Go around your unit and look for gaps, holes, cracks and crevices and apply caulk to it to seal them off. Pay attention to door and windows, underneath countertops, the back of cabinets, along baseboards, behind appliances, along walls and any other place that may be an entry point.
Cockroaches can fit through the tightest of spaces so by sealing off as many entry places as possible you not only take away the ease of crawling from unit to unit, you also take away hiding places and nesting areas which will make it hard for cockroaches to reside in your apartment.
Break Out The Treatment Products
The steps prior were all preliminary requisites for the fatal blow to the infestation in the form of reputable cockroach control products. There are a lot of options out there when it comes to killing cockroaches but by far the best method of killing cockroaches in apartments is baiting. Cockroach baits contains a food ingredient cockroaches love combined with a slow-acting poison.
Cockroaches will gladly eat the bait once all other food sources are taken away (by a good cleanup). Since it is slow acting, it will take a few days to see results as the cockroaches eat the bait, share it with others and transfer the bait around.
Another great tool to use is a Boric acid dust. Apply it around your kitchen and when cockroaches crawl over the dust, they will soon die via dehydration. The best part about Boric Acid is that since it is a powder, it can be puffed with a precision duster in tight spaces where cockroaches like to hide that other cockroach killers can’t penetrate.
Using more than one method of control is better than using just one treatment option as it allows for more weapons in your arsenal to kill cockroaches different ways. By being consistent with cleanup and persistent with treatment, the cockroach population will soon totally die out.
Preventing Future Cockroach Infestations
If you are successful in significantly reducing or even eliminating the cockroach infestation with the above methods, you shouldn’t rest easy thinking that they won’t re-infest. It is important to put into place preventative measures that make it less likely for cockroaches to come into your home. This can be hard to do, especially living in an apartment. Cockroach that your neighbors have will be eager to explore new places for food including your unit.
As long as you live in an apartment you may have to routinely use the pest control products you used to kill cockroaches as a preventative treatment. Be regular about keeping your apartment consistently clean with a nightly cleaning routine that involves sweeping, vacuuming and taking out the trash. If you let up and start to slack, cockroaches may find their way back. Fix moisture issues as they come up as soon as possible. You want to make your unit as unattractive as possible to roaches and they way you do that is by leaving no food or water out in the open.
Keeping up with sealing entry points should also be paramount. You may not be able to get every possible gap or hole in one session so whenever you see one during your apartment stay, seal it as soon as you can. Caulking well will make your apartment unit impenetrable by cockroaches.
Cockroaches can make for a miserable experience in an apartment stay. Unless you want to break your lease and get away from the cockroaches, you are going to have to deal with them. While you cannot control what your apartment neighbors do, you can do what you can to rid cockroaches from your unit and prevent infestations from getting worse or constantly recurring.
By following the steps laid out in this guide, you can take back your apartment from cockroaches and kick those uninvited guests out for good.