Cockroaches are not only an ugly and embarrassing nuisance, they can cause health problems for you and your family. Cockroaches can infect food sources, leaving behind waste that may contain illnesses and bacteria, such as salmonella. Additionally, cockroach infestations have been connected with allergies and asthma in children. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that these pests do not invade your home.
Since roaches are nocturnal and usually come out only in darkness, roaches do not often make themselves seen. Therefore, if you see one roach, bear in mind that there may be many more roaches that you do not see. Below are a few tips to assist you in keeping these noxious insects out of your home.
Make Your Home Inhospitable to Pests
Where cockroaches are concerned, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Bear in mind that roaches will gravitate toward areas where the environment is most comfortable for them. This means areas with a water source, a food source, and dark warm places to hide. You can make your home an unlikely target by eliminating as many of these things as possible. For instance, a leaky pipe or dripping sink can be a good water source for roaches, so fix all leaks and add washers to eliminate drips. You can also eliminate their food source by making sure that no crumbs or food waste are left in your home. This includes food residue on the inside of trashcan, sticky spots on the floor, or dirty dishes left in the sink. Keeping your food in airtight containers off the floor will help to prevent roaches from finding food in your home.
You can also eliminate hiding places and points of entry by noting cracks and crevices where roaches might enter your home or hide once inside. Sealing these openings with weatherstripping and caulking can help discourage roaches from moving in.
Eliminating an Existing Roach Infestation
If roaches have already moved into your home, continue to use the above preventative measures to make your home as inhospitable as possible to the pests. They are less likely to stay in an area where there is no reliable source of food or water. However, do not expect the pests to vacate immediately when your house is clean; since roaches can live a month or more without food, it will be necessary to also use traps to rid your home of these pests.
Additionally, you can combat a roach infestation using traps. Baited traps are advantageous based upon their ability to lure roaches, rather than having to wait for roaches to wander into them. Sticky traps are also a popular choice, since watching these traps for several days will give you a better understanding of where the roach infestation is heaviest in your home and will give you a clue as to where to emphasize for efforts to eliminate the unwanted pests. A combination of these two types of traps will provide both advantages. When placing the traps, bear in mind that roaches mainly travel in dark places and tend to remain close to the wall rather than venturing out into the center of a room. Therefore, it’s best to place traps close to baseboards and in dark crevices.
Using Chemical Means to Eliminate Pests
As a last resort, chemical means may be used to combat the cockroach infestation. If you decide to take this route, there are a few things that must be considered. First, always carefully read the label of any pesticide that you decide to use, and only use the product as the label directs. This can significantly reduce the possibility of accidental dangers resulting from misuse.
Also make sure that you do not use any toxic substance near water sources, food storage or food preparation areas, or anyplace that may be accessed by children or pets. Since pesticides can also cause irritation in adults, avoid unnecessary exposure to any toxic chemical.
When choosing a chemical means to ward off cockroaches, boric acid is highly favored, because cockroaches cannot become immune to it. Many chemicals that are merely designed to poison the insects can prove ineffective because over time pest populations can become immune to the chemical. However, cockroaches cannot become immune to boric acid because it works by drying out the insect rather than poisoning them.
Cockroaches are an embarrassing problem as well as a health hazard and should be eliminated from your home as quickly as possible. By using the techniques above, you have a good chance of eliminating unwanted pests and making your house a clean and pest-free that you can be proud of.