Cockroaches are peculiar insects. They can survive a whole week without their head and even sustain freezing temperatures. While this might seem fascinating to some, it isn’t so entertaining when you have a roach infestation in your home. Not to mention, these fantastic features only make it harder to kill cockroaches in your house.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of cockroaches in the house, the answer is – in a myriad of ways. Most people would like to have instantaneous results. You can eliminate roaches fast with pesticides. However, you should keep in mind that powerful insecticides, while giving results straight away, can be harmful to you and your family, especially if you have small children and pets. Therefore, it’s better to turn to some other solutions that will kill roaches naturally, keep your family safe, and prevent any recurrent infestations.
Furthermore, roaches can cause many health problems. All types of roaches that find their way into your home carry germs on the spines of their legs. They can transfer those germs all over your house, which increases the risk of diseases like E. coli and salmonella. Not to mention, roaches are very dangerous for people with asthma and allergies. Their droppings, saliva, and shed skin irritate the airways, thus worsening the health of asthmatics. That is especially dangerous for children with asthma and allergies. Therefore, it’s important to know how to kill cockroaches and get rid of them forever. So, how to get rid of cockroaches in apartments and houses?
TYPES OF COCKROACHES
American cockroaches have a distinct reddish-brown color. You can also recognize them by the yellow pattern on the back of their heads. It’s shaped like the number eight. You’re most likely to find American cockroaches in basements and sewers. They like to make their nests around pipes and drains.
This subspecies of cockroaches is easy to recognize. As their name suggests, they are brown and have distinct light bands across their midsection. Unlike their American brethren, Brown-banded cockroaches like warmer and drier locations. They also tend to nest higher than other subspecies. Therefore, you’ll find them in kitchen and bathroom cabinets. However, since they don’t like the damp surroundings, you can also see them in other rooms in the house. If you notice this subspecies in your home, search for their nests and eggs in or under the furniture.
The German cockroach is recognizable for the light brown color with two prominent dark bands on the back. German cockroaches are standard in shape. They are six-legged and oblong, with signature cockroach antennae. You should know what they look like before you learn how to get rid of German roaches. You also need to know where to find them. These roaches usually make their nests in the kitchen or, less often, in the bathroom. However, you’ll also see them in every other room where there is food or drink.
Oriental Cockroaches have a distinct shiny look. They are dark brown, and usually like to dwell in the sewers. Therefore, if you see an Oriental cockroach in your home, their nests are most likely in the basements and crawl spaces. You can also find them outdoors, in your garden, because they love to inhabit leaf piles and firewood.
HOW TO CHECK FOR ROACH INFESTATION IN YOUR HOME
Where do they hide?
If you’re interested in trying out some home remedies for getting rid of cockroaches, you should first figure out where they hide. Finding the cockroaches’ eggs and the nest is crucial. The first places where you should look are the kitchen and the bathroom. They usually dwell in dark and moist areas. Therefore, you should always look for roaches under the kitchen and bathroom furniture and appliances.
It’s best to use a flashlight and inspect all dark and enclosed spaces, especially the wet and warm ones. Look under the washing machines, refrigerators, stoves, sinks, cabinets, etc. You should also inspect the floor drains. Furthermore, any cracks and crevices are the perfect breeding ground and the place where you’ll find a baby cockroach, a roach sac, or an adult specimen. Therefore, check the inside of the motor areas of your appliances, since it’s warm there, but also check under wall paintings and clocks, behind wallpaper, under floor mats and carpets, etc.
You can also find roaches in places other than your home or check for ant infestation here. Cockroaches aren’t a rare occurrence in cars or a school bus. Because kids leave behind food and drink residue, buses are a perfect breeding ground for them. They can also appear in your car, in cafeterias, or in stores, for example. It can be even more challenging to kill roaches in a car or other vehicles since those have more hard-to-reach hiding places. The best approach is to kill roaches using borax. You can also try to kill roaches with boric acid. We’ll talk more about that later on.
Learn to recognize cockroach droppings and the roach egg sac
While it’s important to know what a cockroach looks like, you should familiarize yourself with their droppings as well. Droppings are a sure sign that you have a roach infestation. Furthermore, you’re more likely to see the droppings than the insects themselves, since they are fast and shy away from the light. To kill cockroaches in your house, you must first find them. The easiest way is to follow the droppings. But, what does the cockroach poop look like?
