A complete guide on how to get rid of cockroaches

Cockroaches are undoubtedly one of the most despised household pests. Removing cockroaches from your home can be difficult, for some harder than getting rid of spiders and carpet beetles or other insects. It is an operation that requires a lot of perseverance, especially if you do not get help from experts. When these critters come to the house, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, they multiply quickly

The four types of cockroaches commonly found in homes are the German cockroach, the oriental cockroach, the American cockroach, and the striped cockroach. All common cockroaches are identifiable by their rounded, solid, and flat bodies, including long antennae and long legs. They usually range from 3 to 5 centimetres. Some species may also have wings. Yuk! How to get rid of them

cockroach Blattodea crawling around the kitchen

Types of cockroaches

Cockroaches are insects that cause many diseases. In addition to being an annoying nocturnal insect, there are some health risks:

  1. They can cause some allergic symptoms.
  2. They can cause intestinal disease.
  3. They are responsible for spreading salmonella, staphylococcus and streptococcus.

While trying to identify if you really have a cockroach problem, it’s best to know what species of cockroaches you’re up against.

The German cockroach

Known for their presence on a global scale, German cockroaches can quickly spread disease by ending up in food. How do we identify them? The German cockroaches are brown in colour with two vertical black shed skins near the head.

A German Cockroach out scavenging during the night in a Hackberry tree

The American cockroach

Known as a water bug because it is found around hot, humid places like sewers and garbage heaps. How do we identify them? American cockroaches’ characteristic is the reddish-brown colour.

an american cockroach on a wooden surface

The Oriental cockroach

It likes to be near damp places like sewers, but can also be found inside the house under sinks and near other water sources. How do we identify them? Oriental cockroaches are usually giant, very dark brown, or almost black in colour.

oriental cockroach on wooden log

The brown-banded cockroach

Unlike other common cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches don’t need as much water, so you’ll see them hiding around walls and furniture if they make their way inside. How do we identify them? They are smaller in size than other cockroaches. Brown-banded cockroaches are easy to spot by the clear stripes found on the different areas of their bodies. They can be one of the most challenging species to eliminate. Therefore, you may need to use repellents or hire a professional. 

brown banded cockroach on window sill

What Attracts Cockroaches

Whatever sort of insect you have in your home, whether it’s roaches, ants, termites, or mice, they’re all looking for food and water. Roaches, in particular, prefer humid climates and are attracted to the following:

  1. Dirty dishes in the sink
  2. Crumbs on the floors or countertops
  3. Garbage
  4. Pet food on the floor
  5. Excess moisture
  6. Leftover food in empty cans or containers

How to get rid of cockroaches with smart home remedies

They gather around food, in heated buildings, and hide in cracks and crevices. There are many ways to fight against cockroach infestation both in terms of home remedies and professional pest control. Let’s see them!

Natural roach killer

  1. Diatomaceous earth

A tried and efficient solution to get rid of cockroaches is the diatomaceous earth. Sprinkle it around the perimeter of the chambers and into cracks and crevices. Cockroaches will never cross the diatomaceous earth barrier.

  1. Boric acid

Boric acid, flour, and a little sugar also work. Mix equal amounts of boric acid and flour and add a little sugar to attract cockroaches. Make a paste by adding water. Make small balls and put them in the corners and crevices. Cockroaches eat the dough which is toxic to them. It may take a few weeks to clear the space of bugs.

  1. Baking soda

The mix of baking soda and sugar will attract cockroaches that are looking for food. The baking soda mixes with their stomach acids and it’s fatal to them.

  1. DIY Homemade spray

Another home remedy is a homemade spray. Add a clove of garlic, onion, and cayenne pepper (1 tbsp for 1 pint of water) and let it sit for an hour. Then add 1 tbsp of liquid soap and spray to areas where you have seen cockroaches.

Efficient methods to kill cockroaches

Chemical control is the best method to kill cockroaches. Professionals have stronger chemicals, but some of them are also available for you as well. Unfortunately, if owners do not take care of their home’s hygiene, cockroaches could reappear. The important ways of effective roach control include sanitation and prevention, detection, and chemical control.

Cockroach Bait

You may find that you will have a hard time eliminating them entirely and that you may need to call in a professional. Before you call a pest control company, try a few methods at home. Place sticky traps in a variety of places where you’ve seen cockroaches. They often accumulate in areas where there are food and water, such as the kitchen. Place the traps against the wall so that cockroaches can’t go around them.

Insecticide sprays

Use a residual insecticide spray in areas where you have seen cockroaches. Areas where cockroaches usually congregate are under the bathroom sink and in kitchen cabinets. Spray cracks where cockroaches can hide or enter the house

Insecticide dust

Use insecticide dust in areas where cockroaches can hide, and water jets will not reach. Insecticide dust will last longer than sprays. Apply boric acid powder to hiding places, such as corners of kitchen cabinets. Boric acid is a slow but intense action and one of the best ways to kill cockroaches.

Cockroach control: How to prevent them from coming to your home again

To kill roaches is not enough. Homeowners should use prevention and sanitation methods to ensure that cockroaches do not re-infest. That’s why you should take care of the following:

  1. Never leave food or water uncovered and immediately clean up spilt substances. Don’t leave pet food unattended. 
  2. Keep food in tightly sealed boxes (no paper or cardboard as they can nibble on them).
  3. Clean the underside of appliances regularly and dark, damp corners near a food source. 
  4. Clean the kitchen well every day.
  5. Place the garbage in sealed plastic bags and dispose of it every day.
  6. Don’t leave dirty dishes, especially at night, or immerse them in a strong detergent and water solution until washing.
  7. Vacuum regularly to remove food particles.
  8. Wrap or insulate pipes that produce condensation; repair leaky faucets and plumbing. Ventilate the bathroom and dehumidify damp areas. Moisture control, improved lighting and ventilation in critical areas will help eliminate cockroaches.
  9. Seal shelters and entry points.
  10. Block, seal, or caulk crevices that work as access points.
  11. Place sealing strips around doors and windows, especially in buildings where cockroaches move quickly from one apartment to another. 
man exterminating cockroaches with insect spray in a flat

If these are only small infestations, there will be no need to call professional pest control. Having a good knowledge of all types of cockroaches, especially those that tend to create habitats in homes and apartments, can provide practical solutions over the long term. Also, it will help protect your home and families from possible infestations, including preventive measures to minimize risk. Treating an infestation as soon as it starts is a considerable help towards total elimination. Keep roaches away once and for all!

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