You’ll easily recognize the roach droppings because they look like coffee grounds. Roaches poop where they live, so if you find the poop, you’ll find the bugs as well. Therefore, you should check your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, appliances, drawers, and other potential hiding places we already mentioned.
You should also know what a roach egg sac looks like. If you find it, you should destroy it immediately. Roach eggs are cylindrical and around 5 to 10 millimeters in size. They are usually tan or dark brown, and you’ll find them in the same places you would see the droppings and the roaches.
HOW TO GET RID OF COCKROACHES
To remove cockroaches forever, you should make sure that your house isn’t the perfect breeding ground for them. If you’re wondering how to get rid of roaches permanently, the answer isn’t just to use pesticides or home remedies for roaches. You need to keep a clean house and take some precautionary measures.
A clean house is a roach-free house
When it comes to insect infestations, prevention is everything. It will be easier for you to keep the roaches away from your home if you take some preventive measures. That means that you should keep your house immaculately clean. There is a specific way of how to clean the house to avoid cockroaches.
Roaches love food residue. Therefore, if you leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight, or don’t wipe down your countertops, you might have an unexpected visitor (or a thousand). You should clean everything in your kitchen, including your floors, before going to bed at night. This will also help you a lot with avoiding fruit flies in the kitchen. If that sounds like a hassle, imagine what trouble fighting a roach infestation is. That puts things in perspective, right? After all, you’ll get the hang of quick cleaning in no time, and then it will be a 10-minute chore instead of an hour-long cleanup. However, if you have pets, kids, or you just hosted a party, the cleanup will take more time. Don’t skip it, though, or the roaches will come before you can say “I’ll clean this tomorrow!”
Food, dishes, and garbage
To fight off roaches, you need to cut their food source. Don’t leave out dirty dishes, open garbage bags, or food for the roaches to feast on. Therefore, you should always wash or soak dirty dishes before going to bed. In addition to that, you shouldn’t leave any food out of the fridge. If you do, make sure to cover it or put it in a sealed container. Moreover, you should also keep your garbage tightly closed. Even better, you should take it out every night. Furthermore, you should avoid clutter, since it allows the roaches to hide and leave egg sacs everywhere.
Don’t keep a damp house
Damp surroundings are heaven for most roaches. You’ll often find cockroaches coming out from the stinky sinkhole. Therefore, if you have any water leaks, you should seal them immediately. Not only are roaches attracted to moisture, but they also need water to survive. Therefore, you shouldn’t give them a steady water supply. Seal all leaks, and make sure that there is no water in the sink overnight. Also, don’t go overboard when watering your indoor plants, since that can be the water source the roaches are looking for.
Gaps, holes, and crevices
To prevent roaches from making your home theirs, you need to seal all gaps, holes, and cracks. Don’t leave them room to roam through your kitchen. Make sure the countertops are sealed to the wall, and that any other holes are closed. Even the tiniest hole can make your life a nightmare. Roaches don’t need much room to move, so use some caulk and seal everything.
Use natural bait for roaches
Want to know how to get rid of roaches without an exterminator? You should buy natural bait for roaches to kill cockroaches in your house. These baits usually come in gel form and have slow-working poisons mixed with food in them. Roaches will feast on them and then bring it over to their nests, thus successfully poisoning their entire colony. Cockroaches will eat the poison and then excrete it. Other cockroaches will come into contact with it and die soon afterward.
When you use roach bait, you should place it strategically. Target the areas where you know that cockroaches frequent. It is also a good idea to use natural baits to kill bed bugs if you are concerned as well. Also, put the bait as close to the nest as possible. That increases the number of roaches that will eat it. However, keep in mind that these aren’t the types of baits with cockroach poison safe for kids. So, keep your kids away from it.
Using roach bait can be a lengthy process. You’ll have to wait a couple of weeks before your home is roach-free. Make sure to do a second round of bait, as well. It’s not enough to kill just one generation of roaches. You need to wait until the eggs are hatched and place poison for those roaches as well.
HOME REMEDIES FOR COCKROACHES – How to get rid of cockroaches naturally?
Baking soda and sugar
The safest way to kill cockroaches if there are kids at home is to use a natural bait for roaches. The best way to get rid of roaches is with boric acid. But, how to use boric acid to kill roaches effectively? Mixing baking soda and sugar and using it as bait will quickly and effectively clear away your home from pests. It allows you to kill the roaches from a distance, and it’s also safe around pet food.
So, how to kill roaches naturally with sugar and baking soda? As with other baits, you should place your baking soda and sugar mixture near the nest. Mix equal parts of the two ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle the mixture in any area you’ve seen roaches at, or in areas you think the bugs might be hiding in. The mix isn’t toxic for humans and pets. The sugar will lure the roaches, so they ingest the bait. Then, the baking soda will affect the roach’s stomach acid negatively, causing it to die. Make sure to repeat the sprinkling of the bait several times, until you kill all roach generations. You might be wondering how long it takes for boric acid to kill roaches. While killing roaches with borax isn’t as effective as pesticides, it will get rid of your pests in a couple of weeks.
PROFESSIONAL GRADE PESTICIDES
Of course, professional grade pesticides and insecticides are the most effective way to get rid of roaches and other insects. They are sprayed around your house, and they’ll eliminate cockroaches fast and for good.
Unlike the baits, pesticides kill the roaches as soon as they make direct contact. Furthermore, the death is almost instantaneous. However, pesticides aren’t safe for children, pets, and sensitive adults. If you have small children at home, it’s better to go with some other, safer ways of getting rid of roaches. You can try out non-toxic baits, mainly to get rid of cockroaches in the kitchen and other places where you handle food.
Diatomaceous Earth is a great non-toxic variant, and it’s completely natural. It gives good results. However, no natural remedy will provide you with results as fast and as effective as pesticides.
Insect Growth Regulators
Insect Growth Regulators isn’t a roach poison per se, but it can help you out in your fight against the roaches. These growth regulators are actually hormones. They will stop baby roaches and small roaches from reaching adulthood. Therefore, they won’t be able to procreate and produce more bugs. However, you need to use them in conjunction with other products that actually kill the insects.
PREVENTIVE TRAPS AND BAITS
Traps will help you to prevent a recurring infestation. You should try to leave a few holes and gaps while sealing everything with caulk or other hardening mixtures, and set traps near them. That way you can catch and kill roaches before they overpower you in numbers.
You can spray insecticides like Raid in front of these holes, to make sure that roaches can’t get in. You can also sprinkle salt around areas that insects frequent. If you’re leaving for vacation, you can mop your floors with salted water.
HOME REMEDIES FOR COCKROACHES THAT WON’T WORK
Most home remedies for killing cockroaches are old-wives’ tales that don’t actually work. For example, using essential oils will make your house smell great, but it won’t keep the roaches away. However, you can still try them out. Maybe you’ll have more luck! Still, it’s probably better to stick to those we described before because they are guaranteed to work. So, here are some remedies that definitely don’t work.
Can you kill roaches with fabric softener spray? No. You’ll just waste your money. Your house will smell delightful, though, but there are cheaper ways to achieve that.
Leaving cucumbers out will only feed the cockroaches. And, that’s the opposite effect of the one you’re trying to accomplish.
Coffee isn’t a good roach-killer. In fact, it doesn’t harm them in any way. It will only keep them away. Also, using coffee isn’t exactly cost-effective. Therefore, you’re better off with other repellents that can also diminish the roach population in your house.
Soapy water works sporadically, it seems. Some say it’s an excellent way to kill roaches, while others do not like it. It’s definitely slow, though. It will take a long time to achieve the same effects that roach spray would get in minutes.
Again, this won’t kill the roaches. You can lay out bay leaves since it won’t do any harm, and the smell might keep the bugs away. However, that’s a big “might” since it’s not scientifically proven that the roaches actually dislike the scent of bay leaves.
IF YOU CAN’T BEAT THEM – CALL A PROFESSIONAL
There is only so much you can do. Sometimes you just can’t exterminate cockroaches by yourself. Well, of course, you’re not a professional roach killer. Therefore, if you don’t know how to get rid of cockroaches, call the professionals! If your DIYs and home remedies aren’t working, it might be the time to call in the professionals. Don’t hesitate to call in the experts if you see cockroaches roaming through your house during the day. That is a sure sign that the colony is enormous. Therefore, you probably won’t be able to get rid of them by yourself, especially without professional grade pesticides.